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Hotel Review: The Dial House, Reepham in Norfolk

By Rachel Hunt on 30th May 2019

Its my 33rd birthday, I’m seven months pregnant and my husband is away on business. I don’t want to be stuck at home celebrating alone. So instead I take a mid-week break to celebrate in style.

A hidden gem in rural Norfolk…

With eight individually designed bedrooms from around the globe, The Dial House makes for a luxurious yet quirky stay. It is also home to a shop, restaurant, coffee house and spa.

Set in the heart of one of Norfolk’s rural market towns this Georgian town house is an exciting find. Overlooking the town’s market square, the red brick house dates back to 1728, its large sundial peers down on visitors, which is where the inspiration for its name derives from.

Inside the Dial…

The Dial House showcases an eclectic collection of antique and contemporary finds

Inside are more original features from fireplaces to wall panels, furnished with a mixture of antique and contemporary items, some of which you can purchase – just look for the price tag!

Owners Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones took over The Dial House in 2018 and have created a spot which has everything you need under one roof. They use local suppliers wherever possible and focus on the finer details, hidden in nooks and crannies wherever you look.

As you move between rooms you are taken on a journey; this place is full of curious corners and diverse time periods. There is even a secret dining room behind a bookcase.

The Italian Palace is one of eight individually themed rooms at The Dial House

The Italian Palace was my room for the night; elegantly furnished with stunning peacock patterned wallpaper, a freestanding roll top bath and a silk bed, piled with cushions and bolsters, this room is fit for any Roman Empress.

The views of the room overlook the lively market place and light comes flooding in all day long, it’s glorious. There’s even a record player available for the music lovers amongst us.

First impressions count and the complimentary homemade cookies, tea selection and ‘Happy Birthday’ truffles that were left for me were a sweet touch.

Outside of the room is a snug lined with glass cabinets containing shells, fossils and exotic wonders from around the world, another hidden surprise I didn’t expect to see.

Glass cabinets display shells, fossils and exotic wonders from around the world

Relax and revitalize…

I arrived early afternoon for a pregnancy massage. Penny is The Dial House’s resident therapist, and has her own treatment room in the hotel, although you can also have your treatment in your room if you prefer.

Whilst I lay, (baby somersaulting in my tummy), I drifted off somewhere else and before I knew it, the hour was over. She worked all of my aches and pains away.

I have had a few pregnancy massages over the past few months but I have to say Penny’s was the best so far! This really started my stay off on a relaxing note.

Lunching Al Fresco…

With the sun beaming, the hotel’s front courtyard was beaconing me out, so I decided to have lunch outside. Although I was on my own, that didn’t seem to matter. Hannah and her team were so friendly and accommodating, once I got to know everyone I felt right at home.

My door stop sandwich was impressive, never have I seen such a wedge all pinned down with a gherkin, (the pregnancy cravings were certainly being fulfilled). I also noticed the mayonnaise was not just any store-bought mayo but had been freshly made in the kitchen. Again, the little touches make all the difference.

During the afternoon I took a wander around Reepham, and browsed some of the independent shops, this area has charm and feels a world away from the busy city of Norwich. I then retired to my ‘palace’ for a rest before getting ready for dinner.

A vegetarian supper for one (or two)…

The Dial House offers a selection of creative vegetarian dishes

As a veggie, it’s often hard to find somewhere that comes up with creative vegetarian dishes. This is another box The Dial House ticks.

For my starter, I ordered Essex Asparagus, potato and truffle served with their homemade Mango and Passionfruit Cordial with Sparkling water, it would have been lovely to try their wine selection but only a few months to go. It was a fun dish to eat, as I had to dip and dab the asparagus in the sauce and the crumb!

My main course was BBQ carrots, fennel, quinoa, dukkah and baba ganoush – not short of flavours here, and certainly not bland. I also had to give in to the hand-cut chips as a side – to keep the bump happy of course.

Finally, I was served a gorgeous ‘Happy Birthday’ dessert dish, which absolutely made my evening, I returned to my room feeling special indeed..

Birthday Breakfast…

Breakfast at The Dial House is a relaxed affair with a choice of cooked options alongside the buffet

Normally I wake up at home on my birthday, and then usually a bit of toast or cereal for breakfast, well not this one!

I went all out with Banana and Honey Pancakes and oh my… they were good! They reminded me of ones I used to eat in the States growing up.

There is also a line-up of buffet cereals, yogurts and croissants, alongside the cooked options for those who want something a little lighter.

The Verdict…

The Dial House was homely, eclectic and one of a kind. I couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful place to spend my birthday. I felt so looked after here, especially as I was on my own.

Countryside lovers, walkers and foodies will love it here; you may even find an antique treasure or two during your stay. I will certainly be returning again.

Address: The Dial House, The Market Place, Reepham, Norfolk, NR10 4JJ
Phone: 01603 879900
Website: thedialhouse.org.uk