Published in Feast, issue 42 – December 2019/January 2020.
Burnham Market remains a real holiday hotspot in our region, with countless visitors loving the upmarket shops, restaurants, bars and the proximity to the coast – and lots more great shops, restaurants and so on!
The likes of Wells and Thornham might well be coming up hard on the town’s heels as popular holiday-maker options, but Burnham Market won’t give up its number one spot easily. It has, of course, been nicknamed Chelsea-by-the-Sea for years now, and a walk up Herring’s Lane, aka Millionaire’s Row, just off the main Green, does reveal some pretty incredible houses!
There are some great places to stay, from The Hoste to the new rooms at NoTwenty9, although my husband and I opted for a self catering base so we could eat out lots and also enjoy shopping (and thus cooking) at some of the town’s foodie emporia, like Humble Pie deli, Arthur Howell butcher’s and Gurney’s fish shop – a real favourite for a seafood fan like me!
We based ourselves at the Old School, pretty much right in the centre of the village, with a car parking space, too. There are four properties in the former school and our place was nice and bright, with big windows, funky wallpapers, a great power shower, and super comfy beds. Set over three floors, with a sweet little garden overlooking one of the town’s churches, All Saints’, it is quiet, well equipped with a big fridge, and we enjoyed cooking up our local buys in the swanky kitchen, especially some fishcakes from the aforementioned Gurney’s.
It’s easy to enjoy yourself in North Norfolk as there is so much to do – and so much, indeed, within a few miles of the village, from the stately splendour of Holkham, to the glorious saltmarshes, to pottering around the shops and restaurants at Drove Orchards.
We spent much of our time out in the fresh air, walking the Norfolk Coastal Path. It’s fabulous around the Burnhams, with some great stopping off points like the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe or the Hero at Burnham Overy Staithe.
I also spent a goodly amount of time in and out of the village shops, on the look out for Christmas presents. The village boasts many independent stores, several selling bits and pieces for the home, like cushions, candles, vases and the like. And there are some lovely fashion shops too, where you can buy a top of the range nightclub dress or a more sensible tweed jacket! And the book shop is also a bit of a gem.
One evening we ate at Socius, sharing lots of different dishes from mussels in a curried parsnip and coconut creamy sauce to a rather yummy chocolate pud! And we had a good lunch in the Tuscan Farm Shop, which serves seriously good coffee as well, and a great bacon and egg breakfast in Tilly’s Cafe.
We also managed a good old fashioned pub crawl around the bars one evening, calling in at NoTwenty9 where we loved the music and cosy woodburner; The Hoste where the dog was made most welcome; and a final nightcap in The Nelson! Go us!
Burnham Market has a rather hedonistic feel to it – you can’t help but let your hair down, spend plenty of cash and over indulge. We rather love it!