Where to eat in Burnham Market, Norfolk

Gastropubs, Italian delis and fishmongers selling the freshest local seafood — you’ll find it all in this pretty North Norfolk village.

By Alicia Miller
Published 11 Jul 2022, 06:03 BST
One of the Norfolk's loveliest villages, Burnham Market is also a culinary destination.

One of the Norfolk's loveliest villages, Burnham Market is also a culinary destination. 

Photograph by Alamy

Tucked inland from the pancake-flat tidal sands and wind-rustled grasses of North Norfolk’s coastline, Burnham Market may be compact, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in reputation. One of the region’s loveliest villages, it’s also a culinary destination. Delis, pubs, fine dining — you’ll find it all here, clustered around a high street bookended by pretty churches. Summer is a great time to visit, when crisp blue skies contrast with the silvery flint-and-brick cottages, and a gentle buzz spills from pubs set around the central village green.

Baked goods alone could fill your day. Try one of the cosy traditional tearooms, where hand-scrawled chalkboards promise cakes, traybakes and baps, or join the queue outside newcomer NoThirty3 The Bakery to stock up on gooey chocolate-hazelnut muffins and fresh sourdough. The sausage rolls, in particular, fly off the shelves so quickly they barely have time to cool.

Burnham Market is in prime walking country and you’ll find plenty of top-quality picnic ingredients to fuel your journey. From its colourful facade on the green, Gurneys Fish Shop sells its own kiln-roasted salmon pâté, potted shrimp and taramasalata. Best of all are ready-to-eat chunks of Cromer crab, landed just down the coast and at its sweetest in summer. After you’ve filled your cool bag, scale the steps inside the shop to little Humble Pie Delicatessen and supplement your spread with quiches, pies and an array of Norfolk cheeses. Don’t miss creamy, brie-like white lady, or Mrs Temple’s Walsingham, a cheddar-style wedge made in nearby Wighton. There’s also a greengrocer and a butcher selling quality Norfolk meat, if you plan to prepare a full-blown regional feast.

As for premium sit-down meals, Burnham Market has those, too. It’s easy to lose a whole afternoon in either of the two gastropubs on the village green — whether you’re perched on an outdoor table in the sunshine or squirrelled inside under beamed ceilings. At No Twenty9, plump Brancaster oysters are served with a squeeze of charred lemon and washed down with rosé fizz from Norfolk’s Flint Vineyard. Meanwhile, at The Hoste Arms — a 17th-century coaching inn once frequented by Lord Nelson — enjoy well-executed versions of pub classics (ale-battered haddock and chips, beef burger in a fluffy brioche bun) in the petite beer garden or, if the clouds are threatening rain, in the cheery restaurant with its floor-to-ceiling windows.

If all that isn’t enough, there’s excellent fine dining to try, too. Book well ahead to snag a table at Socius, where chef-owner Dan Lawrence and his team turn out refined British small plates that wouldn’t seem out of place in the hippest corners of London. Whatever you order — be it house-smoked salmon with beetroot puree and horseradish cream, or ham hock and binham blue cheese croquettes with gherkin sauce and crisp radish slivers — it all flows from the open-plan kitchen. Visit with a group as the menu lends itself to sharing and, as with everywhere in the village, you won’t be content with trying only one thing.

How to do it: Trains run from London King’s Cross and Cambridge to King’s Lynn. From there, Burnham Market is a 90-minute journey aboard the Coastliner 36 bus. Stay at The Hoste Arms, which in addition to the pub-restaurant has bedrooms, a spa and even a private cinema. Doubles from £199 a night, B&B.

Published in Issue 16 (summer 2022) of Food by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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