Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Family Wedding

Hunters Hall
The main hall
The start of the new week saw me back up in Norfolk, but this time with my wife and son. We had travelled up for my youngest sister’s wedding, and with my other sister and her husband having flown over from the United States, along with a cousin up from Wales, the stage was set for a family get together.

We stayed at the wedding venue, a place called Hunters Hall, just a short hop from the village of Swanton Morley, where my parents had lived for the last 20 years. Hunters Hall is a wedding venue and farmhouse bed and breakfast complex, consisting of a large Victorian barn and associated outbuildings. 

The latter are grouped around a series of courtyards, and today form the bed and breakfast accommodation attached to the hall. It was a very agreeable and pleasant place in which to spend a few days, and with several other guests staying there, proved the ideal spot for a family wedding.

I am pleased to report there was beer available in the main barn, in the form of some well-kept Adnam’s Southwold; although on the night before the wedding, we joined the rest of the family for a meal, just down the road at Darby’s; one of Swanton Morley’s two pubs.

Regular readers will no doubt recall that my son and I were unable to obtain a meal there, on our previous visit, about six weeks ago. I wrote about it here, but fortunately there were no such problems on this occasion, as my sister had booked the cosy restaurant area at the far end of the pub.

According to Google Maps, Darby’s is less than a mile away from Hunters Hall, but trying to persuade wife and son to put one foot in front of the other and actually walk there was proving difficult. Fortunately salvation was at hand in the form of Matthew; one half of the husband and wife team who own and run the Hall. Matthew very kindly offered to run us down to the pub, along with my cousin Susan and her friend Ray.

The meal was excellent, and so was the beer (Lacon’s Legacy NBSS 3.5), but what was even better was to be in the company of family and friends. I didn’t really take that much notice of the other beers on tap, that
night in Darby’s, but I liked the way the cask beers are kept in a temperature controlled room behind the bar, and then dispensed by gravity, straight from the cask.As mentioned earlier, the bar at Hunters Hall served an excellent pint of Adnam’s, but is only open when a function takes place. The previous afternoon, not long after our arrival, we enjoyed a few lightly chilled bottles of Woodforde’s Wherry, whilst sitting outside in the garden chatting to my cousin and her friend.

This was a nice civilised touch, which sums up nicely the ambience of this rural retreat. Along with a hearty full-English breakfast in the morning, the excellent braised steak cobbler we enjoyed as part of the wedding breakfast and the size and comfort of the rooms, I would highly recommend a stop-over at Hunters Hall if you are ever in this part of Norfolk.

Finally, special mention should be made of my dear old dad, who managed to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle, and of course to my sister Phillippa and her new husband Peter. Congratulations to you both as you fly off to your honeymoon in the Maldives. I’m sure beer is the last thing on your minds, but I shall expect a full report on what was available when you return!


Martin Taylor said...

Well done to your Dad, that's a very big thing for a parent to do.

I share your irritation with able folk who won't walk a mile to a pub ! Presumably some members of the party were in "inappropriate footwear".

Thanks for noting NBSS score; all subjective but interesting nonetheless. When I took my Sister and niece on a trip round tourist Cornwall the other week I was delighted to see them scoring the cellarmanship ("too warm" - NBSS 2.5, "butterscotch taste" - NBSS 2). The future is secure !

Paul Bailey said...

Thanks, Martin. It was nice that, despite his advancing Alzheimer’s, dad was still able to play his part. It made the day even more special for my sister as well.

With regard to people not wanting to walk a short distance to the pub, which would also give the driver (me) the chance of enjoying a few beers, it’s not a question of "inappropriate footwear", more a case of not wanting to put one foot in front of the other! I appear the only member of my family who enjoys walking.

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