Brace yourself…this is actually my third post of the week! As I said at the beginning of the year, December was too hectic and I had so much to tell you that I didn’t get round to doing, that I’m really trying to stay focused and organised this year!
So this post is actually long overdue – I should have shared it with you around mid-December but what it’s about is so brilliant and not at all Christmas themed, that I can still share it! In fact the timing may be even better, particularly for those of you that want to get in the good books for Valentines Day…
The Bedingfeld Arms
As the title of the post suggests, this has something to do with Norfolk and it’s definitely a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss! For those of you who follow my Instagram closely, you may have seen that back in mid-December I was in Norfolk for a birthday weekend treat. I first of all have to mention Norfolk as a whole – isn’t it gorgeous? For those of you who haven’t been, use this post as justification for visiting! The countryside is beautiful and there’s so much to do at any time of the year. But in this post I want to focus on one particular part of Norfolk and one very special place – The Bedingfeld Arms.
Located in the small picturesque village of Oxburgh, West Norfolk, The Bedingfeld Arms really is a hidden gem. It’s a gorgeous country pub – think of everything you want in a country pub – cosy, open fires, welly boots welcome, friendly locals and of course delicious seasonal food on offer and a great selection of drinks to cater for everyone – The Bedingfeld has all of this and then some. Originally a coaching inn, it has been lovingly refurbished by the wonderful Catkin and Stephen Parker (Catkin is most definitely the hostess with the mostess, you’ll be sure to see her floating around the pub at some point during your stay – full of ideas of things to do and see she is the most welcoming part of the pub!), the pub now offers Bed & Breakfast so you don’t even need to worry about who’s driving home – although FYI, if you are the designated driver in the group there’s some rather delicious mocktails on offer which are free if you’re taxiing a bunch of drinkers!
Before I get onto the details..fun fact about the pub – it has a display of my very favourite brand Fairfax & Favor, I mean what other pub do you know that can boast that? Actually there is a huge variety of products from local craftsmen and women on display in every possible corner of the pub, it’s jam-packed full of quirky, unusual and delightful trinkets, kind of like an undiscovered treasure trove – and if you ask nicely you’ll be pointed in the direction of where you can purchase them. Just be warned that your wallet may regret you asking because there’s so many lovely things to lust over. As it happens the Bedingfeld’s lovely owners happen to have a rather famous son – the “Favor” in Fairfax & Favor! (which incidentally is just a short drive away from The Bedingfeld and now offers private appointments – just saying…).
Any pub that has Fairfax & Favor on display is a winner in my eyes!
The beauty of The Bedingfeld is that it feels like an old friend’s house but at the same time has all of those lovely touches that make you feel so well looked after. Want to walk in with your muddy wellies closely followed by your four-legged companion? no problem. Want to dress for the occasion? Also welcome. Don’t get me wrong, the place itself is fantastic, retaining much of it’s traditional charm from it’s days as a coaching inn, but with subtle luxuries that come with well considered interior design, in an idyllic location it couldn’t cry cosy country pub more if it tried – but it’s the people that really make this place a destination worth visiting. Everyone from the fabulous hosts themselves to front of house and all-round charming gentlemen Giles, to the waiters, waitresses and bar staff makes you feel like part of the furniture. So, what else do you need to know?
Couldn’t be more idyllic and very handily situated next to the beautiful Oxburgh Hall the pub is actually named after the family that used to own Oxburgh – The Bedingfeld’s, a moated National Trust property that is well worth a visit. Also very close to Holkham beach, Thetford forest and surrounding by beautiful British countryside, this place is made for long walks or bike rides, followed by a hearty pub lunch of course.
Staying the night?
The Bedingfeld offers a number of rooms for guests that are too far from home (or those who just don’t fancy driving back after a merry evening!), your four-legged companion is also welcome in some! Each of the rooms has a different feel – you want a luxury stay (Boys, this is where the Valentines treat comes in..) go for the Bedingfeld Suite, or if it’s an impromtu stay head to one of the coach rooms. Whilst the rooms differ in decor, all of them are gorgeously cosy, beautifully furnished and super comfy! Oh, they’re all fantastic value for money too, so even more of a reason to go.
Food is definitely one of the most important aspects of a pub stay, well it’s important to me in general! For me, the key to fantastic food is local, seasonal produce and The Bedingfeld’s Head Chef obviously agrees. As much of the food on the menu is sourced as locally as possible, some of which is from the farms surrounding the village which is amazing. And its all delicious. I’m not sure what else I can say – we ate there both evenings, both days for breakfast and one day for lunch too and everything we had the pleasure of trying was amazing. There are a couple of dishes to highlight though – the Norfolk Oysters – To. Die. For. I was hoping to take a photo and show you, but they were gone way too quickly! Also the Venison dish, completely delicious and sourced from the local estate, can’t get much more sustainable than that.
As I mentioned, the pub itself is beautiful and has been so well restored but without losing any of it’s original charm. You literally have no idea where to look first when you walk in, because there are little hidden treasures in every corner – some are so well hidden that you really need to pay attention to notice them! It’s a great place for a game of I Spy.. although there’s plenty of board games if you do fancy something to occupy you whilst sitting next to the fire on a rainy day. I also have to mention the oak and stone room..a stunning new addition to the pub, made from a local joiner and finished so well, you’d never guess it was a new thing. It makes a great private function room if you have a special occasion, but it’s also perfect for enjoying breakfast and catching the morning sun. If you’re lucky you might also see the local muntjack who like to frequent the pub garden!
A mandatory picture with another of the garden’s famous residents…
They couldn’t be more welcoming. As I said everyone is completely brilliant and will make you feel like part of the furniture as soon as you get there. No request is too much trouble and that is a very unusual thing these days.
The final verdict?
Needless to say I recommend the place! There are so many reasons why – far too many to cover in one post but hopefully I’ve given you a little taste of what’s on offer. I can’t wait to go back and see the pub in a different season, as wonderfully cosy and Christmassy as it was in December, I think it will be equally as delightful in late Spring/Summer when those picnic benches come into use!
So…I’m off to book my next stay before you guys get in there first!