The north Norfolk town of Hunstanton may not be quite as prettified as much of this area’s “Chelsea-on-Sea” villages; Marco Pierre White hasn’t opened a restaurant here (yet). But with a slew of Victorian houses, a lovely beach and sea-dipping sunsets – unusual for the east coast – it seems only a matter of time before the gentrification inches out to The Wash. With the opening of No 33, which claims to be Hunstanton’s first boutique B&B, it may have already started.
When you pull up outside this handsome Victorian villa you can tell it’s been recently, and well, restored. Inside are five generous king-size bedrooms (one of which is wheelchair-friendly). All are designed to reflect the cool, steely waters of The Wash – the palette is white and grey, with splashes of colour added by Zoffany and Andrew Martin wallpaper. The star is Room 3, which has a four-poster bed and a large balcony terrace, from which you can glimpse a smidgen of sea. All bathrooms have monsoon showers, separate baths, robes and delicious-smelling toiletries.
The breakfast room has a steam-punk feel, with metallic walls and orange tabletops. It’s a fun space, cosied by a woodburner and divan, and stocked with some borrowable DVDs. Arrive between 3pm and 5pm and this is where you’ll be served a welcome cream tea.
It’s handy when your hostess runs the local deli (see below). Consequently, fresh-baked pastries and breads, and homemade granola and jams, are readily available. Cooked breakfasts include free-range eggs and local meats. Fair-trade coffee is delivered in rather small cafetières (barely enough for a cup), but refills are forthcoming. A simpler breakfast (croissants, smoked-salmon bagels) can be delivered to your room on request; gourmet Thornham Deli hampers can be pre-booked too.
Jeanne Whittome has previous. For more than 20 years the South African ran the highly regarded Hoste Arms in nearby Burnham Market with her husband Paul. A little after Paul’s death, she sold the Hoste but was soon looking for a new project. She bought this run-down house in October 2013, started renovating the following spring and was open by summer 2014.
Jeanne has a passion for design; and her considered touch is evident throughout the guest rooms and communal spaces. She also has a way with…