Category Archives: Holiday cottages

Dinner is served!

One of the pleasures of booking your own self-catering holiday cottage is being able to spend time with friends and family, away from the day-to-day chores of domestic life. Whether you enjoy cooking or eating out, there’s often a moment in any break when you’ve exhausted ‘easy to cook’ dishes, but don’t fancy going out for the evening.

The solution is our Chef & Butler service when a team from our nearby local, The Lodge Old Hunstanton, creates and serves a restaurant meal in your self-catering holiday cottage kitchen, just for you!

Recently, guests at Par Cottage enjoyed this experience with a three-course meal for six. The evening started with canapes and Laurent Perrier rose Champagne served in the first floor lounge as the party watched one of Hunstanton’s famous sunsets.

Meanwhile, our chef was busy downstairs in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal to silver service restaurant standards. His delicious menu was:

Smoked salmon tartare
Marinated olives

Butter poached lobster, peas & broad beans, grelot onions

Traditional beef wellington, salt baked roots, roasting juices

Salad of English strawberries, rhubarb, honeycomb, tarragon, milk ice cream

As the guests sat to dinner, our ‘butler’ ensured glasses were kept topped up,  the courses were served and cleared without any disruption to their conversation and relaxation, and a fantastic evening was had by all. In fact, they were so delighted with the evening, here’s the comment they left in our guest book:

‘Fantastic facilities , very comfortable cottage, well fitted out and fab location. Great gourmet food and service. Excellent quality alternative to ‘external’ restaurant – high class dinner cooked in the cottage with running commentary by chef and service with a smile from our butler. No driving or taxis required, choose your own menu matched with wines – what could be better? A great ‘original’ concept and we’re looking forward to enjoying the same again in The Old Lighthouse when its refurbishment is completed.’

 

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Hunstanton Lighthouse Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages 2

The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, one of Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages’ self-catering holiday properties

Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages was delighted to add The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse to its property portfolio earlier this year. It’s an iconic building that’s perfectly positioned between our Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton self-catering holiday cottages, and has appeared on many a picture postcard home from North Norfolk holiday-makers.

The current building dates back to 1840, although previously there had been several structures to warn sailors nearing land.

Local recluse John Puttock is believed to have built the first, a 100-foot beacon nearby, but a wooden lighthouse was built on the cliffs in 1665 at a cost of £200 by Alderman Everard of King’s Lynn. Each night, an iron basket at the top of the building was fuelled with coal and set alight.

Later in 1776, Hunstanton was put on the map when the world’s first parabolic reflector was built at the top of the lighthouse. The concentrated light which it collected and beamed back to sea offered a far more powerful beacon than previously, and the patent for it was passed to Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Association, for display in 1837.

Shortly after, in 1840, the building that sits on the cliff tops was built 120 feet above sea level, and purchased by Trinity House. The lighthouse’s lantern measured 12 feet in diameter and was hoisted 49 feet above the tower’s base into its position. The building incorporated two lighthouse keepers’ cottages and a prison cell in the tower’s basement, to imprison smugglers until they were transferred to Norwich prison.

Across The Wash, in Boston, Lincolnshire, St Botolph’s Church lit a coal-burning signal – the Boston Stump – to warn sailors passing between the two coastlines.

The lighthouse continued to serve sea-goers until 1922 when it was closed and sold to Le Strange Estate for £1,300. It was turned into a residential dwelling, with the cottages used as a café until 1939. Following this, the building fell into disrepair and in the 50s a Dereham builder purchased it for £1,600, with the light removed thereafter.

Hunstanton Town Council took on the property briefly until, in 1964, it was advertised in The Times and sold to a Cambridge architect for £4,670. In the following years, the lighthouse has been used as a holiday home and letting.

Instantly recognisable to anyone who has visited Hunstanton, we feel enormously privileged to take ownership of The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, and later this year we will undertake a major refurbishment to create a unique destination for a holiday on the North Norfolk coast. Guests are able to enjoy the view from the top of the tower, and it’s undoubtedly a stellar spot to sit and enjoy one of Hunstanton’s legendary sunsets.