Walking hand in hand through fragrant pine rich woodland, breathing fresh sea breeze and marvelling at cloudless skies, my husband and I approach a sandy crossroads. Left for the beach, right for a cream tea or straight ahead for a scenic coastal path showcasing rare wildlife and the delights of the glorious Norfolk coastline. Oh, decisions, decisions. After four days of flawless hospitality, storybook sunsets, romantic meals and traditional seaside charm, under ‘relaxed’ in the dictionary there’s a smiling picture of us.
Guests of the Chestnut Group, owners of the Feathers in Holt and the Globe, Wells-next-the-Sea, a warm East Anglian greeting, elegant rooms and phenomenal food at these uniquely charming inns has raised the bar for the Great British getaway. This morning, we perused the pretty gift shops, colourful beach huts and bustling harbour of maritime-rich Wells – by afternoon we’ll walk off scrumptious fish and chips before admiring the view off the quay whilst crabbing. It’s practically the perfect day. Enamoured by the area’s famous big sky beaches and abundance of interesting sights and must-visit attractions, we’ve revitalised, reconnected, laughed and explored to our hearts’ content. Tonight, we’ll travel home with exciting stories to complement a bursting camera roll, appetites whet to boomerang back first chance we get.
The Feathers, Holt
With an eclectic collection of pubs, inns and restaurants dotted across the region and beyond, whether you’re looking for a cosy couple’s escape, an action-packed holiday with the kids or a sandy-pawed staycation with your four-legged friend, the Chestnut Group ticks every box with elite hospitality and a magnetic, community spirited ethos.
Our adventure began at The Feathers, a quaint, captivating inn-for-all-seasons just three miles off the coast in the centre of thriving Holt. Boasting 14 newly refurbished modern English-inspired bedrooms, and 10 more at sister property Lawns Rooms just around the corner, the Feathers offers attentive service, stylish interiors and an atmospheric restaurant and conservatory perfect for wining, dining and unwinding.
With historic bar, lounges and cosy pub snugs - plus crackling log fires in winter and a leafy outdoor terrace for balmy summer nights - whether you’re popping in for a sociable pint or sampling the seasonally-inspired menu, the Feathers is sure to tickle your fancy. Each chic, unique and tastefully decorated, the bedrooms – good, best, family and lawns (all dog-friendly) – are the epitome of modern style, with wooden headboards, a rainbow of colour and oceans of natural light. Our ‘best’ room, with giant bed, plush soft furnishings and stunningly distinctive bathroom with luxurious walk-in shower, was outstanding, a divine retreat after a full day on the go.
Stepping straight out onto the High Street in Holt, a bubbly Georgian town alive with a feel-good aura, we explored the colourful collection of cafes, shops, galleries, antique stores and pubs before retiring to our Feathers nest for an exquisite evening meal of Swannington Chicken and a bottle of wine beneath the stars. Fresh from a replenishing night’s sleep, the six-mile drive to nearby Sheringham was well worth the short trip for a beach picnic, paddle boarding and a rejuvenating taste of the seaside.
The Globe Inn, Wells-next-the-Sea
Next stop on our coastal escape was the highly acclaimed Globe Inn, a gorgeous, newly-refurbished 19th century coach house so popular that there’s rarely a free table, inside or out, rain or shine. Bewitched by its upbeat vibe and laid back, nautical-inspired ambiance, locals and visitors return time and time again, captivated by the jovial atmosphere, relaxed pace and unique, unforced charm. Effervescent and vibrant yet seductively chilled, the sociable bar and restaurant enchants with rustic wooden floorboards, open brickwork and sea-inspired furnishing in a wash of soothing blues and greens.
Add to this an extensive revamped menu embracing the region’s heritage, and an exceptional welcome for four-legged friends, it’s easy to see why the Globe sets tongues and tails a wagging. Lovingly refurbished to reflect Norfolk’s coastal allure, the Globe’s 19 chic bedrooms – rated dog-friendly, family, good, better, best, and bolt hole for the solo traveller, ooze class, comfort and timeless maritime charm.
Opening onto a pretty, fairy-lit courtyard which morphs into an open bar and pizzeria in summer months, our ‘better’ room impressed with king size bed, flat screen television and spacious bathroom with bath, shower and double sink. A brilliant base from which to explore Wells and the beautiful surrounding area, after a hearty full English breakfast we walked for miles across the Norfolk Coastal Path, acquainting ourselves with every inviting inch of Wells and neighbouring Holkham before driving to Cromer to combine Banksy’s artwork with one of Britain’s most breathtaking sunsets.
From big, dramatic skies to storm clouds gathering over the Broads and the feeling of utter freedom when you realise you can see for miles and miles, pair the picture-perfection of Norfolk with the impeccable hospitality of the Chestnut Group for a truly unforgettable break.
Double bedrooms at The Feathers are available from £117 per night. To book, visit www.thefeathersholt.com or call 01263 712318.
Double bedrooms at The Globe Inn are available from £171 per night. Includes breakfast. To book, visit www.theglobeatwells.co.uk or call 01328 710206.