July 29 2014 Latest news:
By RICHARD BATSON
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A hotel and restaurant at Cromer is celebrating winning two AA rosettes, less than two years since it opened to the public.
The Grove on Overstrand Road, has been owned and run by the Graveling family since 1936 initially as a guest house.
Opening up its restaurant to the public was a recent development, and already earning recognition with the double rosette accolade.
Owner Richard Graveling said: “We are absolutely stunned and delighted with the news,
“To get one rosette is extremely difficult. To be given two straight off the bat is of course more than we had hoped for.”
Chef David “Charlie Hodson, who arrived just seven months ago, added: “It’s a proud day for me and the team.”
Born in France, he was raised and educated in Norfolk, before working under Gordon Ramsay at the Aubergine in London, and has launched restaurants in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
He has decades of experience working in rosette and Michelin starred restaurants all over the world, as well as cooking for private households including two overseas royal families and the Prince of Wales.
Mr Hodson uses local produce from seafood to fruit and vegetables from the Grove’s own garden.
The accolade comes as The Grove also launches glamping – glamorous camping – this year.
The venue used to host summer camps in the 1960s and 70s and so was “going back to its roots” teaming up with Magical Camping to put Victorian Bell tents on its field this summer.
Mr Hodson is also becoming part of the historic fabric of town life - realising a lifelong ambition by joining the lifeboat crew.
“The boys and girls have taken me under their wing as the new boy, and I am constantly in awe of the team and the work that they do,” he explained.
He is also part of a team trying to save and preserve famous lifeboat coxswain Henry Blogg’s old fishing boat, the QJ&J - and is an ambassador for local charity About with Friends and also on the committee for the Crab and Lobster Festival.
Back in the kitchen his ambition is to become one of the county’s top five restaurants.
And he was upbeat about the Grove’s role in helping promote the area.
“There are plenty of people in Cromer with a real enthusiasm for pushing the town forward as much as possible.
“We are lucky enough to live and work in a fantastic county and it’s really important that we all pull together to promote it as much as we can.”
A minister has hailed Norfolk as leading the way for the rest of the country in public transport.