Raise a Glass
A celebration of Britain's historic inns
It must have been hard, backbreaking work for the carpenters, stonemasons, glassmakers, wood carvers and hundreds of other skilled and unskilled workers as they laboured day after day, in all weathers, to bring their project to a successful completion: the construction of a magnificent church to glorify God and provide local people with a place of worship for centuries to come. As might be expected, during the Middle Ages whenever large numbers of people descended on a place and stayed for long periods of time, providers of goods and services to cater for their needs quickly attached themselves to their transitory settlements. Fortunately for those hardy souls constructing the church in the 14th century, a village inn to supply them with regular, much- needed refreshment was one such establishment that some resourceful individual was quick to open.
Today, 700 years later, all those builders and their entourage are long gone. However, the beautiful parish church, dedicated to St. Mary and with a superb 170- foot high spire rising above the surrounding Norfolk countryside remains, and is regarded as one of the finest in the county. So too does that village inn, and from those basic beginnings
the Rose and Crown at Snettisham ( pronounced “Snesham”), under the ownership and hands- on guidance of Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich, today enjoys an unrivalled reputation for top- quality food, drink and accommodation. Seven centuries of nourishment for the soul and the body.
Roses round the door greet visitors to the Rose and Crown today, an inviting entrance that leads to a cosy, comfortable bar and restaurant with settles and stools, stone- flagged floors and log fires burning beneath ancient beams; outside is a pretty beer garden. Beers on offer include Adnams, Woodforde’s Wherry and London Pride, while the ever- changing menu, using locally sourced food wherever possible, includes: Venison and ale hotpot, braised red cabbage, honey roast heritage carrots; Sauteed halibut fillet, cocotte potatoes, Swiss chard, wild mushrooms, artichoke puree; Slow cooked shin of beef, burnt leek and stilton risotto, crispy kale chips; Scampi basket, fries, salad, lemon mayonnaise; BBQ chicken and pulled pork burger, Emmental, fries, onion rings; 10oz sirloin, chunky chips, onion rings, roast tomatoes, peppercorn sauce or garlic butter etc. There is also a Great British Breakfast, traditional roast Sunday lunch, and special children’s menu.
The Rose and Crown is situated in a lovely seaside location, with a sandy beach and views across The
Wash to Lincolnshire, so it isn’t surprising that the inn’s 16 rooms are always in great demand. For nature lovers, Snettisham RSPB reserve is home to hundreds of thousands of birds, and a circular trail, with hides for observation, is popular with visitors to the area. For keen walkers and cyclists, a National Cycle Route runs through the village and the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path passes nearby. Other attractions within easy driving distance include Sandringham House, Holkham Beach and the towns of Hunstanton and King’s Lynn.
Between 1948 and 1973 several finds of Iron Age and Romano-British jewellery were discovered in the area. Most of the objects, known as the Snettisham Hoard, are now in safekeeping at the British Museum in London, but given all that history, who knows what else is waiting to be discovered? Dedicated treasure hunters are still trying to locate the legendary crown jewels of King John, lost in 1216 as he and his baggage train attempted to cross The Wash. Roses round the door… and perhaps a crown on the shore.
The Rose and Crown, Old Church Road, Snettisham, Norfolk PE31 7LX. Tel: 01485 541382 www.roseandcrownsnettisham.co. uk