Alistair Cooke described it in one of his rambling, yet poignant Letters From America as his favourite month, but why? It’s not the hottest, it’s not the coldest, there are no national festivals to celebrate or get over excited about, and it doesn’t herald the start of some promised glorious meteorological phenomenon such as a warm summer. It’s just one of those months that is pretty normal really, which might just be the reason that it was his favourite month.

Normality has returned, summer silly season has gone, and things are as they should be. The night comes at a reasonable time, none of this still dark when you go to bed, or already dark when you come home from work business. Likewise, the other end of the day plays along, as well it should. It gets light at a good time to wake up, have a stroll/run/double espresso. Then settle down for the breakfast of choice and see what the day brings. It’s not waking you up a 4:30, or still dark after you’ve had your third coffee. The weather acquires some common sense, too. It’s often warm, but not scorching, it’s often cool but not freezing. Things get done. The holidays have finished, you can get responses to requests you make because nobody is away on leave, people go to work, children go to school, the days are peaceful, fruitful and as they should be. Normality has returned.

September at The Grove is usually our second busiest month, but there is definitely a sea-change in the way both our guests and staff adjust. It’s as though a calm cool breeze has gently rippled its way through the front door and after the craziness of August, everything is clear and relaxed, everything is back where it should be. Our afternoon teas are in the afternoon, Sunday lunches are on Sundays at lunch time and the restaurant hums with happy diners throughout the evenings.

Cromer itself reflects this difference with exaggeration. Church Street is not packed, but there is a gentle buzz, the beaches are peaceful. Pick the right time of day, and one can stroll east from the pier for miles and just pass the occasional dog walker and hand-in-hand couple. Go on further past Happy Valley and you will be lucky if you see a solitary beach comber, which is pretty normal for Cromer, really; but then again this is September, and in September, things do go back to normal. (Sigh.)