The Kings Arms Fleggburgh EDP Chef of the Year 2013

Post Thrigby tigers and en route back to Seascape,  we dropped into The Kings Arms on  the main road at Fleggburgh, the new venture from chef Mark Dixon and his partner, Natasha.

Mark won the prestigious title of EDP (Eastern Daily Press) Chef  of the Year 2013 in his previous working life at The Imperial Hotel in Great Yarmouth.  Mark and Natasha reopened the Fleggburgh venue as a dining pub in January this year, focusing on dishes created with the finest of local ingredients.

We only sampled a sandwich in the bar, but perused the dinner menu which changes regularly  to reflect seasonal produce.

The staff were friendly and approachable, the refurbishment is superb, light and airy eating spaces and spotless bathrooms !     We will definitely be returning soon to sample the evening menu.

Mark  and Natasha were happy to pose for a photo – we wish you well with your new venture…..

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Take a walk on the wild side…..Thrigby tigers

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is a great day out for kids (and adults) of all ages.    The unique tiger enclosure is the highlight, constructed in such a way that you can almost be face to face with the tigers (albeit with a strong metal fence between you!)  Not for the fainthearted, the walkway is up above the tiger enclosures, the feeling is that the tigers are roaming free with the visitors in a cage !!

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It’s not all about tigers, there is a swamp house, walk through aviary, great monkey section (the most amusing characters) and a playground to keep the little ones amused.     Large picnic area and gift shop – great for a sunny day when you want a change from the beach.   Thrigby is signposted from the A47 at Acle.

Norwich – a fine city…

We are very privileged to live in Norwich.   It is a wonderful city – a mix of old and new which sit happily together.  Great restaurants, architecture, shopping in Chapelfield, Castle Mall or many of the lovely independent stores, the Theatre Royal, Cathedral and Norman castle which houses works of the unique Norwich School of Painters, stunning Forum building and bustling market to name just a few attractions.

Why not take some time out from a holiday at Seascape to explore what Norwich has to offer?   It takes about 40 mins to drive to Norwich from the chalet, there is ample parking in the city centre, or park and ride schemes which stop on Castle Meadow.

Here’s a few snaps for a taster….

Horsey Seals

Sunday visit to Horsey (about 14 miles from Seascape) to see the seals on Horsey beach.

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A lot of other people had the same idea and we joined the stream of people along the dunes to the designated viewing areas.     It has been a very sad season for the grey seals who come ashore to breed from November (and have done for many years) at Horsey dunes. The pups are very vulnerable from birth and even in normal conditions, many do not survive their first year.  The tidal surge in early December devasted the colony and over 260 seal pups were lost.     More are being rehabilitated by the RSPCA at East Winch near Kings Lynn.

The sight of these large mammals cannot fail to bring a smile to your face.    The area is marshalled by volunteer wardens via www.friendsofhorseyseals.co.uk  One little chap, seal, not a warden, was determined to get centre stage in the dunes and was probably the most photographed animal in the land of Sunday…..

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We ended the walk with a visit to the Nelsons Head – a welcoming walker’ s pub with open fires  and good beer (try and get a table in the front bar near the fire!)  It’s dog friendly, so good for our Seascape visitors with their four legged friends.

No 1 Cromer

Saturday night – enjoying a fish and chip supper with friends at No 1 at Cromer, the latest venture of Michelin starred Norfolk chef, Galton Blackiston.

We all enjoyed fabulous fish and chips – the fish was fresh and the batter light and tasty. Lovely chips.    A word of warning, the portions are huge, we ordered numerous side orders which was probably unnecessary, although very little was left and we still made room for dessert!!

It’s a great family venue and at a reasonable price.  We didn’t have any children in our party, but understand the kid’s meals are served in a beach bucket !!

There is also a takeaway and icecream parlour, will be nice to get fish and chips and watch the amazing sunsets  in the summer.

The restaurant has a superb location, looking out over Cromer pier – can’t wait to return in the summer to make the most of  the spectacular views.

The manageress told us the restaurant is closing for a few weeks (until the first week in January) whilst major alterations are being undertaken as, exciting news, the premises are extending upstairs into a bar and new fine dining seafood restaurant !!!!     Seascape review to follow later this year…….

Some great artwork depicting Cromer on the walls, could do with one of these for Seascape

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Truly Local Stalham

Stalham High St (about 6 miles from Seascape) is home to a brilliant shop little shop “Truly Local”.    I was fascinated to chat to Michael, one of the directors, to hear how the business was set up as a not for profit social enterprise.   All profits go into sustaining the business and therefore back into the local community.

Truly Local has an amazing variety of wares, stocking best quality seasonal and local produce.     Everything sold in the shop comes from a 35 mile radius of Stalham, including whisky from a Norfolk distillery.  Stocks were a little low as it was just over the Christmas holiday, but I still came away with a loaded shopping bag…..

The store has won and continues to win awards, including winning the Norfolk Food and Drink awards 2012 for Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer.    Prince Charles has made a personal visit to the shop !

In these days of mega size supermarkets and closure of independent high street retailers, it is truly wonderful to see such a successful venture.

Do go and give Truly Local a look and support this enterprising venture.

Anyone for tee? a Seascape view of Mundesley golf club…

When Trish asked if I wanted to add to the blog, and suggested an entry on local golf courses, I felt obliged to assist.  Now, I do not need asking twice to throw “the sticks” in the back of the car and have played all the North Norfolk courses sufficiently to give golf loving visitors to Seascape a resume of what is on offer.  And there’s a lot . . .

And yet, my fountainous knowledge had one gap, an irritating bald spot, if you like, on an otherwise bushy head of hair.  And to my embarrassment, this little gem is but 5 miles away from our chalet.

So, on a surprisingly pleasant morning, bearing in mind the weather recently, in early January, I pitched up at Mundesley Golf Club.  I had telephoned the club pro, Ryan, a couple of days before and asked if there may be anyone around to show me the course.  “No promises, but probably,” was his helpful answer.  He also informed me that members have the course to themselves on weekend mornings until 11:30, but that fitted in fine with me. Membership elsewhere / handicap certificate (or an ability to persuade Ryan that you know what you are doing, will play with proper etiquette and will not hack up his course) is required.

The clubhouse had an immediate friendly feel and I was made most welcome.  I ended up playing with the recent pairs winners and so felt in safe hands.  Mundesley is a nine hole course, with each hole having two tee boxes (for your eighteen).  Each hole had significant interest, whether it be from hilly undulations, treelines, OOB or thoughtfully positioned sand.  The course has stood up to the inclement weather very well and the greens were in good nick. The pictures I took in no way do the place justice (forgetting I had my camera with me until the last hole I played).

I played 10 holes before my “lift” returned, she having discovered the delights of Truly Local (a blog for the ladies, perhaps . . .) and left my playing partners to complete their match.  I was informed that the food is truly exceptional (and for all I know locally sourced) and so I will aim to return as soon as possible, with food and a full eighteen on the menu.

The telephone number is 01263720095 and the postcode is NR11 8ES.  The website is www.mundesleygolfclub.com  where you can find further details and the attractive green fee prices.

 

 

A very Happy 2014…..

Final picture from the holiday season….    One of our New Year guests clearly enjoying the beach at New Year.    It’s been spaniel season!

"just loving the beach at Bacton"

“just loving the beach at Bacton”

Here’s a snippet of what the family had to say about their New Year’s stay

“Our style of place, immaculately presented, it was like walking into a designer house……

We will definitely come back and will be telling all our friends about Seascape”