An Inspector Calls… at The Rose & Crown in Norfolk where Prince William enjoyed a pint before its reopening
- The Rose & Crown is located in the village of Snettisham, North Norfolk
- The Duke of Cambridge popped in for a swift pint ahead of Super Saturday
- It serves ‘super-posh’ fish and chips and has neat and tidy ‘no-frills’ bedrooms
The Rose & Crown in Snettisham, North Norfolk, is where the Duke of Cambridge popped in for a swift pint ahead of Super Saturday, drinking from a well of tradition that goes back several centuries.
In fact, there’s been a hostelry of one kind or another here since the 1300s.
William and Kate live a few miles south. Lucky them. This is an exquisite village near the coast and Sandringham. Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described its church, St Mary’s, as East Anglia’s best example of the decorated gothic style.
Cheers: The Rose & Crown is located in the village of Snettisham, North Norfolk
It’s one of the most visible, too, with a spire so high it serves as a beacon for sailors in the Wash and was targeted by World War I Zeppelin bombers.
The Rose & Crown is deceptive. Behind its low-slung, white-washed frontage are all kinds of nooks and crannies, corridors, ingle-nook fireplaces and add-ons that come in handy when customers need to be kept at a healthy distance from each other.
Until recently, owners Anthony and Jeanette Goodrich ran Bank House in nearby King’s Lynn, where they retain the freehold.
When we arrive on a sunny Sunday evening at around 6pm, temperatures are being taken, after which you give your name and phone number as part of the Government’s Test and Trace policy.
A young woman originally from Los Angeles shows us to our neat and tidy, no-frills room. You can’t get much further from LA than here — although it’s the sort of place Americans would go potty over.
Prince William popped in for a swift pint ahead of Super Saturday
On the way back downstairs we pass a wall of photographs featuring Mr Goodrich as an accomplished sportsman at Winchester College, alma mater of Chancellor Dishy Rishi.
No ordering or sitting at the bar, sadly, and we would prefer to be eating in the main dining area that leads into the garden rather than in a front parlour, where we are soon the sole occupants.
But the food creates some atmosphere, especially the super-posh fish and chips, with wispy, light batter and minted mushy peas.
We head for Snettisham beach for a late swim, but the tide is so far out we can’t make out what is sky and what is sea. I start to wade through the mud flats before admitting defeat.
Next morning, we have breakfast in the walled garden — the full works, including baked beans and hash browns.
There are disadvantages to staying in a hotel the way things are — filling in breakfast forms the night before, queuing to be seated, no buffets — but there are advantages, too.
Everyone’s pleased to see you. No one is bored or jaded. And there’s camaraderie.
The Rose & Crown, Snettisham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 7LX. Doubles from £120. For more information call 01485 541382 or visit roseandcrownsnettisham.co.uk.