Monday, 31 October 2011

weekend in Norfolk

am a bit late in posting about last weekend's wonderful trip to Norfolk.  i went to stay with friends Emma, Percy and their two lovely children Rex and Greta (not forgetting the terriers Pinky & Bunny and 6 month old lurcher Agostino) at their beautiful home Plumstead Hall Farmhouse near the North Norfolk coast.

the UEA campus...sort of reminds me of Trellick!
i took the train up to Norwich on Friday so that Emma and I could visit her old uni EA where she studied art.  she had the chance to show me around her old stomping ground, including a trip to the student shop, where i half expected to see a sign outside reading "no more than 2 non-students in this shop at one time" - it felt quite odd being surrounded by students buying pot noodles and booze as we stocked up on fags!
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art

the main reason for the visit though was to go to the fabulous Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art (building designed by Norman Foster) which holds Robert Sainsbury's collection - with works by artists such as Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon, alongside ancient and tribal art from around the world - truly amazing.
trying on some Icelandic whale-bone glasses!
after spending a few hours pretending to be (mature) students we headed home to Plumstead and had lots of fun with the children and a slightly (understatement) boozy evening - thanks to a mixture of black vodka i had brought from London and Percy's home-made sloe gin.
fitting in with the locals!
mein hosts!
Percy - jam-making at the Aga
since moving to Norfolk Greta's teeth seem to have taken a turn for the worse!
Rex and his new best pal Agostino...bless!
THAT home-made sloe-gin!
the next day Emma took me to the local village to visit the shop run by a mohican-haired & pierced punk (slightly out of place in the middle of nowhere) for some locally picked mushrooms and home-baked bread and then to meet Percy & his cousin Jake (who had been playing golf while i was feeling sorry for myself with a hangover from hell) for a delicious lunch at the Wiveton Bell.  after lunch we took the dogs for a walk at Blakeney Point - famous for seal-watching - tho i did give them a bit of a hard time because though the sea was in the distance over the marshes, i didn't actually get to walk on a proper beach - so they promised a trip the to the seaside the next day!

Blakeney Point
on the way home we stopped at the cutest little Wiveton Farm Cafe but it was closing so will have to save that for another trip, and we went on to Stiffkey Stores for some tea and cake before stopping for a stroll around the ruins of 15th century moated Baconsthorpe Castle in the beautiful evening light. 
Baconsthorpe Castle
the gatehouse entrance

as promised, the next day we visited the Norfolk coast at Cromer - home of the famous crabs - and of course we had crab sandwiches for lunch before doing a bit of beach-combing. on the way back we watched the fishermen bringing in their catch and Percy managed to buy a freshly caught bass for dinner - which you can read all about on the Plumstead Hall Farmhouse blog. 
Cromer Pier

crab sarnies for lunch!
me - bending down between the bars - check out the face on the woman behind me tho!

Percy purchases some fresh fish for dinner
then it was home time for me so i caught the train back to London - it took far longer getting back (4+ hours compared with the hour and half it took to get there)  due to the usual National Rail shenanigans (engineering works) but the views were stunning and i was in no hurry to return to the bustling city.  i had such a lovely time and can't wait to go back as there's lots more to see and do and the Stilwells certainly made me feel right at home in their lovely farmhouse - which bodes well for their new b&b business - I would highly recommend it - but you'll be fighting the friends for a room as they're very popular hosts!

No comments:

Post a Comment