Titchwell Manor Hotel & Restaurant lies in a delightful spot just a stone’s throw from the North Norfolk coast. It is in an absolutely perfect location from which to enjoy the natural delights of the region, and just a short walk from the door across to the salt marshes, coastal footpath and the local RSPB reserve.
It is also within easy striking distance of many of the areas main attractions: incredible beaches like Brancaster, pretty coastal towns such as Wells next the Sea plus the bonus of impressive historic houses at Sandringham, Holkham and Houghton when the lure of the coast wears off.
Formerly Titchwell Manor was a Victorian farmhouse, but owned by Margaret and Ian Snaith since 1988, it is now an elegant boutique hotel listed on the Times’ top 100 of 2019. We are not here though to enjoy the hotel facilities but have been drawn by the gastronomic reputation of the Manor for fine dining.
Under the guidance of chef and owner Eric Snaith, the head chef Chris Mann and his team have built a reputation for Titchwell Manor Hotel & Restaurant in providing some of the finest cuisine in the region. Rightly proud of their 3 AA rosettes award they have created a refined menu which can be enjoyed at either of Titchwell Manor’s two dining areas.
The Eating Rooms are the more informal of the two – looking out towards the coast from the front of the hotel they comprise a bright and modern glazed terrace adjacent to a funky ‘pubby’ area with a yellow leather sofa by a log fire.
We selected to dine in the rather more formal Conservatory. Predominantly in white (perhaps overly so) there are high backed Lloyd Loom chairs and tables with crisp white tablecloths in an airy room that overlooks an attractive garden. The menu is Table d’hote with about half a dozen selections for each of three courses.
After an aperitif on a sunny garden terrace we moved inside to start our meal with an excellent and generously-sized cod and salmon fishcake. Served with a spiced tomato sauce and marsh herbs it had a crisp exterior, was suitably fishy and set off well with the rich sauce. We also tried a thin sliced cured bass with pickled kohlrabi, grape, pumpkin seeds and watercress which was light and delicately flavoured.
There menu had a distinct local and seasonal emphasis with starters like Brancaster dressed crab with garden herb mayo and salad or local oysters, lemon and shallot vinegar, plus main courses like Lavington lamb served with fresh peas, broad beans, wild garlic and potato fondant.
We stuck with the sea food theme – we were after all within a stones throw of the north sea after all – and continued with a Salmon fillet that came with mussel sauce, charlotte potatoes, keta caviar and sea beet plus a portion of local fish and fries.
We reckoned that the fish was sure to be excellent, the proximity of the coast notwithstanding, since the local Eric’s Fish & Chips mini-chain is another string to the family’s bow: an upmarket chippy where you can wash down ‘the finest cod’ with champagne, prosecco or craft beer. We were not disappointed with the Manor’s offering – all very fresh and perfectly cooked.
The Titchwell Manor Hotel & Restaurant kitchen has a particular reputation for fine desserts and indeed the selection is definitely more innovative and interesting than you will find in most restaurants. How about a chilled coconut rice pudding with blueberry sorbet or rhubarb with Norfolk saffron custard.
For our visit, we sampled sea buckthorn and orange panacotta with raspberry and almond crumb and whipped white chocolate. The sea buckthorn is a local orange berry which provided a delightful sharp and tangy edge to the smooth panacotta. An extremely rich chocolate tart with chantilly was another fabulously rich treat.
A plate of Taleggio which came with fig jam and raisin, pecan and sesame loaf (it would have been good to have the option of one of the excellent local cheeses, too) rounded off an impressive meal in delightful surroundings.
Whilst there we made sure that we sneaked a glimpse of the rooms in the main building. Each room is colourfully and individually decorated complete with stylish wallpaper, some with painted wood or limestone flooring and each with eclectic and interesting retro bits and pieces – this could easily be a cool Shoreditch hotel. There are more, simpler, bedrooms are in outbuildings at the back of the hotel.
A hotel stay comes with an all-inclusive breakfast. We are told it features comprehensive selection of hot and cold dishes, from kippers to stewed fruits and homemade chocolate granola and we have seen reviews that are very positive.
Although we did not stay at Titchwell Manor Hotel & Restaurant on this visit the rooms looked delightful and we hope to be able to stop over and report back on another occasion in the future.
For more information visit Titchwell Manor Hotel & Restaurant
Other Norfolk features in CELLOPHANELAND*