Two Norfolk gastropubs named among best in UK

PUBLISHED: 13:27 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:25 28 January 2020

Owner Ivor Braka, right, with chef Stuart Tattersall, and general manager, Simone Tattersall, at the Gunton Arms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Owner Ivor Braka, right, with chef Stuart Tattersall, and general manager, Simone Tattersall, at the Gunton Arms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Great food with an emphasis on local puts these pubs on the British foodie map.

Last night two pubs in north Norfolk celebrated being named amongst the best in the country as the winners were announced in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs listing.

The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe and The Gunton Arms near Thorpe Market placed at 34th and 45th respectively, finding themselves listed amongst other greats including Tom Kerridge's The Hand and Flowers, and renowned south coast gastropub The Sportsman in Whistable.

It's the 11th year of the awards, which are hosted by The Morning Advertiser, with votes submitted by hundreds of gastropubs, food critics and industry experts.

MORE: The best 20 pubs in Norfolk as rated by CAMRA

The Gunton Arms, near Thorpe Market, NR11 8TZ

A sweeping setting amidst an almost boundless historic park enroute to Cromer lends a touch of rural romance to this fabulous inn - fresh from being named one of the top 20 places to eat in Norfolk by the Michelin Guide 2020.

Quirky flairs inside, including art from Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst and others, give a cheeky touch to this place, which is incredibly serious about local, seasonal, hearty, real gutsy cooking.

Menus change daily, incorporating venison from the estate and locally sourced seafood, with theatre created in the Elk Room, where meats are sealed and charred to juicy perfection over an open fire.

Pop in for bar snacks of spicy wild boar sausages with chilli jam, or proper pork scratchings. Tuck into a lunchtime salt beef, dill pickle and mustard sandwich. Or indulge your senses with a deer rump, licked by the flames of a real fire and dished up with goose fat roasties.

The inn's rooms overlook the surrounding parkland

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The White Horse

Where: Main Road, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk, PE31 8BY

Unadulterated views across the salty tidal marshes at Brancaster Staithe, coupled with a genuine passion for sourcing the finest Norfolk produce, have kept The White Horse high up on the foodie radar.

Head chef Fran Hartstorne (who's been in the kitchen for 15 years in 2020) harnesses the bounty of the sea, land and local fields, and uses them in classic and imaginative dishes spanning breakfast, bar meals, snacks and a la carte offerings.

She's also lucky to have husband Phil on the grounds outside in his own smokehouse, and many of his delicately smoked products make it onto her menu - including some of the best smoked salmon on the north Norfolk coast.

At the bar tuck into gourmet sandwiches, best fish and chips and snacks such as lamb kofta Scotch egg with Norfolk quince chutney.

While the a la carte menu offers anything from pan-seared scallops with Asian slaw, laksa and peanut, to Staithe Smokehouse smoked haddock with mashed potato and spinach, and passion fruit mousse with white chocolate, raspberry and viola.

Regular events, including barbecues, take place across the year. And they're currently offering a delectable afternoon tea (24 hours notice required) at £30 for two.

If you're staying in the area, there are 15 bedrooms at The White Horse - one at the very top with its own telescope!

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