Norfolk, United Kingdom

Strattons

Rates per night from$105.48

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP82.50), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Eco, eccentric, arty and eclectic

Setting

The Brecks in Norfolk

The quirky Strattons hotel hides behind the traditional façade of a Queen Anne Palladian mansion just off the high street of Swaffham, a market town in Norfolk. All eleven rooms are uniquely decorated with a theatrical flourish – some are modernist and kitsch-as-you-like, while others are elaborately adorned in richly coloured fabrics and gilded antiques. Family-run and child-friendly, the hotel prides itself on its eco-friendly practices and has an award-winning restaurant that serves organic and locally-sourced meat and produce.

Smith Extra

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A slate of homemade petit fours

Facilities

Photos Strattons facilities

Need to know

Rooms

14.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $105.48 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast. Minimum two-night stay at weekends.

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 king-size 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

Keep an eye out in the gardens and lounges for the two resident cats.

Pet‐friendly

Leave Fido at home: the two resident cats would make him most unwelcome. See more pet-friendly hotels in Norfolk.

Children

Very welcome. Highchairs and various other kit available. Baby cots, sofa beds (and extra beds for under-12s) are from £10–45 a child, each night.

Overview

Very welcome. Children are well provided for, with highchairs and various other kit available.

Best for

This child-friendly hotel welcomes children and babies of all ages.

Recommended rooms

The Edie Suite has a living area, and is designed to have low allergen levels, so is ideal for asthma sufferers. The Red Room has a sofa bed in a separate living area. Children under 12 stay for £25 a night B&B; it's £45 for those aged 12 or more.

Activities

Get out and about in this area of natural beauty by bike, on foot or on the back of a horse. The gardens have been designed to encourage wildlife; there are frog boxes, bat boxes and various bird-nesting boxes; bring binoculars to spot birds at the feeding stations; stay in spring, watch the sky for spotted flycatchers.

Meals

Children are welcome in the restaurant at breakfast, and there's a children's tea sitting at 6.30pm (or earlier by prior arrangement). Lunch for parents and children can also be arranged with prior notice. Parents are encouraged to look at the kids menu before arrival so that they can let staff know if they want anything different; otherwise smaller portions from the adult menu can be served at a reduced price. Children can also eat in their rooms; a high chair will be provided. Strattons will also knock up lovely organic packed lunches, and will heat up milk and baby food for you.

No need to pack

Cots, high chairs, buggies and child-friendly bath products all available, as well as monitors.

Also

The hotel's eco-friendly ethos and genuinely child-friendly welcome makes it a haven for green-minded parents. Every room has a DVD player and a selection of children's DVDs is kept to hand. There is also a good selection of children's board games.

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 and Drink

Photos Strattons food and drink

Top Table

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

Dress Code

Eco boho luxe or hip in hemp.

Hotel restaurant

The hotel's restaurant is celebrated for its organic and local ingredients such as tasty cheeses and free-range meats. Expect hearty fare such as twice-baked Binham Blue soufflé and 24-hour, slow-cooked Scott’s Field pork belly. Enjoy one of the inventive dinners daily from 6.30pm. 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 Sunday (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.

Location

Photos Strattons location
Address
Strattons
4 Ash Close
Swaffham
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.

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.

Reviews

Photos Strattons reviews
Shaun Keaveny

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 or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Strattons’s Guestbook below.

We loved

We loved the hotel building and the staff. The bathroom could do with a shaving mirror and a better light. Also the bedside lights were too dim for reading. Also unfortunately one day the housekeeping staff put a folding table (which we had taken from the wardrobe and erected in the bedroom) back in the wardrobe and lent it against our clothes that were hanging there. This was very annoying.

Don’t expect

We didn't expect not to have any hot water in the bathroom one evening after another guest left his shower on all night to de-crease his clothes and the tank was drained.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jun 2018

We loved

We loved the two resident cats, Burt and Mr B! We loved the breakfast from Cocoes cafe – it was exceptional – and the restaurant served good wholesome food. We loved the staff, who were very attentive and welcoming. The Saturday antiques market is worth a gander.

Don’t expect

Don't expect luxury: the bathroom was freezing cold, had no double glazed windows and no bathroom extras like shower cap or shoeshine kit, etc.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Mar 2018

We loved

The unique decor and super attentive team – a million times. We were staying in the annex and there was a minor, unforeseeable plumbing issue; hotel team bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortably relocated in the main property. The cats, baths, beds and green credentials. The in-house café takes the edge off. You might enjoy going up the wind turbine. The weekend market and nearby Oxborough Hall are grand though.

Don’t expect

High tech wizardry.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Feb 2018

We loved

The overall facilities and ambience and above all the courteous and very helpful staff. Dinner menus which were just that little bit different. CoCoes in the Stratton grounds.

Don’t expect

Lifts/escalators/stair lifts: it's best if you are fully mobile, otherwise use the remote rooms at ground level.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Feb 2018

We loved

The service, the unique and individual decor.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Aug 2017

We loved

Norfolk; cocktails; hospitality.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Apr 2017

We loved

Red room ambiance and its open fire.

Don’t expect

To be able to shower in the red room en suite if you are 6ft tall. A quiet bed!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Mar 2017

We loved

Quirky friendly boutique hotel. Excellent food.

Don’t expect

central heating. Open fires in large rooms can be chilly!!!

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jan 2017

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