Why I love Norfolk - Samantha Elmhirst

Samantha Elmhirst with Simon the cat

Samantha Elmhirst with Simon the cat - Credit: David Rees

Memory

Taking delivery of Honeysuckle my rescue kitty by pet courier all the way from Corfu and then a year later publishing my first book A Cat in Hell’s Chance – Lucky’s Story, about another Corfu kitten. The book was launched on-line from home, Norfolk fave memory double bubble!

Landmark

RAF West Raynham. I love all the old buildings here. It’s also home to the Norfolk Film Company. I was a supporting artist here recently filming with Kenneth Brannagh in the huge hangar which they had magically turned into Number 10 Downing Street. A few years earlier the old Squadron’s Mess was turned into a 1950s sanatorium and wow! What an atmospheric building and so little changed inside.

Beach

North Denes, Great Yarmouth. My sister and I come here a lot as it’s perfect for early morning dog walks on miles of golden sand and then breakfast at The Beach Hut. There’s some spell-binding architecture here too, steeped in history.

Town/city/village

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Walsingham, for its peace and tranquillity. I especially love the snowdrop walk in late winter, and the comfort and reassurance it gives as new life emerges from the frozen ground.

Place to eat

My parents' house in Thorpe! We have some quite luxurious and gastronomic feasts here, in the warmest, bestest company – family. Nothing tops it.

Pub

The Bush in Old Costessey - it’s a hidden gem really, a proper old fashioned pub. No food served means its great for just cosy fireside chatter without any dead chips lurking mysteriously under the table! You can get a pickled egg here and gourmet crisps. Its appeal is the garden which goes right down to the River Wensum where you can sit and laze away the sunset watching swans glide past.

Attraction or day out

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, especially the Village at War 1940s event where I’m lucky enough to be able to work with the Suffolk Punches here as a Land Girl. I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years now and it’s a huge privilege.

Samantha Elmhirst at Gressenhall Museum with a Suffolk Punch horse

Samantha Elmhirst in Land Girl costume at Gressenhall Museum with a Suffolk Punch horse - Credit: Mike Hodgkinson

Something that happens every year 

Break charity’s Go Go sculpture trails. I was a Go Go Hares artist painting Hare LeQuin, which led to my recording the 50th Anniversary Mighty Quinn song with Manfred Mann’s Mike D’Abo. He now sits at the other end of the lounge, warm and dry (Hare LeQuin that is, not Mike).

Shop

Mews Antiques Emporium in Holt. I love all things vintage and retro and this shop has it all from every era. My home is pretty much the same, something from every era but clash with dash!

Export 

Matthew Macfadyen. A great actor, especially in the Bletchley Park film Enigma, another era I love. He’s married to Keeley Hawes so indirectly it encompasses the loves of my life: The Durrells, Corfu, animals, vintage and all things creative under the arts umbrella.

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