Home Farm Blog

It won’t be long until the schools break up for the summer meaning it gets busier than ever in North Norfolk and we are hoping that the warm, sunny weather we are currently experiencing is set to stay for the holiday season.
We always boast about how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful part of the UK, North Norfolk really is a unique place to live and seems to have something for everyone to enjoy. Our unspoilt, golden beaches are a great retreat on hot sunny days. There’s nothing better than packing up a hearty picnic full of delicious local produce and spending the day with the family, swimming in the sea, building sandcastles, flying kites and exploring the coastline. If sand and sea isn’t your thing, then we have some great open parks to also stroll around and picnic at.  There are also plenty of quaint market towns and villages to visit, all of which are full of fabulous shops and places to eat too.
On top of all of this, there are plenty of attractions to visit from famous stately homes such as Sandringham and Holkham Hall, to unspoilt nature reserves where you can learn about the fantastic wildlife that makes North Norfolk its home in the summer. There are also several places to take the children for a packed day of entertainment and fun too. Our fantastic new interactive map on our website highlights some of the great places to visit in the area.
We can’t also forget all of the exciting events taking place over the next few weeks, from carnivals and craft fairs to children’s activity weeks. You really are spoilt for choice. The most stressful part of your holiday this year will be deciding on what to do first!

11th – 27th
Fakenham Arts Biennial
21st – 27th
Holt Festival
The Anglian Triathlon
27th – 28th
Holkham Country Fair
Holkham Hall
27th – 28th
Worstead Festival
26th July – 4thAug
Wells Carnival
27th July – 1stSeptember
Curious Crocklebog Capers
Sandringham Flower Show
Butterfly Walk & Talk
Sculthorpe Moor
3rd – 11th
Sheringham Carnival
Beach Discovery Day
Holkham Hall
10th – 11th
Charity Lego Weekend to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance
Holt Hall
10th – 18th
Bug Week at the Dinosaur Adventure Park
Lenwade, Norwich
Burnham Market Craft Fair
Burnham Market
Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
Holkham Hall
Fakenham Farmers Market
31st August – 1stSeptember
North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival
Holkham Hall
11th June 2013

North Norfolk in June

June is a great month to visit North Norfolk. The local nature reserves are alive with new wildlife and the golden, sandy beaches are a great place to retreat on a warm, sunny day.
If you aren’t a keen birdwatcher or don’t fancy a few hours on the beach, then there are plenty of things to do and various events planned in the area that will keep you occupied. Here are a few of the events taking place in Norfolk this month that we wanted to share with you. Don’t forget to check out our availability if you want to stay with us and enjoy some of the great events that are planned locally. 
16th June – BeWILDerDad’s Day – BeWILDerwood
Take your dad along to BeWILDerwood for FREE on Father’s day and make him a Boggle badge to wear with pride. This year you’ll be given a compass and clue so you can go on an adventure, which will lead you to a feast of Barkicrisp cake and acorn brew for dad! There’s also lots of creative activities to do with your dad as well as the opportunity to explore the treehouses,  zip wires and other exciting things BeWILDerwood has to offer.
18th June – Guided Walks – Holkham National Nature Reserve
Join the Education Officer in a short, gentle walk around the Holkham National Nature Reserve to see some truly spectacular wildlife and enjoy the fresh coastal air. This particular walk is focused around the Orchids in the Dell.
23rd June – Cycle Together – Sandringham

Cycle Together is the first ever sportive in West Norfolk and offers four scenic routes to choose from.  There’s something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced cyclist. Select from a 10 mile, 20 mile, 50 mile or 90 mile challenge, all of which take you through Norfolk’s quiet and scenic roads. All routes start and finish at Park House Hotel on this historic Sandringham Estate. For full details, including entry prices and how to enter, visit http://www.sandringhamestate.co.uk/EventDetail.asp?Event=52&V=1&S=7

27th& 27th June – Royal Norfolk Show – Norwich
The Royal Norfolk Show is the largest annual event in Norfolk and the largest two day agricultural show in the country too. It’s an action packed two days that’s full of fun for all the family. There’s plenty of entertainment planned during the two days, plus a fantastic food hall to munch your way through, a beautiful flower and garden show to enjoy and a new Best of Norfolk marquee that will be showcasing some of the very best Norfolk manufacturers and producers. If that wasn’t enough, there are over 650 stands to visit plus brand new livestock and equine classes and a live music stage with bands and dancing too!
For more details and to purchase show tickets visit http://royalnorfolkshow.co.uk
30thJune – Hunstanton Carnival
A fun packed, family day where Hunstanton is packed with stalls, games and activities on the green with an exciting parade through the town from 1pm.

The weather is set to be warm and sunny this weekend, which gives us all the perfect opportunity to spark up the barbeque, enjoy the great outdoors and tuck in to some tasty food with friends and family.
Keith from Manor Cottage Catering is one of our preferred suppliers here Cranmer Cottages and has kindly supplied us with his favourite burger recipe plus his secret pickle recipe which is the perfect accompaniment with a BBQ burger.
So why not treat yourself to some good local produce this weekend and have a go at making these delicious burgers with their tasty pickle.
Soft herb and English onion pickle
150ml Good olive oil
50ml Red wine vinegar
100g Tomato ketchup
1tsp Worcester sauce
1tsp Tabasco sauce
4 English onions, very finely diced
50g Chervil, finely chopped
50g Chives, sliced very finely
25g Tarragon leaves picked and chopped
2tsp Dijon mustard
Prepare all the ingredients separately and then mix well in a bowl.
Store in an air tight container and this recipe will keep for at least one month in the fridge.
I use this pickle as an accompaniment to a slow braised, salt beef sandwich or barbeque beef burgers. It also works really well through a leaf salad to give an added boost of flavour and texture.
Beef burgers
3kg Good steak mince. (I use Sandringham Estate Red Poll. Most decent local butchers will stock Red Poll but there is plenty of other good quality beef available. Locally, Walsingham Farm Shops also stock a very good quality beef too)
4 English onions, finely diced
50g Fresh thyme, dried can be used but use half of the amount
2tbs Colman’s English mustard powder
2tbs Smoked paprika
Sea salt and black pepper
Fry your onions, slowly, in very little oil, without colour. Once they start to turn translucent, add your paprika (at this point you could use a good quality barbeque powder to give your burgers a real smoky flavour). Cook your onions for another minute so that they take on the paprika and it starts to release its aroma. Now leave to cool.
Chop your thyme. If you have very fresh, young thyme, you can chop the whole herb, including the stork, as long as you do it very finely. You can always pick any odd bigger pieces out, if needed, before adding it to your mince. Another trick, which works better with older thyme, is to freeze it. Once frozen, remove it from the freezer and hold it between your palms above a plate or board. Now roll it between your palms and the leaves should all fall off, ready for you to chop.
Once you have prepared these ingredients and your onions are cool, add all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well with plenty of seasoning. This is best done in an electric mixer but by hand is fine. I never use breadcrumbs or eggs to bind. You don’t need them. As long as you mix the mince and press your burgers well, they will hold together. Do not over mix as this will make your burgers tough. You can always cook a little bit off at this point to check for seasoning.
Finally shape into 200g burgers. You can do this several ways. Weigh them all first so you can shape them all together. I use a pastry cutter. Keep them nice and flat so you don’t get meatballs when you cook them.
Now leave them to rest in a fridge until you are ready to stick them on the BBQ.
Cook and enjoy!

Okay, so the weather hasn’t exactly given us much to shout about over the past few weeks, but it hasn’t stopped our guests enjoying and exploring North Norfolk during their stay. Although the weather has been cloudy and unseasonably cooler than it should be, there are still lots of places to visit, beaches to explore and things to do in and around North Norfolk. 
Even though the weather hasn’t been the best, did you know that the East of England is famous for being the driest region in the UK? Visiting this area means you’ll have lots of opportunities to get out and enjoy the rugged beaches and gorgeous countryside, as well as being able to stroll around the great independent shops our seaside and market towns have to offer. 
If you’re planning a ‘staycation’ check out our availability for this June and take advantage of some of our last minute offers!
Owl Cottage sleeps 4 people over two bedrooms. The master bedroom has a beautiful brass double bed with enough room for a babies travel cot or Z bed, bedroom two has two single beds. The main bathroom has a bath and over bath shower. The living area offers a spacious open plan kitchen/ dining and lounge area with french doors leading to a private patio area.
31st May – 7th June: £595
31st May – 3rd June: £450
3rd – 7th June: £595
Coot Cottage is our smallest cottage that sleeps 2 people, so it’s the perfect retreat for couples or a young family  with a baby. This 5 star cottage has beautiful open beams throughout and boasts a stunning open plan living room/ dining area, master bedroom and bathroom with a walk in shower. 
14th – 17th June: £350.00
Wagtail Cottage sleeps 4 people over two bedrooms. The master bedroom compromises a large, comfortable king size bed whilst the second bedroom includes two single beds. The spacious bathroom has a bath and over bath shower and the cottage itself offers a large open plan kitchen/ dining and living area.  Both the living area and master bedroom give access to an outside patio area which overlooks a communal garden and children’s play area.
3rd – 7th     June: £500
 7th – 10thJune: £550
10th – 14th June: £600
7th – 14th June: £795
Tern Cottage sleeps up to 4 people over two bedrooms. The spacious master bedroom has a king sized bed plus space for a travel whilst the second bedroom has two single beds plus space for a Z bed. The bathroom has been designed as a wet room and the spacious open plan kitchen/ dining and living room has access to both the courtyards at the front of the cottage and gardens at the rear. It also has it’s own private patio area which overlooks the communal gardens and children’s play area.
3rd – 7th June: £500
Swallow cottage sleeps up to 6 people over 3 bedrooms. There are two double bedrooms, both with king sized beds. The master bedroom also has room for a travel cot. The third bedroom has two single beds, which can be zipped together to provide a queen sized bed.  The bathroom has a bath and separate walk in shower. The living area is open plan and the kitchen boasts a gas cooker and Rayburn. The dining area can comfortably seat between 8 – 10 people and the cottage has access to a private patio area.
31st May – 5th June (5 Day Special Offer!): £750
15th – 20th June (5 Day Special Offer!): £750

View cottage & book online>>>
Woodpecker Cottage sleeps up to 5 people over 3 bedrooms. The master bedroom has a comfortable king sized bed and en-suite shower room, along with access to a small private patio area. Bedroom two includes two single beds, whilst bedroom three has one single bed, plus space for a cot. The master bathroom has a bath, wc and washbasin. The open plan kitchen/ dining and living area leads out to a private fenced garden, which overlooks the communal garden area.
31st May – 3rd June: £550
31st May – 7th June: £645
3rd– 7th June: £595.00
21st – 28th June & 28th June – 5thJuly: £995.00

View cottage & book online>>>
During your stay, you have access to enjoy our luxury indoor heated swimming pool, family games room, children’s outdoor play area and extensive countryside grounds. We are a family friendly and can supply travel cots, high chairs, changing mats, monitors, blenders and other items. Visit our family friendly pages for more details of our services. 

We are big fans of local, seasonal food and at the moment, you can’t go too far without seeing fresh, local asparagus for sale throughout North Norfolk. We are also very lucky to have an abundance of locally sourced fresh fish and shellfish that’s available to buy from several good food outlets and Norfolk’s famous Cromer Crab is now coming into season too.
These two great ingredients work really well together in the following recipe: 
Risotto with Cromer Crab & Asparagus
Ingredients (serves 2 people)
1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish
500ml Fish Stock
250g Seasonal Asparagus
Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
150g Risotto Rice
150ml Dry White Wine
1 Dressed Cromer Crab
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1.               Place stock in the pan and bring to the boil. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus, add the spears to the stock and cook for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Remove cooked asparagus from the stock & keep warm and make sure you keep stock to cook the risotto rice. 
2.              Add a small amount of olive oil to the base of a medium saucepan with the then add the onion and fry, stirring until just soft. Add the risotto rice and cook for a further 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed.
3.              Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and stir until absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (This should take about 15 minutes in total).
Finally, add the cooked asparagus, reserving a few spears to place on top of the dish and stir in the crab meat. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until crab is heated through. Season to taste, top with the extra spears, then serve immediately, garnished with the parsley and the lemon wedges.
Source: Recipe taken from www.waitrose.com

9th May 2013

What’s On in May

Norfolk has started to buzz with a range of different events and activities this May and we wanted to share some of the exciting things happening so you don’t miss out! 
Remember, if you’d like to attend any of these events, we still have some limited availability in our cottages throughout May and are currently offering a 10% discount* for all breaks booked and taken this month. Simply check out our availability on our website and use the following discount code when booking your break online: QP1T7

Norfolk & Norwich Festival
WHEN: 10th – 26th May
WHERE: Throughout Norfolk

The Festival is one of the oldest surviving arts festivals in the UK, which dates back to 1772 when a fund-raising concert was held at Norwich Cathedral. This international arts festival for the East of England offers a packed programme of events throughout Norfolk ranging from music, dance, visual arts and much more.
To discover more about the festival and to find out what’s happing in your area visit http://www.nnfestival.org.uk

Houghton Revisited
WHEN: 17th May – 29th September
WHERE: Houghton  Hall, Nr King’s Lynn
The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, will return to it’s original setting of Houghton Hall for the first time in 200 years.
The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view one of the most famous art collections of eighteenth-century Europe and includes masterpieces from Van Dyck, Poussin, Albani, Rubens, Rembrant, Velazquez & Murillo.
Full details of the exhibition can be found at http://www.houghtonrevisited.com

Cromer & Sheringham Crab & Lobster Festival
WHEN: 17th19thMay
WHERE: Cromer & Sheringham
Now in it’s 4thYear, the Crab & Lobster Festival is a celebration of two lovely coastal towns, Cromer & Sheringham.
The festival raises money for local charities and offers a packed programme of activities over the weekend.
Full details can be found at http://www.crabandlobsterfestival.co.uk

Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios
WHEN: 25th May – 9th June
WHERE: Throughout Norfolk
Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios gives you the opportunity to see new art, meet artists and buy original artworks from the artists themselves.
There are over 450 artists involved with 231 locations dotted throughout the county where you can view their work.
Full details, including the artists involved and the exhibition locations can be found at http://www.nnopenstudios.org.uk

Fairy Fair 2013
WHEN: 27th – 27th May
WHERE: Holt Hall
The Fairy Fair returns to the grounds of Holt Hall, North Norfolk this May. There will be lots of magical activities and workshops, great live music, walkabout performers, entertaining shows and storytelling taking place over the two days. Plus you can discover walks through the grounds, browse the craft stalls and eat and drink at the many refreshment outlets.
The Fair offers the same attractions on both days and is open from 10am – 5pm. It is suitable for families with children from 3yrs and up. Tickets are £7.50 per person (under 3s go free and do not need a ticket) and must be booked online by visiting http://fairylandtrust.org/fairyfair13.html
Gruffalo Day
WHEN: 27th May
WHERE: Pine woods, Wells next the Sea 
May the 27th is our Gruffalo Day,
Walk through the pine woods, visit us on the way.
You can come and go as much as you please,
We’ll be there all day having fun in the trees!
Full details including prices and times can be found at http://www.holkham.co.uk/html/GruffaloDayEventsHolkhamHallandEstate-NorthNorfolkEngland.html

Beach Discovery Day
WHEN: 31st May
WHERE: Wells next the Sea
Join the Holkham Estate education team for some hands on, fun family activities exploring the wildlife you can find on the National Nature Reserve.

During the morning session you will learn about the different shell life and get the opportunity to do some seaside crafts by making flying fish and fish hats. In the afternoon there will be a scavenger hunt to discover what creatures make the beach its home, plus you will be able to collect some beach goodies to make shell mobiles and star fish badges.
Full details can be found at http://www.holkham.co.uk/html/beach_discovery_days.html 

*T’s & C’s
Offer is only available for breaks booked and taken in May 2013 & is only available to customers booking directly online, no agencies. We have limited availability and offer is available on a first come, first serve basis.

6th May 2013

Great Offers

Happy Bank Holiday Monday! The sun is shining in North Norfolk and the weather is certainly giving us something to smile about. We’d like to make you smile by offering a whopping 10% discount* for all breaks booked and taken in May. Simply check out our availability on our website and use the following discount code when booking your break online: QP1T7
In addition to these great offers, we are running a special deal in our Swallow cottage where your break will only cost £750 over the following dates: 31st May – 5th June, 15th June –  20th June & 1st July – 5th July. To take advantage of this great deal, simply visit our website and book your break online.

We hope to welcome to you to Cranmer Cottages very soon! 

*T’s & C’s
Offer is only available for breaks booked and taken in May 2013 & is only available to customers booking directly online, no agencies. We have limited availability and offer is available on a first come, first serve basis.

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to the coastline in North Norfolk. Did you know that Both Wells and Holkham feature in the Telegraph’s best British beaches review, which got us thinking about the all of the local beaches we like to enjoy.  
Here’s our top five:

Holkham beach was famously featured in the film, Shakespeare in Love a few years back, but did you know that it’s also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country? The beach offers miles of beautiful golden sands and it really is a place of unspoilt beauty. Be mindful that if you have young children, they will need to be good walkers as this is an expansive beach where you can walk for miles before you reach the sea when the tide is out.

Wells beach is a beautiful sandy beach backed by dunes and pine trees. It’s also lined with lots of colourful beach huts, giving it that authentic seaside feeling. The beach is only a mile away from the town centre so it’s easy to stroll between the two, alternatively, there is a beach car park or in the summer you can use the miniature railway to travel between both areas. The gentle sea waters makes the beach at Wells a perfect family day out and don’t forget to treat yourself to some fish ‘n’ chips whilst you are there!

Brancaster Beach & The National Trust Millennium Activity Centre
Brancaster has an accessible sandy beach with adjacent car park, making it a popular beach for families. Like Wells, its gentle sea waters make it a calm and relaxing place to enjoy the coastline and take a leisurely dip in the sea. It’s also a great place for kite flying and enjoying a range of watersports.  In addition to this, Brancaster is an extensive coastal area that’s famous for its wild birds, so offers a great birdwatching experience too.

Hunstanton, also known as Sunny Hunny, is famous for it’s striped cliffs. This seaside town is great for families whatever the weather as there are amusements arcades as well as the beach to enjoy. The shallow beach can offer some fantastic rock pools to explore when the tide is out and for the more adventurous; it’s a great beach for kite surfing. If you’re one for taking it easy, then why not hire out one of the beach huts, chill out in your deck chair and enjoy the seaside experience and an ice cream!

Blakeney nature reserve offers 4 miles of natural coastline that hosts a massive spectrum of wildlife including seasonal migrating birds and seal colonies. The reserve also has varying landscapes, a sand and shingle spit, salt marshes, sand dunes and a range of plant life. It’s a spectacular place to discover and enjoy our beautiful wildlife and unspoilt surroundings.

Between the 3rd– 6th May, Holkham Hall are running a fantastic 3-day cycling festival, Pedal Norfolk, to celebrate British Cycling.

There are lots of events and activities planned for cyclists of all abilities over the weekend. For the keen cyclist, you can explore beautiful Norfolk by entering the sportives that cover 250 miles over the 3 days. To enter the sportives, you must apply online via the British Cycling website. There are also plenty of family activities to get involved with from the basics of how to use a balance bike to family coaching and a competitive downhill family race.

If cycling is not your thing, there’s still plenty to keep you entertained locally. Holkham Hall will be open to view during Sunday and Monday and Holkham beach is great to explore. There are also several walks to enjoy plus lots of villages to discover nearby that are fully of boutique shops, galleries and great places to eat.

Our cottages are less than 10 miles away from Holkham Hall and over the bank holiday we have availability in Garden House, Avocet and Swallow, all of which sleep 6 people. We are currently offering a special 4 night bank holiday deal in Garden House & Avocet with a £100 off plus 3 nights are available in Swallow.

View our cottages and book online here >>>

We have a secure cycle store on site plus facilities for washing down bikes and a laundry room available to wash and dry sports clothes. You can finish the day unwinding in our heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi before getting a well deserved rest in our very comfortable beds.

North Norfolk has some great scenic routes which are great to discover by bike. Learn more about the cycling routes that are local to our cottages by visiting our website

Since our successful launch of The Green Room back in November 2012, we have hosted a number of different events ranging from corporate training days and off-site meetings to residential swimming classes and social celebrations.

Now that the venue has been open for 6 months, we’d like to celebrate by offering our readers a discount on all half day bookings, now £60 + VAT, plus we will also throw in a FREE serving of fair trade tea, coffee and biscuits with every booking* 

Our intimate venue is the perfect place to hold off-site meetings, training days or corporate events and can accommodate up to 20 people. Situated just outside of Fakenham, The Green Room is wheelchair accessible and is equipped with state of the art technology including a large flat screen TV, AV equipment and wireless broadband. We have ample free parking on site and can help you organise catering and team building activities from a range of local providers.

If you are interested in booking the Green Room for your next meeting and would like further details email us or call us on 01328 823 135.

*Discounted offer applies on all half day bookings made in April and May 2013. Free tea, coffee and biscuits offer is limited to one serving per booking. 

Available for booking arrival dates after August 01 2020

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