A Seascape review of Station Smokehouse in Wroxham.
Around 25 years ago I used to visit this quirky venue which, if I can recall correctly, used to be an Italian restaurant called La Carrozza (Google tells me that translates to train carriage, so I think my memory serves me well for once!!).
I have not visited for many, many years, but understand the venue has had several reincarnations over the years, more recently opening as a fantastic American style diner/smokehouse. We have heard lots of good things, so with friends in tow last Friday night we headed off to Hoveton & Wroxham station to check out for ourselves Station Smokehouse
The restaurant is effectively a carriage in the siding of the railway station, from outside an unimposing building but inside full of character with industrial style lighting and lots of vintage Americana to give a fun atmosphere… If you watch Food Network, a Triple D type of place !
Now to the food – first thing, make sure you come to Station Smokehouse very hungry ! The portions are man size….. Between us we tried the chicken wings, stuffed jalapeños, homemade burgers, ribs and chicken burgers – all came with huge side orders of fries, homemade coleslaw and we threw in some extra onion rings and corn for good measure. The food was fabulous, not fancy, but great tender meat cooked over an open wood fired grill with lovely hot fries. This is really a great family venue – the kids will love the milkshakes and desserts – non meat eaters are catered for with fresh fish and mac n cheese.
We just managed to squeeze in a couple of desserts to share as well (well this research is so important) – baked cheesecake and a brownie were devoured between us….
You can make a great day out from this location – the station is on the Bure Valley line – take a steam train to Aylsham through our beautiful Norfolk countryside – the journey takes around 45 mins.
Check out Station Smokehouse website for yourself and enjoy a little bit of America in the heart of Norfolk Station Smokehouse Wroxham.
Please visit their website here.
Approx 5.5 miles – Ludham Village, Norfolk Broads and How Hill Ordnance Survey Explorer OL40
Walk starts in Ludham village which is on the A1062 between Potter Heigham and Wroxham – about 15 mins drive from Seascape.
We parked in the centre of Ludham village next to the Church, about 25 yards from The Kings Arms pub (dogs welcome except in the main restaurant) http://www.kingsarmsludham.co.uk
With the church on your right, the walk heads South along Staithe Road. After approx 600 yards turn right onto Lover’s Lane – after a similar distance look for the bridleway on your left. Carry on over the field and through the Ludham Hall farmyard (with an old chapel on your left). At the road, turn right (Hall Road) and at the top, turn left onto the A1062 where you will find The Dog pub (obviously dogs welcome here!!) http://www.thedogpub.co.uk This is an alternative start/finish to the walk and the pub is happy for you to use their car park if you are popping in at the end of the walk.
This is the only piece of main road (the A1062) and lasts for about 400 yards. Just past the toilets, turn right at the river that goes under Ludham bridge. The footpath is on the near side of the river.
You follow this lovely footpath for around 2 miles, passing 2 Norfolk windmills. We could not have had a better day !
The second windmill is opposite the approach to How Hill and makes for some lovely photo opportunities. At the boat trip station, turn right up the path towards How Hill. There is a bench on the right which offers the most beautiful viewing point across Broadland.
Pass through the How Hill complex and at the road, turn left. Go down How Hill. At the bottom of the hill, after about 300 yards, take the footpath on the right. At the copse at the end, turn left initially but look for the footpath across the field to your right. Cross 2 fields and then link up with a bridleway heading in a Southerly direction. You then reach a country road and again, continue in a Southerly direction. At the t junction, turn left. This road takes you back into Ludham village. Stay on this road until the junction with the school (on your left). Turn right here and in a few minutes you will have the pub, and then the church, on your right.
Winter is a wonderful time to be at the coast. Our tasteful dog friendly chalet, Seascape is warm and cosy, centrally heated with all home comforts including BT broadband to keep in touch with the outside world.
The deserted beach is on your doorstep – no need to take the car, you can walk for miles to Mundesley, and beyond or South to Happisburgh. Good beer and dog friendly pubs at both destinations or warm up in front of the fire and enjoy a pub lunch.
Seascape is a great base for exploring the Norfolk coast – both Blickling and Felbrigg Halls are a short drive away, Sheringham and Holt Park, Bacton Woods just up the road (a doggie paradise!) or lovely Cromer and Mundesley to explore. Fancy some shopping? You can catch the train to Norwich from nearby North Walsham and our explore this beautiful city or enjoy the designer shops in nearby Holt.
The village of Bacton is served by a great fish and chip shop and Chinese takeaway, so you can cosy up and enjoy our massive library of dvds in the evening. Seascape is stocked with games and books so plenty to keep you amused and to while away the time…
We can sleep up to 4 people in two rooms, 1 double and 2 single beds. Two dogs are very welcome – the village has a fantastic cafe that is very dog friendly, a great place to enjoy a full English brekkie before your walk with the hounds.
January and February reduced prices – Fri to Fri or Mon to Mon breaks, just £325, 4 night breaks – Monday to Friday and 3 night weekend breaks Friday to Monday now just £200.
Why not check our availability on the website to find a date that suits you to blow away the cobwebs on the beach!
We hope to see you soon….
I love this time of the year! Decorating the chalet for Christmas kicks off the festive season for me each December and allows me to get just a little creative. Strangely it was 16 degrees outside today so very unseasonal!
The Seascape tree always has a coastal theme, with the addition this year of lovely little wooden beach huts to join the seagulls and shells who have adorned the tree for the last few years. Christmas DVDs are in pride of place and we are nearly ready – a few more bits to put in place, but I think our Christmas and New Year guests will be happy!
Although we have miles of beaches on our doorstep, it is nice to explore the local area and Winterton beach is well worth the short drive down the coast from Seascape. A very popular beach for dog walkers with miles of unbroken beach backed by the dunes….. I have lots of memories of Winterton, at High School in Great Yarmouth we had an annual sponsored walk 16 mile round trip walking along the beach GY to Winterton, turn round and walk back. Walking on the dunes is not easy and it seemed to go on forever as a teenager, although I recall lots of larking around on the way….. Many years ago I lived quite close to Winterton and it was wonderful to be able to jump in the car after work to walk on the beach and enjoy the light evenings in summer.
So now Mark and I return as dog walkers ! Roo, our rescue dog has been living with us since May. She is a Spanish podenco, a breed bred for hunting, but was found as a stray living rough in a cave on wasteland in Spain with her litter. Roo was so nervous of people I am told it took two weeks for her Spanish rescuers to get her trust so that she could be taken in. The good news is that her pups were homed and eventually our lovely girl found her way to us via an amazing Norwich based charity who work alongside Spanish dog charities rehoming these delightful dogs all over the world. Have a look at their site www.supersighthounds.co.uk and have your heart broken. Lexy, the founder, is so passionate about her dogs and her enthusiasm and energy for this cause is beyond belief.
Roo is still nervous with new people, but her confidence is coming on leaps and bounds. She is a joyful dog, a real clown and she is well and truly under our skin! The beach is the only place we can confidently let her off the lead as she certainly hasn’t lost her old hunting instincts! Podencos are the same family as greyhounds, and boy can you see that when she is at full pelt on the beach ! So yesterday was a happy day on the beach in the weak winter sun, with the added bonus of cake at the Dunes cafe (well dog walking does burn a lot of calories) but best of all, a FULL rainbow as we were leaving……. And for you dog lovers (so many of our guests are!) here is my Roo’s story in pictures…
The delightfully named Rocky Bottoms is now re-opening for the Spring! On the coast road at West Runton, just past Cromer (about a 25 min drive from Seascape). We cannot recommend it enough – the freshest seafood, including locally caught crabs and lobsters (you cannot stay on the Norfolk coast without trying a Cromer crab!) A lovely, relaxed, holiday, beach shack vibe. We visited in Autumn last year for an impromptu lunch, enjoying fresh mussels and salmon sandwiches. They are not licensed, but you can take your own alcohol for a small cover charge…. Our visit was too cold and wet to sit outside, but the outside seating area is lovely, with amazing views out to sea – can’t wait to return on a sunny day. This is one place not to be missed…
Another of our regular haunts and well worth a drive is The Walpole Arms at Itteringham – a stones throw from the Blicking Estate. A lovely traditional 16th century pub serving great food – always popular and buzzy. Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2015. We can certainly vouch for the Sunday lunch, but do book ahead. It is worth combining your visit with a walk around the lovely Blickling Estate or visit Blickling Hall.
A lovely walk to Happisburgh – along the sea wall to Walcott, picking up through the coastline village and then across the cliff top via the newly signed posted Norfolk coastal path – wonderful views of the lighthouse both ways. Just past Happisburgh is Cart Gap with the great Smallsticks café, or stop off at the pub in Happisburgh, very dog friendly and great beers !
A bonus during our walk back, can’t guarantee this though, a beautiful kingfisher playing with the seabirds on the sea wall at Walcott !!
Earlier in the blog I posted some photos of East Ruston garden in the Spring. I returned to visit the garden last weekend to see it in a different season. It was a gorgeous weekend, with very few people around, so a lovely time to mooch round, soak up the Autumn sunshine and take a few snaps….. and have a lovely piece of cake and tea sitting outside!
The garden is open from late March through to 25 October on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Do check their website for specific dates! If you are a keen gardener, do not miss the chance for a visit – less than 5 mins drive away and a lovely afternoon out….
We love the timeless and classic appeal of Cromer, just a short and scenic drive around the coast from Seascape.
A real family resort, with something for everyone – we spent a lovely family day there yesterday with several generations celebrating a 70th birthday.
Stunning beaches, lovely cafes, a couple of amusement arcades for the young ones and the iconic Cromer pier with it’s wonderful Pavilion theatre.
We started our day with afternoon tea in the garden at The Grove on the Overstrand Road – a little oasis just outside of the town. £10.95 per person gets you a fantastic formal tea, we enjoyed sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, Victoria sponge, meringues and profiteroles !!
After a serious sugar rush, we took the lovely path through the back of their site passing through the wonderfully named Happy Valley, which gives you great views approaching the pier and main beach.
The afternoon was spent enjoying the fabulous end of the pier show Seaside Special. Our party ranged from ages 10 to 73, but everyone enjoyed the highly polished and professional show….. A great way to spend some time if not such a nice day/evening to enjoy the outside.
and finally, our day ended at Upstairs at No 1 Cromer, Galton Blackiston’s bistro fish and chip restaurant overlooking the sea. Wonderful fish and chips and we had hoped for a lovely sunset (for which Cromer is the best!), sadly despite no clouds all day, about 7.30 a few popped up to block the sight of the sun setting. Oh well, it means we have to go back again….