Author Archives: Lili Skerritt

Norfolk’s unique galleries and antique shops

antique shopIf you’re the sort of person who likes to lose themselves in antique shops, discover local artists and pick up unique souvenirs, Norfolk is the perfect destination for your next getaway. To help you discover the very best that the county has to offer, we’ve put together our pick of the most interesting and unique galleries and shops just a stone’s throw from our doorstep.

Shirley Carnt. As many of Norfolk’s artists live and work in the local area, there are lots of opportunities to visit working studios and see where the artists produce their pieces. One such studio is that of Shirley Carnt. Located in Coastguard House in Thornham, just a few miles from the King William, this unique little gallery gives visitors the chance to meet the artist, discuss her works and even purchase original pieces.

Hector’s Barn. Specialising in quirky and original pieces, Hector’s Barn sells a mixture of antiques, retro items and specially selected contemporary works. Located in Ravens Yard, Nethergate Street in the village of Harpley on the edge of the spectacular Houghton Hall Estate, the shop makes a charming addition to a day out at the stately home. With many of the pieces in the shop customised and restored, it’s easy to find furnishings and accessories that are truly one of a kind. A second Hector’s Barn can be found at 2 Chapel Yard in Holt.

Ringstead Village Stores
On entering the shop you will discover Hidden Treasures, 9 rooms and 2 courtyards creating a Labyrinth for you to explore. Within you will find an eclectic collection of old and new items, including jewellery, books, glass, pottery, small silver items, pictures, prints, coal scuttles and companion sets, vintage tools, garden furniture including statues, obelisks, plant pots, bird tables, feeders, baths and much, much more.

Le Strange Old Barns. If you want to combine your love for art and antiques, a trip to Le Strange Old Barns in Old Hunstanton is a must. Located just 200 yards from the beach, in a rambling converted barn, this extensive art and antiques centre boasts a fantastic collection of local and historic pieces. The gallery at Le Strange Old Barns is the perfect place to pick up a unique and original piece for your walls. Alternatively, if you’re on the lookout for some original crockery, you can visit the resident potter at the site and watch as your plates, bowls and mugs magically appear out of a block of clay. As well as a fantastic selection of art and antiques, Le Strange Old Barns also run regular workshops and demonstrations.

If pottery is your passion we also recommend a visit to Dersingham Pottery on 48 Chapel Road, and Philippa Lee’s shop in Dalegate Market, Main Rd, Burnham Deepdale

antique collectionIf you like a full day antique shopping the country Town of Holt is your perfect place with numerous antique shops tucked away in every street and around every corner.

Exploring the art and antique shops around Norfolk is a fantastic way to get to know the county, its artists and its history. To find out more about attractions in the local area, or to book your stay, get in touch with the King William today http://www.thekingwilliamsedgeford.co.uk

The History of Wolferton Station

Wolferton StationLocated on the historic King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line, the picturesque Wolferton Station opened to the public in 1862. By chance, this was the same year that the nearby Sandringham Estate was purchased as a private residence for the young Prince of Wales. As Wolferton was just 21/4 miles from the house, it quickly earned itself a reputation as the most upmarket station in the country. Within easy reach of The King William, Wolferton Station offers a unique glimpse into the glamorous past of rail travel and the unique role the Royal Family have played in shaping Norfolk’s landscape. A must see for all railway enthusiasts, Wolferton is an important part of our local history and heritage.

Early years – Thanks to its Royal patronage, Wolferton Station was completely renovated in 1898, transforming it from an everyday stop into a station fit for a king. The refit saw Wolferton kitted out with Tudor-style platform buildings including a specially designed Royal waiting room complete with oak panelling couches and easy chairs. Also a clock tower and ornate lamps topped with crowns were fitted. Between 1884 and 1911, almost 650 royal trains called at Wolferton. The station played host to numerous luncheon parties and was a focal point for many Royal occasions including the funerals of Queen Alexandra in 1925, King George V in 1936 and King George VI in 1952. In 1886, for the 21st birthday of the then Prince George, the station saw a special Royal service bring a circus to Wolferton. At the end of the performance, one elephant refused to be loaded back onto the train, ripping up a lamppost and demolishing the station’s gates before finally being coaxed back on board.

Closure – Wolferton_Railway_Station 2By the end of the 1960s, many of the country’s regional train lines were being cut and Wolferton saw its last Royal service in 1966. In 1970, railwayman Eric Walker, who had purchased the station following its closure, reopened the waiting room as a museum. Over 6,000 pieces of memorabilia were on display, most of which Walker had collected himself. When Eric Walker died in 1985, his son was sadly unable to support the up keep of the station. In 2001, the station was sold to railway enthusiast Richard Brown who has undertaken significant restorations and returned much of Wolferton to its former glory.

Today –Though some parts of the station are private, visitors can still explore the platforms and other selected areas. Souvenirs are available on site and the owner is generally very happy to talk to visitors and to share his extensive knowledge about the history of the station and its Royal connections.

Norfolk’s Famous Farmers’ Markets

Farmers MarketOne of the most fertile parts of the UK, Norfolk has long been known for the quality of its meat, dairy, fruit and veg. From handmade cheeses and specialist sausages to delicious jams and plump, ripe vegetables, the county boasts a range of mouth-watering delicacies and specialities. Visitors to Norfolk can sample this outstanding produce at one of the many farmers markets that dot the county. Fun, vibrant and full of tantalising sights and smells, these markets are the perfect introduction to Norfolk’s culinary heritage.

Farmers’ markets take place in towns, villages and cities across Norfolk throughout the year. Some of the most famous markets are located in Norwich, Loddon, Creake Abbey, Poringland and Fakenham, though smaller markets and farm shops can be found throughout the county. As well as fruit, veg, meat and dairy, a lot of farmers markets also offer plants for sale and most boast a choice of food stands.

Farmers Market 2The vast majority of the produce on offer in Norfolk’s farmers’ markets is grown locally. Most markets ensure that at least 70% of the food sold is produced in Norfolk, giving visitors the chance to sample the very best ingredients the county has to offer. Fans of cheese will be spoiled for choice as Norfolk is home to some of the tastiest vintages in the country. From Binham Blue and Wighton to Wells Alpine and Warham, Norfolk boasts some of the most varied and delicious cheese made anywhere in the UK. Other products you may come across at Norfolk’s farmers’ markets include fresh, crunchy broccoli, firm, ripe tomatoes, fragrant mint and, or course, mustard. Holidaymakers who visit markets close to the sea may also come across the world famous Cromer Crab, freshly harvest samphire and mouth-watering Brancaster mussels.

Head Chef Chris Marshall & his team at the King William love working with our very own county’s produce and we try to use locally sourced meat, fruit and veg wherever possible. Not only does this allow us to produce outstanding meals for you, it also gives you the chance to try some of the best produce in the country.

Creake Abbey 1st Saturday of every month. 9.30am – 1pm at Creake Abbey
Fakenham 4th Saturday of every month. 8.30am – 12pm. at Fakenham Market Square
Holt Country Market every Friday. 9am – 11am. at St Andrews Church Hall
Norwich Monthly 9am-3pm at the Forum
Sandringham 4th Sunday of every month. 10am – 3pm, at Sandringham Visitor Centre.
Thornham last Saturday of every month. 9.30am – 12.30pm, at Thornham Deli.

 

 

The plight of the whales in Hunstanton

Since January 2016, more than 30 sperm whales have washed up on the beaches of northern and eastern England, causing scientists to look more closely at their behaviour, their habitat and anything that could be damaging them.

Sperm whales
dead sperm whaleThe sperm whale is a truly incredibly creature. Able to grow up to whopping 20.5 metres in length, the creatures are the biggest toothed predator on earth. The sperm whale is also the second deepest diving mammal on the planet and is able to reach depths of 2,250m. Sperm whales can be found in oceans around the world, however only adult male whales venture into the cooler waters found in higher latitudes. In general, sperm whales stick to deep off shore waters, favouring depths of over 1000m.

Why are sperm whales beaching in Norfolk?
Scientists don’t know for sure why sperm whales have begun to wash up on the county’s shoreline. One theory is that all of the whales have come from a single bachelor pod that took a wrong turn in the North Sea, an area where adult males are known to live in relatively large numbers. If this is the case, the recent spate of sperm whales beaching on Norfolk’s shores may soon come to an end. However, scientists fear that the beachings could be the result of a series of whale pods becoming disorientated and finding themselves suddenly in shallower waters. This could point to a more fundamental problem with the whales’ natural environment and could mean that the sad beachings will continue in the future.

How can we help the whales?
sperm-whale-tail
If you, like many people in Norfolk, have been moved by the plight of the whales, there are lots of different ways to help these magnificent creatures. One thing that many environmental agencies and charities are asking is that the public not damage the carcases in any way. In the past, trophy hunters have cut teeth and bones from deceased whales in order to make ghoulish souvenirs. Not only does this make it harder for scientists to work out why the whales died, it is also upsetting for those working hard to help the whales. You can also help by supporting the BDMLR with your donation. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue. is an organisation dedicated to the rescue and well-being of all marine animals in distress around the UK. Visit their website on http://www.bdmlr.org.uk
MARINE ANIMAL RESCUE HOTLINE: 01825 765546 during office hours.
(07787 433412 out of office hours)

 

February at The King William

astro_brain_tumour_fund2

First a very big THANK YOU! to all of you who supported our Pie & Mash evening. We welcomed 99 diners through our door and it was a brilliant evening with great atmosphere, excellent raffle prizes and wonderful food. Most importantly a fabulous £1356, 48 was raised for the Astro Brain Tumour Fund.

pancakes with fruits and strawberry

Shrove Tuesday 9 February
No need to dive into your own kitchen on Britains famous Pancake day. Sweet & Savoury pancakes will be available for lunch 12-2pm and dinner 6.30–9pm

KW HT&A Feb 2016

Romance is on the menu
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not treat your loved one to a special candlelit evening combining a delicious menu that’s guaranteed to set the mood for love? Available from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th February inclusive , you’ll start the night with a selection of mouth-watering canapés on arrival, followed by a choice of fresh local oysters, chicken mousse crostini or roasted butternut squash salad for starters. Be tempted to add a glass of fizz to accompany your meal! For the main event, it’s barbecued ribeye steak, grilled salmon fillet or Mediterranean vegetable risotto, offering something for every discerning diner. As for desserts, there are three naughty-but-nice delights to take your fancy, from strawberry heart macaroon and Belgian chocolate torte, to an assiette of apple desserts to share.

How could you resist? The perfect setting to celebrate a special anniversary (or pop the question, perhaps!), the Valentine’s menu is priced £27.50 per person (booking essential).

For the ultimate indulgence, stay the night in one of our award-winning luxury guest bedrooms! The exclusive Valentine’s accommodation package includes a demi bottle of Champagne on arrival, romantic dinner complete with red rose, plus Champagne breakfast the following morning (£85 per person based on two people sharing). Surprise your partner by calling 01485 571765 to book your room and/or table today .

January at The King William

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Following a lovely busy Christmas and New Year (with bookings already being taken for Christmas 2016), we would like to thank all our customers for their loyal support, as well as our staff for their hard work over the hectic Christmas period.Foyster Family3

Congratulations to the ever engaging Foyster Family for snapping up the New Years Eve Champagne by winning this years’ annual picture quiz and to Mr. M. Parish for winning a free night B&B in our Grand Christmas Draw. Further prizes of a £50 restaurant voucher are won by Mr. M. Witley and a bottle of Champagne by Mrs. A. Davies.

The year ahead promises even more exciting times for the King William team, marking a fantastic 180 years of King William Hospitality with 11 years at the helm ourselves. Celebrations are on their way – watch this space. But first we kick off January with a variety of refurbishment projects for bedrooms and public bathrooms to maintain and improve our facilities.

In January we see the return of our popular reward vouchers where you will receive a £2.50 voucher for every £25 spent (to be used on your next visit within two weeks of the issue date). What better way to beat the January blues than a delicious meal in one of the four designated dining areas, whether cosying up in the bar, in front of the roaring log fire or unwinding with the family in the child-friendly gallery restaurant?

We hope to welcome you and your friends in support of the Astro Brain Tumour Fund at our Pie, Mash & Pudding Night on Wednesday 20 January. An excellent raffle will be held to raise further funds for this hard working charity. If you haven’t booked a table yet, please do so today for this very worthy cause.

As always, we look forward to welcoming you at The King William and hope you enjoy your visit.
Cheers to a Happy & Healthy 2016!
Very best wishes,
Nick & Lili

 

 

 

 

Norfolk Bird Watching

Bird Watching in Snettisham and Titchwell

Birds

Though Norfolk has many outstanding attributes, if we had to pick one as our absolute favourite, it would have to be the landscape. Largely unspoilt and boasting some of the most unique habitats in the country, Norfolk’s fields, beaches, marshes and lagoons help to make the county one of the most beautiful in Britain. With two of the county’s best RSPB reserves within easy reach of the King William, a day of spotting some great British birds is guaranteed to be a highlight of your trip to the region.

Snettisham and Titchwell
Snettisham and Titchwell Reserves are a must-see for anyone staying in the area. Taking in one of the most beautiful stretches of the north Norfolk Coast and large, muddy expanses of The Wash, the area that the reserves cover is incredibly important for wading birds, sea birds and other British species. Snettisham is free to visit while Titchwell charges just £5 per car for non-members, making both ideal destinations for a family day out and great places to start your adventure in the Norfolk countryside.

Birds
Both reserves boast a number of star species, with many easy to spot throughout the year.  As Snettisham is located on the coast, it’s the perfect place to spot waders and other water loving birds. The pink-footed goose, the bar-tailed godwit, the avocet and the knot are all regular visitors to the reserve, with shelducks also easy to spot throughout the year. At Titchwell you’ll find a mixture of species, with the marsh harrier, the bittern, the bearded tit and the redshank some of the most exciting visitors to the area.

Visit any time of year
Both Snettisham and Titchwell offer a range of outstanding walking routes, as well as a network of hides and observation points. During big tides, Snettisham is especially popular as the rising water forces thousands of waders off of the mud flats and onto the land, providing a spectacular view for visitors to behold.

The Unforgettable Fakenham Racecourse

Exciting, invigorating and unforgettable, a day out at Fakenham Racecourse is a treat you’ll treasure for years to come. A unique part of Norfolk’s heritage and culture, a day at the races is something that we highly recommend to all of the guests we welcome at the King William.
fakenhamracecourse2 If you’re planning a cosy stay in Norfolk this winter and are looking for a day out with a difference, Fakenham Racecourse is the perfect choice. Whether you’re travelling with your family, organising a weekend away with your better half or you’re coming to the region with friends, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained at this much loved Norfolk attraction.
There has been almost continuous racing at Fakenham since the course first opened its doors way back in 1905. Though there were short interruptions during both World Wars, crowds have been enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, stunning setting and unique buzz for generations.Almost square in shape, the course at Fakenham is left-handed and has a circumference of around a mile. The steeplechase course is located to the outside of the hurdle course and features six fences per circuit. Today, crowds are still attracted to Fakenham in their thousands, with the course packed full of eager spectators on most race days. And with a wide choice of bars, restaurants and cafes available on site, it’s easy to make a full day out of your trip to the races.fakenhamracecourse
Race days
Races are held at Fakenham Racecourse at regular intervals throughout the year. Most meetings take place in the afternoon, with hospitality available throughout the day. If a trip to Fakenham Racecourse is one of your main reasons for visiting the area, it’s a good idea to check the dates of upcoming races before you book your stay. Though with a number of events throughout Christmas and into the New Year, it should be easy to find a date that suits you perfectly.
As the team at Fakenham Racecourse are committed to welcoming all spectators, the course has a range of facilities for disabled visitors and those with limited mobility. Children under 17 can attend the races for free, though they must be accompanied by an adult during their visit.
Known as one of the friendliest and most welcoming courses in the country, Fakenham makes a great day out whether you’re a seasoned punter or a complete novice.

December at The King William IV

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and The King William IV in Sedgeford is celebrating in style with the restaurant’s ever-popular pre-Christmas parties. The kitchen is gearing up for a busy few weeks with a fully-booked Christmas Day lunch and delicious three-course New Year’s Wine and fireEve menu with only a few tables left. Your favourites from the à la carte menu and popular Sunday roasts are still available throughout December, so why not delight in a hearty home-cooked meal to keep the cold at bay? There’s really no better time to explore the beautiful Norfolk coast, with its empty beaches, abundance of wildlife and picturesque country walks. And upon your return, head to the bar for a heart-warming glass of mulled wine!

The past year has been absolutely amazing – it has all gone rather quickly. The King William keeps growing year on year and 2016 promises to be even more exciting. We can’t wait to kick off the New Year, but first it’s time to relax and fully enjoy the festive season.
Nick, Lili & all the team wish you all a fabulous Christmas & Happy New Year

Normal opening Times during December & Boxing Day:
BARChristmas eshot
Monday 6pm – 11pm
Tuesday to Saturday 11.30 – 11pm
Sunday 12 – 10.30pm
FOOD SERVED
Monday 6.30pm-9pm,
Tuesday to Saturday 12-2pm & 6.30pm-9pm,
Sunday 12 – 2.30pm & 6.30pm – 9pm

CHRISTMAS DAY
Bar 12 – 5pm,
Lunch 12 – 2.30pm Reservations only
NEW YEARS EVE
Bar 11.30 – 1am
Lunch 12 – 2pm
Dinner 7.30pm – 9.30pm Reservations only
NEW YEARS DAY
Bar 12 – 11pm
Lunch 12 – 2pm
Dinner 6.30pm – 9pm