What are the best pubs in West Norfolk?
The Bar Man, by Jeff Hoyle (CAMRA), Friday, August 2, 2019
I received a press release from CAMRA recently advertising 100 pubs to try this summer.
The ones listed in Norfolk totalled exactly zero, and the reason became clear when a request popped into my in-box a few days later asking for my nominations.
So, here goes with my initial thoughts:
Top Beer Garden. Lots to choose from, but on a sunny day I would be more than happy to sip a pint in the garden at the Berney Arms at Barton Bendish.
Village Pub. We are down to the last pub in most villages now, but there are some fine ones around. How about the Coach and Horses at Dersingham where great beer and a friendly welcome is assured?
Pub Quiz Pub. Try the Rathskeller on the third Wednesday for a fun quiz in historic surrounds which raises money for a number of worthy causes.
CAMRA Award Winning Pub. I am torn between our current champion, the Rose and Crown at Harpley, and our hat-trick winner, the Kings Arms at Shouldham. I know – go to both.
Local Beer Hero. The long-established Fox and Hounds at Heacham has its own brewery. You can’t get more local than that.
Heritage Pub. The Lord Nelson at Burnham Thorpe would be an obvious suggestion if it was open, but a slightly different type of heritage is on view at the Blackstone Engine Bar at Denver Windmill along with local beer and cider.
Live Music Pub. This is not really my thing, and I know that a lot of the traditional venues are now closed or no longer doing music. However, for an intimate musical experience, the London Porterhouse still features live bands.
Dog friendly pub. When Arthur, the scratty little terrier thing came to visit, we took him to the George and Dragon at Newton by Castle Acre, where we had a wonderful meal and superb beer while he looked on enviously.
Weekend Away Pub. There is no end of places up by the coast where you will find excellent pubs for a weekend. However, Lynn is a really underrated tourist destination so I am going to suggest the Stuart House Hotel, close to the heart of our wonderful town, where you can relax with great beer after visiting all the attractions we have to offer.
Pub Walk Pub. The Dabbling Duck at Great Massingham has a map on the wall of some of the strolls that you can take, with the famous Peddars Way almost on the doorstep.
Waterside Pub. I am going to cheat a little and suggest the Ferry Lane Social Club. It is for members and guests only, but I defy anyone to come up with a better place than the balcony overlooking the river on a summer’s evening.
Finally, we have the ‘Secret Location Pub’. My initial thought was the Stag at West Acre which is not somewhere that many people pass by accident.
I thought I knew all the pubs in West Norfolk first-hand, but I came across one recently that was new to me, so it must be pretty secret.
Having helped to erect tents for the Norton Hill miniature railway weekends, we headed down to Snettisham beach to the chippy.
As it happened it was closed, but next door is the Beach Park pub on the caravan site. They just happened to have an excellent pint of Tribute amongst the beers on offer.
When I send in my submission, I may think of some totally different places. Can you suggest any that I have overlooked?