You’re in heaven here, under the big skies of Norfolk’s north coast with its sweeping salt marshes, nature reserves and sandy beaches. The Lifeboat sails a smooth and stylish path with glowing fires, scrumptious seafood and the comfiest of rooms. Tucked down a hidden lane in pretty Thornham, the inn’s darkly-beamed bar conjures a smugglers retreat, while the conservatory and restaurant are light, bright and contemporary. Settle by a crackling fire with a pint of Woodforde’s Wherry and plan a day’s bird- or seal-spotting. In summer, the sun-trap courtyard beckons, or book one of two cedar wood pavilions for private dining. Wherever you settle, the menu will tempt you with seasonal specials, cream teas, hearty sandwiches and children’s treats. Our Brancaster mussels were the juiciest and tastiest we’ve eaten, and where else could you find roast beef in a Yorkshire pudding with horseradish sauce and a jug of gravy as a (bargain-priced) bar snack? Bedrooms (most are upstairs, one is on the ground floor) are wonderfully comfy with colour schemes that reflect the long landscape views. Bathrooms sparkle, and breakfasts are a treat.