Revamped 'hidden gem' restaurant hoping to put village on map for food

The rack of local lamb dish from the newly-revamped Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. 

The rack of local lamb dish from the newly-revamped Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. - Credit: James Randle

The north Norfolk coast is famous for its top notch food and a newly-revamped restaurant and hotel a few miles from the sea is making waves. 

The Black Lion Hotel is located in the heart of Little Walsingham, a quaint and historic village just a stone's throw from idyllic Wells-next-the-Sea. 

It boasts six en-suite bedrooms and a restaurant, complete with a bar lounge and cosy dining area, which were recently renovated by Claire Woods who took the premises on in November 2019.

The Black Lion Hotel was taken on by Claire Woods in November 2019. 

The Black Lion Hotel was taken on by Claire Woods in November 2019. - Credit: The Black Lion Hotel

There is a small menu, with a focus on seasonal and local produce, and head chef William Alldis is a licenced gamekeeper and beekeeper and he uses his own honey in recipes. 

Main dishes include a rack of local lamb, seabass, and a king oyster mushroom steak. 

Mrs Woods, who has an HR background, said: "It is quiet in Walsingham in the evenings and we are hoping to put the village on the map as a destination for food.

The scallops starter from The Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. 

The scallops starter from The Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. - Credit: James Randle

"There are lots of places to eat on the coast and we are not far off and customers have said that the flavours in our food are wonderful.

"We are working towards an AA rosette for food and are a little hidden gem that just needs finding." 

A gin from Bullards Spirits and a beer from Barsham Brewery. 

A gin from Bullards Spirits and a beer from Barsham Brewery. - Credit: James Randle

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At the moment it is open for dinner only from 6pm to 9pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and on Sundays 12pm to 6pm for roast dinners.

But from June 1 it will open on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well to meet demand.

The restaurant at the Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham has undergone a refurbishment. 

The restaurant at the Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham has undergone a refurbishment. - Credit: The Black Lion Hotel

It is adults-only, but during the school holidays the restaurant offers family dining from 4pm to 6pm Monday to Saturday. 

There are a range of drinks sourced locally, including gin from Bullards Spirits, based in Norwich, and Barsham Brewery beer. 

Mrs Woods added: "We always planned to open seven days a week when we had sufficient staff and we are now moving into the main holiday season.

"We had been turning bookings away and we need to cater for hotel guests staying on Wednesday and Thursday too."

The seabass dish from The Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. 

The seabass dish from The Black Lion Hotel in Little Walsingham. - Credit: James Randle