Eric’s Fish & Chips – St Ives, Cambridgeshire (UK)

Independent business Eric’s Fish & Chips is a welcome sight amongst the giant fast food chains in Abbey Retail Park in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. It may appear to be an unlikely location at first but once you know where it is, it works. It’s a destination restaurant with a fun and unique vibe, serving sustainably caught beer battered fish, beef dripping chips, quality meat, small plates, drinks and more. Ample free parking makes it easy to pop in for a take-away or eat in. This is executive chef Eric Snaith’s second opening, built on the success of Eric’s Fish & Chips in Thornham on the north Norfolk coast, which I have visited several times and wrote about here.

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire Abbey Retail Park

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire diners

Granted, the experience isn’t fish & chips near the sea in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but once you step inside, the blue and green subtle maritime décor and stone-embedded front counter evoke the Norfolk coast and you almost forget you’re in a retail park unit. The exposed whitewashed brick, multi-coloured wall tiles, plush teal banquette seating and circular light fittings create a welcoming, modern atmosphere.

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire counter

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire inside

I eagerly awaited the opening of Eric’s Fish & Chips in St Ives to see how the food and ambience would compare to the one in Thornham, where we have been known to take a day trip just to feast on their fish & chips. So when the invite came to visit the new location, I welcomed the opportunity to taste more of their menu.

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire order here

Eric's Fish & Chips St Ives Cambridgeshire interior

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The Ship Hotel – Brancaster, Norfolk (UK)

The Flying Kiwi Inns is an independent group of luxury hotels in coastal Norfolk purchased by New Zealand Master Chef Chris Coubrough who has settled in the area. The Ship Hotel in Brancaster is one of those luxurious hotels. I already stayed at The Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea and blogged about it here a few years ago. Paulo and I really enjoyed the great food, wine, service and ambience and were eager to repeat the experience at The Ship Hotel. I’m pleased to say we were not disappointed.

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We had a bit of a stressful drive during Storm Doris but when we arrived at The Ship Hotel, check-in couldn’t have been more effortless. Within minutes we were shown to room 9, which I requested upon booking over the phone, where we could unwind before dinner.

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the-ship-hotel-collage-room

The deluxe Moroccan-themed room on the top floor featured a comfy King-size bed, a luxurious roll top bath, separate shower cubicle and a great little nook with a sofa bed nestled in the corner.

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Room 9 on the top floor was the pub’s attic before the refurbishment but the high ceiling in the roof’s apex and the original wooden beams made the room feel spacious.

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The White Horse – Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk (UK)

The White Horse overlooks the marshland coastline in picturesque Brancaster Staithe, North Norfolk, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I’ve seen The White Horse described as a “pub with rooms” and I think that’s quite the understatement. It’s so much more than that… an award winning establishment with coastal contemporary style rooms (15 in total, some of them dog friendly) and a casual bar that leads to a gorgeous conservatory restaurant serving some truly outstanding food. There’s even an elevated deck terrace to take in the panoramic views of the tidal salt marsh. Sounds like the perfect getaway? Well, it was!

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Collage White Horse

Paulo and I booked the “Room at the Top”, a spacious, split-level room complete with telescope for taking in the breathtaking views of the marsh, Scolt Head Island and the sea beyond. Definitely a wow factor!

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The Anchor Inn – Morston, Norfolk (UK)

North Norfolk is one of my very favourite places to eat. Its seafood, fish, meat, fruits and vegetables are always fresh to the plate. In my search for new places to indulge in some local food and drink, I came across an interesting article written by James Ramsden for The Guardian, which addresses why we return to our favourite restaurants time and again (read “Why we never get fed up of our favourite restaurants”). The Anchor Inn in Morston was recommended by Sarah Pettegree of Bray’s Cottage. Now Sarah lives in Norfolk and makes the best pork pies on the planet… so I took her word for it and promptly booked a table for 2 at The Anchor Inn.

Anchor Sign

Anchor Exterior

The result? A delicious lunch in a very charming country pub which, by the way, was a one time haven for 19th century smugglers and fishermen!

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The Crown Hotel – Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (UK)

The Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea is one of the luxury hotels in coastal Norfolk owned by The Flying Kiwi Inns. They are known for serving some excellent food as the restaurants have New Zealand Master Chef Chris Coubrough at the helm. My husband Paulo and I had these places in our sights and we finally decided on an overnight stay and dinner at The Crown Hotel.

HotelThis charming former coaching inn overlooks The Buttlands, with its spacious village green and majestic trees. Picture perfect.

CrownThe magnificent golden crown at the entrance assured us of a regal experience as we eagerly explored the rest of the hotel.

We were impressed by the pleasant bar with its cosy little nooks in which to unwind, the bright and cheerful orangery and the more formal dining room. After checking in, we were shown to a spacious deluxe room with a comfy sofa and bed, including an abundance of pillows to help us settle in and relax.

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