This is the place where delightful views meet delicious dishes. The place where locally grown food meets North Norfolk landmarks. The place where the warmth of the fire meets conversation and laughter ignited between friends.
The Victoria stands proudly between the gates to Holkham Park and the golden sands of Holkham Beach. Affectionately known as ‘The Vic’, this hotel and restaurant offers a perfect location to discover Norfolk’s windswept coastline, spectacular countryside, seaside towns, and – best of all – Norfolk’s local food.
Norfolk is a county with an incredible range of produce available. The Vic’s menu makes the best of this, prioritising fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients in their dishes. This is of the utmost importance to Managing Director, Ben Hunter-Watts, and Head Chef, Michael Chamberlain (pictured left), who grew up just 12 miles from The Vic: “I keep it simple, close to nature – when you live in the country you really notice the seasons changing, such as seeing the chestnuts fall in Holkham Park, which I’ve been walking through since I was a kid. It influences the food you make. Most of what we use is from within a 50-mile radius. But what’s really exciting for me as a chef is how many of our ingredients for our specials come directly from the Holkham Estate.”
Indeed, The Vic’s menus change regularly, driven by which freshly picked ingredients are available from the estate itself. Holkham’s six and a half acre Walled Garden, which dates back to the 1780s, supplies fruit and vegetables to the restaurant, as well as Holkham Hall itself. Consider spending an hour amid the walls, plants, and glasshouses before enjoying your meal; it will certainly connect you to your food, and it’s a glorious place to walk around too. Mark Morrell, the estate’s Head Gardener, commented: “From weird and wonderful squashes in the autumn, heritage tomatoes, fiery chillies and salad leaves to unusual pears, carrots and brassicas, we choose fruit and vegetables that look great in the garden as well as on the plate!”
But it isn’t just fruit and vegetables that are sourced from the estate. Holkham, and The Vic, place a firm focus on sustainability, with WONDER – their sustainability vision and goals – driving every decision. Reducing air miles, boosting conservation efforts and using a carefully structured land management plan allows the estate to produce superb quality game. “Whether it’s venison from the park or pheasants and partridges from the wider estate, you can enjoy our game knowing it has lived the life that nature intended and has become available through our efforts to maintain a balance,” states Head Keeper Mark Fitzer. Michael utilises these meats with passion, bringing flavours to life in exciting recipes.
The Vic is situated adjacent to Holkham National Nature Reserve (NNR). Here, cattle graze on grass, providing the ideal habitat for birds while producing slow-maturing beef. In the autumn, pink-footed geese arrive in their thousands to winter on the NNR, while the beef produced is enjoyed at The Vic nearby. Sustainable, regenerative farming principles work alongside conservation efforts whilst producing healthy, nutritious food for guests to enjoy.
The Earl and Countess of Leicester take a close, personal interest in the food served at The Victoria, partaking in menu tastings to ensure the high standards are maintained. Their passion for good food and sustainability is evidently shared by The Vic’s management, resulting in a high-quality dining experience coupled with excellent service from the staff.
There isn’t much better than a delectable meal enjoyed in good company, except when it’s just one part of a wholly wonderful day. Any lunch or dinner at The Victoria is best appreciated alongside the range of North Norfolk’s finest settings for whiling away an enjoyable few hours. The Vic’s location on the coast road between Wells-next-the-Sea and Burnham Market allows ample opportunities for perusing shops stocking local art, crafts, homeware, and deli foods. Meanwhile, autumn coastal walks along Holkham Beach or in the NNR offer spectacular landscapes and wildlife spotting as birds flock to the salt marshes. Or why not spend a few moments in the calmness of the trees in Holkham Park before a gentle stroll towards The Vic’s warmth? If it all sounds wonderful, then choose to stay a little longer in one of the hotel’s individually decorated rooms.
- To ensure a table, it is strongly recommended that you reserve in advance for lunch or dinner. Book your table or stay, and browse sample menus, at holkham.co.uk or call 01328 711008.