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.
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.
Pottering around near Holt? Take some time to visit the award winning Back to the Garden – Farm shop, café and garden at Letheringsett… The farm shop sells a huge selection of organic produce – great butchery counter, cheese and fresh veg.
When you have shopped out, enjoy the produce in the bright and airy barn café/restaurant – they serve cakes and snacks or full meals – when we popped in the place was buzzing with Sunday lunch diners. It the interests of Seascape research we felt obliged to sample their gorgeous cake !
More information at back-to-the-garden.co.uk
The lovely Sugar and Spice cafe has recently moved to fabulous new premises on the Coast Road in Bacton. The cafe is really popular and serves great food, breakfasts, snacks and full meals. Be warned, big portions…..!
The new premises are clean, light and airy with some lovely quirky features including a working jukebox! Outside seating for warmer days and a dog friendly venue. The cafe, deservedly so, gets consistently high revews on Tripadvisor (has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence 2014 like us) and is a great place to walk to from Seascape for a hearty breakfast.
Hurrah, one of our favourite places, Wiveton Hall Cafe has re-opened for the season!! Lunch last week… Clearly the Cafe has been busy over the winter months with the premises being extended and a new pizza oven being built. This is another one of those quirky, but fun, places to eat on the Norfolk coast (just outside Blakeney). Wiveton Hall is actually a working farm with PYO fruit during the summer months. The Cafe is through the farm, with a great view across the marshes. The decor is shabby chic, bright and breezy with a great outdoor eating area. However the highlight is the food – fresh, innovative and tasty, using lots of produce from the farm. Cakes are amazing ! The Cafe displays local artists work and has a great deli/food shops next door. It’s always very busy, even during the week, but you can book ahead on their Facebook page.
Do you love shellfish? Then this is the place for you. Not your regular seafood restaurant though….. Cookies is a Norfolk institution, a long standing family run business on the green at Salthouse (on the coast road just before Cley/Blakeney). Cookies is a little shellfish shop selling crabs/lobsters/cockles and much more, but you can eat amazing crab and lobster platters on the green outside, in their shop or the shed type building. Yes, that’s correct, a shed type building! It’s basic, no frills (or even toilets on site!), but very quirky with fantastic fresh produce and incredibly cheap meals. You can even take your own wine……
Here’s a taster of what to expect
A Saturday night “bonding” with my business partners, after a day at Seascape to brainstorm some ideas in the warm sunshine and sea air, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at The Ingham Swan.
Mark and I have walked to The Swan for lunch in the past (it’s quite a hardcore 2.5 hour hike across country!), but our little party grabbed a taxi which took a rather easier 10 mins……
Daniel Smith is the Chef/patron – Norfolk born and bred, serving a regularly changing menu reflecting the seasons. A team of attentive and friendly young staff all errs for a good night.
The restaurant is a 14th century coaching inn, with a warm and welcoming feel – woodburning stove, exposed brick work and tasteful decor.
It is a fine dining experience, not your average pub food, so again, worthy of a special occasion whilst staying at Seascape.
Saturday night was packed, so do book ahead….
We had the pleasure of being invited to join good friends to celebrate their wedding anniversary last Wednesday at Morston Hall near Blakeney – Galton Blackiston’s flagship Michelin star fine dining restaurant.
We have dined at Morston Hall on several occasions and as usual the evening was impeccable – young, helpful staff and mouthwatering food, served in a warm and refined country house environment.
Dinner is a set tasting menu to ensure the best seasonal, fresh ingredients are prepared – the food is imaginative and creative.
Save for Mark (driving!) our table also enjoyed the Wine Flight – wines specially selected by the Sommelier to accompany the evening menu – it was no mean feat keeping up with the various wines as they arrived ……
The “dish of the day” for our whole table went to the Potato Truffle Mousse, which we all agreed was absolutely delicious!
Morston Hall is under an hour’s drive from Seascape, so very much a destination for a special occasion for dinner. Sunday lunch is available, as well as a formal afternoon tea, so why not incorporate a wonderful foody experience into a day exploring the beautiful North Norfolk coast.
Night time in February is not the best time for exterior shots, so many thanks to Tracy Blackiston for kindly providing me with this beautiful shot of Morston Hall in its Spring glory.
Have a look at the website www.morstonhall.com and be tempted !
Closer to home, Galton has a more informal (and cheaper!) restaurant in Cromer – No 1 – see the Seascape blog for January for a subjective review – we eagerly wait for the opening of the new restaurant above No 1 – watch this space…..
Dinner with my best mate at Great Yarmouth, having met at Great Yarmouth Grammar School a few (?!) years ago, it seemed a fitting venue for a catch up and a wonderful steak last weekend. The Columbia is a Yarmouth institution and much loved by the locals. Run by the same Greek family since 1984 the Taverna serves authentic Greek cuisine and the most amazing steaks!
If you are taking the opportunity to have a day out in Great Yarmouth whilst holidaying at Seascape, why not try a taste of the Med – booking advisable at weekends.
Telephone 01493 854961
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…..