Mundesley: Manor Hotel
With great views on the Norfolk coast the Manor Hotel is enjoying a revival. SARAH BREALEY stops off to sample food at a Mundesley landmark.
We had previously visited the Manor Hotel more than a year ago, under previous management, when it was deserted — almost a ghost hotel. Since then it has been taken over and seems to have had a new lease of life.
One of their most popular attractions is the Sunday carvery, which is �8.95 for one course. There is a choice of three meats, which always includes beef, plus Yorkshire puddings, gravy and an array of vegetables which you can pile as high as you like.
The Real Ale Drinker tried both the beef and the roast pork, which were quite enjoyable, especially with a bit of home-made gravy. The vegetables were numerous and equally importantly, were replenished fairly often so they were not sitting about for too long. The Real Ale Drinker is a big fan of roast potatoes, and he was impressed with these ones, which had the correct balance of crispy outsides and soft insides.
The vegetarian option was goats' cheese and sundried tomato tart, made with local cheese. It was a quiche in all but name, with the sundried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes providing an interesting contrast.
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The vegetables were almost too numerous to recount, but they were cooked well, retaining colour and bite where appropriate. Particularly good were the baby carrots, which were sweet and tender, while the broccoli and buttered swede were good too. I wouldn't have minded a bit more cheese in the cauliflower cheese, though.
Having filled our plates rather enthusiastically, there was no room for pudding, but we resolved to pay another visit to test some of the Manor Hotel's other wares.
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Second time round we found that outside of Sunday lunchtimes, there is a menu of snacks and light bites in the day-time, but you can also have bigger dishes from the evening menu. Main courses include beer battered fish and chips, home-baked ham, and dressed Cromer crab with salad and new potatoes, mostly around the �10 to �11 mark.
This time the Real Ale Drinker had a steak and Guinness pie, whose puff pastry lid was feather-light. The meat inside was good too, the tender steak giving way under the pressure of the fork. It came with a fairly generous selection of vegetables, including broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower and swede.
My pasta with courgettes and leek was very pleasant – pasta ribbons coated in a creamy sauce with nice, al dente chunks of vegetables. The only complaint was that it could have perhaps done with some more Parmesan for extra flavour. It came with a couple of pieces of garlic bread and a small mixed salad which was done simply but well, and was undressed, which is how I like it.
We had a side order of chips too, which were really very good – fantastically chunky things. I've seen logs that were less substantial.
Puddings include cr�me brulee, mixed fruit trifle, and local strawberries and cream when in season. We had a bread and butter pudding which was not the best I have had, but not bad at all for �3.50, and had quite a generous filling of currants to add interest.
The Real Ale Drinker enjoyed his pint of Woodforde's Wherry, which was the only real ale on offer, but there are lagers and wines too.
There is also a coffee and cake deal in the afternoons for �3.95, or you can take afternoon tea. Children are catered for with their own menu.
You can eat in the large dining room with white tablecloths, which has sea views from some of the tables, or more informally in the bar or terrace, which also has sea views. There is also a pleasant outside area with a small fountain as a centrepiece.
Those wanting to eat in Mundesley are almost spoilt for choice these days. But for British classics with a sea view, and a bountiful carvery, you can do a lot worse than the Manor Hotel.
The Manor Hotel
Open: Restaurant open Mon-Sat 6pm–9pm, Sun also 12pm–3pm.
Prices: Mains from �6.95, Sunday carvery �8.95, children's menu �4.50.
Vegetarian options: Average
Wheelchair access: Yes