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Hotel Highlights

  • Award-winning eco credentials
  • Unique and quirky art-studded decor
  • Family-run hotel and restaurant

Overview

Tucked off the high street of the market town of Swaffham in Norfolk, the family-run Strattons hotel is a beautiful Queen Anne Palladian villa. Whether you're in the mood for kitsch and contemporary or antiques and fabric-festooned decadence, each room is individually decorated with a unique theatrical flair. Not just a pretty face, the hotel has won awards for its restaurant and eco-policies; it's a child-friendly hotel, too.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Strattons with us:

A glass of Madeira each, served with home-made biscotti

Facilities

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Strattons Hotel - Norfolk - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

14.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $207.72 (£129), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Minimum two-night stay at weekends.

At the hotel

Café/deli, free WiFi in some areas. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, radio as well as honesty bars.

Our favourite rooms

The Linen is an open-plan bedroom and bathroom with a fabulous decked balcony. The Red Room is super-spacious and even has its own private garden. The Venetian, for its incredible walnut kingsize bed. The small but funky Seagull Room. Fantouche has a tiny balcony. The Opium Suite is a split-level home of your own. Boudoir is a zhuzhed-up attic room with sexy Michelangelo-esque fresco-style features.

Packing tips

Cool-box, so you can take some of the local produce home with you; slippers for the stone floor in the Opium Suite; outdoor gear for exploring the gorgeous countryside.

Also

Billy Blades Cottage is a cosy conference centre of sorts and an inspiring meeting space.

Children

Very welcome. Babysitters can be arranged, and children are well provided for, with monitors, highchairs and various other kit available. Baby cots (and extra beds for under-12s) are £15 and £30 for under-18s.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

This hotel has super-green credentials: toiletries are in refillable pump dispensers; low-energy bulbs constitute 70 per cent of the lighting; rooms have Carbon Trust thermostats; toilets use 20 per cent less water and its garden is wildlife friendly.

Food & Drink

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Strattons Hotel - Norfolk - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The Rustic is celebrated for its organic and local ingredients such as tasty cheeses and free-range meats. Enjoy one of the inventive dinners daily from 6pm. Hearty breakfasts are served weekdays 7.30am–10am and weekends 8.30am–10am. The afternoon teas are becoming legendary thanks to home-baked delights such as poppy-seed cheesecake, moist chocolate fruit cake and lavender shortbread. Lunch is on offer in the Rustic on Sunday and Monday (noon–2.30pm); on other days it’s served all day in Strattons’ eco-friendly deli, CoCoes, right next door.

Hotel Bar

There isn’t one as such but there is an intimate sitting room in which to enjoy a tipple of your choice – why not try an ale from one of Norfolk’s micro breweries?

Last orders

Food: 8.30pm. Drinks: normal licensing hours.

Room service

They can rustle you up supper from the restaurant; there’s an honesty bar in every room for late-night drinks. Carrot cake at teatime makes a nice complement to the in-room tea/coffee facilities.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Eco boho luxe or hip in hemp.

Top table

Perhaps go for a corner table, the banquette at the back, or in summer, a window table.

Local Guide

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Strattons Hotel - Norfolk - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s an antiques market and auction in Swaffham on Saturdays. Itteringham is a picturesque village worth visiting; take a stroll to the church and the water mill and stop for lunch at the Walpole Arms. Hire a boat on the Norfolk broads from George Smith & Sons (+44 (0)1603 782527; www.norfolkbroads.com), go karting at North Pickenham (+44 (0)1760 441777; www.anglia-karting.co.uk), and horse riding at Bridlewood Livery & Riding Centre, Downham Market (+44 (0)1366 385923). Take the car of your dreams for a spin on the Snetterton Racetrack (+44 (0)870 512 5250). The hotel is half an hour from the coast.

Local restaurants

If you want to head to the coast, The Crown Hotel in the Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea (+44 (0)1328 710209) is good for
supper. The Walpole Arms in Itteringham (+44 (0)1263 587258) is an excellent gastropub for Sunday lunch washed down with
locally brewed ales. The Crown Inn, on East Rudham’s village green, is an outpost of Kiwi TV chef Chris Coubrough’s
mini-empire of excellent Norfolk gastropubs (+44 (0)1485 528530). We love The Hare Arms at Stow Bardolph (+44 (0)1366 382229)
for its food (and if you’re en famille you can get mini portions) and also for the exotic chickens and peacocks roaming
around the garden. The Albert Victor at Castle Acre (+44 (0)1760 755213) has a decent outdoor area and it’s good for a pint as
well as a traditional meal, with some respectable vegetarian options.

+ Enlarge
The Brecks in Norfolk

Strattons

4 Ash Close, Swaffham, Norfolk PE37 7NH, United Kingdom

Planes

London Stansted is the closest airport – getting from here to the hotel will take an hour and a half.

Trains

The station in King's Lynn is half an hour from the hotel. Trains go from here to London in just under two hours.

Automobiles

From London, you'll need the M25, M11 and A14 to get you out into Norfolk. From Norwich, you'll need the A47.

Reviews

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Strattons Hotel - Norfolk - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Shaun Keaveny , Radio raconteur

We’re going to Strattons Hotel in Norfolk for our weekend away,’ trills my beloved, teasing a cascading curl. ‘It’s an eco-hotel,’ she adds chirpily. There is an awkward silence. ‘What?’ I bellow, tearing another leg of pork from my suckling pig – I always have suckling pig by the bed – ‘Do I look like a Prius-driving, recycling, hessian …
Read more

Strattons

Anonymous review by Shaun Keaveny, Radio raconteur

We’re going to Strattons Hotel in Norfolk for our weekend away,’ trills my beloved, teasing a cascading curl. ‘It’s an eco-hotel,’ she adds chirpily. There is an awkward silence. ‘What?’ I bellow, tearing another leg of pork from my suckling pig – I always have suckling pig by the bed – ‘Do I look like a Prius-driving, recycling, hessian wearer? In a word: certainlynot.’ Obviously this isn’t exactly the scene; in fact, we have a Prius. And we compost. But I confess to some trepidation on hearing ‘eco-hotel’. Scratchy towels? Toilets flushed by buckets? Vegetarian broths? Family-run Strattons couldn’t be further from my presumptions.

Set like a precious stone in the market town of Swaffham, Strattons is an eccentric hideaway guaranteed to confound such lazy preconceptions. Trundling down the tiny close off an unremarkable high street into the hotel courtyard, a vista of Narnian proportions greets us. A striking Palladian villa lit like a Gothic church and set off brilliantly by a circular courtyard of pleached hornbeam trees, Strattons takes my breath away. Although that might have been wrestling my wife’s ridiculously large case out of the car.

Initial fears of having to stifle any luxury-desiring sensibilities are immediately assuaged. This eco-friendly escape is less Norfolk, more Southfork, thanks to an opulent carved sign, a proliferation of original artwork and some seriously extravagant chandeliers. I brace myself at the reception for a tongue-lashing about the egregious carbon emissions a journey from London may have belched; instead we’re met by staff who are the personification of breezy helpfulness. But will the room be sumptuous enough for these would-be sybarites?

I say ‘room’, but garish, erotic artworks, huge driftwood-hewn furniture and a glass-bricked bathroom/wet room make it feel more ‘Picasso’s holiday cottage’. There are two widescreen TVs and DVD players and a deep antique bath, perfect for a sexy soak or a movie-watching marathon. There’s even a tiny patio; sadly it’s four degrees outside. (Where’s global warming when you need it?) By the bed are two units comprising approximately 20 tiny drawers each. Sock festishists travelling with their full collections will find this room a gift.

This so-called eco-hotel may be greener than a pensioner on a roller coaster, but apart from the locally produced chemical-free refillable soap dispensed in the bathroom, it gives very few clues to its environmental persuasion. I take this subtlety to be a good thing. It’s only as we sit down to dinner in the Rustic that Strattons nails its green colours to the mast. In this intimate low-ceilinged candlellit restaurant, we glean from the Modern British menu that just about everything (from the milk and butter to the herbs and meats) is locally sourced from trusted quality farms. All of the fruit and veg are even grown right here in Strattons’ soil.

Pigeon pastrami proves earthy and stargazey pie with rabbit and crayfish under pastry is delicious. My personal fave? The shepherd’s pie (yes, these Smiths like pie): slices of crisp potato atop a cauldron of melt-in-the-mouth steak and gravy. The wine list is perfectly proportioned, but what impresses me are the organic and evocatively named local beers and ciders, such as Swaffham Gold and Fine Soft Day from Norfolk’s Iceni Brewery. By the time we polish off a chocolate cheesecake – ‘Two spoons please, the elastic in my trousers does have a limit’ – both my heavily expectant wife and I are a similar shape. Eschewing a late-night walk due to a combination of heavy fog and inertia, we decamp to our boudoir for an extravagant soak and an early night.

If your question is ‘How happy can egg and toast make a man?’ then my answer is ‘elated’. For breakfast I order them boiled with Marmitey soldiers. A simple meal, but honestly the most enjoyable I’ve had all year. If happy hens lay tasty eggs, the ones clucking about in the garden here must be Buddhists that have attained nirvana.

Another trencherman sitting later, and we plump for a walk/waddle. We borrow one of the hotel’s laminated walking guides: lovely idea but after 20 minutes we abandon the map, and freestyle it. Bric-a-brac from the slightly bonkers Saturday market picked over and it’s time for elevenses at Strattons’ deli and café, CoCoes. (Well, it has been two hours since our last meal.) Shelves here groan under the weight of pornographically calorific confections, so I order a piece of blueberry cake. ‘What I love about Strattons is how it wears its green principles lightly,’ I say to Mrs Smith. She smiles as I take another mouthful. ‘You, on the other hand, will be leaving wearing its other values somewhat heavily.’

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Strattons's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Each room is decorated to a high standard but individually themed with quirky bits and bobs. Have a sneaky peek at the Edie suite if you get the chance! The staff provided excellent service and were friendly but not in the fussy, pretentious way that I have experienced at other hotels. They were informative regards things to do in and around the area. The food was to die for! We stayed two nights with breakfast included, we also had an evening meal and Sunday lunch. The restaurant books up quickly and seems to have a good reputation, we chatted to a couple who lived quite far from the hotel but regularly dine there, and for them it was the best restaurant in the area. Not forgetting the two lovely cats that reside at the hotel!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is everything we had hoped and from the moment we arrived the super staff at Strattons were looking after us. Staff memberS like to be called by their first names and take time to talk with guests about their day and plans for their stay. We enjoyed the fabulous range of cocktails available whilst relaxing in the lounge. Wherever you look there are fantastic works of art and unusual decor features (check out the chandelier in the lounge). Saving the best to last, the food is amazing and portions you think you can't finish but its so delicious you do.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It was set in a very beautiful courtyard, there was a lovely country garden feel to the whole place. Very relaxing.

Don’t expect

If you don't like cats this isn't the place for you! There are cats everywhere, including inside the hotel! I couldn't work out why I was permanently covered in cat hair, but then realised that they let the cats sit on the furniture.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked that this boutique hotel is family run.

Don’t expect

I would've preferred breakfast to be served in the main restaurant.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the fantastic staff, and the quirky hotel with some great architectural flourishes. The restaurant serves wonderful local food, too.

Don’t expect

I'm not a fan of Norfolk.

Rating: 6/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the friendly helpful staff (they rang us when we were running late and rustled up some supper for us when we were too late for dinner), fab breakfast, comfy bed, room decor and peaceful situation.

Don’t expect

There were no tissues, cotton wool or a shower cap, and our suite cried out for the two fires to be lit! (And, no-one has sat in the bath and tried to use the soap dispenser!)

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

My husband and I enjoyed staying at Strattons very much. We stayed in the Stables cottage and it was very private and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and made us feel at home. Dinner at their restaurant was delicious and the breakfast was great too. We will definately recommend Strattons to our friends and family.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The staff was great, so friendly; it's a beautiful place and a lovely, private location. We had a great time here, the room was gorgeous and the meal delicious.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved Stratton's quirkiness. Everything about it is just different and all the better for it. They had stood back and given things real thought. For instance, even though it was one of their cheapest rooms, mine had a lovely settee where we could both sit and read, watch TV or just relax in each other's company. Food was tasty and again slightly different. It's tucked away in a quiet corner but right in middle of the town; in fact, I missed the small road the first time around. I loved the feeling that they really cared about you and made your stay special, even down to what was in their mini bar. Staff are a credit to the property. Breakfasts are lovely whether in the hotel or Coco's with their usual attention to detail, and local breads, jams, bacon and their own eggs!

Don’t expect

I would have appreciated a slightly larger menu for the evening as I cannot eat fish, but to be honest I had not informed them of this fact and as only stayed two nights I managed. It may be a good idea to note that things close down in Swaffham on a Sunday night so getting a meal outside of Stratton's was a bit tight for me, especially as one choice was fish and chips. I managed to get a meal in the George and the local Indian and Chinese restaurants were open, too.

Rating: 10/10 stars