Deb Jordan's Norfolk
Deb Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe Wildlife and Gardens near Fakenham tells us about some of her favourite Norfolk things.
SEE DEB IN OUR NATURAL NORFOLK FILM
Your favourite place to eat and why? In Norfolk there is the most wonderful abundance of really great pubs that all serve Norfolk mussels! Way back we were much closer in proximity to the Lifeboat in Thornham and our family were loyal regulars of piping hot pots of steaming mussels accompanied with some equally good ales! Recently we were delighted to find an extraordinary long list of incredibly delicious recipes for mussels on the menu at the Red Lion in Stiffkey. We shall definitely be back!
Your favourite pub and why? However good the food and beer one also remembers a pub for the enjoyment factor and fond memories of one's time there! Over the last ten years the Lodge at Hunstanton has become the Jordan spot to unwind, catch up, reminisce, cry, laugh and generally have a hilarious time! When the young return from college, uni and work in London the Lodge is a great place to meet and chill out!
What do you long for if you've been away? Beautiful wildlife is like a drug. It is incredibly hard work for everyone keeping the reserve looking its best but the rewards are huge and there is nowhere else I can think of that I would prefer to wake up in the early morning and listen to the dawn chorus, hear the geese and cranes haggling over territory and see the light and mist hovering over the woods and lakes.
What's your favourite Norfolk place and why? Genuinely the reserve has captured a place in my heart that it would be difficult to exceed elsewhere. Nature is a true healer and there is an improved wellness and inspiration that comes from being immersed in nature and the wildlife that is so abundant here. It has been a real journey having been involved in something that neither Bill nor I had much experience of when we came ten years ago and I feel really proud to have been a small part of what is here now. It is all too easy to imagine that individually we can't make a difference, but I believe we can. Pensthorpe is a place of great beauty, learning and spirituality. The team here all work really hard to encourage the young to get involved, have fun and learn about their native wildlife and how they too can make a difference however big or small in their own gardens at home. Even if they only own a window box they can still get involved! To read that a recent visitor to the reserve believes that their visit here enhanced their lives for the better in some small way makes all the hard work incredibly rewarding and worthwhile!
Where would you have a picnic and what Norfolk food would you have? I am not sure if it is still possible to catch brown shrimps on the beach with a small net at low tide in Hunstanton when the tide is way out? But I remember my wonderfully energetic grandmother taking us miles out to sea to go shrimping! We would then cook the catch on a burner in her hut and picnic in the dunes for tea. If all else fails one could compromise with brown shrimps and dressed crabs from Mr Gurney in Burnham Market!
Your favourite Norfolk view? Driving into Ringstead from Docking and seeing the Ringstead church perched on the hill above the village like a protective parent.
Where would you send a visitor to really appreciate Norfolk? Norfolk really does have a place and treats in store for everyone. Keen birdwatchers can enjoy the wonderful delights of the coastline as well as the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's stunning visitor centre and walks at Cley. Visit Broads Tours for spectacular boat tours taking in miles of beautiful waterways and peaceful lapping broads in the blissful Norfolk countryside. Those with a taste for culture will find much to explore in Norwich with the Castle Museum and Cathedral.
What piece of advice would you give a visitor to the county? Before you visit be sure to look at Visit Norfolk's website and once here pick up a copy of one of the great family friendly compendiums like Where to go In North Norfolk and the Norfolk Tourist Attractions booklets to really get the best from your visit to this great county.
What's your idea of Norfolk Big Sky Thinking? Perhaps it is the vast expanse and breadth of the sky in Norfolk that allows one to feel like there are no boundaries to your expectations, no limits to your dreams and that with a great deal of faith and hard work there could well be a pot of gold at the end of a Norfolk rainbow!