Miles from almost anywhere on the Norfolk coast is a tiny tea room, in an old flint house at the side of a country road. But walkers, seal spotters, bird watchers and locals know it as a haven of cosiness and nostalgia.
Dad’s Army meets The Good Life
Run by the enthusiastic Darren and his family Poppylands is a 1940s themed café, packed with wartime memorabilia and serving rations like bread-and-dripping, fish finger sandwiches and generous slices of home-made cake.
The dishes may be nostalgic but don’t be misled; the portions are good, the food freshly cooked (many ingredients are produced on the family’s small holding next door) and the prices reasonable.
We dropped by for a warming coffee after a brisk walk on the dunes to see the colony of Grey Seals but Pork Belly couldn’t resist a “dambusters” breakfast bap packed with sausage, bacon and egg, served by a good humoured waitress who even took our order, as Pork Belly requested, humming the Dambusters theme tune!
Quirky and unique are over-used words in reviews but nothing else accurately describes this venture. The family took the place on just over 18 months ago (from a taxidermist with a display of teddy bear heads. Don’t ask, they do things differently in Norfolk!) and set about transforming it into a comfy café with wood burning stove, replica forties decorations (many of which can be bought in the craft shop upstairs) and genuine artefacts from the past.
Staff are very welcoming and many dress in traditional forties work-wear.
There’s an outside seating area with a reconstructed railway station from the period. They have plans to expand and bring more of Darren’s extensive collection of forties shops and services on site but until then he rings the changes in the display cabinets to reflect the passing seasons and his own interests.
It’s proving popular and can get busy. As all the food is freshly prepared that might mean a wait at busy times but you can while away the time humming along to Vera Lynn and Glenn Miller and thanking your lucky stars you no longer have to do the laundry by hand.
More information about Poppylands
The tea room is on Waxham Road, Horsey NR29 4EQ
Open every day 10 – 4 except Tuesday for most of the year.
Dogs are welcome upstairs
In keeping with the owners’ nostalgic approach they don’t do much promotion online but see their Facebook page for updates.