One of Cromer’s oldest guest houses, which was built in the 18th century as a summer retreat for the Gurney family, is opening its doors to the public for lunch and evening meals for the first time.

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The Grove, on Overstrand Road, was built in 1794 by the family that founded Barclays Bank, and was bought in 1936 by Cromer town councillor Robert Graveling.

During the second world war it was used to house the wives of American airmen serving locally, and The Grove, which is set in four acres and has walks through Warren Woods to cliffs and beach, has since welcomed holidaymakers for three-quarters of a century.

The guest house is now in its third generation of ownership by the same family, and is opening up to non-residents for meals for the first time.

One of the owners, Richard Graveling, said the emphasis was on good quality, locally-sourced food, prepared by new chef Gary Parrett and including Norfolk suppliers Icarus Hines Butchers, the Cromer Farm Shop, Ronaldo’s Ice Cream and Bray’s Cottage pork pies.

Mr Graveling said: “My family has all grown up in Cromer, and we’ve seen the changes in the town over the last few years. We want to be able to let local people and those on holiday come along and take advantage of the lovely grounds and setting and enjoy what is really good local food.

“We try very hard to work with north Norfolk suppliers for as much of our produce as possible, both to contribute to the local economy and because it tastes so good.”

● The Grove is open for lunch from 12-2pm and dinner from 6-9pm daily. Call 01263 512412.

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