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“Continues to divide people”
Review of The Gunton Arms

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The Gunton Arms
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Welcome to the 'Marmite' pub. You either love it or hate it.
For some, (including the two of us) it's the best pub in Norfolk and one of the best in the country.
It is eccentric. The art on the walls can be fascinating, amusing, contentious, and may offend the more sensitive recluse. (But in reality, probably the most offensive thing is Tracey Emin's complete lack of drawing ability.)
Thank goodness it is not decked out in shiny new furniture, linen tablecloths, swirling carpets and sweet soft music. Instead, imagine recycled school furniture (complete with carved initials), old unrestored leather armchairs, proper bar stools, a (very) honky tonk piano, pool tables and big open fires. Even the walls, ceilings and doors have been painstakingly and expensively painted to appear as if 100 years of cigarette smoke have contributed to the patina.(This is all in stark contrast to the bedrooms and resident's lounge, by the way, which are oh so cosy.)
If you are in the restaurant, you will not be served by uniformed identikit waitresses. We go there regularly; the service is generally efficient, always charming, and the food is generally first rate.
It has its off moments, like any big, bustling pub will, generally when its own popularity contributes to tensions. One such moment happened last weekend, when a 'honey festival' in the grounds attracted a very different element whose main intention was to get very, very drunk. This caused some upset in the crowded bar, where three bar staff struggled to cope. (And was compounded by one visiting couple who must have thought they were in a Cotswold Tea Shoppe, and proceeded to order a pot of Earl Grey amongst the mayhem. Clearly they need a new Satnav.)
We live in an increasingly homogenised, mass produced, mass market World. Thank God for the Gunton Arms.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank oldnorvicensian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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286 - 292 of 480 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

We visited the Gunton Arms one Sunday, it was very busy as they were hosting an event in the garden. The Event itself was really nice, great selection of music and performances. The Bar staff were atrocious. Yes they were under pressure as the bar area was full but they had such a bad attitude. We ordered Tea as we were driving, it was cold and ultimately that is what we wanted to order.

The Bar staff made a HUGE fuss, banging down pots, sarcastic comments to other customers - overall incredibly rude. £9 for 4 cups of tea is a total rip off.

Shame as a very beautiful setting.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Keavagh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Gunton Arms.....not a good experience I'm afraid. Beautiful setting, horrid staff that need lessons in customer service and be taught that what ever conversations they're having between themselves keeping customers waiting and then ignoring them to serve someone else is not the way forward.
I'm not sure who devised the menu but the layout is atrocious and bitty and not much available, the restaurant is dark but looks interesting as chef cooks over open fire in restaurant.

The price is slightly higher than I expected especially as ordered a crab and cucumber sandwich one on white and one on brown but both come out on brown with no cucumber, too much bread for the amount of filling and tasteless.

Pollock fish finger was ordered but no where did it say mushy peas would also be in the sandwich. Cutlery and serviettes were never bought to us neither were sauces offered.

A meat platter was ordered and when it finally arrived a small bowl of pickled onions accompanied 5 thin slices of cured meat, no bread or anything and at the cost of £8 was disgusting.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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3  Thank swedishchefcook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

An interesting place full of character if you like olde world which we do.We arrived on a monday lunchtime without booking..fortunately at 12pm ,any later and we wouldnt have had a table it was so busy,and were seated in the restaurant by friendly staff.All of the food was delicious and well presented.The three of us shared two desserts and a cheeseboard which was fun.We are looking fprward to returning ..after making a booking in advance in the near future.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Mississippigroovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

We go to the Gunton Arms to eat fairly regularly as we have a house in North Norfolk. When it first opened a couple of years ago we were very excited as there is limited stylish eating places in the area. We have probably eaten there eight times, both at lunch and dinner. Sadly it has never been quite perfect! Minted peas with no evidence of mint, lavender creme brûlée with no lavender (when we pointed that out the waitress admitted "the chef was having an off day"),salad with no vinaigrette, wine spilt down a jacket. The menu is always interesting and has good local produce, and the open fire BBQ for meat is excellent. Venison is from the park.
We returned with six adults for lunch over the Easter weekend, and were placed in the smaller back room. They have obviously decided to redecorate and have not quite finished this room, which was so dark (having been painted in very sombre colours) and with terrible lighting. Our wall had no lights at all on it, and one needed a headlight to see the menu! This was during the day, I dread to think what it is like at night. On asking when the lighting was going to be done, the waitress admitted that it was already done!
None of their famous art work on the walls either.
In order to keep their clientele they need to work on staff training and quality control in the kitchen, and please do something about the smaller dining room lighting!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Amanda0752
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

Stayed in the superior room for two nights. Great location with several hundred deer staring at you. Our room was big and had a very nice bathroom with both bath and shower. We were right above the bar, but there was no problem with noise. Had dinner both nights. Was good, but not great, but hey this is a pub! Breakfast was yum. Overall the staff provided great service. Gay friendly too.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Charlie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

I have had a lovely two days here with my wife. What I love about the Gunton Arms is that it wears it's foodie credentials lightly, yet serves seriously delicious food, cooked by an impressive kitchen. There is fabulous theatre in watching the head chef cook on the fire in the Elk Room, yet there is also a quality and care about the food. It is all BIG! You are not going to stagger out of the dining room light on your toes. As for the room and the stay it was exactly as it seems: quirky, eclectic, never dull, comfy, with a ginormous bath! I have no problem with no tele in the room-I read! My wife grumbled at the tea and coffee making facilities being downstairs. Quite frankly it never once actually made a difference. The two days cost, but really it was quite a luxurious stay, but in your local. With lots of expensive art on the walls. And a pool table. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank Chuckdiamante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Gunton Arms

Address: The Gunton Arms Cromer Road, Thorpe Market NR11 8TZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Thorpe Market
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Thorpe Market
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
The Gunton Arms Hotel Thorpe Market
The Gunton Arms Thorpe Market, Norfolk

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