Checking Out the Gunton Arms, Norfolk

Having heard about the Gunton Arms, a gastropub set inside the gates of a private Georgian deer park, we figured we’d pay a visit whilst in Norfolk.  The old building has been fixed up by a London art dealer, who poached two chefs from his buddy Mark Hix’s restaurant in Soho.

The outside is grassy, muddy parkland, home to herds of deer. Chefs bustle from the kitchen to the Land Rover along the sodden path behind the building in muck-splattered wellies, looking more like farmers than cooks. It’s quintessentially British country.

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door Int Int1

But once inside, it feels distinctly London – the familiar kitsch of over-exposed contemporary British artists tacked up all over the place. A Tracey Emin neon flickers above the entrance to the dining room, but the owner graciously knows the best place to keep his unsold stock of Damien Hirst dot prints – in the toilets.

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We were seated in the Elk Room, at a table thrilling close to the mondo open fireplace where we could watch our meal sizzling over the flames.  fire

Deep fried cod cheeks with caper mayo

Deep fried cod cheeks with caper mayo

steak

10 oz sirloin steak, before

10 oz sirloin steak, before…

and after!

and after!

Red deer burger with chips & autumn slaw

Red deer burger with chips & autumn slaw

burg2 cheese

plaid4 PlaidAfter our dose of flame-broiled protein perfection, we barreled down a narrow back road to Mundesley Beach for a stroll on the shore before sundown. It was a sullen, overcast afternoon but the beach was clean and bright. We shuffled along through the pebbles in our wellies enjoying the sounds of the waves gurgling up on the sand and subsiding back into the North Sea.

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Another weekend over all too quickly! The next morning, I’ll be a career woman on a Greater Anglia train straight into the clogged heart of London – ready for another week of conquering the city. But for now, I’m just kicking pebbles on an empty beach in Norfolk.

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