It was a chilly, but fabulously sunny day and I had the pleasure of heading to Cley-next-the-Sea to visit the iconic Cley Windmill.
Now owned by Dr Julian & Carolyn Godlee, the Windmill dates back to 1819. Prior historical info is difficult to come by, but the land was purchased in 1713 by the Farthing Family. There are a number of visual clues to this date in & around the Mill. Since the Farthing Family, 6 millers have owned Cley Windmill, including a Nun, a Lieutenant Colonel and now a Doctor.
Under Julian & Carolyn, the Windmill has undergone an extensive programme of renovation, most recently a new set of larch sails. Work continues.
The Windmill itself can sleep 12 guests in 6 stunning and individual rooms, the majority with names drawn from the mills working past – Miller’s, Wheat Chamber, Barley Bin, Stone Room and Wheel Room.
On this occasion, I visited the lovely Wheat Chamber, with its superb views, and the ultimate ‘Windmill experience’ room, the Wheel Room. You climb a ladder and enter this room through a trap door – fantastic! The Wheel Room is extraordinary with its oak four poster bed and the best viewpoint of all. The excitement does not end there though – the shower-room is accessed by another ladder, after which you are truly within the inner workings of the Windmill.
A further 8 guests can stay in the outside ‘Garden Rooms’. The Boat House, The Dovecote and The Long House – a flint walled room that looks out over the marshes and the newly dredged River Glaven.
Food-wise, breakfast and dinner are prepared by Chefs Emma Pegden & Jimmi Cubitt. They use freshly prepared local produce that reflects the seasons. The dinner menu changes on a daily basis and can be viewed here. Evening dining is open to all (booking advisable) with a 3 course set menu. Arrive for 7pm with pre-dinner drinks in the circular sitting room, with a fire lit for colder evenings, or in the beautiful gardens looking out over the reeds and marshes during the summer months. Food is served at 7:30pm under candle light – charming and very civilised.
You can also dine at Cley Windmill for Sunday Lunch. This is an exclusive dining experience, so there will need to be a minimum of 10 people. Think celebration, family or friends get together…
On the subject of celebrations, Cley Windmill is perfect for House Parties. Family & friends can take over the entire Windmill to celebrate a special occasion. All the dining is sorted for you.
If you are thinking of getting married, Cley Windmill is a very magical place to do so indeed. You can either have the ceremony at the Mill, or once again take over the whole Windmill for the celebrations too. The ceremony takes place in beautiful round Sitting Room.
But, aside from all these notable features, being a Dad to two small boys the best bit about Cley Windmill is surely the fact it is home to CBeebies GrandPa In My Pocket. How great is that? See Cley Windmill in the theme song!
Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR25 7RP.
Tel: 01263 740209.