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To the casual visitor Overstrand is a pleasant but unremarkable Norfolk coastal village. There is a sandy beach, a village shop and post office, a cliff top cafe and a good public house. Overall the village is a great place to spend a summer’s day. However, Overstrand does have some surprises for the more inquisitive visitor. I will detail those later in a piece about the village itself.
Sea Marge is an interesting building situated at the eastern end of the high street. It was built as a private residence (1908 – 12) and is an impressive half-timbered structure. It was commissioned by a rich German financier called Sir Otto Speyer who was eventually deported as a spy.
The Germanic influence can be seen immediately upon entering what is now the bar area of the hotel. There is carved wood everywhere! It really is very impressive. A large fireplace is a main feature and there is a gallery landing with seating. The rest of the building is equally striking although the conversion to a hotel has inevitably changed the interior appearance to some degree. The main dining room is formal and is an excellent place to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends or family.
The exterior of the hotel has some garden areas with a well-kept lawn running down to the top of the cliff. There is also seating outside for use in the summer months. Limited car parking is available on the hotel forecourt and there is a large parking area at the rear.
As a hotel Sea Marge has had some highs and lows over the years. Famous people have stayed there in the past, perhaps the most notable being Sir Winston Churchill. It now benefits from being a part of the Mackenzie Hotel group that also owns The Dales at Upper Sheringham and The Links Hotel at West Runton.
In my experience the standard of the food served at Sea Marge is good. The menu is varied and the prices are the average for the area. Meals taken in the bar area are enhanced by the unique surroundings.
I have included a promotional video about the hotel. The narration is somewhat uninspiring but it does give a good overall impression of what you can expect from a visit to Sea Marge.