Things To Do
We are still quite new to Norfolk ourselves so if you find any place to recommend please let us know. To get you started these are things we and our guests already enjoy...
We use local shops as much as possible and encourage our guests to explore the superb range of local produce available from the smaller independent suppliers. And through the year there’s plenty available for free if you do a bit of wild foraging. The cottages have books for those who can’t tell a mackerel from a blackberry.
Look out for little stalls along the road. People sell free range eggs, fruit, vegetables, jam, plants and flowers outside their houses. On the coast road (A149), depending on the season you’ll find delicious samphire, mussels and crab. Look out for the raggle-taggle gypsies who pitch up and down the coast road in summer and sell pegs, sharpen knives and make walking sticks. And until we have our own chickens, our neighbour sometimes has free range eggs for sale. The fat brown hens you will see bustling about have been busy laying them so their provenance can be measured in food inches.
Market days – Saturday and Wednesday until 2pm
Saturday is best. In the station car park, alongside the steam trains, there is very good fish stall, local greengrocers and a hog roast with crackling, stuffing and apple sauce. There’s a smaller Wednesday market too.
Hastings Greengrocer in Sheringham
Sheringham High St, opposite Sainsburys
Good fruit and veg with a seasonal selection of organic and local produce. They have a surprising range including pea shoots, alfonso mangos and tamarind seeds. It’s opposite Sainsbury’s Local and much more interesting so please get your fruit and veg there or from one of the other two greengrocers and support the local farmers.
Sainsburys Local, Sheringham
Useful for essentials like milk, juice, wine and Heinz beans.
Ronaldo Ices, Sheringham
Where possible these ice creams are made with locally grown ingredients and without flavourings and colours. The strawberry flavour comes from actual strawberries. You get the picture. Flavours range from Nutmeg, Lavender and Damson to Turkish Delight, Apple and Calvados and Figs in Spiced Brandy. They also sell Mr Whippy (which I wasn’t allowed when I was little because Mum found a button in hers).
Joyful Wests, Sheringham
At the end of the high street near the sea in March a little window opens for the summer. From under a stripey blue and white awning joyful Jackie sells tubs of prawns, cockles and other shellfish. Joyful West was the nickname of several generations of merry lifeboat men. (There was another called Squinty West – wonder why they didn’t name the business after him?) Crab and lobster sandwiches are delicious and very good for you – almost no saturated fat, high in protein, minerals and vitamins. Yum. Or you could have a side order of big fat chips from Dave’s Fish Bar up the road. I would.
Byfords claims to ‘keep Norfolk curvy’. This deli’s cheeses (around 40) are top notch and there are good speciality breads and cakes too. My son LOVES their flapjacks. I like the Norfolk shortbread which looks like a dead fly sandwich but tastes great. Byfords also sells a big range of their own ready meals from cassoulet to fish pie and croissants to bake at home. They also sell wine, olives, local jams, chutneys and oils. You can get take-away pizza from 9am-9.30pm and if you want a fancy picnic they will put it all together for you.
North Norfolk Fish Company
8 Old Stable Yard, Holt NR25 6BN (01263 711913)
John and Fiona Griffin run an award-winning fishmongers with a well-deserved reputation for excellent quality. The fish is superb and I love a little pot of buttery brown shrimp to have with crisp toast. If you’re new to cooking fish don’t be afraid to sound completely ignorant and ask for advice. John does demonstrations for Delia Smith so he knows how to explain stuff.
Back to the Garden
(at Barney, just off the A148 past Holt)
Voted the Best Farm Shop by the Eastern Daily Press food awards 2009-2010. Superb organic farm shop and deli which produces its own meat and vegetables. No pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are used on the farm and there is a enthusiastic wildlife conservation policy. Interesting, super fresh food. They sell other household essentials too and at prices which compete with organics in major supermarkets. There is a cafe too.
Morrisons and Co-op, Cromer
Both on the A148 into Cromer these are the biggest supermarkets in the area. Tesco and Waitrose have been battling to establish themselves in Sheringham for the last 15 years. Tesco won, as usual, but building hasn’t started yet.