The Dial House comprises two shops, a restaurant, coffee house and eight themed rooms in the pretty village of Reepham, not far from Norwich.
Ours is called Africa, replete with masks, shields and a free-standing tub at the foot of the bed. It would work well in a safari lodge, but strikes us as a gimmick in a handsome brick building dating to 1721.
A local chap called Iain Wilson is behind this ambitious project, which has been up and running for less than six months.
One of the rooms at the Dial House in the pretty village of Reepham, close to Norwich
He also has what he calls a ‘posh B&B’ in nearby Holt and deserves praise for saving what used to be the Old Brewery House pub (where a young Stephen Fry is meant to have worked) and turning it into the Dial House.
We miss out on dinner due to visiting friends, but we hear chef Ray Maddox (formerly at Langan’s in London) is building a strong reputation for himself.
Certainly at breakfast, plenty of non-residents are in, mainly seated in a large, wood-floored room with a working Aga at one end, where staff are making pancakes.
The chairs we are sitting on have price tags attached to them.
In fact, everything seems to be for sale, along with glass, ceramics, antiques and tasteful knick-knacks. It’s a curious mix.
On one hand, it’s delightfully homey; on the other it’s blatantly commercial. A happy balance awaits.
The Dial House
Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JJ
01603 879900, thedialhouse.org.uk
Doubles from £130