Last week The Actor and I went to visit my Dad in Norfolk. We had to hire a car as The Actor is learning how to do some fancy moves on a fixed gear bike for a role. There was no way the bike was going in his 'Italian Job' Mini Cooper which can barely fit my handbag in.
I wasn't sure about the Vauxhall Insignia we hired with but it turned out to be a good car and you could have fitted a king sized bed in the back. Perfect for me who likes to take everything.
As usual we were late getting out of London and the weather took a turn for the worse
Elvedon Woods, Suffolk. Hmmm... A lovely bit of English weather.
We arrived about 7pm and hung out with my dad and his elder sister Penny. It was very odd being there without my aunt Murry. We talked about her a lot and I still expected to see her at any minute.
It's nice to wake up to the view of their garden and a much brighter day.
My dad moved to Norfolk from London fifteen years ago and Murry moved from Cambridge. They loved it, they're into animals and gardens. Murry always preferred animals to people. Personally I would rather they'd been nearer as Norfolk seems so far away.
In all that time I've never really explored the area. I think Penny and dad wanted to watch Wimbledon in peace so they convinced us to go for a walk on the beach. The Actor being a mentalist decided he wanted to go swimming in the sea. It wasn't exactly warm.
This is Holkham beach. That teeny, tiny bit of blue in the far distance is the sea
It's about four hundred miles away from the road and the tide's gone out. Marvellous.
I look like I've got dressed in the dark. I had long boots on but changed into Fitflops when I got out of the car and realised how wet it was. They're not exactly working with this outfit. Everything I'm wearing came from Ebay - John Rocha poncho £1.70, a YSL pussy bow blouse which was £15, modal leggings £10 and a modal snood £20.
Where the sand dunes and the salt marsh meet the sea. East Anglia's very flat and the beaches are quite desolate.
This poem is on a signpost nearby;
"Where the wings of the sea-wind slacken,
Green lawns to the landward thrive,
Fields brighten and pine-woods blacken,
And the heat in their heart is alive;
A land that is thirstier than ruin;
A sea that is hungrier than death;
Heaped hills that a tree never grew in;
Wide sands where the wave draws breath"
In the Salt Marshes
by Algernon Swinburne
The Actor got his kit off and ran straight into the sea
There's no way I was going in there so I took a few pictures of him running off starkers
That's him - the little black dot in the distance in the centre of the picture. He said it was quite "bracing" Yeah, whatever. I'm still not going in.
You can go on a boat trip and see seals. I'm so up for that.
I wish I could pat them too.
Especially if they have faces like this!
Holkham is a picture postcard English village owned by the Earl of Leicester. Here's his family seat, Holkham Hall.
The Actor decided he was hungry after his swim. I was totally windswept but luckily I had hair and make-up in the car so after a quick spruce up we decided to find a restaurant. What we really wanted was a seafood platter being near the coast. You'd think that would be easy, wouldn't you?
The first place we came across in Holkham was The Victoria Hotel and restaurant which looked rather good.
We went in for a look
It was lovely but it didn't have a seafood platter and was empty on a Monday night, unsurprisingly for the middle of nowhere. We headed a few miles along the road to Burnham Market.
I took this out of the car window. You don't see these very often.
I love the Georgian architecture in the village
and pretty flint covered cottages
All done in Farrow and Ball by the looks of it
Burnham Market reminds me of the TV series Midsomer Murders, without the murders.
The Actor likes the look of this house
Then we spotted The Hoste Arms a 17th Century coaching Inn. And it serves real ale so The Actor was happy.
Unbelievably it was completely packed out ON A MONDAY! You'd be hard pressed to find that in London.
The car park was wall-to-wall Range Rovers. I'd heard lots of people who have houses in Norfolk frequent the Hoste Arms - Stephen Fry, Anneka Rice and Amanda Holden - I think I read that in the Daily Mail.
The Hoste owns various places to stay in Burnham including this old railway carriage you can rent.
We still didn't find a traditional seafood platter and this sounded rather fancy but it's good to try lots of things. Plus by that time we were starving and we'd already waited for a table. They gave us a lovely table tucked away in the corner of the wood panelled restaurant. There are five rooms you can eat in. All were booked.
For two to share - "Potted Cromer crab with Irish soda bread, Brancaster oysters with white tomato granite, Letzer's locally smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill croute, Norfolk brown shrimp Caesar salad, chilled lobster milkshake with crayfish, caviar and chives" (a lot better than it sounds). It was all excellent.
The Actor chose a bottle of South African red
We shared the "New York steak (enormous, we took a doggy bag home to dad's animals), twice cooked chips and beer battered onion rings, field mushrooms and grilled plum tomatoes with peppercorn sauce" and a side of asparagus.
I can definitely recommend the food here.
These are the stairs to the loo. How jazzy is this?
Here's the ladies complete with chairs to sit on to do your make-up. I wanted these Fired Earth tiles in my bathroom but the quote was eye watering.
They've even got them on the ceiling! I had to take a picture of that.
Here's a little bit of our table, complete with a couple of sculptures. We enjoyed our night at the Hoste. I'm sure we'll go back next time we're there.
The next morning I tried to take pictures of birds and squirrels on dad's many feeders but they were too quick for me this time.
The Actor kindly strimmed the entire garden which took forever. I was given the job of sweeping the bits up and removing them in a giant wheelbarrow. Even that was hard work. When he finished he said "That's it! We are NEVER getting a big garden" I don't know how dad does it. It's all getting a bit much now so he's talking about downsizing. That will be his next project.
There's Muntjac's (miniature deer) in them there woods. Dad informed us we were up too late to see them but said they've had the heads off most of his flowers.
Apart from the snap dragons. They must taste funny or something. We used to do little plays with these as they look like faces with mouths. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Or was that just me?
I'm slowly progressing with my reading. To everyone on my blog list and my new commenters, I shall visit you very soon I promise. It's hard catching up when you're so behind but I'll get there.
Have a wonderful day, I hope it's sunny again xxx