AD | Gifted Experience
Earlier this year Red Letter Days got in touch to see if we would like to try one of their experiences. Living in Norfolk and not being able to drive usually means that we’re not able to get to a lot of places but having been for afternoon tea and a massage last year, I knew of somewhere we could go. We decided to go with the Country House Escape for 2 at The Grove in Cromer.
This particular experience is available Sunday to Friday, throughout the year, excluding summer holidays, Christmas and New Year period. To book, I called up The Grove and they were very helpful in answering any questions I had. The room that you get with the experience is for 2 people but I explained that we needed our 3 year old to come with us. We don’t ever have babysitters or nights away alone so Erin comes with us anywhere we go. Although the room wouldn’t have suited all of us (unless we all slept in the same bed) we were able to upgrade to a family room (fee payable).
On the day of our stay we arrived at about 1:15 so a bit before check in time which is 2pm. This wasn’t a problem though and we were shown to our room which was a short walk from the main building. The Grove has rooms in the main building as well as cottages, separate family rooms and also glamping during the summer. The grounds at The Grove are absolutely beautiful so to walk through a garden, past a massage hut, playground and vegetable patch to our room was a pleasure.
We stayed in Gladstone which is one of 5 ground floor bedrooms (called The Orchard Rooms) located in a quiet part of the gardens. Gladstone has a mezzanine floor with children’s futon beds so it was a really great fit for us. Also, Gladstone has an adjourning door to another room so if you’re staying as a large group you could book both to make 1 large room!
We were all quite amazed as soon as we entered the accommodation. The ground floor bedroom was light, airy and had a huge bed as well as a sofa. I appreciated the fact that there was somewhere for everyone to sit downstairs without having to sit on the bed. The whole room was really well presented and designed for comfort.
Also on the ground floor was the bathroom which had both a bath and a shower. Erin hates showers so the bath was a really important factor for us. There was also a non-slip mat for safety, plenty of towels and a good range of toiletries. Instead of the usual cheap shampoo and body wash there was separate conditioner, body wash, hand wash and body lotion!
Upstairs on the mezzanine level was 2 futon beds for children. To give you complete peace of mind there are stair gates at both the bottom and top of the stairs. Erin did try to do these herself but couldn’t so I was happy to have her sleep upstairs without worrying. The balcony does have open areas but we put a pillow against them just to make sure that Erin didn’t get her arm stuck or anything during the night.
Erin was really excited to have a whole area of the room to herself and she told me how much she loved sleeping up there.
Gladstone was a really lovely room for us all to stay in and it had pretty much everything we needed. There was space under the stairs for storage and was the perfect place for our pushchair. There was also clothes storage and drawers so we had more than enough room for our clothes. The one thing I did miss a bit was having a desk/ chair for somewhere to get ready at and usually I would have taken my laptop away with me and I wouldn’t have had anywhere to sit with it.
What is there to do?
The Grove has more to offer than you might think. To start with, the grounds are beautiful and I was so glad we visited in Spring. There are large grassy areas, a children’s play area and a vegetable garden to explore.
Something I have been lucky enough to experience before this visit is The Massage Hut. You can book massages ahead of your visit or you might be lucky enough to get a last minute booking while you’re there.
A stay at The Grove also includes use of their swimming pool which is open between 730am and 10pm (closed over lunch). We made the most of this and used the pool twice during our stay and both times we had it all to ourselves. Erin was amazed at being able to use the pool so much and do whatever she wanted there.
The Grove also has a private path through the woods which leads to the coast. A 5-10 minute walk will lead you to quite a steep descent to Cromer beach or you can walk a bit further down and head into Cromer and the pier. This was a bit more of an adventure than I was planning on and the steps down to the beach are very steep and can be slippery but it was a lovely walk and the view was definitely worth it.
The Grove has it’s own restaurant and serves dinner as well as afternoon tea. The restaurant is quite popular and guests aren’t guaranteed a table so booking is essential. During our stay we decided to have afternoon tea instead of dinner as it is a bit more relaxed and served at times better suited for Erin. There are different afternoon tea options available such as including prosecco or flowering teas. Dinner and afternoon tea are not included in the stay so need to be booked and paid for separately.
Breakfast was included in our stay and served between 8am and 10am. We were given a window seat in the dining room so it was lovely to eat with a nice view. Laid out was a selection of cereals, breads, yogurt, nuts and fruit and freshly baked croissants were brought out not long after we sat down. There is also a cook to order breakfast menu so John opted for smoked salmon and eggs and I had breakfast pancakes. Erin helped herself to cereal, fruit and bread and was pretty happy with it!
Would we go back?
Absolutely! All 3 of us had such a wonderful visit and after wanting to stay here for so long I wasn’t disappointed. Cromer is actually only 15 minutes away from home but I loved doing something so different in our local area. The staff at The Grove were also more than helpful, amazing with Erin and nothing was too much trouble for them. Things like this, especially when travelling with young children, makes a real difference and the staff definitely helped to make our stay as good as it was.