123 miles from London
A viscount's charmingly eccentric hotel brings boho chic to north Norfolk.
A hybrid of raj-era colonial, London boho and country-manor-house styles, the Victoria, on Holkham Estate in Holkham, is hardly your traditional North Norfolk lodging. But Viscount Coke's adorably eccentric 11-guest-room hotel, with its grass-green and burnt-orange walls and dark wood furniture custom-made in Rajasthan, India, is just what that flat, windswept county in the far east of England needed.
Norfolk used to be all about bracing walks and bird-watching on vast strands by flinty seaside towns. Nowadays, arty Londoners make the three-hour drive for its antiques shops, galleries and so-called gastro-pubs. They come for the Victoria, too. Guests can hike through miles of forests and empty sand, tour 18th-century Holkham Hall, where the Earl of Leicester (the Viscount's father) lives, then feast at the Victoria on chef Neil Dowson's up-to-the-minute British bistro food: baked smoked haddock on leek mash, game consommé with wild duck. Menus feature Estate-raised game and local beef and produce, plus the famous Norfolk seafoodthe gigantic oysters alone are worth the journey from London. In fact, so many are making that trek that the Victoria is expanding, which hopefully won't lessen the cozy, slightly louche charm one iota.