First lobster of the year, and the Norfolk pub crawl resumes

Rocky Bottoms reopens for 2019….


Rocky Bottoms reopened after their winter break, on a gloriously sunny Monday.

Yes, it was windswept on the clifftops at West Runton, but this is Norfolk after all.


Beach and clifftops, West Runton


The heap of lobster pots outside boded well for lunch. The owner catches crab and lobster off nearby Weybourne beach.


Lobster pots, Rocky Bottoms


The new-look menu has some new additions alongside the old favourites. We couldn’t resist a shared plate of fat whitebait with tartare sauce, which was followed by a mighty crab sandwich (her) and the grilled lobster with garlic butter (me). Both come with a generous mound of salads: shredded beetroot and carrots, capers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes.


The fat whitebait, thick as your finger



Grilled lobster, garlic butter and a pint of Yetman’s


Rocky Bottoms now serves a limited selection of wines, and four varieties of Black Shuck Norfolk gin. They’ve always offered BYO, and continue to do so; I took a bottle of Yetman’s beer, which is brewed in Holt along the road.

The manager, known on social media as “Little Boss”, noticed this, and let me know that three of Peter Yetman’s beers would soon be a fixture.

(I understand “Big Boss” is Alison Matthews, wife of Richard the fisherman, so I assume it’s an extended family business….)


Read my previous post on Rocky Bottoms here:


Rocky Bottoms, Cromer Road, West Runton, Norfolk, NR27 9QA      01263 837359

Open Sunday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday 10am – 8pm



….and the Norfolk pub crawl resumed


in Salthouse, with dinner at The Dun Cow on Friday evening. We’d booked a table in their dining room at the side. The main bar has much more atmosphere, but the tables there are first come, first served.

The barman offered to let us know if a table in the bar became available, and by the time we’d ordered our meal he was as good as his word, and moved us through; fortunately for us, people tend to eat early in Norfolk.



“Later that evening”



I went for “Spanish style cod” from the specials board, with tomatoes, chorizo and saffron potatoes.



Spanish style cod



A last minute change of plan the next day meant we went back to The Dun Cow for lunch, with a beautiful view of the marshes from our window table (it was March and windswept; you know the score by now).



Salthouse marshes from The Dun Cow


Smoked haddock Scotch egg with horseradish sauce (for her)


Smoked haddock Scotch Egg


….and a steaming bowl of mussels for me.


Mussel heaven

The Dun Cow, Purdy Street, Salthouse, NR25 7XA       01263 740467

Lunch at The Ship Inn, Weybourne


A couple of days later the weather broke, and it rained all day, so a lunch at the local seemed the best option.

The Cley Smokehouse platter at The Ship, with horseradish and tapenade, ticked the box: citrus smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon; smoked mackerel and prawns.


Cley Smokehouse platter at The Ship


The selection of gins at the Ship has crept from 75 to over 150 since the first instalment of my pub crawl –


The Ship Inn, The Street, Weybourne, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7SZ. 01263 588 721



Cley Smokehouse  

The fish I ate for lunch at The Ship was supplied by Cley Smokehouse, a small business founded over 35 years ago. Like Rocky Bottoms, it’s a family business. Glen Weston and his wife Andrea took over the smokehouse 11 years ago; the Westons are well-known in Norfolk as fishermen, and as Glen says “you can take the fisherman out of the sea, but you can’t take the sea out of the fisherman”.

Their shop is open 7 days a week, and products are available online:


Cley Smokehouse, High Street, Cley-next-the-Sea, NR25 7RF.       01263 740282

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