Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Full of Eastern Promise; Classy Comfort: The Broad House Hotel, a Queen Anne Residence, Features Oak-Beamed Bathrooms and Stylishly-Decorated Bedrooms

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Full of Eastern Promise; Classy Comfort: The Broad House Hotel, a Queen Anne Residence, Features Oak-Beamed Bathrooms and Stylishly-Decorated Bedrooms

Article excerpt

Byline: MELANIE MCDONAGH

THE Broad House Hotel has a lot going for it. The Norfolk Broads, for starters.

The Broads were ever so popular in the Thirties but since the Seventies they've rather lost out to more fashionable bits of East Anglia. But a revival is underway. This particular hotel has its own bit of Broad so it's good for those times when the waterways are closed to commercial boats for bird-protection reasons.

Perfect for twitchers, then.

It also has its own boat for hire: the Lola has hosted the Church Times (on tour to take in 15 pre-Reformation churches in a single day Norfolk is full of them), the Ordnance Survey team on a brainstorming session, and a hen party. My own tour came with a huge hamper picnic. By the way, did you know that the Norfolk Broads are man-made, an unintended consequence of medieval peat-digging trenches? You do now.

The hotel is eight miles from Norwich and is as local in its operation as you can hope for. The food, obviously milk comes from a dairy down the road, meat is from the local farm shop, the partridge for dinner is shot in the neighbourhood, most of the veg are from the garden and the soap is Norfolk lavender. More remarkably, the staff are local with the exception of the owners, Philip and Caroline Search, who are blow-ins in Norfolk terms but then in this county you've barely made it after three decades. If you travel by train, someone will pick you up from Wroxham station. You might get Philip himself in his Fifties Bentley. But bear in mind that Stagecoach trains, the main operator, can be scarily expensive unless you book weeks ahead.

Another good thing about this place is the policy on children. It doesn't allow them in the restaurant after 8pm.

This allows families with children to use a private dining room it has three so that infants can behave as badly as they like. …

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