Everybody mentions ‘The Reviews’ be it B&B guests or self-catering holiday guests; the topic always arises “oh, I read your Reviews”. On departure every single guest also, at some point will say “I’ll write you lovely Reviews”!

TripAdvisor, Trip Advisor, Reviews

Of course I smile politely and nod sagely, you see I’m of the belief that only 1% yes one percent who have visited Barn & Beach have ever written us reviews.

With this in mind I set out tonight to try and establish just where we can find our reviews;

Late Rooms for the B&B at Meadowside barn, well there are fifteen on this site, and they’re excellent.

TripAdvisor Barn & Beach well there are ninety eight on this listing, again excellent.

Then there is Trip Advisor, set up by who knows? for each individual property e.g. Beach View there are nine for this little gem!

So potentially we have 9×8 (properties) = 72 more reviews on the independent pages of TripAdvisor?

I think there are some reviews on Google the three I found on that link are unusual, in that one person has never visited, one is known and one is a genuine guest, hhhhmmmm….

We are trialing the seafront cabins with the chaps over at AirBnB the Little Blue Shepherd hut sees the most activity on that site and in total there we have seven reviews.

So, a quick five minute search of the web has unraveled 195 (one hundred and ninety five) reviews of Barn & Beach  activity. Excellent, and surprisingly pass the predicted account for about one percent of people who have visited “Barn & Beach Since 2010″ The actual is probably nearer to 9% (nine percent).

#VisitNorfolk  Barn & Beach holidays, come and enjoy the seasons on the ‘Norfolk Coast’

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter; relaxing places to stay…

No Booking Fees!



Z – Zinnia

Zinnia, this I have decided as being my cut flower of choice, the form looks good.

If you wish to direct sow your Zinnia in the soil, which is often the recommended method, I should wait until towards the end of April. Soil should be rich in organic matter and the bed should get full sun. I sow plants to about a foot apart.

Zinnias are very productive beasties, so keep harvesting the flowers and they will keep coming for yonks. The wise words from Higgledy Gareden.

I have searched tomes at the library followed up the authors on the internet and then decided on one or two flowers for what is going to be my ‘cut flower’ patch down the Allotment.

allotment, Norfolk, England
The Plot

The plot is way to big for me to fill with vegetable crops so I have decide one third will be cut flowers, I have a random selection of about twenty packets of seed, Cornflowers and the like…

Higgledy Garden Seeds, Higgledy, garden, flowers
Higgledy Garden seeds

Zinnias and Thursday’s choice Xeranthemum are going to be my two challenges (having never grown cut flowers before) and needing a new challenge, well this ones over for another year…Hope you have all enjoyed popping by the Allotment for some Plants, Produce & Pondering’s and have picked up one or two little things you can take on your own journey, but remember make it a Slow Journey enjoy the ride!

Allotment, Norfolk, england
welcome to the Allotment, do drop in.


Y – Yushania Anceps

Ye olde Penultimate blog;  Y is for yes, but, and this is a big but, when it comes to this ‘Y’ I’m saying NO, No, no Yushania Anceps or Bamboo on the Lotty!

Yucca, Plants, Gardens, Barn & Beach
Yushania Anceps

I lived in Hackney, East London before I came out to the coast to set-up my independent holidays with Barn & Beach. The enlightened neighbours planted a row of Yushania Anceps on their side of the fence to create a green screen, Bamboo doesn’t like to be told where to stand and wanders off like an errant child all over the bloody place! for that very reason I would never have it anywhere near my gardens or allotment. It took us all forever to dig out shoots n roots, those neighbours are probably still digging it now…

Yushania Anceps probably would stand up to the salt laden winds we have here on the North East Norfolk coast ( must check at the Vicarage on my next visit) but I’m just saying NO.

Look forward to getting back to ‘cut flowers’ wher I’m going to pick my favourite tomorrow and, of course, the end of the A to Z Challenge for 2016.

Plants, Produce & Ponderings from Norfolk (without too many producers, sadly) ’til tomorrow folks!

Beach, Life , Norfolk
Life’s a Beach


X – Xeranthemum or Xerophyllum

Xeranthemum or Xerophyllum? I think I mentioned earlier in the month that I’m giving over a third of my allotment to cut flowers or just flowers this year. Reason? I use a lot of cut flowers in the Holiday Homes.

B&B , Norfolk, Flowers
Sunflowers at Meadowside Barn B&B

In these times where our lives are blended, work, rest and play all in together, so my Allotment reflects this; a place for work (flowers) rest (outdoor living) play (trying to produce crops) big emphasis on the trying on my behalf.

I was going to attempt a typology for genus of cut flowers but am mostly following the advice of some rather good seed producer I follow on twitter @higgledygarden creative and amusing author of the associated blogs ‘Benjamin Ranyard’

Now X, Y & Z I have left over to cut flower types that I can use, to be honest the other aspect ‘Produce’ never got off the ground I had two takers for a ‘Guest Blog’ this year! Hopless.

Xeranthemum and Xerophyllum are two flowers I’ve not seen advertised anywhere so I thought lets try and be unique at Barn & Beach.

Xeranthemum – Xeranthemum ‘Lumina’ is a hardy annual, one of the prettiest of everlasting flowers; they are simply charming in borders with an abundance of 1 to 2 inch wide, dainty blossoms in four distinct colours of white, rose, crimson and purple. (from


The attractive double crested paper-like blooms stand gracefully aloft strong stems of silver-green foliage and have a papery feel. They are excellent for cutting, and if dried are useful for winter decoration. (from

Xerophyllum – Is probably not going to fit the bill, as lovely as it looks it takes to much space and is probably to slow for the cut flower garden (comments?) It has a charming common name of ‘ Beargrass’ and is easy on the eye, bit not native or practical.

My challenge for X will be Xeranthemum, must ask Ben if he can supply some..





Autumn Looking Forward

At Barn and Beach we gave you the A to Z of things to do places to see in Norfolk & Norwich this summer, we had some classics;

Banham Zoo

Upton Dyke

Kelling Quags

Being three instantly memorable favourite Norfolk days out! It was quite a task getting through the twenty six letters of the alphabet in one calendar month, especially as many of the places were visited to write bespoke pieces about the location. The great positive was it vastly improved the knowledge of the county.

As I write the autumn mists are swirling around the barn…

Autumn Norfolk
Autumn Morning Norfolk

We are in a reflective mood but also a very positive forward thinking one too… there are changes Barn & Beach is losing old partnerships from the New Year.

Changes are being made to the website as I type, new partnerships are being forged, hopefully our client list will grow, organically, of course.

If Slow is the way of the season the harvest is coming in; the potato fields are being cleared miles of freshly tilled brown clod are all around it has a striking beauty, Norfolk…….

Norfolk farming
Tilled Fields

Barn & Beach have slowed too, however we are still welcoming many new guests to the Beach Houses, the village locations have slowed now but will welcome families in the half-term holidays once again.

The calendar for next year is already filling up, if you want to be in the ‘best Beach Houses’ in our beautiful county now is the time to choose especially Beach Place & Beach View  which have only a hand full of weeks in the peak holiday season 2015!


Barn & Beach Norfolk Holidays
Barn & Beach Norfolk Holidays

Barn & Beach Norfolk holidays, relaxing places to stay……..

Truly Local

Truly Local

Provenance, provenance, provenance we hear so much of it now it’s a great movement on the back of the ever popular Farmers Markets and Slow living advocated by the doyen of the movement Alistair Sawday.

So with remarkable providence a one off trip to the nearby town of Stalham, one that is rarely visited as it thought that it offered little except a medium sized Tesco store. How that view has been changed.

North Walsham the local market town has always taken precedence over Stalham, even though they are equidistant from the Barn & Beach properties, one being promoted by Griffon and the other by Happing. Meadowside barn and the Beach House both fall under the Griffon Partnership and for this reason North Walsham is more often the choice to market.

On Friday last week the discovery of ‘Truly Local’ a  CIC (community interest company) they boast that all the produce in the store comes from a maximum of thirty-five miles radius of the store. It had to be thirty-five to include the Whisky of St Georges distillery which is the only whisky distilled in England.


So Stalham High Street it turns out is a plethora of small independent stores and may, with the introduction of Truly Local, have just taken the lead in where Barn & Beach will collect its grocery and welcome packs.

A deal is being struck with the management so that a truly Norfolk welcome pack can be put together and delivered to the Beach House on Saturdays, changeover day, this will hopefully encourage our visitors to include provenance as a key part of their Norfolk holiday.

The shop, its displays, and most of all its produce are a truly delightful find. Hopefully it is only a small step and the start of more local artisan projects that can lift the profile of this often forgotten part of beautiful North Norfolk.

Visit Norfolk with Barn & Beach relaxing places to stay…