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The Orange Tree
Tel: 01485 512213
A sophisticated contemporary dining pub that has won more awards than you can mention, set in a charming North Norfolk village with accommodation to boot.
Where to find it
Thornham village is on the main coastal road from Hunstanton to Wells-next-the-Sea and boasts a good selection of food establishments for such a small place. There’s the Deli (click here for a review) and Drove Orchards where you’ll find a farm shop and the opportunity to pick your own Norfolk apples (review to follow). The Lifeboat Inn and The Old Coach House are all worth a visit too but don’t let any distract you from The Orange Tree; pass it by and you miss out. The setting is delightful; an old cottage exterior and well tended gardens with plenty of tables and a lavender hedge.
What to expect
Step inside and you’ll find yourself in a warm friendly bar. Stylish and contemporary with relaxed sofas near an open fire. The other end leads to restaurant seating that achieves sophistication without the stuffy feel. Wooden floors, high backed leather seats and tranquil music form the perfect backdrop to what is likely to be the best food you have ever tasted.
Owned by Mark Goode for the past four years now, this place just goes from strength to strength. Executive chef, Philip Milner, has gained himself a reputation for innovative new dishes and ingenious twists of old favourites. There’s no arguing when it comes to his abilities, the awards speak for themselves. Winner of both the Great British Pub Classic Chef of the Year and the Seafood Chef of the Year, his dishes, such as Wild Seabass and Norfolk Razor Clams, and Corn fed chicken and wild mushroom pie, have become legendary across the country. Rightly so too since this restaurant features in the Top 20 Dining Pubs in the UK.
Food and drink for all
With two menus, the pub side gives a large selection of classic dishes such as catch of the day and sausage and mash, whilst the restaurant itself is more expensive and more indulgent. You’ll find duck, wood pigeon and plenty of fresh fish. Take the Coast Fish Soup for starters – king prawns, Brancaster mussels and rouille with poppy seed and parmesan straws and truffle oil – and a main of Moroccan spiced lamb rump. Desserts are equally as tempting with passion fruit parfait, three chocolate mousse, or my favourite, The Fairground, to share – candyfloss, bubblegum pannacotta, popcorn, toffee apple, marshmallow doughnuts, screwball and brandy snaps. Not for the faint hearted!
With 24 wines by the glass and the likes of Adnams and Woodforde’s Wherry on hand pump, the drinks are likely to impress too.
Children and animals welcome
Often in such prestigious surroundings, the presence of little ones is actively discouraged but here they have their own menu. Plus it doesn’t stop there for you’ll find a doggie treats board too. Pigs ear and gravy, doggie sausage roll or a bone with marrow, washed down by a doggie beer would you believe? I kid you not. Come take a look for yourself and experience one of Norfolk’s premier eating establishments.
The Orange Tree is open daily and has six en suite rooms of exceptional standard. They also offer a full bespoke catering facility for balls, weddings, BBQs and dinner parties, whether corporate or for individual clients. Picnic hampers are also available. Ring for more information.
We are delighted, once again. to announce that The Orange Tree has just been awarded Norfolk Dining Pub of the Year, by The Good Pub Guide 2015, for the third year running.
"This really means a lot to all of us, as this award is voted for by the public - our customers - so a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for us."