The Norfolk Mead

Anna and James took over The Norfolk Mead in 2013 and since then, have invested in the riverside property which now boasts 16 individually decorated bedrooms, a two star AA rosette award restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner), two spa treatment rooms, a boat for hire, and a dedicated events venue The Garden Room.

Anna and James have their own events and catering company – Anna Duttson Events. Their initial goal was to build an events venue with a few rooms on the side – a B&B! They were originally looking for a venue where they could invite potential clients to come to them. They were living in London, but had family connections in Norfolk and Suffolk, when they saw The Norfolk Mead for sale. They could see the potential but were also very wary of the works that needed to be carried out, being a grade two listed building. One of the deciding factors was the ability to be able to build a garden room within the existing walled garden. This would allow them to hold weddings, parties and corporate team building days. So, they did their research with the council before they bought the property to make sure this was a possibility. After much thought they took the plunge… the rest is history as they say.

The Norfolk Mead is a very special place. It is beautifully situated in eight acres of riverside grounds within the Broads National Park at Coltishall. The main building is a Georgian red brick mansion dating from 1740. Combined with the modern and sleek Garden Room venue within the atmospheric walled garden, it is the perfect place to get away from it all.

The Mead is also very proud of their team of staff who provide excellence in hospitality. Guests report again and again that the experience is a luxury, home-from-home feeling. Nothing is too much trouble, and they are small enough to be able to cater to any special request or requirement. The team all firmly believe that every guest who walks through the front door should receive the same level of product and service, whoever they are. Anna and James have always been passionate about food and service and this is very much at the forefront of the business. The Hotel, with its Grade II Listing, means it is a bit quirky and that’s why all the rooms are individually decorated and named after herbs you can forage for in Norfolk!

Every event is different. Anna and James don’t like things to be monotonous and but every day brings its own challenges. Challenges come in so many different forms such as the guests, day to day maintenance, staffing issues, deliveries and supplies; but most importantly maintaining a high level of product and service every single day. They love to hear the positive feedback from clients and guests it’s so rewarding to hear, as so much time and effort goes into the planning and food preparation.

“At the end of the day, week, or month, sometimes you get the chance to reflect on what we have achieved and we are immensely proud,” says Anna.

Anna tells us how this last year has been: “Coronavirus has had a huge impact across the hospitality industry. For us, it has meant that we cannot host our usual large weddings and events – in a normal year, we would expect to hold more than 150 weddings. What has been fantastic is how the local community have switched to support us this year. From staycations, meals, and support for our takeaway Afternoon Teas during lockdown, we have served people who have previously never used us – and they have had a brilliant time and gone on to bring friends and family too. We are so thankful for their support.”

Here’s a few testimonials from Norfolk Mead guests:

“Great venue for an evening meal or a great Sunday lunch. Let me elaborate… in these troubled times the Mead has done whatever they can to keep us all safe, from moving tables around so there is no close contact with other tables, the staff have masks on all the time, full table service inside and out. Food as per usual is excellent as is the wine selection. Full marks Mead, you have excelled yet again.”

“Had a lovely few dates staying for the first time at this great hotel. Stayed in Hawthorn, a spacious room, with comfy bed and great shower. The room has a terrace which was lovely to sit on and enjoy the afternoon sun. Fantastic food both for dinner and breakfast. What sets this hotel apart is the friendly and attentive service. Thank you for a great stay we will definitely be returning.”

“We are a family of five, we stayed for two nights in the immaculate Blackberry cottage. The cottage, just next to hotel’s beautiful walled garden, was spacious with fantastic facilities, comfortable squishy beds and sofas and was so well thought out with everything our family needed with the luxuries of the hotel. It really is the best of both worlds.”

“I visited the hotel Mead for my 30th Birthday and they made me feel very special. We stayed in the Chanterelle room and it was lovely. We had a three course meal the night we arrived which was the most fancy/tasty meal I’ve ever had. Breakfast was nice and I used the spa for a massage which was lovely. All the staff were very friendly and professional. Highly recommended.”

“Just back from a stay at this lovely hotel. It was our first visit but won’t be our last. It was superb. We had the Elderberry room … big and airy, fab shower in en-suite, chocolate brownie lovely touch and delicious. The food was excellent, from the evening meal to breakfast, great range to choose from, all homemade. The staff are a credit to the hotel, friendly, polite, nothing too much trouble. Look forward to returning soon.”

“What do we recommend about the place? … simple … EVERYTHING! The hotel, its setting, the staff and the food have all been amazing, in these strange times they have nailed the new ‘normal’ and we can’t wait to come again!! Well done to all at the Norfolk Mead!”

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