The Victoria Inn, Holkham, Norfolk

3 December 2020

The Victoria Inn was built in 1837, the year in which the young Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne and in which Thomas William Coke, the owner of Holkham, was at last elevated to the peerage as the Earl of Leicester, the title his great-uncle had held. The name of the proposed new inn must have been inevitable.

This 19th-century inn, affectionately known as The Vic, lies equidistant between a vast, sandy beach and the parkland surrounding the magnificent Holkham Hall, constructed in the Palladian style. Smart rooms and food which relies on estate produce, makes this an excellent base for exploring North Norfolk.
Just inland from the most beautiful beach along the North Norfolk coast and next to 3,000 acres of parkland which surrounds 18th-century Holkham Hall, the location is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and outdoor-loving families.
Owned and managed by the Holkham Estate, the atmosphere is that of a country lodge. Staff are fitted out in tweed waistcoats, there are antler displays on the wall and pictures depict wild fowling and hunting scenes. A loaned taxidermy collection is displayed in large glass cases in the open plan bar area, and a large, outdoor kennel is provided for shooting parties staying with their dogs. However, if like us, the very notion of hunting leaves you cold, there are, thankfully, plenty of other design features to love and delicious vegetarian dining options available.
Alongside the spacious restaurant with conservatory extension, there’s a traditional ‘snug’ bar plus private dining corners and an elegant residents’ drawing room with wing chairs and help-yourself decanters.
The 20 comfortable bedrooms (10 in the main house and 10 more recently added in the adjacent Ancient House) are named after shoot drives on the estate (most memorably ‘Honk’s Pit’ and ‘Cow Planting’). Most are doubles, but spacious family suites include ‘Wilbrahams’, with a lower sofa-bed sitting room and stairs to a roomy double, furnished with antiques. One of the most popular is the sun-filled corner room, ‘Crabbe Castle Pit’, in soothing blue-greys, with large sash windows.
Welcome touches include fresh milk in the mini-fridge (complimentary prosecco is provided in Ancient House rooms), a room gift of stripy seaside rock and a complimentary pass for Holkham’s beach and estate car parks. Dogs are welcome in the main house rooms and in the dining areas.
There are many beautiful things to delight in at The Victoria Inn, but one of the main attractions is the food. All main themes are fresh, local and seasonal. The quality of ingredients is paramount, whether it be shellfish, fish or samphire from the north Norfolk coast, beef from local farms on the Holkham Estate or vegetables from the walled garden. As vegetarians, we were spoilt for choice, and there was also plenty of vegan and gluten free options available, too. ‘Lady Leicester’s tabbouleh’ with quinoa, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, peas, pomegranate topped with smoked salmon was memorable.
And for dessert, how about a ‘Coconut & mango egg with chocolate and chilli shortbread soldiers’.
Breakfast was a ‘Harissa spiced scrambled tofu & pomegranate on multisided toast’.
In 2016, The Victoria Inn joined Green Tourism, the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world, with the aim of achieving an outstanding commitment to reducing their impact on the environment. The inn is successful in its involvement in environmentally friendly practices; with nearly all of its key food products being sourced directly from the Holkham Estate itself to the implementation of biomass heating, fuelled exclusively from estate wood chip.
If you are looking for a traditional country weekend away amidst the most breathtaking nature, combined with the golden sands of one of England’s most beautiful beaches whist indulging in the most delicious fare, then look no further.
For further information on The Victoria Inn please visit here