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Inside Norfolk’s new holiday hotel for pet birds

PUBLISHED: 08:51 14 November 2018

Amy Colman, with Chico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, one of the birds enjoying life at Amy's Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Amy Colman, with Chico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, one of the birds enjoying life at Amy's Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Ask any hotel manager and they will tell you that some guests are noisy and messy, while others never say boo to a goose.

However, nothing is too much trouble for any of the colourful characters booking into Norfolk’s newest holiday hub.

Situated in the heart of Gorleston’s busy high street feathered friends are flocking to grab some R&R while their owners enjoy a holiday of their own.

Birdie Breaks is the brainchild of Little or Large pet shop owner Amy Colman.

And she can only see the business expanding - possibly with the addition of a further “penthouse” apartment on the upper floor above the pet shop.

Fred, a Kakariki, who is one of the birds enjoying life at the Birdie Breaks hotel with his mate Wilma, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFred, a Kakariki, who is one of the birds enjoying life at the Birdie Breaks hotel with his mate Wilma, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The 35-year-old said: “I used to live up here and I moved out several months ago. I was just using the space to store stuff and I thought I could make better use of it.

“In the shop we sell no end of birds and one of the most frequent questions when people buy one is about what they are going to do with it when they go on holiday.

“I had a eureka moment of my own. It works really well with the sister business at the shop and we can tell people we offer the service when they buy a bird.”

Already the hotel has a number of regular visitors who are on first name terms with staff who know about their every whim.

Chico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, is one of the birds enjoying life at the Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, is one of the birds enjoying life at the Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Some birds, like a regular African Grey, have a penchant for rock group Queen, bobbing along to the beat from his window-facing perch.

Others prefer their own company and to be covered at night.

For some a favourite treat of cherries or apricots is handed out at snack time and there is always someone from the shop popping up for a chat.

Mrs Colman, who lives in Lapwing Close, Bradwell, said it gave the owners peace of mind.

Amy Colman, with Chico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, one of the birds enjoying life at Amy's Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAmy Colman, with Chico, a 14-week-old Quaker Parakeet, one of the birds enjoying life at Amy's Birdie Breaks hotel, at the Little Or Large pet shop at Gorleston. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Often people didn’t want to bother friends and family, she said, and at Birdie Breaks they had plenty of people including her mother Rosemary Burrage checking on the boarders, having a spot clean and cleaning toys, and topping up the food.

The aim is to create a home-from-home with all the birds staying in a room that looks like a normal lounge, the radio burbling away, and people dropping in.

This week, the birds - including Billie, Buddy, Chico, Fred and Wilma - were enjoying a medley of tunes spanning James Bond themes to Fantastic 80s - but Mrs Colman is happy to take requests.

Prices start at £2 a day.

Contact Birdie Breaks via 01493 603667.

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