The Fritton Arms is a cosy bolthole located on the stunning Somerleyton Estate in Norfolk. Its charming gastro-pub serves up local and fresh produce from the nearby estate and other selected producers. By Leah Larwood
Around half an hour east of Norwich, and not far from the Norfolk Broads, this stunning spot serves delicious food and offers nine welcoming bedrooms. It has a cracking bar, beautiful south-facing terrace, and roaring fires in the winter. There’s also plenty of surrounding land for you to explore in the warmer months.
The kitchen uses seasonal ingredients from the Somerleyton Estate and from carefully chosen producers. There are some great vegetarian options, lots of fish, and of course, plenty for the carnivores. There were five starters, each priced around the £7 mark, six mains priced between £14.50 and £22.50, and five pudding options at £6.50. You could also round-off with cheese, quince, apple and crackers at £9.50.
I started with a quenching glass of Prosecco and crème de cassis while my other half had a soft drink. What I did miss from our pre-dinner routine was perhaps some fresh bread with butter. I’m a bread addict you see, and I do often enjoy this ritual. However, even before I had a moment to consider requesting some, our starters soon arrived. No complaints there.
My partner had the Wild Mushroom, Charred Potato, Celeriac Cream and Parsley Cress (£7.50). The mushrooms were fresh, earthy and full of texture and the celeriac cream was the perfect springboard for the dish. The charred potato was the silent partner but nonetheless enjoyed.
I opted for the Tiger prawns, Bok Choy, Oyster Mushroom, Sesame Seeds with Chili & Soy Sauce (£8.50). The tiger prawns were some of the most delicious I’ve tried – a fresh flavour and not overcooked. The bok choy was nicely done and the sauce, although tasty, was perhaps a tiny bit heavy on the soy.
For main, my other half thoroughly enjoyed his Salmon Fish Cakes with Kale, Broccoli & Lemon Butter (£15.50). He even allowed me a taste of this course too! The fried cakes were plump with salmon and the kale was very delicious and a fresh, bright green colour. We agreed that perhaps a subtle sauce would have added a further layer to the dish, as the lemon butter was only slightly detected.
For me, I wolfed down the Fillet of Sea Trout, Pea Cream, Jersey Royals & Samphire (£17.50). The fish was very fresh, succulent and just cooked, as I like it; the skin crispy and creamy. I loved it all. It didn’t stay on my plate for long.
My partner was mightily impressed by the two wedges of Rhubarb & Almond Tart & Vanilla Ice Cream (£6.50). Homemade, buttery pastry and a lovely sharp edge to complement the creamy vanilla.
And here’s the slightly amusing part. I thought I’d ordered the Chocolate & Dehydrated Strawberry Mousse with Marshmallow & Pistachio (£6.50). However, it was half-way through a striking taste of sour cream that I realised I’d actually ordered the other option I’d been eying up: the Dark Chocolate Terrine with Sour Cream (£6.50). Nonetheless, it was delicious, and I think, perhaps subconsciously the dessert I really wanted. Alongside a coffee it was magic.
Breakfast the next day was also delicious. We enjoyed the Herbivore Breakfast of vegetarian sausages, flat mushrooms, grilled tomato, hash brown, beans and choice of egg. There was also a grand choice of fresh fruit juices, hot porridge, natural yoghurt, fresh homemade breads and fresh fruit.
Service was very fast, we were not left waiting at any point during our entire stay!
You’re guaranteed lots of fresh air and calm at The Fritton Arms, which isn’t too surprising as it’s the centerpiece to a peaceful location surrounded by nature and overlooking the two-mile-long Fritton lake. Nearby there are also holiday cottages, retreat holiday homes set in 250 acres of mature woodland, a campsite, and Somerleyton Hall, the stately home, open to visitors from April to September.
The Fritton Arms is a very relaxed, friendly and beautiful spot. Its main strengths are its stunning location, absolutely delicious menu and super-friendly staff. It’s a great dining option for couples or friends in the evening and because it has a wonderful terrace and a labyrinth of other small dining rooms, it’s also suitable for young families.
Fritton Arms, Norfolk