Although The Neptune sells itself as a ‘gourmet bolthole’, the size of the establishment – with its six rooms to rent – means that it’s more often a destination restaurant for curious gastronomes from in and around the area, and one of the region’s most in-demand places to eat and drink.
Housed in a building which dates back to the 17th century, in a charming semi-rural area which serves as a nexus point to explore nearby coastline and market towns, The Neptune features modern, unfussy accommodation. The rooms have a sort of luxury B&B feel, featuring neo-retro quirks like vintage-looking digital radios and lovingly restored furniture. Service and hospitality is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable.
For ingredients, Mangeolles uses the coast, as well as local butchers, farms and orchards to full effect. He combines these ingredients in a way that is described as modern British but which takes classic dishes and flavours and adds an imaginative and unusual slant. So, seared beef might arrive with mash flavoured with Epoisses cheese; fishcakes could be made out of local lobsters and served with red pepper and anchovy dressing; a light dish of marinated salmon could arrive with compressed cucumber and watercress purée.
The restaurant is also well-known for its desserts, with a focus on fruit – poached pears and cherries, Norfolk raspberries, and compressed strawberries all take pride of place in these delicate concoctions, alongside more experimental elements like peanut butter mousse and salted meringue.