Telegraph reviews The Lifeboat Inn

Telegraph reviews The Lifeboat Inn

Telegraph's destination expert, Sophie Butler, recently visited The Lifeboat Inn. We are pleased to share the review that she wrote in regards to her visit.

 8/10 Telegraph expert rating

“Arguably the most romantic and best-positioned retreat on the North Norfolk coast; this wonderfully atmospheric inn has had a sympathetic face-lift and now offers smart bedrooms, a good restaurant and cosy public areas.”

Thornham scenery Scenic view in Thornham

Location  9/10

On a quiet lane overlooking marshland and sea. North Norfolk is surprisingly lacking in accommodation positioned on the north side of the coast road, so this old inn scores particularly highly for location. The inn offers direct access to the coastal path and is close to the region’s top birdwatching sites.

Style & character  9/10

Since joining Agellus Hotels group, this village inn and its sister inn, The Chequers (also in Thornham), have undergone a major refurbishment. The result is a hugely successful combination of contemporary accommodation which enhances, rather than compromises, the historical features. With some parts dating from the 16th century, and once locally known as a smugglers’ hideout, the snug, oak-panelled bar is a wonderful place to huddle with friends, while the fire-warmed reception and spacious restaurant are equally convivial.

Service & facilities  7/10

The inn is run by a friendly team of local staff who do their best to make guests feel welcome. Breakfast can be a little slow but there’s no point being in too much of a hurry in this quiet backwater. Basic pub facilities include car parking.

Room at The Lifeboat Inn Good coast view room

Rooms  8/10

Thirteen bedrooms ranging from 'Small Better Coast View' up to 'Best Rooms'.  The car park could be a potential issue for front-facing rooms but once the drinkers have gone home, all you can hear is the low, relaxing purr of the sea. Rooms are named after the crew of the Licensed Victuallers III, a Hunstanton lifeboat with a crew of 13 including 10 oarsmen. 'George Frankland' is a cosy double in soothing soft greys with views towards the sea, while 'William West' and 'Holmes' overlook the back of the building and courtyard.

Food at The Lifeboat Inn Eggs Benedict

Food & drink  7/10

Food is traditional and very tasty with classics of fish pie, baby back pork or battered fish of the day, plus vegetarian options. Local suppliers provide the rib-eye steak, dressed crab salad and slow-cooked pork. Chef’s Specials may include local mussels either in cider or deliciously cooked in wine and cream (moules mariniere) with crusty bread and fries, as a starter or main (£8.50 / £15.50). A spacious dining room has a contemporary feel with copper down-lighters and modern furniture. Breakfast is served in the conservatory, under an ancient, twisted grapevine. The buffet isn’t lavish (the fresh berries ran out too quickly) but cooked options are tasty and include porridge, kippers, local ham and tomatoes, eggs Benedict plus a full English.


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