Our good friends Johanna and Christopher Tennant, very kindly invited us to stay at their (newly-opened this year) Bar, Café and B&B , BANG! just along the coast from us in Wells-next-the-Sea. We decided ,as Johanna has organised a fab programme of live music to be featured there, alternate Thursday evenings until late March 2016, that this would be the perfect night for our visit. We had such a fun evening with them both, and we were joined by Christopher`s mother Lady Anne Glenconner ( and what a great dancer she is!).
So why `BANG!`? . Christopher`s late father was the colourful Lord Glenconner, Colin Tennant, ( he who bought the Caribbean island of Mustique ), and whom latterly owned a restaurant in St Lucia called `Bang between the Pitons`, and therefore Johanna and Christopher thought it a fitting ( and fun), name in memory of Colin.
I visited the building when the refurbishment of this Grade II listed building was taking place, and boy was there a lot of refurbishment to do! Johanna has worked extremely hard to create a colourful , cool café serving delicious, simply cooked food served all day from 8.30 am, and four lovely en-suite bedrooms with a pretty south-facing courtyard.
On the menu is a great selection to eat , including Full English breakfast with local sausages, Corned beef hash with fried eggs, potted shrimp with granary toast, fish finger butty ,and freshly baked cakes and crumpets.There is always a soup and hot dish of the day such as fish pie.
We stayed in `Feathers` ,a large , dog-friendly room ( yes Harry the Lurcher came too, and was made very welcome with squeaky toys and doggie treats).In a coastal colour palette of navy blue and white, with stripped boarded floors, and an amazingly large walk in drench shower, the room was lovely. Thoughtful additions like board games , Kilner jars of chocolate bars( and yes we did pig ourselves on kit-kats at midnight!), and the usual tea and coffee making facilities. My only gripe was that there wasn`t a shelf or caddy in the shower to hold toiletries. The Eccosssential ones provided in the bathroom were lovely too by the way. I also thought that some large black and white framed photographs of Wells would look cool in the bedroom too. Maybe just one huge image in each room…
The band playing last night were called `Against the Grain`, and I really didn’t know what to expect, but they were so good, playing blues music that evolved into well-known classics by Van Morrison, Johnny Cash and The Doors. The place was packed ,and we all danced and drank rather a lot (hence the midnight feast!).What a fun atmosphere.
With more music to come ,check out the BANG! website to see what`s next.
We slept well and woke up to a rainy grey Friday, which was a shame and put paid to a walk along the harbour , but breakfast was perfect. Herby sausages and eggs , smoked haddock and poached eggs, and lashings of tea and orange juice. All beautifully presented.
Johanna and Christopher have done such a great job, and the Café is evolving all the time .It`s in such an historic building , and well-positioned on the corner of Staithe Street, and the perfect place to hang out in for coffee and cake , free WIFI too. Go!
(BANG! logo designed by Andrew Ruffhead at Fish and Ships Coastal Art ,in Burnham Market.)
And on a final note a must-read book to find out so much more about Colin Tennant, is `Lord of the Isle` by Nicholas Courtney.