nourish chats to Eric Snaith, owner of Titchwell Manor Hotel, Eric’s Fish and Chips, and Eric’s Pizza, all located on the North Norfolk Coast, as well as Eric’s Fish and Chips in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
Regular visitors to the North Norfolk coast will likely be familiar with Eric’s much-loved fish and chips, that can be enjoyed in Drove Orchards near Thornham, in the historic Georgian town of Holt, or in the equally historic St Ives in Cambridgeshire.
““I liked the idea of doing something that was a complete contrast to the style of food at the hotel, which is at the higher end of the market,” explains Eric. “We wanted to celebrate the nation’s ultimate dish – fish and chips – focusing on the quality and cooking of the best produce.
“The menu at Eric’s is really versatile, offering all the classics as well as items that you wouldn’t expect from a chippie, such as halloumi and spinach arancini with my black garlic mayo, that can be enjoyed tapas style alongside a glass of prosecco or our own Seaza ale. We aim for the experience across all our restaurants to be relaxed and friendly, with no compromise on quality.”
Eric’s journey into hospitality started at Titchwell Manor Hotel, which has been in the family since 1988. The hotel has maintained three AA rosettes and luxury 4* status. The beautiful position on the North Norfolk Coast is a big benefit too, attracting lovers of nature and the outdoors. The hotel is having its busiest year for weddings, often taking place in the walled garden and on an exclusive use basis. Eric started out at the hotel doing the pot wash, was Head Chef for 15 years, and now oversees the whole business.
“My role covers everything from the day-to-day operations, product design and development to supplier relationships, human resources, marketing, accounting and more!” he says. “I am really proud of the reputation that we have built for innovative food, our long serving, dedicated team, and the loyal customer base that come back to us for holidays year after year.”
Titchwell Manor epitomises a boutique hotel property, with unique and outstanding designs, carefully selected furniture, and original works of art. It aims to create a blend of a coastal Hamptons feel married with the traditional Victorian style of the main building.
“Interior design has always been a focus, ensuring individuality,” adds Eric. “For us it was important to
create a style that stood out from the crowd, would have a uniqueness, as well as needing to stand the test of time. We are not trying to create a standardised brand. As we adapt the look and feel at different restaurants, or in each of the individually designed rooms at the hotel, it helps to attract a mix of clientele.
“The hotel is always changing, and we reinvest each year. We took advantage of the time when the hotel was forced to close due to COVID and refurbished six bedrooms and four bathrooms, moving away from some bold wallpapers, and using more fresh, clean paint combinations. We are also very excited to have just added two new luxury bespoke shepherds’ huts with hot tubs and outside dining areas into our meadow field at the back of the hotel, that have been very popular so far.”
Titchwell Manor has an excellent reputation for creative dining alongside a relaxed coastal feel. Many guests choose to start their evening in the garden or on the terrace with a cocktail or fine wine. The menu changes daily to ensure it is continually evolving and making use of the most seasonal local produce. It is also known for its award-winning breakfast, with a plentiful continental buffet alongside a range of hot options cooked to order.
One thing is certain, where Eric is involved, changes and improvements are ongoing. Despite all the challenges that the global pandemic has thrown to the hospitality industry, this has not stopped plans. Eric’s Pizza has just celebrated its one year anniversary and is going from strength to strength. Focusing again on quality ingredients and unique flavour combinations, this is a pizza of the highest of standards, with all the dough made on site before the pizzas are hand stretched and baked in a wood fired oven. Antipasti, salads, and homemade dips accompany an exciting range of options for pizza toppings, from the traditional to the creative – think purple potato and curry cured haddock!
“Drove Orchards near Thornham has continued to flourish as a site for family dining with great spaces to eat outside,” says Eric. “When the option arose to take over the yurt, we were keen to transform it into a more sophisticated interior and offer a different vibe to the Fish and Chip restaurant, and somewhere that could also be used as an event space, as it is such a quirky building. It has been a great success!
“Across the group, we have a big focus on family friendly, making sure they are places for all generations to enjoy, with a bit of entertainment on offer too. The team are a big part of what makes the experiences special for our customers, they are a really friendly and genuine bunch that work hard to offer the best service they can.”
And so, what can we expect in the near future? Eric replies: “We want to focus on ensuring our operations are working as smoothly as possible and that the team are working effectively and efficiently. We need to prioritise retaining our team and developing them for the future, while also encouraging in new talent and the next generation of hospitality professionals. We may well expand in future, but for now we want to enjoy the rest of a very busy summer and work towards the best Christmas possible, in particular for our guests at the hotel.”