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This beautiful, traditional white inn has become a hot foodie destination in Norfolk. The bar heaves with locals and tourists alike and there are over 100 gins to try, including their very own. The restaurant area spills from a dining room into a conservatory and then outside when the weather allows, and the food is modern gastro-pub fare with generous portions the order of the day.
In Ringstead, a sleepy village in north Norfolk complete with pretty cottages, grand houses and a General Store.
Casual and comfortable and playing to its strengths with lots of wood, traditional colours and quirky accessories. Our suite in The Stables had a cosy downstairs living room with huge TV, squidgy leather sofa and mini-kitchenette for hot drinks, whilst upstairs the large bedroom had a super comfy bed, an in-bedroom tub and tiny en-suite shower and loo.
An obligatory gin and tonic (or two!) made with the house gin kicked off dinner. My chicken and black pudding terrine was a slab of well-seasoned meatiness and came with a hunk of sourdough and homemade pickles. For main course I ordered hake stuffed with brown shrimp, which came with a mountain of truffled mash and braised leeks. We shared a simple pud of ice cream affogato for afters. My other half decided to opt for more plant-powered choices and enjoyed his starter of ash-baked beetroot tartare with charcoal aioli. His main course of poached then barbecued cauliflower came with a smooth and sweet caramelised parsnip purée.
Spend time browsing the shelves of the Ringstead General Store, which is rammed with locally produced food and drink, including Norfolk beers, spirits and (believe it or not) wine; honey, cakes, jams and so much more.
Playing dominos in the bar after dinner, where we managed to rope in some locals to help us with the rules.
This summer the garden dining area has been expanded and there are plenty of spots for pre-dinner drinks, alfresco dining and Sunday roasts.
Rooms start at £125 per night for a double room including breakfast. The Stables suite costs from £175 per night including breakfast. Dinner is an a la carte menu. For more information and to book, visit thegintrapinn.co.uk.