Thorpe Market’s Gunton Arms wins pub guide award

Pub of the Year, The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market.

Pub of the Year, The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

A north Norfolk pub has been selected as a winner in the 11th edition of Alastair Sawday’s pubs and inns guide.

The Gunton Arms entry in the guide

Click open the latch gate and enter Gunton Park. The beautifully restored Gunton Arms overlooks one thousand acres of lush and historic parkland and the setting is stunning. Art dealer Ivor Braka has lavished money on the once faded hotel and the results are impressive... who would not love the chic hunting-lodge style? Warm red hues, wooden floors, a blazing log fire in the traditional bar (dogs welcome too), elegant lounges with pretty views of deer from every window. Quaff pints of Wherry alongside gamekeepers and gentry; tuck into rib of beef cooked over the fire in the vaulted dining room. Stuart (ex-Mark Hix) champions locally sourced ingredients, so enjoy mixed grill of estate fallow deer served with crab apple jelly; Brancaster mussels and chilli tossed in linguine; Cromer crab in summer. An unusual, richly atmospheric find.

The Gunton Arms in Thorpe Market has won the accolade for the Pub with Rooms category in the guide, which comprises of more than 1,000 of Britain’s very best pubs.

David Hancock, editor of the Sawday guide, will be presenting the team with an award next Wednesday.

He said: “Bedrooms ooze country-house charm at this stunning inn overlooking 1,000 acres of historic parkland. Come for chic hunting lodge style, a rib of beef cooked over the fire, and atmospheric antique-filled rooms with marble-tiled bathrooms and parkland views.”

The two other winners in this category were The Wheatsheaf in Brigsteer, Cumbria, and The Royal Oak in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

Fifteen establishments in total were handpicked to receive an award in one of five categories; authenticity, commitment to the community, local, seasonal and organic produce, pubs with rooms and beginning this year, an award for the best newcomer.

The 11th edition of Sawday’s Special Places Pubs and Inns of England and Wales guide book is on sale from June 15.

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