Restaurant review: The Ffolkes at Hillington 2022

A 300-year-old coaching inn, The Ffolkes has become something of a landmark encompassing a festival vibe.

Located on the busy A148 in Hillington, this restaurant/hotel/gaming center is a stone’s throw from Sandringham Estate, near King’s Lynn.

And with vibrant, eye-catching colors to draw you in, it’s the type of place you’ll be happy to stay for a few hours enjoying all it has to offer.


Ffolkes drinks
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

Mr W and I chose to visit on a warm Saturday lunchtime with no children and although we relished the peace and quiet away from the shackles of parenthood, The Ffolkes is actually a great place for families.

There is a huge play area in the beer garden, complete with a giant dragon egg, and lots of little ones had fun while the adults, including us, sipped drinks. The other half enjoyed Ffolkes’ lager (although she commented that it was a bit too lemony for her taste) while I happily drank homemade elderflower lemonade.

After enjoying a few rays, we ventured inside to enjoy our meal.


Inside the Ffolkes pub and hotel in Hillington.

Inside the Ffolkes pub and hotel in Hillington.
– Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant 2022

The Ffolkes is home to a variety of street food with its unique FEAST style food services. Depending on the day of your visit, you will discover a different culinary experience. We stumbled across to try its resident trader, Oishii Street Kitchen – and we weren’t disappointed.

Although it has a small menu, there are some great choices to choose from and we decided to mix things up by creating our own mix-and-match buffet.

To start we had bao rolls (two for £10) and chose a different flavor each. I opted for the pork bao with char sui pork, pickled red onions, siracha mayonnaise, crispy and spring onions, and Mr. W had the chicken bao with Oishii hot sauce and coleslaw.


boa buns

boa buns
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

The buns were soft and light, allowing the toppings to do their thing and leave our taste buds going wild. The ingredients were fresh and cooked to perfection with complementary flavors. The pulled pork was especially delicious.

Let’s move on to our main courses, and there’s something about a poke bowl that I just can’t resist. Being a tapas fan, I think the different pockets of flavor appeal to me and this meal was no exception. I chose tuna as the main course for my poke bowl (£11) with pickled ginger, edamame beans, avocado, pineapple, mango kewpie and Oishii soy seasoning sprinkled with black sesame seeds. It was a perfect dish to complement the summer weather as it was both hearty and refreshing.


poke bowl

poke bowl
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop


burger

burger
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

I was not at all envious of the Kanji burger (£11) which Mr W slipped into, despite the fact that it included a 6oz Aberdeen beef patty, Oishii smoked mayonnaise, American cheese, bacon, shredded iceberg lettuce and green pepper. He got a big thumbs up from her but, being a fan of spices, he would have liked it even hotter.

We had wondered whether or not we should share loaded fries, but we were too torn about different flavors, so we ordered a portion of Korean fries (£6.50) and Crackanese fries (£6.50) – both plain fries are on the menu for £4. We couldn’t finish the bowl and one would have been fine between the two of us, but we’re still glad we ordered one each. On the Korean fires, there was Gochujang mayo, crispy and spring onions and Oishii seasoning, while the Crackanese were coated in a miso glaze, kewpie mayo, spring onion, Oishii seasoning and sesame seeds.


loaded fries

loaded fries
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop


loaded fries

loaded fries
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

We were hoping to have room for dessert from Reesey’s, another guest trader offering treats ranging from unicorn sundaes to stacks of fluffy pancakes, but our bellies were too full. So we decided to have a round of container golf instead – what a way to end a meal!

Setting

At first it took me a little while to figure it all out as there is a lot going on here but once I settled in I was impressed with everything on offer including the fact to be a wedding venue. The place is vibrant and energetic and well worth the visit to check out the aesthetics if nothing else.

Assess

The cost of the street food was on par with other establishments offering the same, but what’s nice here is that you can use your Norfolk Passport. The staff were quick to urge us to use our card if we had one which saved us 10% on our meal.

Drinks

There is so much on offer here, it was a pleasure to read the drink menu! From homemade lemonade to lager and The Ffolkes gin, its drinks menu is certainly ambitious and it has paid off.


Our meal at Ffolkes

Our meal at Ffolkes
– Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

Bathroom

The toilets are arranged in individual rooms arranged along a corridor. They are spacious, clean and fully functional.

Accessibility

There is gravel parking but plenty of open space once inside the main building for wheelchair and stroller access. There are also vegan and gluten-free options on the menu.

Service

Everyone who served us made us feel like part of the furniture. Warm, down to earth and incredibly helpful. The staff couldn’t do enough for us and were just as enthusiastic about their menu as we were. Special thanks to Kirsty who made our experience that little bit more special.

Underline

While the setting and food are fabulous, the highlight for us was playing the exceptionally fun and challenging container golf! What a great activity to help the first course settle in before ordering dessert. Quirky and well worth the price (adults are £6 on weekdays and £8 on weekends).


The entrance to the new container mini-golf course at The Ffolkes.

The entrance to the new container mini-golf course at The Ffolkes.
– Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant 2022


Mollie Gallon, Marketing Manager, at The Ffolkes in Hillington on the new container mini-golf course.

Mollie Gallon, Marketing Manager, at The Ffolkes in Hillington on the new container mini-golf course.
– Credit: Denise Bradley/Archant 2022

In summary

It’s the kind of place I can see myself coming back to many times, both for a date, to celebrate with the family and to let the kids burn off some energy while MW and I sip some lager and lemonade.

Disclaimer

Our food opinions are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the place during their visit. The establishment is unaware of our visit, is not informed of our intention to write a review, and the bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and not based on places that do or do not advertise in our publication.

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Did you know…?

The Norfolk Passport is a free membership program offering members benefits and discounts on a number of Norfolk experiences, including 10% off and 50% savings at new locations or private menu tastings . This includes offers to explore beaches and enjoy afternoon teas, embark on scenic walks and antique hunting, or get a head start on Norfolk’s top 5 guidebooks on offer. More information about the Norfolk Passport can be found at www.norfolkpassport.com.

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