Sunday morning, a cup of coffee and a browse of the paper. Then it’s straight in the car and an hour up the A11 to Norwich. The “fine city” is nicely busy, but not heaving with people. We stop and have a look around the small shops in the Royal Arcade and the market, pick up a Christmas present or two, then have a spot of lunch at one of Norwich’s great cafes.
Then it’s back in the car. The road takes us towards the coast. Forty minutes later, we pull up the sweeping drive of our destination, a gorgeous Georgian country house. A warm welcome awaits with a cup of tea. We book in for a meal of what promises to be the highlight of the break. A wander through the gardens reveals a small path past a World War II pillbox, through woods onto the cliffs. There in all its glory, the North Sea calmly and serenely breaks onto miles sand and shingle. The path takes us into Cromer, itself. We potter around the local shops, stop for a pint from a micro-brewery just up the road before returning to The Grove. In the evening, we are welcomed downstairs for a pre-dinner drink in the orangery bar. Two gin and tonics from a Norfolk distillery. We sit, we chat, we are called in for dinner.
The Jerusalem artichoke and Norfolk Dapple soufflé melts in my mouth, the Norfolk Black Spot pork & garden apple terrine is just as delicious. This is followed by the smoked North Sea cod and pan-seared breast of teal, which are equally delightful. We had read about the trio of profiteroles before coming, these do not fail to live up to their reputation. Coffee in front of the fire in the lounge followed by another glass of red is the perfect end to an evening.
It’s a lovely smug feeling to know that we can have a hearty cooked breakfast with a complementary newspaper followed by late check out, when the rest of the world is busy on the normal commute to work. A quick dip in the pool before another brisk walk on the cliffs, then it’s a couple of hours’ drive back home in time for tea and a four-day working week.
Sunday is the new Saturday.