The Gunton Arms

Thorpe Market, Norfolk

‘One of the most unusual hotels we've ever visited. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

‘One of the most unusual hotels we’ve ever visited.’ Guide inspectors were left reeling by art dealer Ivor Braka’s pub-with-rooms in the deer park of Gunton Hall. It is filled with ‘fascinating furniture, vintage artefacts, and antiques’. The cosy lounges have roaring fires, prints, photographs, gilt-framed paintings; here Julian Opie, there Gilbert and George, ‘in the ladies’ loo a Damien Hirst’. Bedrooms are designer rustic, with exposed beams. One recalls Lillie Langtry, who stayed when the Prince of Wales visited the Hall. Its marble bathroom was salvaged from a derelict mansion in Alexandria; no TV, but a Roberts radio. Simone Tattershall is front-of-house, while her husband, Stuart, is the (Mark Hix-trained) chef. In the Elk Room, crowned like a cuckold with giant elk antlers, Blythburgh pork chops, steaks and other manly, meaty things are flamed on the fire. The eclectic menu runs from fish fingers and chips to Gunton venison stew with herb-baked dumplings. Service was ‘impeccable, jolly, helpful’. Eat in any of three dining rooms. You won’t be hungry or bored. ‘Trust me’ reads a neon sign by Tracey Emin. Trust us: this place is ‘a delight’.

Hotel details

Address

Cromer Road
Thorpe Market
Norfolk
NR11 8TZ
England

Telephone

01263 832010

Bedrooms

16. 4 in coach house on ground floor, 4 suites in converted barn house, 1 suitable for disabled.

Open

all year except 25 Dec, half day 31 Dec.

Facilities

3 restaurants, 3 lounges, bar, free Wi-Fi, TVs in bar and lounges, set in privately owned 1,000-acre game estate, public rooms wheelchair accessible, adapted toilet.

Background music

in bar area.

Children

all ages welcomed.

Dogs

allowed in 5 bedrooms, public rooms, not in Elk Room.

Credit cards

Amex, MC, Visa.

Prices

per room B&B single £85–£310, double £95–£320. À la carte from £35. Min. 2-night stays on Sat.