We booked our Valentines getaway at the Normandale Century Inn ($159) and it was a very relaxing and special experience.
When we arrived, Brenda greeted us and took us up to our room decorated with valentine hearts on the night tables and a few valentine chocolates. She then handed us menus for our dinner and breakfast from which we made our selections so she could have them ready at our chosen meal times.
In the dining room the decor on the tables changes with the holiday or the season. It's very pleasant.
Dinner came with corn bread, a choice of three salads, roast beef with yorkshire pudding, pork with a maple sauce, or chicken cordon bleu, roasted or mashed potatoes, broccoli and carrots, New York cheesecake or chocolate mousse, coffee or tea; drinks are additional. We had the roast beef and the meal was exceptional - the cornbread, Caeser's salad and the cheesecake among the best I have ever had.
Breakfast had a large variety of cold selections and a hot offering of toast with scrambled eggs and bacon. Brenda includes many local ingredients in the menu. Norfolk is developing a reputation for its wines and artisanal foods. And rightfully so.
We live only a half hour drive from Normandale and have passed through many times, in fact, about 27 years ago we stayed at the now closed Union Hotel B&B across the road. It, too, was another treasure. Before dinner we went for a walk around the hamlet and although we have lived in this area for almost 30 years, it was the first time we explored on foot. What a gem. It's a mix of permanent and summer homes. And it is lovely, with 2 or 3 accesses down to the beach.
Brenda and Hans have slowly and thoughtfully renovated the property they purchased almost 20 years and have created attractive, warm, and welcoming accommodation for their guests. Hans is adding yet another amenity - a lounge to which only guests will have access so that they have another place to go - private, yet not in their rooms.
I can see the Normandale Century Inn as a possible venue for an intimate special purpose retreat or a girls getaway now that the lounge is underway.
Brenda and Hans are the consummate hosts: they have that rare ability to make you feel that they are really happy that you have come to their establishment and do everything they can to make you comfortable.
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