Norfolk, United Kingdom

Strattons

Rates from (ex tax)$103.96

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP99.20), 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

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of dry white port, served with home-made biscotti

Facilities

Photos Strattons facilities

Need to know

Rooms

14.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2.30pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $103.96 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP99.20), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

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. Babysitters can be arranged, and children are well provided for, with monitors, 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. Babysitters can be arranged, and children are well provided for, with monitors, high chairs 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; use the provided binoculars and 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.

Babysitting

This can be arranged from £10 an hour; give as much notice as possible.

No need to pack

Cots, high chairs, buggies and child-friendly toiletries 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 (12 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
PE37 7NH
Swaffham
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

Anonymous review

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.

We loved

The staff, breakfast was great. Quite a drive to find somewhere to eat if not dining in hotel, where the food was very good.

Don’t expect

No bar in hotel, and no decent pubs or bars outside.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Nov 2016

We loved

The Red Room - especially the fire. Dinner in the hotel's restaurant was lovely - the pork belly was amazing! Breakfast was also delicious. CoCoes' deli do the best sausage rolls.

Don’t expect

...To leave hungry.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Oct 2016

We loved

Restaurant

Don’t expect

Noisy bar

Rating

Stayed on 15 Sep 2016

We loved

Brilliant friendly staff, warm welcome and great accommodation. Use it as a base to explore the broads.

Don’t expect

A frosty reception.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Aug 2016

We loved

The staff, the cats and ducks, and the food was fabulous

Don’t expect

Anything other than peace and relaxation

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jul 2016

We loved

The individuality, lovely rooms and friendly staff

Don’t expect

A lively atmosphere

Rating

Stayed on 26 Jul 2016

We loved

We stayed in the Opium room, which was far more than we had expected! It was a treat for my gorgeous partner, and we had the best time. My only regret was that we couldn't stay longer. The bath in the bedroom was decadent and soooo comfortable. Try and visit Holmes Dune nature reserve, truly beautiful.

Don’t expect

Wild parties.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jun 2016

We loved

The food, the staff, the paintings on the corridor. Nice trees lookout from the window. Lovely deli, beautiful church close by. 8/10

Don’t expect

We stayed in seagull room. Room really small, chairs not usable as really big and very low, can not see the mirror when sitting down. Noisy minibar.

Rating

Stayed on 30 May 2016

We loved

The Red Room; the grounds; the breakfasts; afternoon tea. Recommend visiting Hunstanton beach. Ely Cathedral. Castle Rising. Dabbling Duck pub at Great Massingham. 10/10

Don’t expect

A bar scene.

Rating

Stayed on 14 May 2016

We loved

The Opium suite, the food, the service

Don’t expect

Bustling nightlife

Rating

Stayed on 19 Mar 2016

We loved

The room was amazing! The cinema screen and projector in our room was great.

Don’t expect

Big nights out!

Rating

Stayed on 18 Mar 2016

We loved

The Red Room is pure luxury with a real fire, range of comfy chairs and a big four-poster with secret bathroom and private courtyard - fantastic for getting away from it all! The hotel staff were very flexible allowing a last minute change of dates and were also very helpful with local recommendations. The nearby CoCos Deli is fab and the Dabbling Duck in a nearby village does very passable suppers

Don’t expect

To want to leave...

Rating

Stayed on 23 Feb 2016

We loved

The food and playing Scrabble with a glass of something nice in the lounge.

Don’t expect

To find posh pubs or shops in Swaffham itself.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Jan 2016

We loved

What an incredible place! I booked the Sunday package and it was amazing value for money, with afternoon tea, the red room, a bottle of wine and two course meal. From the moment I got here the customer service was perfect; I felt welcome and very looked after. I didn't feel pressured or pestered in any way. The room is just beautiful, I felt like lady of the manor. The cleaning standards were perfect, the bed very comfy, the fire had already been made for us just to light! Nothing had been forgotten about and we were looked after like we were the only in the hotel. The standard of food in the restaurant was very high; being an ex chef I am normally hard to please, but I was overwhelmed. I have no complaints whatsoever, thank you for an absolutely wonderful experience, I will definitely visit again very soon!

Don’t expect

It to be a cheap experience.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Dec 2015

We loved

Warm relaxed welcome, easy feel about the hotel, quirky, central in town with parking, had lunch in lovely pub in the town kings arms, dinner at strattons was lovely although slow service as so busy/popular!

Don’t expect

A cat free stay (we like cats though, so liked it!)

Rating

Stayed on 28 Nov 2015

We loved

The main building of the hotel. It was beautiful. The food was really impressive.

Don’t expect

To always be in the main building, we were in an annex not far away.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

The luxury of the Red Room!

Rating

Stayed on 17 Oct 2015

We loved

Very quirky decor and excellent (if slow) breakfasts. The Dabbling Duck nearby has very good food.

Don’t expect

Wonderful value for money, luxury bathrooms or fittings, or a gourmet dinner.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Oct 2015

We loved

our room (the opium), the dinner and breakfast where all great

Don’t expect

a bar, but drinks are served in the main building

Rating

Stayed on 30 Jul 2015

We loved

Great service, quirky decor and gorgeous locally sourced food.

Don’t expect

Really enjoyed everything.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jul 2015

We loved

Its Boutique Style and excellent breakfast,Quirk of Rooms whether in the main house or not.

Don’t expect

A Bar at the Hotel or much to do in Swaffham, the Cafe Deli is good for Tea Cake and amazing deli bits,but if you want a drink find somewhere else like the Kings Arms.

Rating

Stayed on 13 Jun 2015

We loved

Gorgeous rooms.

Don’t expect

Food was fine, but restaurant was chilly.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Feb 2015

We loved

The kindness and availability of all personnel. The comfort of the room.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Dec 2014

We loved

Staff very good and welcoming . Lovely house. Room very clean, provided tea and coffee, comfortable and warm. Would recommend hotel but in warmer weather.

Don’t expect

There was hardly any heating in the communal areas and the fires weren't lit, so it was much too cold to sit in the reception areas. Even the dining room was cold, so had to stay in our room when we were at the hotel when we had planned sitting by a roaring log fire other than when we did have dinner.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Dec 2014