Norfolk is a super special place for us, it was the location of the life-changing question being asked (on bended knee on the top of a sand dune on Holkham beach) and seems to have become our failsafe short break location. Bringing the wee bundle of joy into our lives has meant that we haven’t visited as much recently but on a whim after a particularly stressful week we decided to take a couple of days midweek and head on over to the windswept beauty of Norfolk once again. We’d missed it! There was one small spanner in this carefree plan…what our friend affectionately refers to as the ‘fun vacuum’.
“It’ll be fine” we said, “we’ll take the travel cot and monitor” we said. Cue precision itinerary planning around nap times and a booking at The Victoria at Holkham on a fab mid-week deal to include room, evening meal and breakfast.
“We’ll leave after her morning nap” we said….she didn’t nap. “She’ll sleep in the car” we said…we arrived at The Victoria two hours later and not a wink of sleep had been had. Great start.
We managed to get a spot right outside the hotel to offload all the clobber required for one night away (you know what I mean, full boot load for one tiny person and a tiny overnight bag for the adults!) and were greeted with huge smiles and coos from the reception staff accompanied by wonderful baby flattery that made us all smug for creating such an amazingly incredible little person. They also immediately offered help with our dozens of bags which is always appreciated and gave a permit to avoid getting stung by the very efficient parking wardens.
We were in Tutsia Clump (room 2) so named after the shooting drive on the Holkham Estate. The room has a small hallway with bathroom and bedroom leading off. Thankfully there was plenty of room to set up our extra large travel cot without us having to clamber over the bed to get past it. We instantly loved decor of the room; soft blue and cream with accents of gold. It felt wonderfully luxurious but not ostentatious. The bathroom was immaculate with a huge overhead shower.
Whilst Poppy finally napped, we retired to the relaxation of the resident’s sitting room. Beautifully decorated in eccentric country style with decanters of complimentary Brandy, Port and whisky. Free wifi and the baby monitor even reached. Heaven.
When Poppy awoke we took a quick stroll to the beach and headed back to the hotel for her supper. The kitchen were very happy to make up a simple but delicious ham sandwich (which Poppy barely touched) whilst we sipped Hendrick’s gin, Fever Tree tonic and cucumber.
A quick bath and Poppy was put to bed……and relax.
…well so we thought. The next hour was spent attempting to calm our hysterical child and panicking about her disturbing the other guests. SO MUST STRESS. This culminated in the conversation of “let’s just go home right now” but after speaking to the lovely reception staff who assured me that no one had complained and that there were no adjoining rooms (they clearly thought about this when assigning us a room!) we made one last ditch attempt. Success! Thank goodness for Calpol and Peppa Pig!
Sooooooo after getting ready in the handily separate bathroom we retired to the bar for a pre-dinner drink in front of the wonderfully huge fireplace with monstrously huge antlers, I mean seriously huge!
For supper we both had scallops to start and steak for main accompanied by a bottle of Navardia, Bodegas Bagordi, Rioja. All was totally delicious, cooked to perfection and served by wonderfully attentive but non-invasive staff.
We did struggle with the baby monitor losing signal through the thick walls so had to regularly head up stairs to check on Poppy. This is where Tutsia Clump’s little hallway became useful again as it allowed us to get into the room with out Poppy’s super ears hearing the key in the outer door.
After our meal we retired to the bar to continue our evening but by 10.30pm the music was turned off and everyone had cleared out apart from a group who were dining with a former England International rugby player in one of the bar alcoves. We weren’t particularly ready to retire but felt rather conspicuous in our lack of company so reluctantly headed up.
This is what greeted us after a wonderful nights sleep…
Poppy made a ridiculous amount of mess at breakfast but the staff were so lovely and never made us feel uncomfortable or like we were an inconvenience. Dining with a child in public is never stress free as I always feel like every tiny noise is impacting on other diner’s experiences. Thankfully as we were visiting mid-week the restaurant was pretty empty and the staff really put us at ease.
Both Oliver’s full english and my eggs Benedict were delicious. In addition to menu choices there was a breakfast buffet with the usual offerings of cereals and toast etc which of course we took full advantage of.
After checking out we were given a permit for the Holkham Beach car park, another nice touch, and headed for a stroll on the beach.
Then headed in to Holt to visit my favourite dress agency. On this occasion I picked up two amazingly soft cashmere jumpers and had to literally drag myself away from a couple of stunning Marchesa gowns. This place is just so amazing!
Then this happened…
The Victoria Inn was incredible. Service, setting, food. In fact everything couldn’t be faulted. We came away saying we most definitely would be back very very soon. Would we take Poppy again? Probably not until she’s a bit bigger and that’s not just to The Victoria, it’s anywhere. By the time we got home we were exhausted. We were both so concerned about the impact Poppy was having on other people that we didn’t relax whilst she was awake.
If however you decide to visit The Victoria with children then I would recommend asking for Tutsia Clump to avoid the worry of children noise disturbing other guests. I have no doubt that anyone visiting The Victoria will thoroughly enjoy their experience.