What makes a good bed and breakfast? Is it the location, the hosts, the breakfast, the room? Dorset Cereals invited me to one of the most unique bed and breakfasts in the country to find out what makes it special!
Dorset Cereals have teamed up with Sawday’s, the experts in finding independent and special places to stay in UK, to choose Britain’s best B&B at the Dorset Cereals B&B Awards. I was asked to choose a place to stay from the Sawday’s shortlist and it was hard, so my starting point was the location.
I have travelled around UK a lot in the past nine years, but there are still a few counties I haven’t been to and are high on my bucket list of places to see. One of them was North Norfolk.
I had been meaning to visit this corner of England that I had only seen in movies for a long time. There is so much natural beauty to see, great local produce to taste and quaint little villages to explore.
Once I had shortlisted the location, I looked at the B&Bs available on Sawday’s and my attention was immediately caught by The Control Tower B&B in Walsingham.
Just by looking at the building, you can tell this is a unique home. In fact, this used to be a RAF control tower in the North Creake Airfield. Current owners Nigel and Claire bought the house a few years ago, renovated it and converted into a lovely and unique vegetarian Bed and Breakfast.
We believe that life begins at breakfast and one of our greatest pleasures is waking up in a beautiful B&B somewhere special, with your whole day stretching before you. [Dorset Cereals]
The exterior has been restored to its iconic landmark modernist look while the interior is filled with beautiful art deco fixtures and furniture.
All the rooms (three, all on the first floor) are doubles with en suite bathrooms. I think our bedroom was the smallest available, and it was indeed a bit tiny. I didn’t mind too much since we were out all day and we could always use the living room if we wanted to.
What I loved about the room was the coffee-making kit, complete with pour over filters and ground coffee from Greyseal coffee roasters. Are the little details that make a B&B special.
Nigel took us on a tour of the house (including the open roof deck) and explained us what each room used to be, so we learnt all about the fascinating history of this building. Originally it was built in 1943 to control the take-offs and landings for the 199 and 171 Squadrons, whose mission was to carry out secret radio counter measures.
I fell completely in love with North Norfolk and with the B&B. I would definitely love to stay there again and I’d recommend it to anyone.
The deal-breaker for me were the hosts, Claire and Nigel, who are really lovely and made us feel right at home. Claire welcomed us after our long car journey with a cup of tea and biscuits. When we came back to the B&B after dinner, Claire and Nigel were in the living room chatting to the other guests and welcomed us to join them for a chat and a glass of wine.
Every morning I looked forward to Claire’s amazing vegetarian breakfast!
I travel often and eat hotel breakfasts a lot, but let me tell you the breakfast at the Control Tower was something else! Most of the ingredients are sourced from local producers (you can find them listed on the B&B’s website), and everything is prepared with care.
The Control Tower B&B is very close to the medieval village of Walsingham, where we had a lovely pub dinner on our first night. The next day we drove three miles north to the Norfolk coast and went for a long walk on the beach in Wells-next-the-Sea. The day after it was time to explore Holkham beach and the nearby estate, which happened to host the North Norfolk food festival that weekend! How lucky :)
We spent our last day exploring the harbour and beach at Burnham Overy Staithe, it was a warm and sunny, a gorgeous day to be out!
Everytime I get out of London for a mini-break around Britain I discover a new amazing place! It’s incredible how much beauty there is in this country, especially if you love the outdoors, there is so much to discover.
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Dorset Cereals. All opinions are my own.