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Published March 19th 2014
The perfect retreat hidden away in the Norfolk countryside
Nestled in the Norfolk countryside is The Dales Country House, a luxury retreat for those wishing to escape the city. Arriving at the house you are warmly welcomed by the staff and dazzled by the historic exterior of the building. The large country house consists of a bar area, restaurant, luxurious living rooms and plenty of outdoor space to relax in.
Commodore Henry Douglas King acquired this Victorian rectory in 1910 and allowed the house to be used as a convalescent home for soldiers wounded in the First World War. After his death the house became the family home of the Spurrell family. In 1948, the house was acquired by Norfolk County Council for use as a residential home. In 2000, Marc and Liz Mackenzie transformed the house into a unique hotel with a contemporary twist.
The interior of the house is traditionally styled and set high standards for the food. The entrance has a beautiful reception area and a historic staircase that leads to the hotel rooms. The 2 AA rosette restaurant is furnished with luxurious table settings and old pictures from the house's past fill the corridors. We came with our posh pooch who was allowed in the house, but not in the main restaurant. The staff were extremely helpful catering for our party of 8 and our dog, who was allowed to eat with us in the bar area where our food was served.
Whilst waiting for the rest of our party to arrive we thought we would go out and enjoy the sunshine. The receptionist warmly welcomed us into the garden which had a lovely seating area and outdoor games such as chess and Jenga. In summertime the garden would look even more impressive and would be suitable for a wedding venue once the flowers had bloomed. Walking into the woodland area we came across a stunning historic monument that looked out onto the Norfolk countryside and its rolling hills. The perfect place for a family picture.
When the rest of our party arrived we made our way into the bar area which was extremely cosy. Looking at the menu immediately made our mouths water and it was certainly difficult to pick something from their wide selection. We went for the 2 for £12 main courses and 2 for £8 desserts. This was extremely well priced for the amazing quality that was to follow.
The waitress instantly suggested the beer battered fish and we also ordered the muscles and the chicken tagliatelle. The food was divine, well presented and made at a very high quality. I was lucky enough to have a taste of each of the dishes and would honestly say that all were full of flavour.
If that wasn't good enough, next came the dessert. We were all warned in advance that the chocolate brownie sundae was to die for... and they weren't wrong. Our eyes lit up as soon as the large sundae came out and we were definitely in chocolate heaven. Other desserts we chose were the honeycomb cheesecake and the lemon tart. After trying all of them I couldn't pin point my favourite as they were all sublime!
Overall the country club is the perfect place for a family meal, a special occasion or a romantic dinner. On my next visit I will most definitely be staying overnight as the traditionally styled rooms offer a relaxing stay and breath-taking views of the countryside.