Last weekend my best friend got married- to her best friend in a beautiful ceremony at her family’s farm in Great Melton. The day was absolutely perfect and full of love and laughter! So, we would be close by, many of the wedding party booked into nearby hotel- Park Farm in Hethersett.
I have stayed at Park Farm once before with my Husband for an overnight birthday celebration and I have visited various times over the years for many different reasons! From school proms, weddings, funerals, family get togethers- to relaxing spa days! So, I am no stranger to the venue.
What is particularly notable about Park Farm is the fact that every single time I have visited- they have gotten better and better. Not just in terms of décor (they very recently had another refurb and extension, adding some beautiful lodges and suites) but in terms of service, what they can offer and overall ambience and feel.
Park Farm has always been beautiful but now I would say it stands up as one of the better hotels you can find both in Norwich and in the immediate surrounding areas.
We stayed for two nights- checking in just after 6pm on Friday night after helping to set up the wedding marque and various lights and decorations at the farm. We were pretty exhausted and had a lot of luggage! We were greeted by a friendly reception who couldn’t have been more helpful. We had booked dinner that night for 8pm, but were desperately hungry so the restaurant moved our reservation to 7pm.
We had booked into the Executive Suite and the room was gorgeous. Spacious, bright and modern. The bed was massive and the bathroom was beautiful; complete with curved wet room style shower and huge whirlpool bath. An array of complimentary toiletries by The Scottish Soap Company were welcomed when we just wanted to jump in the shower quickly, before even unpacking, to make our new earlier reservation for dinner.
The room boasted every expected amenity – iron and ironing board, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, extra blankets and pillows, seating area and table, full length mirror (the importance of which, is not to be overlooked!). The only thing I felt the room was lacking, was a fridge. I had bought some compulsory ‘wedding morning’ bubbles which I had wanted to keep cold- however, the reception were happy to chill the bottles for me, which I was grateful for.
We came down for dinner and were shown into the bar, we ordered a drink and looked at the menu. The vegan menu was so impressive…. Every dish looked amazing! We ordered there, and were later shown into the restaurant.
Carrot & Ginger Soup
Vegetable Dumplings with Sweet Chilli Sauce
Roast Beetroot, Pickled Vegetables on Chargrilled Tofu
Butternut Squash, Spinach & Chestnut Mushroom Risotto finished with Basil Dressing
Green Vegetable Katsu Curry
Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Pepper & Slow Cooked Cherry Tomato finished with Basil Dressing
Apple & Blackberry Crumble with Soya Custard
Chargrilled Pineapple with Mango & Passionfruit Sorbet finished with Raspberry Sauce
Selection of Sorbets
We both decided to have the dumplings to start… and I am so glad we both did, because I would have had serious food envy. We were served two dumplings with a generous amount of sweet chilli sauce and they were perfection. It was so nice to have a dish that was a little different, and I could have had another portion, easily!
For the main event Bear had the Katsu curry… which was so creamy and vibrant, a generous portion with fluffy rice and I had the gnocchi which bounced off of the plate with its glorious reds and oranges! Both dishes were hearty and just what we needed after working all day, helping to set up the wedding of the year!!! I haven’t enjoyed a meal so much in a while. The flavours were powerful but balanced well and so satisfying.
The service could not be faulted… we had vegan butter to go with our bread, drinks were fast to arrive and as soon as we were empty a member of the team offered refills. The restaurant was bright and light and not too busy so it was the perfect setting for a relaxed dinner, and we were not rushed at all.
For dessert – I had the chargrilled pineapple and Bear has the crumble. His eyes lit up when he saw the crumble hit the table in front of him- and it did look extremely impressive. My pineapple was maybe a little bland in comparison to the successes of the starters and mains, but it was still a lovely and fresh way to finish the meal and cleanse my palette.
The bar seemed ever inviting after the meal, and we were able to then mingle a bit with some of the wedding party which was a nice end to a long day.
The next morning, we ordered breakfast in our room to be delivered at 8am. We filled in an order form the night before and left it with reception. They advised to me to simply write, ‘full vegan breakfast’ so when the trays arrived, we were eager to see what was under the cloches!
One tray had beautiful fresh croissants, vegan butter and toast. It was explained the jam was missing because it had gelatin in it- I was so impressed- that not only had they realised, but they also took the time to explain why it was missing. Really small actions like this, demonstrate a real acceptance, knowledge and understanding which goes a really long way.
The full vegan breakfast had the works! Baked beans, potato croquettes, mushroom, tomato and scrambled tofu. I was worried that I wouldn’t want to eat first thing in the morning but with such a big day ahead and such an enticing plate in front of me- I enjoyed the most important meal of the day!
Full use of the fitness centre, pool, steam, sauna and Jacuzzi is included in your stay but unfortunately, we didn’t have time to enjoy the leisure side of the hotel. I know a few of the wedding party that did and again, it’s just a lovely bonus of staying somewhere already so nice.
Unsurprisingly, for this foodie… the food was the stand out for me. We both really enjoyed our evening meal and breakfast… their smooth handling of our vegan diets was appreciated and seamless. The room was really comfortable and we both slept incredibly well in our lovely large plush bed! I can’t wait to book again, it’s a local hotel and not at all far from home, but it really has something quite special behind those doors and with more time to make use of all they offer- it could make a really lovely break away.
Their website regularly advertises special offers and packages, and don’t forget under their large roof they also have the wonderful Imagine Spa, where you can enjoy many spa and beauty treatments.
We will definitely be back and very soon.