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Issue 4 | Late Spring 2013


Devoted to exclusive holidays, leisure and experience in Norfolk and Suffolk


Escape to the country Win a break away The finest accommodation Hotels and holiday homes Fresh air and outdoor fun Days out in the area

Under the stars


...beautiful bathrooms

Hickman’s of Beccles Bathroom Showroom Mon-Fri 9am-5pm & Sat 9am-12pm Gosford Road, Beccles NR34 9QP 01502 711047


The online version of Uniquely Away can be viewed at

The Away Team Editor Abigail Saltmarsh Deputy editor Karen Kelly Designer Mark Edwards Creative photographer Nick Read Feature writers Mary Williams Sarah Sinclair Head of sales and marketing Amanda Carter Norfolk area sales Anne-Marie McSherry For information on advertising, sales or sponsorship in Uniquely Away or other Uniquely Magazines publications contact or call 01603 929434 Uniquely Away is published by Uniquely Magazines Ferndale Centre, 1 Exeter Street Norwich, NR2 4QB © AMS Editorial Services Ltd Company No. 07089976 About the editor With almost 25 years experience, Abigail Saltmarsh is a freelance journalist, writing lifestyle, property, homes, travel and a range of general interest features. She is a regular contributor to national, glossy magazines and her pieces have appeared in The New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Abigail has also written extensively for the UK’s bestselling daily regional newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press, as well as for the EDP Norfolk Magazine, the East Anglian Daily Times Suffolk Magazine and the Evening News, in Norwich.

About the designer Based in Norwich since 2001, Mark Edwards specialises in graphic design, art direction and brand identity. Mark has worked on a diverse selection of design projects for a variety of clients including the BBC, TfL, L’Oréal Paris, NNF, Office Shoes, PWL Records, Superdrug, Hilfiger, Top Shop and Virgin Classics.

Fourth issue

Uniquely AWAY

Spring is finally here and with summer approaching many of us are turning our thoughts to taking some time out of our busy lives and heading off on a break. As usual, Uniquely Away presents a range of suggestions for places to stay in Norfolk and Suffolk. As well as highlighting some superb hotels and beautiful holiday homes in this issue, the warmer weather has also lead us to thinking about sleeping under the stars. With glamping, camping and lodge accommodation becoming ever more popular, we are stepping out into the great outdoors to look at some places to stay that will take you right into the heart of the beautiful countryside. In addition, we also look at places to visit with the family, such as the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, and activities to enjoy out in the fresh air. Once again we also suggest places to eat and we bring you some of the counties’ exquisite arts, crafts photography. Please do enter our great competitions to win time away in Norfolk and Suffolk and let us know if you have any suggestions for our forthcoming issues. We hope you enjoy the magazine.

About the photographer Nick Read is highly experienced in lifestyle and magazine work. With more than 20 years behind the camera, he has worked for clients ranging from Bentley, McLaren, Chrysler and Secma sports cars to the BBC, Radio Times and United Emirates Air Lines.

Abigail Saltmarsh

Nick, who lives in Suffolk but travels abroad for his photography work, frequently carries out home interiors shoots and has worked for national glossy magazines such as House Beautiful and BBC Good Homes, as well as exclusive homes estate agents Savills, Fine and Fine and Country. Other clients include design groups, advertising agencies, TV production companies and property developers.

Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Co. using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers.

Uniquely Away would like to thank Natural Surroundings and Bayfield Estate, Holt, for allowing us to conduct a photo shoot in their grounds. |

We would also like to thank SoulPad for their exquisite cover image.




Uniquely AWAY

Uniquely Away would like to congratulate the lucky winners of the competitions in our spring issue Mrs B Kennedy, of Norwich, who won a one night stay for two, as well as a three-course dinner and breakfast for two, at the Bell House Hotel, Saxmundham. Kathleen Flynn, of Surrey, who won a one night stay for two, as well as dinner for two and breakfast, at the White Horse, Brancaster Staithe. The winners have been informed. Read on to enter three more magnificent competitions in this issue of Uniquely Away

Uniquely AWAY

is usually available priced ÂŁ4.50 (inc p&p) per issue or ÂŁ16 (inc p&p) for an annual subscription. To order please email subscriptions@ call 01603 926114 or send a cheque made payable to Uniquely Magazines to Uniquely Magazines Ferndale Centre 1 Exeter Street Norwich NR2 4QB


Competition winners

Comfort and style

Under the Stars







Jewels of the east Belle Grove Barns

Retreat to Holkham The Victoria Inn

Cutting-edge design Tuddenham Mill


Heritage feel The Westleton Crown

Glorious glamping Kenton Hall

Outdoor living SoulPad and The Suffolk Escape

A charmed approach Magical Camping


Luxury lodges Fynn Valley Holidays


Create the look Berber Interiors


Uniquely AWAY

is available in a selection of carefully chosen, exclusive establishments, such as hotels, theatres, spas and art galleries, including: Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings Concert Hall Elveden Estate, Elveden Gallery Plus, Wells-next-the-Sea Gallery Thea, Southwold Hampton’s Home and Garden, Reepham

The beautiful Broads

Heading north

What, where, who




Out and about Wetland wonders


Tasting the Thai life Jasminum Days out


Inside or out Family fun


Out in the field Woodbine Farm Alpacas


A walk in the country Bouddicca Way


Rest and relaxation The Auberge

Eat, drink and sleep Briarfields and The Lodge


Happy days The Jolly Sailors Barn charm


Country converts Rookery Farm Barns


Beaming with pleasure Iken Barns

This sporting life Cricketer Tymal Mills


In the editor’s diary A choice of events


In the know Mark Thompson

Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley Re+new, Woodbridge Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich Strattons, Swaffham Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge The Apex, Bury St Edmund’s The Forum, Norwich (TIC) The Granary, Norwich The Hoste, Burnham Market The Red Dot Gallery, Holt Theatre Royal, Norwich


EXCEPTIONAL EXOTIC EXTRAVAGANT Five star retreat near timeless Suffolk Heritage Coast | | telephone 01986 873124 |

Roger Hickman’s Restaurant

Named The Good Food Guide’s Best Restaurant in the East of England, and with three AA Rosettes, Roger Hickman’s Restaurant is a tour-de-force in fine dining in Norwich. Former Michelin-starred chef Roger Hickman delivers consistently great food – in fact it is the only restaurant in Norfolk to be awarded a top ‘1’ rating for food in the respected 2013 Harden’s Guide.


01603 633522









n the lush surroundings of Belle Grove Barns there is no mistaking the fact you are in Suffolk – but step inside and you will find yourself somewhere else altogether. Owners of the holiday properties, Jo Jordan and Nick Fisher, have gone out of their way to give their visitors a very different experience, with more than a taste of the exotic. The couple have converted five redundant agricultural buildings into sumptuous holiday homes, each with its own individual style and with décor sourced and selected from afar. “There are a lot of former farm buildings that are now holiday lets and we wanted to make ours stand out,” Jo explains. “We have travelled a great deal and both love unusual furniture

and textiles, so this idea ticked a lot of our own personal boxes. “The way the concept has turned out has been one of ‘come and stay – and feel as if you are somewhere completely different.’” The properties were already in the family and, as a farmer with building expertise, Nick had the skills to oversee the conversion project. With Jo’s input as well, particularly regarding the interiors, the holiday homes came together beautifully; each with an identity of its own. The pieces sourced by the couple from across the world complement the heavy beams, unusual spaces and sloping ceiling of the barns. Rich, jewel-like colours now feature throughout, together with exquisite and unusual

pieces of furniture, ranging from great carved doors to ornate mirrors, beds and tables. “All the properties are very comfortable, with under-floor heating, wood-burning stoves and rugs throughout, but they also all have their own distinct features. “The Coach House, for example, has an Indonesian theme, with textiles and fabrics, such as batiks; the Stable is also known as the Mughal Jewel Box and has shinier more sparkly accessories. “The Granary has more of an oriental feel and uses quite a lot of furniture from the Far East – it has a wonderful Chinese bed, for example – while the Gatehouse pulls together threads from the Middle East.” With three bedrooms, the Upper Barn


is the largest of the holiday homes and has been given the strap line “a touch of the Raj.”

Southwold and Walberswick, and proximity to the attractive market towns of Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth.

“This came about because we acquired a large painting that sits above the fireplace of a scene that we are convinced comes from North India in the days of the Raj,” says Jo, who has just published a travel book entitled African Approaches: Roads to a Far-Off Place.

Jo and Nick’s own house on the site is also captivating. This was designed and built by the couple after they drew inspiration from a Russian sketch they found in an old architecture magazine.

All the properties have been designed to make the stay an easy but fascinating experience. Guests are welcome to bring dogs and while couples often make the most of off-season breaks, families tend to come during school holidays. Visitors enjoy exploring the surrounding area, with its country walks, access to the coast at places like

Indeed, the house, which won a Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Award in 2011, is now part of the Invitation to View scheme, where visitors are welcomed in to have a look on certain occasions.

other local suppliers. “People enjoy coming because it is a very different experience – and we have a lot of repeat business because of that,” she adds. “They appreciate the fact these places are unusual and they like our attention to detail. “In fact, at the end of their stay, visitors often say they are still noticing new things within the holiday home to look at and enjoy.” Photographs courtesy of Belle Grove Barns For more information

With a background in organising safaris, Jo and Nick are happy to help visitors tailor their stay to meet their needs – organising personal chefs, for example, highlighting nearby beauty spots and putting them in touch with

on Belle Grove Barns call 01986 873124 or visit

For information on Jo’s book visit


Coming soon...

THE VIC TO R I A I N N An even warmer welcome R E O PE N S M AY 2 013 New look, new menu and new rooms

Bookings now being taken please call 01328 711008

Original ideas from the coast, to your home. Established 11 years ago by local landscape photographer Martin Billing, Bringing the outside in has forged a reputation as one of the ‘must see’ galleries along the North Norfolk coast. With the elements at its heart, Bringing the outside in, is a retail experience unlike any other where all customers are free to explore and discover everything it has to offer.

Find us next to the entrance of The Victoria & Holkham Estate Main Road, Holkham, Norfolk NR23 1AD. T. 01328 713093

Findd uss ne n xtt to the entr tran a ce off e Victtor oria ia & Holkkham m Es Est te Esta or vis i itt: ww brin i giinggth theouttsi side dein in.c .

We’re open from 10:30 – 4:00 & closed on Tuesdays. BTOI / Main Road, Holkham, NR23 1AD 10:30 – 4:30 / Closed Tuesdays T. 01328 713093

Coastal Lifestyle Gallery find us on facebook / follow us on twitter: @andthebowerbird




he historic Victoria at Holkham is going back to its roots and taking inspiration from the estate and its natural surroundings. Returning to its original name of the Victoria Inn, the landmark building, which is situated between the spectacular Hall and the stunning beach, has been given a new interior design and a slightly different emphasis in its food and drink offer, explains Johanna Tennant, projects manager for the Holkham Estate. “The Victoria was known for its colonial style but was in need of refurbishment,” she says. “One of the challenges we have faced has been to create somewhere that appeals to local people as well as to visitors. We want the Victoria Inn to be somewhere they can come for a drink, chat and to watch the rugby, as well as to be a place that caters for the more discerning visitor who flocks to this area between April and September.” The current building dates back to 1838 and since then has been a public house and hotel. Today it is managed by Adnams but remains part of the

Welcome Inn Holkham Estate, with the current Lord and Lady Coke retaining a strong interest in it.

historic Ancient House into an additional 10 bedrooms and bathrooms by spring 2014.

“They have been very involved in the changes and worked closely with me and interior designer Julia Laidlaw. The idea was to go back to a very traditional feel and to create more of a sense of a classic British pub or inn on the ground floor. Many of the furnishings have come from the Hall and we have used the Holkham tweed, traditionally worn by our gamekeepers, as a fabric.”

With the award-winning Holkham Beach on its doorstep, as well as the Holkham National Nature Reserve, the Hall, with its array of events throughout the year, and the equally glorious wider surroundings, there is much to tempt visitors to the location.

The food and drink will be in a similar vein, with good quality, locally sourced ingredients in simple yet delicious dishes: “Our own venison and beef will be served, for example, along with fruit and vegetables from our walled garden. We will also be using other local suppliers to ensure our carbon footprint is minimised.” Upstairs, all the bedrooms and bathrooms have been refurbished to an extremely high standard, with completely new furniture and furnishings. There is also planning permission to transform the nearby

“We want them to feel welcome when they arrive,” Johanna adds. “We want them to find somewhere that is extremely comfortable to stay and is known for the quality of everything it offers, from its food through to its service. “But we also want them, and those who live locally, to appreciate the relaxed air of the Victoria Inn. This is somewhere they can visit in their wellies after a walk, where they can have a drink and something to eat, play a game of darts and feel very at home.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh Photography courtesy of the Holkham Estate For more information visit




Rustic chic With its exquisite combination of interesting, original features and sleek modern styling, Tuddenham Mill is a boutique hotel with a difference





rom its heavy oak beams and great metal machinery to its airy interiors and Italian furniture, Tuddenham Mill is a stunning picture of contrast. The boutique hotel presents a unique combination of the heavily historic and the cutting-edge contemporary. It offers rural experience as well as ultimate comfort, and the chance to enjoy a taste of the traditional in some very contemporary dishes. Lyndon Barrett-Scott, general manager at Tuddenham Mill, said the aim was to create a tranquil environment that offered something truly different. “The idea was to create a very relaxed, contemporary space that also still

retained the earthiness of the original building, with its old timbers, brickwork and mill workings still exposed. “At the same time, however, we wanted it to be simple yet very stylish so we brought Italian designer furniture, fine Egyptian cotton bed linen and Bose sound systems into all the rooms.” Tucked away in the quiet Suffolk village of Tuddenham, the building itself is 16th century but has foundations that are believed to date back to Roman times. It was a mill until 1956, where locally-grown grain was made into flour. Today the hotel offers 15 rooms, including some that look out over the picturesque water meadow and serene

mill stream. There are also four spacious loft suites, each with a large stone bath and double shower, which open up on to a private balcony. “We attract a variety of different visitors but are perfectly situated for those who want to escape London and retreat to Suffolk for a few days,” he says. Tuddenham Mill also appeals to those who appreciate fine dining. The restaurant, which has been awarded three AA rosettes, describes its menu as modern British. It has made a name for itself with its “sous vide” or water bath cooking process, which sees food slow-poached to retain the flavour, texture and nutrients.


“Wherever possible we cook with seasonal, local produce and we are very keen on foraging. We find a lot of our ingredients right here in our water meadow.

The entire boutique hotel can also be booked for celebrations such as weddings, when up to 60 people can be accommodated for a sit-down meal or 100 for a buffet.

“Plants such as yarrow, pennywort and chickweed can add interesting flavours.”

“Everything can be bespoke for a wedding – on one occasion I even turned the entire mill pink,” Lyndon says.

Dishes might include the likes of organic salmon, with vanilla poached chicory and rainbow chard, duck heart with rhubarb, fennel and wild rice or salted hake with tapioca, watercress and smoked garlic. Head chef Paul Foster often oversees special events, including visits by Michelin-starred chefs and wine evenings.

The secluded location of Tuddenham Mill, close to Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, makes it a destination to enjoy in its own right, as well as a great base for exploring both Norfolk and Suffolk. “Some people do come here to walk or explore the countryside but many just come for a change,” he admits.

“This is somewhere they can indulge in all the comfort of Italian designer furniture within a great and beautiful British building but it is also somewhere that is friendly and relaxing, where they can simply enjoy themselves.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh Photography courtesy of Tuddenham Mill For more information call 01638 713552 or visit


The Westleton Crown Perfectly situated for exploring the delights of the Suffolk Heritage Coast. The Westleton Crown combines the character and charm of its coaching inn heritage with the comforts of contemporary living: smouldering log fires, 34 stylish bedrooms, award winning AA 2 rosette restaurant, sophisticated wine list and delightful terraced gardens. The Street, Westleton, Nr Southwold, Suffolk, IP17 3AD | 01728 648777 |

Special offer Stay with us for a minimum of 2 nights from only ÂŁ130 per night. Includes dinner on both evenings, bed and breakfast. Offer is based on two people sharing and is available Sunday to Thursday, excluding bank holidays and is subject to availability

Your chance to stay at

The Westleton Crown Uniquely Away has teamed up with The Westleton Crown to offer one lucky reader a one night stay for two at the hotel* The winner will also be able to enjoy dinner in the restaurant and breakfast the following day To enter our draw to win this magnificent prize, simply send your name, address, email address and daytime telephone number to

westletoncrowncompetition or send a postcard to The Westleton Crown Competition Uniquely Away, Ferndale Centre, Exeter Street, Norwich, NR2 4QB *A date for the stay will be arranged directly with The Westleton Crown and may be taken from October 2013 onwards. It is subject to availability, based on two people sharing a room and is nontransferable. Drinks are not included with the evening meal. The competition closes on Friday 14 June 2013. The winner will be announced in the next issue of Uniquely Away. The usual Uniquely Magazines terms and conditions apply. For full details visit


Crowning glory W

ith its long history as a coaching inn, the Westleton Crown is proud of its heritage and aims to offer its guests a taste of the past as well as contemporary comfort. General manager at the hotel, Gareth Clarke, says visitors relish its charm while also appreciating its more modern edges.

The Westleton Crown lies on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, between Southwold and Aldeburgh, and is a country inn with character

“It is said this is a traditional coaching inn that dates back to the 12th century,” he explains. “It is quirky in parts and has a lot of character but at the same time it has a high quality finish, with features such as Fired Earth baths, for example, and the Garden Room, which is a very contemporary, light space, with bi-folding doors that open up on to the garden.” The inn, which offers 34 bedrooms in five different buildings, is renowned for its food. Its two AA rosette restaurant has a menu that is firmly rooted in traditional Suffolk produce.

pudding – but with oyster in it.” Fresh cod, chips and mushy peas are served as well as the likes of organic home-smoked salmon, lemon and chive panna cotta, and pan-fried Orfordcaught cod, with gratin potatoes, wilted spinach and a cockle and herb butter. “There are always lots of different options but most of our ingredients come from the land or the sea in Suffolk,” he says. With Dunwich Heath, RSPB Minsmere and miles and miles of beach to explore close by, many visitors come to enjoy the natural beauty of Suffolk. “Others come because they love the character of the Westleton Crown,” he adds. “The cosy bedrooms, delicious food and log fires give it a very special character.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh

“We serve the kind of meals you would have at home but perhaps with a stylish twist,” he says. “So, for example, we might offer a beef and mushroom

Photography supplied by The Westleton Crown For more information call 01728 648777 or visit


Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts World Class Art Gallery & Museum

June Croll Bespoke handwoven wearables and art / Traditional methods / Contemporary design Studio 6 Muspole Workshops Muspole Street Norwich NR3 1DJ 07855145690

Warham Road.Wells-next-the-sea.Norfolk.NR23 1QA 01328 711609.07795

October-April: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm May-September: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm (Summer holiday Sundays 11am-4pm)



Behind the Camera Photographer Stephen Mole relishes the variety of Norfolk and Suffolk landscapes and the beauty of the Broads





“I have lived in Norfolk all my life. I was born in Gorleston and now live in Ormesby St Margaret. “I began to take a real interest in photography in my early 20s but started to spend more time on it when I left my civil service job in 2006. “When I joined a Norfolk group within Flickr, I had my first opportunity to take part in an exhibition. It’s hard to explain the feeling the first time one of your photos is framed and put on a wall – and people see it or, even better, actually like it. I felt so proud. “I am totally self-taught and now work from home. I always think the most important part of a good photo is not the camera or lens, but what the eyes see. Training can help technique but not how to see and appreciate a particular scene.

“I see my images as capturing the uniqueness of this part of the world – the big skies, expansive beaches and infinite flatness of the Norfolk Broads; the marshes with just the occasional windmill to add height. “The beauty of the Broads in particular is that it can seem like miles from anywhere else. It’s a difficult place in which to take a good picture, and is therefore a challenge. “There can be very little in the way of anything to add interest – a rotting boat or a windmill can therefore be a godsend. Even a lonely tree set against the horizon. This is what makes the light so important too. To me, the light is the essence of the Norfolk Broads. “The big event for me this summer is the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios (Saturday 25 May to Friday 7 June), when The Jolly Farmers, at Ormesby, has very kindly allowed me to take over its dining room for two weeks.

“My aim now is to capture more of Suffolk and inland Norfolk. They are big counties and I have only scratched the surface so far. “I love finding parts of Norfolk and Suffolk that I never knew existed; getting out at all times between 3am and 10pm, enjoying the thrill of a sunrise that produces wonderful colours, absorbing the peace and solitude. “The difference between the North Norfolk coast and the east coast of Norfolk or Suffolk is very noticeable – from the large expanses of beach, with their tiny muddy creeks, to the crumbling cliffs. The varying environments have very different challenges and opportunities. “But I like to think anybody seeing one of my images would think: ‘I’d like to be there.” For more information on Stephen’s work call 07772 349109 or 01493 731024 email or visit




C R E A T I V E Changing landscapes


So much art in Norfolk and Suffolk is inspired by the surroundings

Naomi Miller, development officer at the gallery, explains visitors can now enjoy Stranded, a six metre long, crystal encrusted minke whale, as well as Beuys’ Acorns, an installation of 250 saplings, displayed outside the sculpture garden.

collaboration between the Sainsbury Centre, Fabrica art gallery in Brighton and three institutions in France,” she explains. “Over the next two and a half years the organisations will work together to run a contemporary art and education programme based around the theme of changing landscapes, concentrating on the special character of the coastal regions of the southern UK and northern France; and Aftermath, looking at the legacy of war and conflict.”

“Changing Landscapes is the first major event of a new project, which is a

In 2007, artists Ackroyd & Harvey gathered and germinated hundreds of

xciting works of art by Ackroyd & Harvey can be seen at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at UEA this season as ambitious project Changing Landscapes continues.


acorns from Joseph Beuys’ seminal artwork 7000 Oaks in Kassel, Germany. The 250 surviving saplings make up Beuys’ Acorns. The growing trees, now in the sculpture garden, act as a catalyst for discussion about humankind’s relationship with nature and growing concerns about environmental change. “This is an area that is of particular interest to us because of the research into climate change that is carried out at UEA,” she says. Stranded was created from a skeleton recovered from the coast of Skegness, Lincolnshire. It was cleaned and immersed in a highly saturated alum solution, which encrusted it with a chemical growth of ice-like crystals. The artwork raises issues of the dramatic changes in the chemistry of the planet’s oceans and brings awareness to the threat of coral reefs and the marine food cycles. The second stage of last year’s Changing Landscapes: The Art Lab will be on display in the Link Gallery. This is an experimental venture in which different ways of combining art-works, collections, research projects, learning resources and interactive and practical art-making opportunities are explored in response to the theme of changing landscapes.



S P I R A T I O N S Material possessions Changing Landscapes coincides with an exciting period of change for the Sainsbury Centre, as the major project to configure the building continues. The Sainbury Centre’s permanent collections feature outstanding works of world and modern European art. They include pieces by Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon, as well as ritual and ceremonial objects from around the world. “Everything at the Sainsbury Centre this year is free,” Naomi adds. “People can come here to enjoy to Changing Landscapes exhibition and the sculpture garden, and can sit in the Modern Life Café and enjoy the view over a cup of tea and a piece of cake.” For more information on the Sainsbury Centre

Textile artist June Croll works in an area with a long history in weaving and is inspired by Norfolk’s natural beauty

and its exhibitions call 01603 593199 or visit

t her studios in Muspole Street, June Croll creates exquisite textiles, many of which are made with natural fibres.


Working in the heart of Norwich, she feels a strong connection to the city’s past. Back in Medieval times Norwich became known for its wool trade and weaving. “Although my design is contemporary, I do use traditional techniques,” she says. “The part of the city I am in is actually where much of the weaving would have taken place.” June, who is a member of the Norfolk Contemporary Craft Society, has been based at Studio 6 for about eight years now but has been making her beautiful pieces for much longer. Her work ranges from fine silk scarves and stoles to decorative art. She paints her dye solutions on by hand, making

each of her pieces unique. Individual items of clothing are commissioned by customers as gifts, often to mark special occasions. She also creates works for exhibitions. From Monday 8 April to Wednesday 8 May, she will be exhibiting a hanging at Art Alive at the Assembly House, in Norwich. “I just love colour and I particularly enjoy working with silk, because of the way it feels,” she says. “My work is inspired by the environment here in Norfolk. I spend a lot of time walking and am fascinated by the colours of the constantly changing skies and the ripples of the wind and water, as well as reflections and shadows.” For more information call 07855 145690 or visit

Quality, stylish pieces to enhance and decorate your home and garden... ...washed down with tea and cake!




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Kenton Hall Estate

Kenton Hall Estate is a beautiful, family-owned country estate in the heart of the Suffolk Countryside. A wedding and reception venue that offers an idyllic setting for an unforgettable wedding celebration. Kenton Hall Estate also offers luxury Glamping accommodation providing a complete escape from everyday life. Why not spend a night under the stars?

K E N TON H A L L , S TO WM A R K E T, S U F F OL K I P 1 4 6 J U | 01728 862062 |

Luxury Lakeside Log Cabins A new kind of self-catering holiday combining stylish accommodation with bespoke experiences The Suffolk Escape, Hintlesham, Suffolk, IP8 3NX | 01473 652149

Hot Tubs | Dining Over Water | Wood Stoves | Peace & Tranquillity | Food Experiences | Spa Treatments


UNDER THE STARS Camping, glamping and spending time close to nature is becoming more popular than ever among those seeking a unique break or holiday experience




toke up the wood-burner, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy a spot of camping with a difference.


At Kenton Hall, near Debenham, in Suffolk, a little piece of paradise has become a haven for people keen to indulge in a taste of outdoor luxury. Glamorous camping (or “glamping”) is becoming increasingly popular among those eager to sleep under the stars. It provides the opportunity to holiday in the great outdoors without having to do battle with the elements – and it offers the chance to stay in a beautiful and natural environment while also indulging in a few home comforts. At friendly, family-owned Kenton Hall,

Emily McVeigh has recently created a woodland retreat, complete with luxurious yurt and exquisite shepherd’s hut. Both were hand-built by her father, who still runs the 450-acre estate as a working arable and longhorn cattle farm. “There is a very secluded area of woodland here, where we used to have picnics when I was young, and I thought it would make a lovely setting for this,” she explains. “I suggested it to my father but he had never even heard of glamping before. Once I explained what it was, he became very interested and decided he would make the yurt and shepherd’s hut himself.” The glamping concept also tied in beautifully with Kenton Hall’s recent

move into wedding blessings and receptions. Its idyllic setting also makes it the perfect place to tie the knot. “We offer very relaxed wedding receptions for people who want something quite individual and creative but are also looking for quality and attention to detail.” A marquee for 150 guests can be set up in the moated grounds while the treelined avenue and rose gardens make a beautiful backdrop for photographs. The wedding couple or some of the guests can stay in the yurt or shepherd’s hut and Emily can arrange for extra bell tents to be erected and made ready to sleep in if necessary.


“We only ever have one wedding per weekend and we want to make it special,” she adds. Glamping season at the hall begins in April and runs through until September. The yurt and the shepherd hut each sleep two and may be booked together or separately. “They are away from each other to ensure privacy and each has its own bathroom, with a shower and hot water – a real luxury!” Emily says. “There is a shared ‘hub,’ with a fully-equipped kitchen and seating area, as well as a barbecue and fire-pit, for those who want to cook. Others choose to eat out in the evenings.” Both the yurt and shepherd’s hut have

been fitted out to offer sumptuous interiors. With king-size beds, woodburning stoves and even electric blankets, when required, they are toasty and warm. Rugs, electric lights and comfortable seating make them homely and inviting. “They each have their own identity – the yurt has more of a Moroccan feel while the shepherd’s hut has a vintage style,” she explains. At £95 per night (or £75 during the week), the glamping experience appeals to a wide range of guests. Many come up from London for the weekend while others travel from further afield. Emily can offer them advice on places to

visit and things to do – and she is also exploring the possibility of providing yoga weekends and other activities. “Really, however, this is just a nice way for people to come and enjoy Suffolk,” she admits. “It is a lovely place to stay and a great way to be introduced to the area, to simply escape.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh Photography supplied by Kenton Hall For more information on glamping or weddings at Kenton Hall call 01728 862062 or visit





t Hintlesham, in Suffolk, Andrew and Sarah Bryce have brought together their love of travel and the countryside. The couple, who run a rare breed and high welfare farm, have created four luxury log cabins on the edge of a lake, where guests can also enjoy the rural experience and get close to wildlife.

Part of The Suffolk Escape experience also includes tours of the farm and an introduction to the Bryces’ red poll cattle, Suffolk sheep and large black pigs. Different cuts of meat are then shown to the guests and cooked. “We want to be able to give them a whole experience,” he adds. “The cabins are designed to offer the perfect environment for cooking and eating.

“But they are also about relaxing as well. They have a deck that goes right down to the water so it is almost as if they are floating. “People come here to enjoy the outside space, the sound of the lapping water and the great big Suffolk skies.” For more information on The Suffolk Escape call 01473 652149 or visit

“We also have a passion for food and wanted to be able to share that with our guests,” says Andrew, who has a background in tourism as well as farming. “Each of our four two-bedroom log cabins therefore has an over-sized kitchen, where they can enjoy cooking with local produce and we can invite a private chef in to cook for them if they choose.”


required for modern day comfort. Now SoulPad offer a range of tents, as well as camping equipment and accessories.

Now they make and sell a range of bell tents and tipis, and invite potential customers to visit their showroom at Shadwell, near Thetford.

“Since we launched SoulPad, glamping has become a growing market. I think people like the fact there is a real heritage feel to it and that it can be easy and comfortable; for so many years, camping has felt like an endurance.

love of camping and several trips away in a bell tent led Zoe and Mark Vanderstay to launch their growing business, SoulPad.

“We bought an ex-military bell tent and every time we used it with our friends we would all sit around redesigning it and thinking about how we would make it better,” she recalls. “We then decided to see if we could find the right person to manufacture one for us – and that was when we set out on the adventure.” The idea, she explains, was not to reinvent the bell tent but to bring its classic technology together with everything

“The nice thing about glamping is that you can take things from home with you too – your duvet, pillows and other comfortable items – and it is nice to dress your bell tent with a few accessories as well, perhaps some lanterns or bunting, to make it look even more attractive and homely.” Photography by For more information call 0800 3899193

“And more campsites are now offering ready-pitched bell tents, which makes it an even easier way to go on holiday.”

or visit

Located on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk, the showroom is well-placed for those keen to go glamping in the area. Having enjoyed a break away in a bell tent, some customers even arrange to call in on their way home to pick one up of their own.

Good for the soul


There’s something magical about camping





he fresh air, the sunshine and the sense of being close to nature – there’s nothing quite like camping. One Norfolk-based company aims to capture all the magic of sleeping out in the great outdoors by ensuring the experience is as easy as possible for its customers. Magical Camping not only hires out its luxury bell tents and tipis but it will erect them for you, kit them out with almost every conceivable comfort and then take them down again at the end of your stay, explains owner Matt Mazurek.

“People like the idea of not having to set everything up themselves,” he says. “They arrive and find everything they need for their stay in the same way as they do if they go to a hotel. “The difference here, however, is that they can enjoy being outside and that while it is extremely comfortable, there is also still that sense of going back to basics in some respects.” Matt’s idea of going back to basics, however, is a far cry from the bent tent pegs, bowed ridges and leaky ground sheets of so many traditional camping trips.

“People tell us where they would like to stay (anywhere in the UK) and if we have a tent available we will set it up for them there or they can choose from one of our permanent sites. They also let us know whether they just want the tent or all the trimmings too.” The “trimmings” include everything from the bed, complete with clean duvet and pillows, through to rugs, tables and chairs. A cooker is also supplied, along with plates, cutlery, saucepans and a barbecue.


Prices start at £160 for two nights, based on two people sharing. Bell tents can sleep up to six. “We started the business the January before last and it is really taking off – we now have 30 bell tents and, as well as hiring them out, are manufacturing and selling our own,” says Matt, who also hires out marquee-like star canopies for events. “All sorts of people are booking them, from couples looking to escape for the weekend to families for their holidays. We also have groups of people who might request 10 bell tents for a special occasion perhaps.”

With zip-in ground sheets to keep the rain out and sides that can be rolled up in the sunshine, the bell tents are ideal for the unpredictable British summers, he says, and perfect for weddings, festivals and private parties when reliability and comfort is essential.

But, he adds: “It is nice to do something that is a bit different and that is great fun as well.” Words by Mary Williams Photography by STUC Design For more information call 01362 637483

“I started this business because I loved camping myself,” he says. “It is hard work. We do all the setting up ourselves, as well as all the laundry – and with 30 tents, each sleeping six people, that can be a lot of duvets!”

or visit




Saunas set to just the right temperature, mood tub bubbling out in the sunshine – at Fynn elaxing out on the deck and taking in the green surroundings, it is easy to see why guests come to Fynn Valley Holidays. The three luxury lodges offer the chance to take a break from the busy world and to retreat to a place where relaxation and easy living are a priority.


Cornflower, Cowslip and Teasel lodges have been designed to offer space, style and cutting-edge comfort. At the touch of an iPad, guests can adjust the lighting, play music in different rooms through their own iPods or iPhones and even order freshly cooked meals to be delivered from the nearby golf club restaurant, explains general manager Katie Coe.

“The idea was to ensure they wanted for nothing,” she says. “The kitchens have everything in them from Smeg fridges through to dishwashers, washing machines, full-size ovens and wine fridges. There is wi-fi, as well as smart flat screen televisions, Sonos music systems and saunas in every lodge. We have also brought in infrared and under-floor heating systems that keep rooms at a comfortable level at all times.” Set in a quiet corner of the countryside, Fynn Valley Holidays is located in Witnesham, just four miles from Ipswich. It is within easy reach of many of Suffolk’s beauty spots and yet is also

somewhere many people head to in order to simply unwind. “Many guests come here just to enjoy the lodges themselves, to spend time somewhere that is very different from their own homes,” she says. Bright, airy and surprisingly spacious, the lodges are designed to accommodate between two and six people. Each one features a suite at either end, where an extra single bed can be added for a child if necessary. “They are ideal for two couples really. Each bedroom has a super king-size bed


lighting for the perfect ambience and a hot Valley it feels as if almost anything is possible

Also inside are comfortable seating and dining areas, as well as spacious kitchens. The private saunas can be set to heat up to just the right temperature ready for guests to return from trips out and the hot tubs can be made to bubble and steam at the flick of a switch.

Keen to cater for every requirement, Katie and her team can make special arrangements for hen parties, wedding guests or those requiring a private chef or personal beautician. Fresh local produce can be delivered prior to arrival or during the stay, and homecooked frozen meals can be provided for guests to prepare themselves at their leisure. “We can even arrange for a delicious meal to be bubbling in the oven as they arrive,” she adds.

“Outside, barbecues, fire-pits and wood are also supplied, and the decks positioned to ensure they catch the sunshine.”

Guests tend to book for either a short break or a week. Prices start at around £475 for four people for four nights. Reduced green fees are offered to those

and its own spacious en suite bathroom, complete with a walk-in shower, twin basins and designer free-standing bath,” she says.

wishing to play golf at Fynn Valley Golf Club. “We only opened in August last year but already people are realising that we provide something quite different here,” Katie says. “The lodges are in a quiet, secluded location and they offer the ultimate in relaxation.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh Photography by Nick Read except exterior courtesy of Fynn Valley Holidays For more information on Fynn Valley Holidays call 01473 785005 or visit


Uniquely Away has teamed up with Fynn Valley Holidays to offer one lucky reader a mid-week, four-night stay for up to four people.* The winner of our competition will be able to enjoy the Monday to Friday break in October or November 2013 (excluding Monday 28 October to Friday 1 November) (3pm arrival, 10am departure) and will also be given one complementary bottle of red wine and one complementary bottle of white wine.

To enter our draw to win this magnificent prize, simply send your name, address, email address and daytime telephone number to or send a postcard to Fynn Valley Holidays Competition, Uniquely Away, Ferndale Centre, Exeter Street, Norwich, NR2 4QB *A date for the stay will be arranged directly with the general manager at Fynn Valley Holidays. The stay will be subject to availability and in non-transferable. A ÂŁ100 refundable security deposit will be payable by the winner to cover any breakages etc. This is refunded following satisfactory housekeeping after departure. Any extras (beauty treatments, food orders etc) taken during their stay will be charged as extras and are payable prior to departure. The competition closes on Friday 14 June 2013. The winner will be announced in the next issue of Uniquely Away. The usual Uniquely Magazines terms and conditions apply. For full details visit

Bell Tent and Star Canopy Hire For All Events

Family Camping Trips Weddings Garden Parties Trade Stalls

Childrens Parties VIP Festival Areas Village Fetes Romantic Breaks

01362 637483

LIVING LIFE IN COLOUR Berber Holkham Ancient House, Coast Road Holkham Village, Norfolk NR23 1AD Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm Telephone 01328 711517 Berber Holt Bayfield Brecks, New Road Holt, Norfolk NR25 7DZ Open Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm Telephone 01263 715555 Fashion Destination...

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With its vibrant array of rugs, cushions and furniture, Berber Interiors is the perfect place for glamorous camping accessories


tep into Berber Interiors and experience all the warmth of the Moroccan sun and all the colour of glamping.


Both the showroom at Bayfield Brecks, near Holt, and the Berber at Holkham shop, feature a sumptuous selection of furniture and furnishings that would be ideal for a yurt or bell tent, as well as a home. John Pryor, who launched the interiors business following a visit to Morocco, personally sources each individual item. “Our pieces are about comfort, colour and fun,” he says. “I know all the people who make them, which means we know exactly how and where they are made.

“Berber is about living life in colour. Our wonderful rugs and blankets are all made with natural materials and dyes, which makes them warm and tactile, and ideal for glamorous camping. “We also have hammocks, cushions and soft pouffes, which come in every shape and colour, and lots of baskets, which could be very useful.”

The Berber Collection includes mirrors, tables, chairs, garden furniture, ceramics and bags. At the shop in Holkham, visitors also find Moroccan culinary treats, including pickles, sauces, cookbooks and Berber’s own recipe for spice paste used in making the traditional lamb tagine.

Many items from Berber Interiors would not only enhance the glamping experience by adding colour and comfort but are also highly practical. “We sell fire bowls that can be used as barbecues and tea glasses in all sorts of colours that people love to have as wine glasses for barbecues and camping,” he said.

“We also have lots of beautiful lanterns, which would look superb in a yurt, as well as candles that are wonderful for outdoor dining or glamping.” Words by Mary Williams Photography supplied by Berber Interiors For more information on Berber Interiors call 01263 715555 or 01263 715624 or visit


Holiday at your own pace with Richardson’s

If you need a holiday away from the stress of everyday life where you can take things at your own pace, a Norfolk Broads boating holiday is the answer. We are a family-run company with over fifty years experience.

• Beautiful scenery & wildlife • Fantastic pubs & restaurants • Wide choice of boats sleeping from 2-12 people

• • • •

Short break or weekly hire Boats for all tastes & budgets Pet-friendly available Day boats subject to availability

For a first class Norfolk Broads cruise experience, join us on our superb 35 foot luxury sports cruiser available for private charter Champagne reception | Qualified Skipper | Unrivalled luxury service

B i r th d ay s - Hen Pa rt ies - Fa m ily Oc ca s ions - P i cn ic s A nn iver s ar i es - We d d in g Ph ot os - Bu s ine ss M ee t in gs

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Call 01692 668988 or book online at


The Jasminum Restaurant serves Thai, Chinese and English cuisine and is well-known for its high quality meals, created from fresh local produce and a range of wonderful herbs and spices. Open six days a week (closed Monday), lunch 12 to 3pm, dinner 5 to 11pm Restaurant 01493 748444 | Takeaway 01493 748118 | HORSE AND GROOM HOTEL | MAIN ROAD ROLLESBY | NORFOLK | NR29 5ER


Natural beauty What to enjoy in the magical waterlands of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads this spring and summer




Look out for The stunning swallowtail butterfly, which can only be seen in the Broads. With a wingspan of up to 9cm, a forked tail and vivid yellow and black markings, it is easily recognisable – try Ranworth Broad or Upton Broad and Marshes Dragonflies that dart around the marshes and waterways. Look out for the impressive blue emperor dragonfly or the rare Norfolk hawker, with its clear wings, green eyes and the characteristic yellow triangle – try Hickling Broad

The pretty southern marsh orchid. This spectacular wild orchid has flower spikes up to 40cm in height. The flowers are a deep pink, occasionally lighter, with dark lines – try Carlton or Oulton Marshes The rare bittern – about 15 percent of the UK population breeds in the Broads. This is a thickset heron with brown, streaky plumage, which inhabits reed beds, and is more often heard than seen as the males make an eerie booming sound – try How Hill National Nature Reserve or Strumpshaw Fen

The white water lily. This has the biggest flowers of any native British plant. The leaves are heartshaped and curl at the edges and float on the surface of the water. It has an open flower with many petals and bright yellow stamens – try Barnby Broad and Marshes or Barton Broad


Get active Go walking – there are more than 300 km of footpaths through some of the area’s most attractive landscapes. Enjoy nature trails, circular walks and long distance footpaths, which are suitable for anything from a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike – try Whitlingham Country Park

Hop on your bike. With miles of peaceful country lanes, the Broads can easily be explored by bicycle. There are several cycle hire centres, many sited close to moorings, and lots of cycle routes to choose from – try Stokesby, where you can hire bikes from the village store

Try canoeing. This is an excellent way to get close to the wildlife and environment of the Broads. You can explore parts of the area that other craft can’t get to while enjoying the exercise at the same time – try Salhouse Broad Rowing is another quiet, environmentally-friendly activity. Again, you see the Broads at your own pace and reach some of the tranquil, secret waterways – try or Martham Ferry Boatyard or for the Southern Broads, try Beccles Words by Sarah Sinclair Dragonfly photograph supplied by Broads Authority, main image by Stephen Mole For more information visit or




Flower of

At the Jasminum restaurant in Rollesby local seasonal produce is ble rom delicious aromas from food on the table to the sounds of sizzling in the kitchen, a visit to Jasminum is a multi-sensory experience.


Here in Rollesby, at the heart of the Norfolk Broads, owner and chef Thanh Phung is making a name for himself with his Thai and Chinese cuisine. Using the freshest local ingredients, and combining them with spices from Asia, he creates colourful, tasty dishes to enjoy both at the restaurant and at home. “We use locally-caught fish and seafood, as well as vegetables from the area, such as broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers and baby carrots,” he says. “The food we make with them is then mostly Thai and Chinese. Everything is freshly

cooked right here in our kitchen.” Supervisor at Jasminum, Oliver Cooper, says customers travel from across the county to sample Thanh’s food. “It does have a unique flavour – people come from the other side of Norwich to eat here,” he says. “We do also have lots of people who enjoy dining here when they stay in the area or who ask for it to be delivered to their boat while they are on the Broads. “This is something we can do, as long as they are at a boatyard, junction or bridge.” The Jasminum, which is run in conjunction with The Horse and Groom Hotel, where 20 rooms are let


the Broads nded with exotic spices to bring a very different flavour to the Broads out to guests and a conference space is also available, hosts weddings and marks special Thai occasions, such as the Water Festival. Its exquisite interior design, featuring rich purple and white, makes it an elegant setting. “Local people and visitors are also welcome to come in here for a drink,” Thanh adds. “We sell a range of wine and Thai beer, such as Singha, Tiger and Chang. “Alongside that, however, we also stock bottles from the Norfolk Square Brewery – it is nice to be able to offer our guests both.”

Photography by Nick Read For more information on Jasminum call 01493 748444 or visit

HIGHLIGHTS AT THE JASMINUM INCLUDE • Flame cooked large king prawns or sea bass, served with the chef’s unique chilli glaze • Thai mixed starter, with chicken satay, king prawn wraps, fish cakes, prawn toast, spare ribs and spring rolls, served with sweet chilli and peanut sauce • Pad Thai noddles, with king prawns


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Elveden Est Estate, ate, e Elveden, Nor Norfolk fo olk IP24 3TJ 3T TJ | Open daily 9.30am - 5.00pm | T T:: 01842 898068 8 | www

There can be no more romantic setting for your wedding than Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk. This magnificent English stately home has a set of sumptuous reception rooms and beautifully restored winter gardens that create the ideal setting for a magical, country wedding. There are few properties which can rival Somerleyton as a venue to hire for a private family holiday whether they are to celebrate a landmark birthday or anniversary or the coming together of a non-specific gathering involving friends and family. But perhaps best of all is being able to completely relax and enjoy the wonderful charm of Somerleyton Hall and gardens in the knowledge that it is exclusively yours. For more information on the various packages available at Somerleyton visit our website or to book a visit call 01502 731398

The Royal Air Force AIR DEFENCE RADAR MUSEUM Neatishead, Near Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 8YB Tel: 01692 631485

“ THE SECRET WAR REVEALED” Registered Charity 1058887

Learn all about the fascinating TOP SECRET world of Radar and Air Defence! Housed in original 1942 Radar building. Features Battle of Britain, 1942 Operations, Cold War Operations Room (in use until 1993) & Space Defence, RAF Coltishall Memorial Rooms + much more! Crumbs Cafe & Picnic Area + FREE Guided Tours Allow at least 2 - 3 hours for your visit! Adults - £6.00 Concessions/Groups - £5.00 Students/Teens [19 - 13] - £4.00 Child [12 - 7] - £2.00 Under 7 - FREE Open - Tuesday and Thursday, April to October + Second Saturday of every month (all Year) + Bank Holiday Mondays (April to October) From 10am to 5pm (Last Tour starts at 3pm)


A day out in Norfolk or Suffolk As the weather warms up, and the summer approaches, Norfolk and Suffolk offer all sorts of family fun Words by Sarah Sinclair, Photograph by Visit Britain




Head to the Head to the seaside countryside W

hether you prefer secluded sands where you can walk for miles without seeing anyone or busy beaches close to shops, cafes and restaurants, you will find somewhere to suit your family. Many of those visiting the area or living here enjoy Southwold because it seems to have it all. The bustling coastal town has a spectrum of interesting independent shops, as well as great pubs, hotels and restaurants. There are places to buy ice-creams and fish and chips, as well as holiday souvenirs. But stroll down the beach, away from the pier, and it is easy to just get away from it all…


rom colourful Dunwich Heath to leafy Thetford Forest, there are so many places to explore on foot or by bike with the family. Enjoy the beauty of the countryside around you and keep your eyes open for wildlife. For a gentle day out why not go north towards Natural Surroundings? The wildlife garden and nature reserve nestles in the magical Glaven Valley, near Holt, in Norfolk, and if you are lucky you might just see a red squirrel or perhaps a barn owl swooping above you before you wander over to the café for a cup of tea…


Head to a family attraction The whole family will find something to enjoy at this colourful indoor tourist attraction, near King’s Lynn.

vase. Or for a really unique memento, visitors can have their child’s hand or foot cast in glass.

Glassmaking demonstrations take place all year round, from Monday to Friday, and there are also special events from time to time. Visitors will learn how glass is made, coloured and shaped.

The visitor’s centre also features a gift shop, coffee shop and restaurant. Here a range of daily specials is served, as well as cakes, snacks and homemade fudge. For more information call 01553 765111


here are so many attractions in Norfolk and Suffolk that it may seem hard to choose between them all – but, with free glassmaking demonstrations, the Caithness Crystal Visitor Centre is well worth a visit.

Under the careful guidance of a master glassmaker, a whole range of craft experiences is also available. From £6, adults and children can also enjoy the novelty of blowing their very own glass tumbler, friendship ball or

or visit





ix years ago David Cooper and Pauline Sandell started considering a pastime they could enjoy together. Today they run Woodbine Farm, where they keep 52 alpacas of different sizes and colours.

“Originally, we had considered keeping pigs, sheep or chickens but then we heard about alpacas and this seemed ideal. This was something that could generate an income and didn’t involve getting up early to do the milking!”

“I designed, sold and marketed fitted furniture for about 35 years and Pauline had always been an office worker,” said David. “But we had always liked the idea of having a small-holding and were thinking about something we could do together in retirement.

The couple moved to the farm at Weybread, near Diss, and bought their first pregnant alpaca. Soon they were successfully breeding their own animals. “We have really enjoyed it,” says Pauline. “They are such gentle animals and are just a delight to work with.”

Alpacas are members of the South American camelid family and originate from Peru and Chile. With wool that is very fine, soft and silky to the touch, as well as having excellent insulating properties, they have been primarily developed as a fleece producing animal. “Ours are shorn and the fleece is processed into yarn at the East Anglia Alpaca Mill, in Norfolk. We sell the Aran wool in 100g balls and double knit in 50g balls,” she says. “I have knitted some scarves from it myself. It is the most beautiful, natural product, which is so warm and soft.”

Animal magic


The alpacas are themselves an array of different shades, ranging from white and fawn, to brown, black and grey. “We also sell the wool on our website,” David adds. The couple, who have bred alpacas that have won awards at national shows, also sell the animals as pets. “It is important to remember though that they are a herd animal and to keep just one or even two alpacas would be stressful for them. When our alpacas are sold as pets we only sell them if we know that they are going to be kept in a group of at least three.”

The couple appreciate some people might not have the space to look after an animal, however, and so are happy to discuss an investment arrangement whereby they would care for it free of charge for a period of time at Woodbine Farm, and would breed it.

“We are also happy to give talks about alpacas and to discuss alternative dates for visits to see them,” he adds. “We enjoy telling people about them and showing them just how good-natured they are.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh

David and Pauline enjoy introducing people to their animals and will be hosting a farm open day on Sunday 11 August. Visitors can also book an Alpaca Experience with Afternoon Tea, on Sunday 14 April, Sunday 19 May, Sunday 9 June and Sunday 14 July.

Photography by Nick Read For more information on booking an Alpaca Experience with Afternoon Tea, the open day or investment opportunities with alpacas call Woodbine Farm Alpacas on 01379 854454 or visit

An afternoon spent at Woodbine Farm offers an introduction to

a creature rarely seen in Norfolk and Suffolk







o enjoy the picturesque countryside of South Norfolk and the Waveney Valley, head off into the past on the Boudicca Way. This 36-mile footpath runs between Norwich and Diss, and takes in some of the region’s most fascinating historical sites. The award-winning, long distance footpath has recently been given a new lease of life through the Boudicca Way Project. Headed up by Steve Falvey, who runs five star bed and breakfast the Old Bakery, in Pulham Market, it aims to encourage more people to follow the path and explore the surrounding area. “When we first came to the Old Bakery,

just over five years ago, we were amazed to find the Boudicca Way goes right past our front door,” he says. “I was born and brought up in Eye, just down the road, but had never heard of it.” Steve set about looking into the possibility of resurrecting the long distance walking path. Soon he had the wider community interested too and had secured funding from rural development programme the Waveney Valley Local Action Group (LAG). “The idea was to raise its profile again and to spread the word,” he says. “It has worked and it now feels like a sustainable footpath that people can enjoy once again.”

Named after the legendary warrior Queen of the Iceni, whose tribes once inhabited the area, the route passes Venta Icenorum, at Caistor St Edmund. Meaning “market place of the Iceni,” the archaeological find is situated to the south of Norwich, close to where the rivers Tas, Yare and Wensum come together. It is thought that the town was established following the failure of a revolt by the Iceni, led by Queen Boudicca in AD 61. The Romans are then believed to have taken full control of land belonging to the tribe, who had previously been friendly towards them. The route also passes the Tasburgh hill fort site and crosses what is thought to



VIEWS AND COLOURFUL WILDLIFE be the site of a Roman Villa at Tivetshall St Mary. The Boudicca Way can be walked in either direction, between Diss and Norwich mainline railway stations. As much or as little of it as the walker chooses can be enjoyed in one day but the route has been divided into four sections – Diss to Pulham Market (8.4 miles), Pulham Market to Tasburgh (9.2 miles), Tasburgh to Caistor St Edmund (11.5 miles) and Caistor St Edmund to Norwich (6.3 miles). Along the way, those enjoying the stroll can explore market towns and villages, rest in welcoming hotels or guest houses and dine in local pubs and restaurants.

The award-winning Old Bakery, an interesting and beautiful old building that dates back to 1580, now sees many walkers stopping to rest as they pass through the area on the footpath. It has five comfortable rooms and enjoys farreaching views.

for a while. We enjoy being able to share it – and the beauty of the area – with others, including those walking the Boudicca Way.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh Photography courtesy of the Boudicca Way For more information on the Boudicca Way

“This is a somewhere people can stop to recharge their batteries if they are walking past or they can come to stay if they are in the area for another reason,” Steve says. “It is a fascinating building that has had lots of different uses in the past. It dates back to 1580 and was a bakery for a time, but it has also been a restaurant and an antiques shop.” And he adds: “We like to think it is somewhere people can come to unwind

visit For more information on the Old Bakery call 01379 676492 or visit


A Warm Welcome Awaits You... Coastal Voyager RIB trips offers a variety of trips leaving from the beautiful Southwold Harbour including our signature ‘high speed blast’ around Solebay to relaxing river cruises, seal watching cruises, coastal cruises and new for 2013 pirate theme birthday parties! Up to 12 passengers all equipment provided FOR MORE DETAILS WWW.COASTALVOYAGER.CO.UK | THRILLS@SOUTHWOLD.WS | 07887 525082

Advertise with us Showcase your business, event or attraction to those visiting Norfolk and Suffolk. Entice those living elsewhere in the country and further afield to book a break.

‌ At our 5 star Bed and Breakfast in picturesque Pulham Market, in the heart of the beautiful Waveney Valley, just off the A140. :LWKÀYHVSDFLRXVHQVXLWH bedrooms, private parking for guests and delicious Norfolk breakfasts, made from local SURGXFHRXUWKFHQWXU\RDN beamed B&B is the ideal base for exploring The Boudicca Way, Norwich, The Broads and the Suffolk Heritage Coast.

01379 676492

Call us on 01603 926114 or email


Original beams and fine table linen create a warm, intimate atmosphere in our beautiful restaurant Our menu and wines are influenced by the best European cuisine and include fine English fare that makes superb use of the freshest local ingredients Our eleven rooms provide an excellent level of comfort Winner of Gourmet Britain’s Best Restaurant with Rooms in the UK



Fine dining ocated mid-way between Ipswich and Norwich, The Auberge is an ideal base from which to visit and explore both counties.


The award-winning establishment offers fine dining and a comfortable stay in a historic building, explain owners John and Dee Stenhouse. “With original beamed partitions and walls, this is an attractive and welcoming building,” says John. “We are proud to announce that we have won Gourmet Britain’s Best Restaurant with Rooms in the UK.” The two AA rosette restaurant offers a range of delicious and interesting food. It is known for its fruits de mer, which can include the likes of fresh lobster,

The Auberge, in north Suffolk, offers gourmet food and a warm welcome

crab, oysters, mussels, crevettes, shrimps, prawns, langoustine, cray fish, whelks and clams. “Our menu and wines are influenced by the best European cuisine, including fine English fare,” he adds. “Our aim is to make the best use of the freshest local ingredients.” Private parties for up to 30 can be catered for, as well as functions including weddings, dining clubs and special occasions. “We can organise invitations and seating plans, and can tailor a menu for a specific event and budget.” The Auberge has 11 rooms, including one suitable for disabled guests.

“All our rooms provide an excellent level of comfort while also embodying a sense of the history of the building in their features,” adds John. “At the same time we also offer very modern levels of comfort and provide our guests with amenities such as free wi-fi.” Words by Mary Williams. Photography by Nick Read. For more information call 01379 783604 or visit

Beam Ends Kitchens

Traditionally made painted, pine and hardwood kitchens Individually designed to your specification Specialists in hardwood and granite worktops Unit 3, Hall Farm, Station Road, Pulham Market, Diss, Norfolk, IP21 4XF 01379 608 873 | 07939 554 595 | |


Enjoy two Norfolk gems g

‘‘Food so good, the entire population n of Norfolk should be e queuing to get in’’

‘‘They got everything just right... We never thought we’d find f this in Old Hunstan nton’’

The Guardian

Trrip Advisor

Main Road, Titchwell, Norfolk PE31 8B BB 01485 5 210742 info@


Old Hunstanton, Norfolk PE36 6HX 01485 532896 in

Local food challen nge finalist





briarfields TITCHWELL OR the lodge OLD HUNSTANTON Uniquely Away has teamed up with Briarfields, Titchwell, and The Lodge, Old Hunstanton, to offer one lucky reader a one-night stay for two*

The winner of our competition will be able to choose between an overnight stay at either Briarfields or The Lodge, with a home-cooked, full English breakfast the following morning To enter our draw to win this magnificent prize, simply send your name, address, email address and daytime telephone number to or send a postcard to Briarfields and The Lodge Competition, Uniquely Away, Ferndale Centre, Exeter Street, Norwich, NR2 4QB *A date for the stay will be arranged directly with the manager at either Briarfields or The Lodge. The stay will be subject to availability, is non-transferable and based on two people sharing one room. The competition closes on Friday 14 June 2013. The winner will be announced in the next issue of Uniquely Away. The usual Uniquely Magazines terms and conditions apply. For full details visit


A true taste of Norfolk






ust a stone’s throw from spectacular beaches, magnificent walks and some of the county’s finest wildlifewatching areas, Briarfields and The Lodge are well-positioned for exploring North West Norfolk. Under the same ownership, and located just five miles apart, the establishments have similar high standards but very different characters. With views out towards the stretching sands of Brancaster, and on the doorstep of RSPB Titchwell and Royal West Norfolk Golf Course, Briarfields appeals to those looking to escape to complete tranquillity for a few days. By contrast, The Lodge, which is set in Old Hunstanston, has a more vibrant

ambience, appealing to those seeking a livelier coastal experience, explains marketing manager Jac Sandy. “Each has a very different feel,” she says. “Briarfields is a complete get-away – it’s more about total relaxation. People come here to experience the tranquillity, the skies and perhaps a walk down to the beach. The Lodge is more of a pub with rooms and has a real buzz about it.”

is an emphasis on fine dining here, with dishes created from seasonal, local produce, including fresh, locally-caught fish and crab. “We have oysters and mussels that were brought in five minutes away and lobsters from Wells,” he says. “Other local produce includes the likes of lamb and asparagus.”

Created within converted stone barns, Briarfields, which has won an Enjoy England Gold Award, offers 24 en suite bedrooms, some of which are set around a pretty courtyard. Its airy restaurant looks out over the green grounds, towards the marshes and the sea.

Dishes created here include such mouth-watering offerings as rack of lamb served with fondant potato, pea puree and caramelised carrots – or seafood platter, with Cyril’s oysters, smoked salmon, prawn tempura, smoked haddock fishcakes and peppered mackerel.

Head chef Brian Knight explains there

“We smoke all our own fish right here,”


says Jac. “Briarfields is also known for its afternoon teas and its fresh pastries and puddings.” Recently refurbished, and also awardwinning, The Lodge is located in old Hunstanton. Here it offers 16 rooms and a four-bedroom self-contained cottage and, despite its more casual ambience, there is an equal emphasis on luxury and comfort.

Chantenay carrots and leek mash, and there are also spicier offerings, including the likes of the Szechuan sizzler and bok choy noodles, with stir-fry vegetables and chicken. “As at Briarfields, we offer a range of wines, chosen for us by Peter Graham,” Jac adds. “We also have homemade cakes and classic puddings, all made right here in the kitchen.”

“People come here for lunch or for an evening meal and will sit outside if it is fine. “The Lodge appeals to a range of customers. Towards the end of the afternoon, all the families come up here from the beach to enjoy the last of the sunshine, and perhaps have a drink or a cup of tea and piece of cake.” Words by Abigail Saltmarsh

All bedrooms have been finished to a high standard and its reception spaces, with their stripped floors, exposed brickwork and other period features, are stylish as well as welcoming. In the restaurant, tasty delights, such as Ryburgh pork chops, are served with delicious vegetables, including

With its inviting bar and restaurant areas, The Lodge is busy all year round. Walkers embarking upon the Peddar’s Way, will often stay here or enjoy a meal before setting off, and it also appeals to traditional coastal holidaymakers.

Photography by Nick Read Additional competition photography courtesy of The Lodge For more information on Briarfields call 01485 210742 or visit For more information on the Lodge

“In the summer, the whole place comes to life outside as well as in,” Jac says.

call 01485 532896 or visit


B R A N C A S T E R S TA I T H E N O R F O L K P E 3 1 8 B J 01485 210314 |

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A vibrant centre for the arts in the beautiful North Norfolk seaside village of Overstrand.

The Belfry Arts Centre hosts an eclectic programme of exhibitions by local, national and international artists.

The centre also runs workshops, talks and arts-related events, and is home to the studios of four working artists. 4TH NORFOLK ALE & MUSIC FESTIVAL



Converted barns offering contemporary self-catering accommodation aimed at easy living in a tranquil coastal location West Beckham, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6NX Telephone 01263 821232


Norfolk jolly days fter a long day on the beach or a brisk stroll on the marshes, visitors of all ages to Brancaster Staithe tumble happily into the Jolly Sailors.


Home-cooked pub food, sizzling hot pizzas and a freshly pulled pint – the Jolly Sailors is known for its family-friendly ambience

The pub and restaurant has been at the heart of life in the coastal village for more than 200 years, explains managing director James Nye, and it remains popular with local residents and visitors alike today. “It was built as an inn and, when we took it over in 2008, we wanted to retain its character while also making it suitable for the 21st century,” he says. “The idea was to be sympathetic to the original features and to keep that traditional, warm pub feeling.” Today the pub has a family-friendly appeal, with a range of meals to suit all tastes. Freshly cooked fish and seafood, landed on the beach at Brancaster, sits on the menu alongside baguettes and pizza. “We had the pizza oven installed so that children could see it from the bar. They

love to watch their food being made – it adds theatre to the whole experience,” he says. In the summer, visitors to the pub sit outside in the sunshine, where a beachthemed, soft serve ice cream hut goes down a treat. In the winter, locals relish the warmth of the bar, where quiz nights and other events are held. “We serve our own beer, from the Brancaster Brewery, which is always popular, as well as guest ales and other drinks.” From Friday 21 June to Sunday 23 June this year, the Jolly Sailors will be hosting its fourth Ale and Music Festival, when visitors will be able to try a range of beers and listen to live music. “It should be fun,” says James. “Everyone enjoys it and there is always a relaxed atmosphere.” For more information call 01485 210314 or visit





trolling out across the green fields, under the blue Norfolk skies, visitors to Rookery Farm can wander for miles without seeing another soul. From here they can even walk to stunning Sheringham Park - designed by landscape artist Humphry Repton and renowned for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas – and then down to the sea. The farm itself is family-run, explains owner Emma McNeil Wilson, and grows the likes of barley, wheat, potatoes

and daffodils on its 600 acres in West Beckham. Visitors enjoy the rural tranquillity the location offers and the chance to experience the very essence of the Norfolk countryside while also being within easy reach of coastal towns and villages. “Rookery Farm has been in our family for three generations and we had lots of traditional brick and flint buildings here that were no longer really being used so we began to think about what

we could do with them,” she explains. “In 2001, we carried out our first conversion to create a holiday home and then the rest followed.” With names that echo the buildings’ original uses – Bolt Hole, Chaff House, Long Barn, Riding Stable, Wash House and Work Shop – the idea was to create an ambience of easy living. In the winter, wood-burning stoves bring an inviting glow and, in the summer, doors can be opened up on to pretty courtyards and areas of greenery. All year round, great glass windows allow the light to stream in.



“Each barn has an individual character but right from the beginning we tried to make sure that the emphasis was on relaxation in all of them,” she says. The West Beckham location of the barns allows visitors to explore the beauty of the Norfolk countryside from their doorstep. The area is popular with those who enjoy bird-watching, fishing and cycling. Yet the traditional seaside towns of Sheringham and Cromer are within easy reach, as are Holt and Burnham Market, with their range of boutiques, delicatessens, coffee shops, art galleries and restaurants.

“I think this area has something for everyone. There are wild walks at Wells, where you can go for miles, or there are beaches that are close to shops and cafes. Those who enjoy music and the arts will find there is an awful lot going on in this area all through the summer.” Rookery Farm Barns, which has four stars and an Enjoy England Gold Award, can sleep a total of 30 people, making it ideal as wedding accommodation or for a large celebration. In the summer, there is even space for additional guests to camp.

“We aim to be flexible and friendly, and are always happy to discuss different possibilities with people,” says Emma. And she adds: “We have a lot of people who do return to us year after year. They like the fact that we are close to places to visit and yet are also in the countryside where they can also have a very relaxing time if they want to.” Words by Mary Williams Photography courtesy of Rookery Farm For more information on Rookery Farm Barns call 01263 821232 or visit



Find us in Gunthorpe, a secret treasure in the heart of the North Norfolk countryside. Just eight miles from the stunning Norfolk coast and close to beautiful Blakeney, Moreston and Holt. 17th century White Horse Farm offers a luxurious and tranquil stay at self-catering barns Blackberry, Walnut, Primrose or Cowslip, or with B&B at Sweetpea Barn. The barns are set in stunning three-acre grounds, which boast a kitchen garden, grass tennis court and a ruin – the perfect spot for a candlelit supper. | | 01263 860693

Contemporary • Relaxed • Informal Luxury

Hideaway Cottage, Wymondham Charming and compact – perfect for just 2 or solo travellers

The Perfect Stay have properties in Wymondham and Norwich and specialise in all year self catering short breaks and short term serviced lettings, longer stays available by arrangement. Perfect for Short breaks • Business & leisure travellers • In between house moves • Relocating professionals Close to Countryside • Norfolk Broads • Norwich City Centre

07775 907407 |

Godwick Hall Godwick Hall is a newly refurbished luxury bed and breakfast set in the beautiful Norfolk countryside. We have four new boutique-style bed-and-breakfast rooms. Each has been lovingly refurbished to the highest standards of luxury and with careful attention to make the most of the incredible rural landscape. Ideal for small groups of family and friends, it can sleep up to nine, or for couples looking for a romantic getaway, Godwick Hall promises a luxurious and relaxing stay.

T h e Gre at Ba r n at G odw ic k Introducing our beautiful Elizabethan barn, perfect for couples who want to celebrate their big day in the wonderfully evocative landscape of Godwick. The 450-year-old barn has bags of character with its original architectural features, huge Oak beams, large entertaining space and quality contemporary services. It’s the perfect location for couples who want to stamp their personality on their wedding and is fully customisable to suit your needs leaving you in control of your budget and your big day.

For booking and information about Godwick Hall or The Great Barn go to READER OFFER: QUOTE UAGODWICK FOR 5% DISCOUNT ON B&B STAYS OR WEDDING PACKAGES


Windmill Lodges Why not get away from it all at our luxury authentic log cabins set around our private fishing lake in rural Suffolk. The lodges are Visit England four or five star rated and are fully equipped each with its own private outdoor hot tub; for an extra touch of luxury our five star lodge has the addition of a sauna. Guests have use of the covered heated swimming pool April – October.

Iken Barns offers the very best in self catering accommodation with converted barns overlooking the Alde estuary, one of the best views in England. The perfect location for walking, cycling, horse riding, kayaking, relaxing and exploring the beautiful Suffolk Heritage Coast.

01728 685338 |


Whitehouse Barns Two beautiful architect converted barns in a very peaceful location with spectacular views over the Blyth estuary. Set in 2 acres of land they are ideal self-catering cottages for families, walkers and bird-watchers (SSSI).

• Southwold and Walberswick beaches 4 miles • Woodburning stoves, underfloor heating • Spacious playbarn, babysitting service • Sleeps 5/6 and 8/9 (can be joined for large parties) • Discounts for couples 0208 802 6258 | Blythburgh, nr Southwold, Suffolk


Barn beautiful aking up to spectacular views out across the Alde estuary, visitors to Iken Barns absorb the stillness of the rural setting and the magic of the magnificent stretch of water.


At their farm close to Woodbridge, in Suffolk, Emma Johnson and her father Richard have created eight holiday homes within beautiful old barns on their land.

The river, the wildlife and the walks – at Iken Barns everything is on the doorstep coming to stay – many will come two or three times a year.”

“It is such a spectacular location that we felt people would enjoy coming to stay here,” she explains. “We look out over a stretch of the river that is really quite stunning - it is tidal so it is always changing.”

The eight barns have all been sympathetically converted to ensure creative use of their interior space. Exposed beams and revealed brickwork bring character and warmth while carefully chosen pieces of furniture and home accessories ensure guests are comfortable.

She continues: “We had some lovely old buildings so it made sense to convert them. We carried out the work about seven years ago and the holiday lets have been very successful. People love

“We wanted the barns to have a nice atmosphere and so we chose interesting pieces that would make people feel at home,” she says. “And, with open fires and wood-burners, as well as under-

floor heating, they are very warm, even in the winter.” Guests sometimes stay for special occasions. Function room Hardy’s Barn, which can seat up to 60 people, is available for celebrations or functions. The likes of horse riding, cycling and art holidays can also be arranged. “Others come here to just enjoy the beauty of the area, the walking and wildlife,” she adds. “We can make suggestions as to where to go and can tell people about special events. “We also have our own Thames sailing barge and guests can take trips with my father down the river.” Words by Mary Williams Photography courtesy of Iken Barns For more information call 01728 688899 or visit



We have new stock coming in all the time, plus special events during school holidays. Please call or email for details.


Do you like the Uniquely style? Would you like our friendly team to help you with your website, brochures or other marketing material? We can even work with you on your own in-house publication.

Stockists of: Abella • Petit Bateau • Sarah Louise • Little Darlings Little Linens • Frugi • Oskar & Ellen toys Now available Rachel Riley at our Timber Hill Shop

For more information please contact us at or call 01603 926114

01603 633533 • 25 Timber Hill, Norwich NR1 3JZ







This Sporting Life

BOWLED OVER UP-AND-COMING CRICKETER TYMAL MILLS IS A FAST-BOWLER FOR ESSEX COUNTY CRICKET CLUB AND HAS PLAYED FOR THE ENGLAND LIONS – BUT HE ALSO HAS CLOSE ASSOCIATIONS WITH SUFFOLK AND NORFOLK here were you born and where did you grow up? I was actually born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, but moved to Brandon, in Suffolk, with my mum when I was two years-old.


What did you enjoy about your childhood in Suffolk? In some ways I don’t think I really appreciated it enough at the time. When I was older, and I moved to London, I realised just how much I had taken the trees, grass, animals and open spaces for granted. Suffolk is a beautiful place.

When did you first start playing cricket? I came to cricket pretty late. I played my first match for Tuddenham Cricket Club, again in Suffolk, when I was 14 years-old. Most players start much younger than that. When did you discover a passion for the sport and know you wanted to make a career of it? Probably not until I was 17 – that was when I was offered a place in Essex’s academy. Can you tell us how you came to play for Essex County Cricket Club? While I was playing for the Suffolk Under-17s, I was scouted. They recommended I went through the academy from there. I signed my first professional contract at the end of the 2011 season. What are the highlights of playing with the team? It is good fun. We have a great set of lads and there is always a great atmosphere in the changing room, with plenty of banter flying around! How did you feel when you were chosen to play for the England Lions? First of all, I have to admit that I was shocked, as I had only played six professional games ever before. But I was

also very excited. It was a tremendous opportunity and I was keen to impress. What do you expect the highlights of this cricket season to be? Building on an encouraging first season last year and establishing myself as an important member of the squad in all aspects. Do you return to Suffolk often? I’ve been abroad on and off over the last couple of months so haven’t been home recently but I love Suffolk and always look to get back as often as I can. Do you know Norfolk well? Yes, pretty well! I played football for Thetford Town for a few years and support Norwich City so was frequently up at Carrow Road cheering them on! What do you enjoy most about spending time in this part of the world? The main thing I enjoy is catching up with my mum, sister and friends. But I love being back in Suffolk for lots of different reasons and feel sad that it seems as if I manage to get back less and less frequently now. Photography courtesy of Tymal Mills




Abigail Saltmarsh suggests events for late spring... the Editor’s


Thursday 11 April

Johanna Juhola’s Reaktori The Apex, Bury St Edmunds Take in some tango – Finnish style. Johanna Juhola’s Reaktori features four exuberant musicians, playing accordions, harmonium and double bass. With live electronics too, the sounds shift from chamber music and folk tones to offbeat electronics. In 2007, tens of millions of television viewers around the world saw Johanna play her specially commissioned

composition Fantasiatango as an opener for the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. The piece also provides the title to her second solo album and serves as a good description of her personal style – an original blend of tango and electronica, laced with both melancholy nostalgia and uplifting exuberance. It is eccentric, eclectic and very cheeky.

For more information or tickets call 01284 758000 or visit

Andy Thompson

Sunday 14 April

Sunday 21 April

The Return of the Marsh Harrier Sculthorpe Moor, Fakenham

St George’s Day Classic Vehicle Run Sheringham to Hoveton Hall

Celebrate the annual return of the magnificent marsh harriers to Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve. Every year in April the marsh harrier, a rare bird of prey, returns to its British breeding grounds.

For more information or to book call 01328 856788, visit or email

At the Hawk and Owl Trust’s Sculthorpe Moor reserve, near Fakenham, there is a restored reed bed habitat, which has been created especially for the birds. Join warden Nigel Middleton, from 2pm to 4pm, for a fascinating afternoon learning about and hopefully seeing these fabulous wild creatures.

Watch the beautiful old vehicles as they make their way from the coastal town of Sheringham to Hoveton Hall, near Wroxham. For more information on the run visit or call 01263 860676


Tuesday 30 April to Saturday 4 May

Saturday 4 to Monday 6 May

The Great Gatsby Northern Ballet, Theatre Royal Norwich

Pedal Norfolk Cycle Festival Holkham

Bill Cooper

A classic tale of love, obsession and style is getting a new look in a stunning new adaptation from Northern Ballet. Just a couple of weeks before the premiere of a new Hollywood blockbuster of F Scott Fitzgerald’s famous story, a stunning dance version of The Great Gatsby is heading to Norwich Theatre Royal. Set on New York’s Long Island in the heady 1920s, it follows the friendship between Nick Caraway and his mysterious neighbour Jay Gatsby. Music is by Academy Award nominated and BAFTA winning composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett CBE.

For more information or to book call 01603 630000 or visit

The first Bank Holiday in May will see the inaugural Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival, hosted at the stunning Holkham Hall on the North Norfolk coast. The festival will celebrate all areas of cycling and will have attractions and events for all types, ages and abilities of rider. Holkham will open its doors to campers over the three nights of the festival, with a refectory, bar and entertainment to ensure it is a fantastic weekend for all the family For more information or to book visit, call 01485 500231 or 07990 515782 or email

Wednesday 10 May to Sunday 26 May

Norfolk & Norwich Festival Various venues Colour, costume, sound and light – the Norfolk & Norwich Festival explodes into the county on Wednesday 10 May. Featuring a rich selection of the best of the world’s music, theatre, circus, literature, dance, children’s shows and free outdoor performance, it will bring a true feast of the arts in all its forms. Between the spectacular opening show from France’s Compagnie des Quidams, in Cathedral Close, and the closing concert featuring Verdi’s Requiem performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra with Norfolk’s own Festival Chorus, festival-goers will find a packed programme of delights. For more information or to book tickets visit

More dates...




Saturday 25 May

Houghton Revisited Houghton Hall

Cley Little Festival of Poetry Salthouse

Houghton Hall

Friday 17 May to Sunday 29 September

For more information or to book tickets call 01603 598640 or visit

Nick Read

Some of the world’s finest paintings are returning to their original Norfolk home. Renowned by critics as a rich source of artistic beauty, the works will be on display at Houghton Hall. Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole amassed a collection of art treasures, silver and artefacts, which were displayed in the magnificent surroundings of Houghton Hall over 200 years ago. Now they are set to return to the historic Norfolk building to give a new generation a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the glorious works of art by the likes of Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Velazquez and Rembrandt as chosen for the Norfolk setting by Walpole.

Head to Salthouse Church and the British Columbia Hall for a day of poetry and fun for all the family. This year’s featured poet for 2013 is Michael Laskey. Michael will invite two upand-coming poets to join him in hosting the day’s events. Festival highlights will include a poetry tree, bookshop and workshops. Michael Laskey will also read a selection of his own work. For more information visit

Friday 7 June to Sunday 23 June

Aldeburgh Festival of Music Snape Maltings Ruders and Judith Weir. Highlighting the extent of Britten’s wider cultural influence, Aldeburgh Music has also commissioned works from artists working in other disciplines to provide responses to Britten. Britten’s most famous opera, Peter Grimes, also comes home to the place that inspired it, with concert performances at Snape and a unique staging on Aldeburgh beach.

For more information or to book tickets call 01728 687110 or visit

Rob Marrison

Aldeburgh Music’s year-long tribute to its founding father, Benjamin Britten, takes forward the legacy that began when Britten moved back to his native Suffolk in 1938. At the centre of the celebration is the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival, which features premières from six leading international composers: Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg, Wolfgang Rihm, Richard Rodney-Bennett, Poul



Saturday 15 June

Hidden Hoo Sutton Hoo Matt Keal / National Trust

This weekend why not visit Sutton Hoo, in Suffolk? Throughout this spring and summer, Hidden Hoo tells the exciting story of the 2000 excavation, with many

original finds on display from the British Museum. Before building the new visitor centre at Sutton Hoo, the National Trust funded an excavation of the construction

site. No one could have guessed that an Anglo-Saxon burial site, pre-dating those of the world renowned royal burial mounds nearby, would be discovered.

Sutton Hoo is an internationally important archaeology site and home to a group of Anglo-Saxon burial mounds dating back to the seventh century.

For more information visit

Nick Read

Saturday 22 June

Sunday 30 June

Choral Britten Centenary Concert Norwich Cathedral

Swannington in Bloom Swannington

the composer’s centenary. Lead by master of music Ashley Grote, it will also feature David Dunnett on the organ. The concert will be followed by a midsummer reception in the beautiful cathedral cloisters. Britten was a giant of the world stage, whose roots were firmly in East Anglia, his music inspired by its landscapes and sea. He was born in Lowestoft, schooled at Greshams, Holt, Norwich Cathedral Consort presents a recital of Benjamin and gave numerous Britten’s choral works to mark performances in Norwich.

Spend the day visiting nine beautiful gardens around the idyllic village of Swannington, about eight miles from Norwich. Between 11am and 5pm enjoy the fabulous variety of gardens, from the Manor with its 400 year-old yew hedge, which is thought to be unique in the country, to the contemporary landscape design of Heath Farmhouse. There will be a barbecue and stalls on the common from 12 noon. These will include plant and book sales, face painting,

For more information or to book tickets for this event call 01603 218450 or visit For information on other centenary celebrations visit

For more information or for tickets call 01603 861300 or visit

Jeremy Smith

tombola and local beer from Panther Brewery. Homemade cakes and tea will be on sale in various gardens. The Romantic Garden Nursery will also be open. All proceeds are to be split between St Margaret’s Church and the village play area.



In the know Johnny Ring

Do you travel to many other places in Britain? My work does take me to many different parts of the UK, I’ve even been 1km under the Yorkshire countryside down the Boulby salt mines filming for The One Show. In your opinion, what makes Norfolk so appealing to visitors? Norfolk is a very rural county and has some really stunning views. This, coupled with the dark skies and the stunning sight of a dark, star-filled sky, makes it a great retreat. The city of Norwich too has some great facilities and tourist attractions so I would always recommend it to people.

Mark Thompson, Astronomer Stargazing LIVE


ere you born in Norwich? Yes, I was actually born in Thorpe St Andrew and my parents still live there. I still live in Norfolk and very much enjoy spending time in Norwich.

What do you enjoy about living in Norfolk? Norfolk has very little industry and light pollution (except around Norwich of course). This makes it ideal for stargazing and I have enjoyed some stunning views of the universe – literally from my own back yard. Your television work must take you to London a great deal – do you enjoy the contrast between Norfolk and the city? Very much so. I love travelling to London for work or recreation but it is great to be able to return home to the slightly more relaxed county of Norfolk. There is definitely a stark contrast between the two but I love that.

People talk a lot about the Norfolk skies – are they really that special? I get asked this a lot. But yes, they really are. To get great views of the universe takes two things; low levels of dust and pollutants in the atmosphere and low levels of light. Norfolk is not very industrial so if you keep away from the city and other large towns and you can find some of the darkest skies in the country. What would you suggest people do if they have just one day to spend in Norfolk? This is a tricky one as there really is a lot to do but I am partial to the Norfolk Broads or the North Norfolk coast. If I had to pick one, then I think it would be to hire a boat on the Broads and take in the stunning countryside and relaxed way of life. Where are your own personal favourite places to visit in the county? I love the North Norfolk coast – give me great open expanses of sand and big skies and I’m very, very happy. As a pilot I also like going to the airport and heading off into the skies to see Norfolk from above.

Where are the best places for stargazing? This has to be North Norfolk. There are some great places up there that I have observed from – Kelling Heath, Salthouse and Cley are just a few of them. But go anywhere away from lights and you will not be disappointed. Have you ever slept under the stars in Norfolk? Not strictly but I have camped under the stars. Each year, Kelling Heath Holiday Park holds star parties where hundreds of astronomers from around the country join together for a long weekend of stargazing. I even managed to take my wife along to an April event a few years ago, only to wake up to snow on the tent! She wasn’t so impressed! Tell us about what you believe to be some of Norfolk’s hidden gems? I think Blakeney has to be one of my favourite places, along with Horning. But if I could spend a day anywhere, it would be in the bustling streets of Norwich, where there are some fantastic shops, restaurants and bars, and loads of small cobbled streets to explore. It’s not particularly hidden though! Do you have any final suggestions for visitors? Take your time and enjoy the scenery. That probably goes for us all, wherever we are. I think we are all so busy that we don’t stop to enjoy the environment we are in. Although Norfolk is flat, it really has got some stunning vistas so slow down, take your time and enjoy it. It’s a fantastic way to unwind. Mark Thompson’s new book, A Down to Earth Guide to the Cosmos, is now available in bookshops.

Kitchens | Bedrooms | Bathrooms | Studies Handmade furniture built for you

Unit 28 Maitland Road Lion Barn Industrial Estate Needham Market Suffolk IP6 8NS

01449 723600

Uniquely Away Issue 4 - Late Spring 2013  

Devoted to exclusive holidays, leisure and experience in Norfolk and Suffolk

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