Wiveton Bell

251 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type


Date of travel

February, 2017

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


We had eaten at the Bell before, but on the prospect of grim weather for our weekend visit to Norfolk we took advantage of an offer to stay there. And how splendidly – with one or two hiccups – it turned out.

All was ready for us on arrival. Complimentary prosecco in the fridge, Viennese coffee in a jar and good biscuits to eat with it. The shower room was as good as any we’ve had outside the differently quirky Andy Warhol Arthotel in Berlin. That has to be some praise.

There was an insulated bag behind the door. We were advised to put it outside at night and by 8.30 or so next morning there would be croissants, petit pains au chocolat, bread to toast and a newspaper of choice. With that in mind we restrained ourselves with the prosecco, saving one 33 cl bottle for Bucks Fizz before breakfast. As well as the goodies to arrive from a Blakeney deli there was a range of cereals (with milk in the fridge) and of course jam, marmalade and honey to follow.

When we there before the restaurant had been extremely busy. This time was no different. There is a conservatory and the large bar area with a range of table sizes. The only small aspect was the bar itself, but when they served large bumpers of gin on ice with gin-marinated damsons it was worth waiting for. At table of course there was no delay.

It’s hard to tell whether the girls who help serve are regular staff or moonlighting from Gresham’s School in nearby Holt. They were all very friendly, helpful and efficient. The gin was a big success as aperitif and we chose a South African sauvignon blanc to go with the meal. If a terrine of partridge and chicken was a little bland – I’d prefer it without the chicken – the venison starter was splendid. Both came with good jus and a small salad. We both chose the cod with mussel sauce as a main course: it could have come fresh from the sea that evening, full and creamy with just sufficient vegetable matter alongside. Gastropub means not huge portions but adequate at least, and very well cooked. There was no need of dessert.

The next day we had a few problems with electrics. My suspicion is they need a higher resistance fuse for all the splendid heating, lighting, toasting and hair-drying equipment deployed. The manager was most apologetic and at the meal next evening offered a free bottle of wine or fizz in compensation. We chose what came as one of the best rose proseccos we’ve ever tasted. To eat we had beer-battered haddock with chips and the best ever mushy peas – real green ones just cooked and lightly mashed. In this case certainly not gastro-pub portions.

Breakfast, though it takes time arriving, especially if you normally rise early, was well worth the wait. The deli does a good line in croissants and petit pains, and even the sliced bread was wholemeal and toasted well. Apart from wishing to spend time outside we would have been tempted to overindulge on coffee. As it was we certainly indulged the food – a good long walk was more than needed.

Near at hand, though, there is plenty to experience. Arriving via Holt, as we did before, means coming from sophistication through deep rural; from Blakeney it means wood and country lanes; from Cley, the way we travelled homeward, is a journey back in time. The road drops past the church and immediately you realise what a vast haven there once was before the sea defences kept the tides back.

Inside the fascinating church there are pictures, matched in the Bell, of ships under sail in the haven. The three church towers of Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton, each on an eminence, were landmarks no doubt longed for by ships’ crew. There is also a small patch of medieval glass, high in a window, discovered when the window tracery was uncovered. Damaged parts suggest Reformation iconoclasts had been at work: the windows may have been enclosed for their protection or, all other glass having been destroyed, for the health of worshippers when winds blew in off the sea. There is still one window to be opened. Surprisingly, however, there are surviving brasses.

We could have spent much longer there, but home called and the bank balance will sustain just so much pressure. We will return.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.