Raise a Glass

A cel­e­bra­tion of Bri­tain's his­toric inns

Evergreen - - Contents - Jack Jake­man

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

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