The Ingham Swan Pub with rooms in Ingham, Norfolk

Prices from:
£95 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Sleepy village setting beside the church
  • Timbered dining areas ooze character
  • Passionate chef with impressive CV
  • Modern cooking using Norfolk produce
  • Contemporary rooms in converted barn
  • Coast, country and Broads on doorstep

CandlelitClose to Water

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Overview

The Ingham Swan Ingham, Norfolk, NR12 9AB

The personal touch

The village of Ingham got a mention in the Domesday Book and its inn, the Ingham Swan, dating from the 14th century, constitutes the largest single remaining bit of Ingham Priory after Henry VIII’s boys had done their worst in the 1500s. Standing next to the church for the last 600 years, the old coaching inn is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the care and attention of Daniel Smith. Head to this part of Norfolk, where the coast meets the Broads, and you’ll find a restaurant-with-rooms of character and conviction, where the experience of the chef-owner results in a first-class dining experience. History feels close at hand when you walk through the door to be met by ancient beams, brick and flint walls and a fire glowing in the grate, with Norfolk ales at the pumps in the diminutive bar. The four chic and contemporary bedrooms in the converted stables mean you can stopover in style and properly explore the wine list at your leisure. The food remains the star attraction, the raison d’être for a visit, for Daniel earned his stripes at Le Gavroche and Morston Hall, and his take on contemporary European cuisine – one based on fine Norfolk produce – has put Ingham firmly on the culinary map.

Sticky fingers

Children are very welcome at the inn and two of the B&B rooms are geared up to accommodate them with sofa beds (sleeping one or two).

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed but only in the outside courtyard area.

Alfresco

The smart courtyard area gives the opportunity for eating outdoors at lunch or dinner (weather permitting).

What’s on?

Chef-owner Daniel Smith puts together various special menus throughout the year, with wine flight options, and there are also regular wine tasting events held at the inn.

What’s the Damage?
4 Doubles £95-£140

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 4 Star & 2 Rosettes; Michelin

Sleep

The Ingham Swan Ingham, Norfolk, NR12 9AB

Do not disturb

The stable block adjoining the inn has been converted into four classy bedrooms, with that winning combination of original charm and a contemporary finish. Expect wooden beams and exposed brick and flint, but there’s nothing olde-worlde about the spaces – contemporary neutral colours, stylish furniture and Vivienne Westwood signature wallpaper set the mood. With Nespresso coffee machines in every room, spacious walk-in showers and high quality linen, the rooms are dressed for the 21st century. Two of the rooms are on the ground floor and have sofa beds to accommodate up to two children.

Creature comforts

Nespresso coffee machine.

Gadgets

Free Wi-Fi; Flatscreen TV.

What’s for Breakfast?

The Ingham Swan homemade muesli; homemade bread toasted with assorted jams; smoked salmon and scrambled eggs; full English breakfast with Dingley Dell outdoor-reared welfare-friendly Suffolk pork sausages and bacon, roasted tomato, baked mushroom and fried, poached or scrambled eggs.

What’s the Damage?
4 Doubles £95-£140

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 4 Star & 2 Rosettes; Michelin

Eat & Drink

The Ingham Swan Ingham, Norfolk, NR12 9AB

Mastering the menu

Daniel Smith is Norfolk born and bred (he grew up in Caister-on-Sea) and headed to the bright lights of London at the tender age of 18, where he started work at Le Gavroche. It was back in Norfolk, though, a few years later, where he really made a name for himself at Morston Hall, and now, after a decade as executive chef of a thriving pub company, he’s made the most of his considerable knowledge and experience to create an impressive dining inn. His driving passion is for the ingredients found in this part of the world, where rich farming country meets the sea, and the seasonal daily-changing menu reflects the very best of the county. He heads up a team in the kitchen that make their own ice cream, bake their own bread (twice a day) and even make their own muesli for the B&B guests’ breakfast. The sensitive makeover of the building has kept genuine character in the spaces that make up the restaurant – lots of exposed flint and solid beams – and it’s a stylish space for some stylish modern European food. Twice-baked Montgomery Cheddar cheese soufflé, char-grilled fillet of beef with dauphinoise potatoes and vanilla crème brûlée with raspberry sorbet and vanilla macaroons reveal the classical grounding of the chef, with the à la carte menu supported by a menu du jour and a 7-course tasting menu. It’s so locally-minded that a partnership with a local farming family allows them to have land on the farm where they grow and manage the majority of the Restaurant’s seasonal British produce, a grower in the village provides Maris Piper potatoes for the house chips and Cromer crabs feature whenever possible. Attention to detail runs from start to finish.

On the menu

Lunch Du Jour
Two Courses £16.50
Three Courses £20.95

Dinner Du Jour
Two Courses £22.50
Three Courses £28.00

Tasting Menu
£55.00 for Seven Courses
Cromer crab salad, avocado cream, crispy crab cake, lemon purée, King’s Lynn brown shrimps, smoked salmon salsa and cockles
Trio of local lamb, caramelised red onion, broccoli, confit beetroot, cocotte potatoes and basil jus
Caramelised onion and Binham Blue galette, confit beetroot, roasted red peppers and watercress cream
Sea bass, samphire, garlic crevette prawns, broad beans, cocotte potatoes, parisienne courgettes, parsley velouté
Local raspberry and strawberry Eton Mess with strawberry ice cream

Sunday Roasts

(£22.50 two courses, £28 three courses)
Beef fillet, Yorkshire pudding, sautéed Savoy cabbage, rosemary roast potatoes, honey caramelised carrots and rich red wine jus
Leg of lamb with fondant potato, confit beetroot and rich red wine jus
Pan-roast chicken breast, cocotte potatoes, broad beans, fennel duxelles, buttered spinach, wild mushrooms and light cream jus

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8.30am – 9.30am
Lunch: 12 noon – 2pm (3pm Sunday)
Dinner: 7pm – 9pm

Local, local, local

Fish/seafood – Cley Smokehouse, Cley (www.cleysmokehouse.com)
Real ale – Woodforde’s Brewery, Woodbastwick (www.woodfordes.co.uk)
Fish/seafood – Howard & Sons, Norwich (www.fishmongersnorwich.com)
Fruit & vegetables – The Tacons, Rollesby (www.thetacons.co.uk)
Meat – Swannington Farm to Fork, Swannington (www.swanningtonfarmtofork.co.uk)
Whisky – English Whisky Company, Roudham (www.englishwhisky.co.uk)

Behind the bar

The Swan may well be a dining pub, but there’s still a charmingly rustic bar and homely snug where you’ll find a fine pint of Woodforde’s Wherry among the options at the pumps. It’s an appealing spot for a pre-dinner aperitif with a superb wine list on hand to get you in the mood for the dining to come. There are eight wines available by the glass (in two measures) and each is available by the bottle at £20 – a fabulous choice for the lower end of the price spectrum. There’s also a range of fine wines, so pushing the boat out is also an option. The Norfolk-based English Whisky Company provides something stronger.

Bar snacks

Wherry beer-battered cod with Ingham chips, caper mayonnaise and cucumber salad
Local Walsingham cows’ milk cheese ploughman’s with balsamic baked tomato, sticky onions, pickled red cabbage, tomato chutney, charred toast and Granny Smith salad
Char-grilled 28-day aged sirloin steak with Ingham chips
Garlic baked field mushroom, blue cheese sauce and roquette salad

What’s the Damage?
4 Doubles £95-£140

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Parking

Gongs
Waitrose Good Food Guide; AA 4 Star & 2 Rosettes; Michelin

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Ingham Swan

3

Macarons & More, 11 The Royal Arcade, Norwich NR2 1NQ

Set within the glamour of this 19th century promenade of elegant shopfronts, past Masterchef runner-up and former doctor Tim Kinnaird could not have chosen a finer backdrop for his beautiful Gallic style macaroon sandwiches in pastel hues, a sheer guilty pleasure.

4

Walpole Arms, The Common, Itteringham NR11 7AR

Bought by the local Harrold farming family, this iconic Norfolk country pub takes full advantage of their home-grown produce. The vine-covered terrace is just made for summer alfresco enjoyment.

5

Earle Arms, The Green, Heydon NR11 6AD

A traditional Norfolk freehouse-restaurant in a lovely estate village with the requisite green and church for a picturesque setting and Heydon Hall and grounds worth exploring before or after.

10

Jonas Seafoods, Stone Hill Way, Cromer NR27 9JW

The Swan's shellfish suppliers, the Jonas family work the last traditional crab boat from Cromer beach, specialising in the local brown pie-crust crustacean as well as Norfolk lobster. Retail shop on-site.

11

The Tacons, The Grange, Rollesby NR29 5AJ

Open daily, this Farm Gate shop is the place to come for earthy fine veggies and seasonal PYO of berries. This is the 'home farm' for The Ingham Swan and 'Restaurant with Roots' gives both diners and staff a direct engagement with the local produce that is being grown specially for them including more unusual salads and brassicas.

12

Woodforde's Norfolk Ales, Broadland Brewery, Woodbastwick NR13 6SW

A proud stockist of these fine local ales, their Nelson's Revenge beer is a favourite with Swan customers.Visit their retail shop at the brewery to explore their fascinating array of ales and enjoy a brewery tour, ending with a taster or two of course or indulge deeper at the Brewery Tap next door, the Fur and Feather.

13

Wroxham Barns, Tunstead Road, Hoveton NR12 8QU

Open all year and situated not far away at Hoveton, Wroxham Barns is a complex of former farm outbuildings that have been imaginatively converted into a varied range of shops. Look out for the Norfolk Cider Shop and Gifts at the Gallery, with its designer-led pottery and fashion accessories.

14

Byfords, 1-3 Shirehall Plain, Holt NR25 6BG

This part of North Norfolk is spoilt for superlative businesses, deli-cafe Byfords is no exception. For many, an essential glamorous pitstop on any retail therapy in delightful Holt, perhaps the finest Georgian market town. Its strapline is 'a higgledy-piggledly world of pleasure', say no more.

15

Waxham Barn Café, Coast Road, Waxham NR12 OEE

The 16th-century barn is home to a fascinating collection of memorabilia relating to Elizabethan agricultural and maritime life in this area. The café wing serves good home-made food and refreshments

16

Wild for Woods Foraging NR4 6NR

Jon Tyler has decades of experience in the great outdoors and is an expert forager, leading groups off the beaten track around Norfolk and Suffolk on the hunt for edible plants and fungi as well as general bushcraft.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Ingham Swan

Activities

2

North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham NR26 8RA

Operating both steam and diesel trains, the North Norfolk Railway runs between Sheringham and Holt and is a great way to see the local countryside. There are catering facilities on board and numerous special events throughout the year.

3

Bewilderwood, Hoveton NR12 8JW

Bewilderwood is set in 50 acres of adventure park at Hoveton, between Ingham and Norwich, and is a fun-filled attraction for all the family. Here, you'll find an award-winning forest, where the accent is on outdoor adventure. Expect tree houses, zip wires and jungle bridges.

4

Wild for Woods Foraging NR4 6NR

Jon Tyler has decades of experience in the great outdoors and is an expert forager, leading groups off the beaten track around Norfolk and Suffolk on the hunt for edible plants and fungi as well as general bushcraft.

5

Sailing on the Norfolk Broads NR12 8UD

Think of the Norfolk Broads and the picture that springs to mind is usually one of a complex network of navigable rivers and man-made waterways. In fact, there are 125 miles of watery expanses to explore, as well as picturesque villages in this wonderfully spacious natural landscape.

6

Surfing at Cromer NR27 9HE

Between April and October you get the chance to experience the thrill of North Norfolk's spectacular tides and waves, with lessons provided by Glide Surf School. By contrast, the region's rivers offer the chance for various exhilarating adventure sports, including kayaking

Shopping

14

Wroxham Barns, Hoveton NR12 8QU

Open all year and situated not far away at Hoveton, Wroxham Barns is a complex of former farm outbuildings that have been imaginatively converted into a varied range of shops. Look out for the Norfolk Cider Shop and Gifts at the Gallery, with its designer-led pottery and fashion accessories.

15

Norwich NR2 1RL

One of the best-preserved medieval cities in the country, Norwich is a top shopping destination with lots of independent retailers and smart restaurants. For something slightly unusual visit Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum in the Royal Arcade. We've all grown up with those distinctive little jars of mustard; here, you can discover how it all began and then visit the shop for a wide selection of mustard pots and spoons. Look out, too, for St Gregory's Antiques and Collectables in Pottergate, just the place for that rare item or quirky find.

16

Holt NR25 6BG

This timeless little market town is a shopper's paradise. Explore its back alleys and you'll find an assortment of galleries, delis, boutiques and individual shops. The Mews Antiques Emporium is crammed with goodies.

17

Lisa Dawson, Aylsham NR11 6ET

Lisa Dawson Interiors is a Norfolk-based soft furnishings business specialising in the creation and design of bespoke curtains, blinds, lose covers and accessories. The company's stylish showroom and in-house studio are situated in at Aylsham.

18

Burnham Market PE31 8HD

Dubbed Chelsea-on-Sea, Burnham Market has over 30 independent shops and distinctive retailers specialising in contemporary art, stylish accessories for home and garden and fashionable clothes shops for all tastes and requirements.

Places to visit

7

Felbrigg Hall, Thorpe Market NR11 8PR

Fellbrigg Hall's splendid park is one of the highlights of a visit to this popular National Trust visitor attraction a short distance from Cromer. Here, you can explore over 500 acres of woods and miles of waymarked paths where nature and wildlife are much in evidence.

8

Mannington Gardens NR11 7BB

Expect to see a wide variety of trees and shrubs surrounded by a splendid medieval moated manor house at Mannington Gardens, situated in glorious countryside to the south-west of Thorpe Market. There are classic roses, scented plants and herbaceous borders.

9

Elizabethan House Museum, Great Yarmouth NR30 2QH

Located in Great Yarmouth, this amazing National Trust museum represents a real hands-on experience, bringing to life the day-to-day routine of the generations of families who have lived in this fascinating 16th-century building on South Quay.

10

Horsey Windpump NR29 4EF

You don't have to be interested in the mechanics of drainage systems or the architecture of windpumps to appreciate a visit to Horsey, on the coast between Caister and Cromer. The views from this famous landmark across to Horsey Mere and the evocative landscape of the Norfolk Broads are unforgettable.

12

Cromer NR27 9HE

Often described as the ‘gem of the Norfolk coast’, Cromer is one of East Anglia’s most popular resorts. The distinctive tower of the town’s church overlooks Cromer’s old fishing village and the resort is also renowned for its classic Victorian pier.

13

Blickling Hall, Blickling, Aylsham NR11 6NF

Catching sight of Blickling Hall for the first time takes your breath away. The turreted Jacobean mansion stands proud in the Norfolk landscape and surrounding it is a beautiful 500-acre park. Blickling, near Aylsham, is widely believed to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn.

19

Norfolk Broads NR12 8UD

Think of the Norfolk Broads and the picture that springs to mind is usually one of a complex network of navigable rivers and man-made waterways. In fact there are 125 miles of them and an assortment of picturesque, sleepy villages to discover in this wonderfully spacious natural landscape.

Walking

www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk
www.walkingbritain.co.uk
North Norfolk has been described as ‘a long way from anywhere’ and it’s certainly true that its landscape and coastline are among the most isolated in the country. For walkers, however, this vast rural area offers enormous scope for all kinds of routes – long, short and medium. One of the most popular trails is the North Norfolk Coast Path, opened in 1986. For a walk that is brand new, try a section of the coast between the east Norfolk seaside villages of Weybourne and Sea Palling. The 26-mile stretch links the villages of Trimmingham, Mundesley and Happisburgh – where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to write a Sherlock Holmes short story, The Dancing Men.

Cycling

www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk
www.cycle-route.com
www.norfolkbicyclehire.co.uk
www.norfolkbroadscycling.co.uk
Norfolk’s essentially flat landscape makes cycling a very popular and enjoyable activity and there’s a vast amount of ideal cycling terrain right on Ingham’s doorstep. The North Norfolk Coast, the Broads and the county’s sprawling hinterland are all perfect contenders for plenty of exercise in the saddle and they don’t disappoint. There are even cycle hire facilities within easy reach of Ingham, including the Sea Palling Cycle Hire Centre on the coast and Broadland Cycle Hire, where you can hire bikes and tandems, at Bewilderwood, a few miles away at Hoveton.

Events

www.visitnorthnorfolk.co.uk
There’s plenty of to entertain visitors to the region. The Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May is a flagship event for the east of England and one of the largest arts festivals in the country, while the North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival in August is a celebration of all that is good about local produce. Look out for the two-day Holkham Country Fair, a celebration of rural England, held every other year in the grounds of Holkham Hall, and the two-week King’s Lynn Festival, which offers a varied programme of music, including classical jazz, and folk.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road
From the A149 at Stalham, take the junction past the Tesco store and follow Town Road and Ingham Road through to Ingham; pub on left next to the Church. From Sea Palling, follow Stalham Road and Palling Road through to Ingham.

Address:

Sea Palling Road,, Ingham, Norfolk, NR12 9AB

Rooms rates & booking

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