At the Assembly House in Norwich

It’s almost two months since our short-stay in Norwich, and I’m not sure where the time in between has gone. I shared a few pictures of The Assembly House, where we stayed while we were there, but nothing since. Our room was pretty special, in fact all the rooms are - and what’s even better is you can see each of the rooms on their website, before you book. Each has a different vibe and colour theme, and ours was blue and yellow.

A four poster bed and homely decor
cushions on the bed at the Assembly House

The colour scheme may have influenced my choice. And maybe the four poster bed did too. Truth is it was one of the available rooms in our price range, so that helped quite a bit too. What’s strange though is even though we knew what the room would look like before we stepped in, when we did, it still took our breath away. MOH was suitably impressed saying something like “it’s like someone’s house.” And what a complement to any hotel, and it really did.

cushions on the bed

Although not many homes we know of have grandiose lights like this, let alone in the bedroom.

quite a chandelier in our room at the assembly house
the same light a different view

And I couldn’t help have an arty shot or two.

it was great to have a room that was big enough to have space for some decent sized armchairs, winged at that. And we made good use of them, much better than having to camp out on the bed, which isn’t ideal and is often why we choose apartments when we go away over hotels. Not this time though.

a winged arm chair
A free standing wardrobe

The old fashioned armoire was authentic as it was stylish. It needed some persuasion to open and shut, but that’s all part of the charm n’est pas?

A fireplace with a mirror above

While MOH made good use of the Nespresso machine, I admired the pom poms on the curtains. I know, a new and stylish way for those pom poms. MOH is already braced for the onslaught of pom poms in our house, they’ve made it as far as the cushions, but will they make it onto the curtains?

pom poms on the curtains

The artwork was pretty eclectic too, and I admired the mix of modern and traditional. I’m a gallery wall fan, but always struggle to line pictures up just as I want them. I resisted the strong urge to check the back of the pictures, as I’m pretty sure that if these are anything like mine, there’s often some blu tak, and sheer goodwill keeping them where they should be, and that’s not something you need to put right in a very well put together hotel room is it?

a very well thought out and comfortable room

And there was plenty of wall art - even between the curtains; this yellow butterfly arrangement may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it.

butterflies on the wall
oh the pom poms on the curtains

The breakfasts at The Assembly House were pretty special too, and it’s fair to say it was probably just as well we were only there two nights, or otherwise I’m sure we wouldn’t have been able to move.

PoCoLo

Tempted by some Norfolk antiques

On our trip to Norfolk at the start of the year we headed off in a different direction than normal and headed across the county to Hingham. It’s more central Norfolk than the North Norfolk coast which we’re used to, and while it was nice and just as picturesque it didn’t really feel like Norfolk to us. To us it had more of a feeling of Suffolk, which we also like. But without the coast close by, it was strange how different it felt.

We stopped for a look around, and somehow found ourselves having a nose around an antique shop. In fact I think it was this peacock-like chair that drew us down the alley. There were a pair and I think MOH knew we were on dodgy ground. While we didn’t have his bike in the back of the car, it was in Norfolk and so getting them home would have been tricky.

A peacock chair

That’s likely to have been the saving grace, which is a shame really as they’ve got a fantastic shape. It would have meant more cushion sewing again, and before that some fabric hunting, but it wasn’t to be. But aren’t they great?

And while we were in the courtyard, it seemed rude not to have a closer look.

A tree bench

Next up was the tree bench above. I’ve always wondered where you’d buy one, and now I know. None of our trees are suitable for such a beauty, as most are on the border and are snug up against the fence. But wouldn’t it be great to have a bench like this?

Heading inside, we did well to make it out without any purchases. Though I thought MOH might crack when faced with this display cabinet full of old tools.

Trays of old tools

And that’s even before we saw these brass spirit levels. I’ll admit I’m not sure I’d have put up much resistance to these. They’re stunning and show real craftsmanship, don’t they? It’s a shame that we’re so programmed to think of spirit levels as the plastic variety. While they’re functional and practical, I can’t see anyone coveting the more modern versions. Tools like these would encourage care and pride in the items they helped make, I’m sure.

So many Brass spirit levels

Leaving the tools behind, we moved onto crockery. I was happy to dawdle and admire but MOH sensing a weak point was keen to chivvy me along as usual.

vintage rose tea set
more tea sets

But that could have misfired, as we found ourselves poring over a table of antique tins. Recognising some and pondering others, I mean what on earth is desiccated soup? Maye, I don’t want to know…

vintage tins

Pretty tablecloths and crisp white linens were also worth a stop. Like the crockery, I could sort through piles and piles of these and leave with almost as many. My favourite here was the colourful, what looks to be, cross-stitched decorated tablecloth at the top of the picture. Such work, and for it to be discarded like this.

vintage linen
A pretty vintage sewing machine, shame the case was damaged

Upstairs we stumbled across a room of old machinery, of all types. An old runner bean slicer, and at least three old sewing machines. This was the most decorative one, again another world away from the modern day versions.

I’d forgotten just how much time you can easily lose in a well stocked antique shop…

Lanterns and loveliness

Joyful Living has been a regular stopping point for ogling interior loveliness when we’re in Norfolk, but it’s been a while and I was long overdue a visit. That was something remedied on our recent visit to Norfolk and it was reassuring to discover that while the stock has changed, the quality and ethos hadn’t. On this visit it was the lanterns that caught my eye, and the succulents of course but that goes without saying doesn’t it?

patterned lanterns

The intricate patterns and weathered finish are great aren’t they, and would work as well indoors or out, with a candle or without. The round shape makes a change too, as often lanterns are the more traditional square shape. But if more traditional is your thing, then there’s also those as well. I love the finish of both, and would happily have them indoors, but only if I could be certain that MOH wouldn’t set about polishing them, which could take quite some negotiation.

weathered lanterns with candles

But there’s plenty more than lanterns here, and it wasn’t long before I found myself drawn to the yellow pouffe and blankets. The pouffe, especially, was a favourite. I’m on a mission to get more yellow in our house, but I wasn’t quite sure about this one just now.

Textured blankets and pouffes

It’s just as well I hadn’t seen these cushions though when we were on cushion-hunt. A couple of these might have ended up on our grey sofas as the constants. And I think that would have given our living room a very different look, possibly a more grown up and sophisticated look, but there’s still time to grow into that I’m sure.

classic striped cushions and woven baskets

Had I seen this star in the run up to Christmas I’d have left with as many as I could get my hands on. I’ve a plan, that may or may not actually come to fruition, to make some of these giant stars myself from wire we have left over from our gabion baskets - yes I know that’s quite random - but I think they could look really good. I’m still working out the lights, but we’ll see how far we get with this before worrying about that just yet.

A twinkling star.jpg

It’s also the type of place that manages to make bowls of shells look effortlessly stylish. Maybe it works because it’s on the North Norfolk coast, and that’s more authentic than a South London dwelling, who knows.

patterned shells
mother of pearl shells

And as ever, there’s always room for some sequins. And more stars.

there's always room for a sequinned cushion

What I’m seeing more and more of is macrame-type holders for jars and plants. These have that feel to them too, but expect to see much more macrame around. Even in the Facebook craft groups and craft magazines it’s making an appearance and reminds me of growing up in the 70s - I’m sure we had a spider plant, with many many babies hanging in a window complete with louvre openings at some point. Our 70s house rocked.

Glass jars hung in twine

Ah yes, more succulents. Aren’t these little pots lovely? I was quickly ushered out of the shop at this point, but look at the shelf too - it’s a scaffold board painted white. Something that would work equally well in a home setting too.

succulents in green pots

So lanterns and more loveliness as usual, I won’t be leaving it so long for my next visit either.