Editor’s choice: 47 favourite Norfolk pubs, restaurants and cafes opening up again

PUBLISHED: 09:08 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:36 08 July 2020

Socius is renowned for British-style tapas.  Picture: Socius

Socius is renowned for British-style tapas. Picture: Socius


Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils VAT cut and dining discount to help re-opened pubs, cafes and restaurants

The Ingham Swan, a favourite foodie destination. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe Ingham Swan, a favourite foodie destination. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled his ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ August dining discount to help pubs, cafes and restaurants, plus a VAT cut of 15%.

We’ve been lucky enough to visit some tremendous places to eat and drink in Norfolk over the past couple of years. Now that the hospitality industry is slowly emerging from lockdown we thought we’d share a few of our favourites.

It’s going to be a different world for both the venues and for us, their guests and customers – the rule book for operating safely is apparently 42 pages long - and the experience will be different.

But we should, when we can and when we’re comfortable, go out and support these local businesses, which in turn support suppliers, provide jobs and help the tourist trade.

Strattons Hotel owner Vanessa Scott. Picture: ArchantStrattons Hotel owner Vanessa Scott. Picture: Archant

Please check the venue’s websites or Facebook pages before setting out. Most have a booking policy which will apply even if you are simply going for a drink. Double-check with the venue for details and remember that Mr Sunak’s measures won’t be in effect straight away.

So, in no particular order...

Socius Burnham Market Our 2019 Restaurant of the Year has quickly established a tremendous reputation, drawing diners from far and wide to try the clever British tapas-style menu.

The Owl Tearooms in Holt. Picture: The Owl TearoomsThe Owl Tearooms in Holt. Picture: The Owl Tearooms

Ingham Swan This gastropub is a fine destination for diners; chef Daniel Smith’s influence ensures top-drawer quality in a delightful setting.

Fur and Feather, Woodbastwick The Woodforde’s Brewery tap house is a real treat out in the heart of the countryside, with a great garden and shop to boot.

Eric Snaith, owner of Eric's Fish and Chips in Holt. Picture: Neil DidsburyEric Snaith, owner of Eric's Fish and Chips in Holt. Picture: Neil Didsbury

The Norfolk Lurcher, Colton Daniel Nixon’s first-class beer-keeping skills won the Beer Quality Award for The Norfolk Lurcher. The pub’s restaurant, The Ugly Bug, is a very popular destination.

The Bell at Brisley Owners Amelia and Marcus have turned this pub into a cracker. Great food, handsome décor and a warm, welcoming atmosphere – no wonder it won our Pub of the Year award.

Brasted's has a long-standing reputation for quality food and service. Photo: Brasted'sBrasted's has a long-standing reputation for quality food and service. Photo: Brasted's

The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham A very classy retreat up on the north Norfolk coast; full of charm, it never disappoints.

The Swan, Loddon A little gem, with a great outdoor space, excellent chef in Jason Wright and charming hosts.

Seafood to share at Wells Crab House. Picture: Victoria PertusaSeafood to share at Wells Crab House. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Benedict’s, Norwich Very fine dining indeed; chef Richard Bainbridge knows how to delight, and it is all done in understated, classy style.

Honingham Buck We absolutely loved the Buck when we visited earlier this year; super food and a great ambience.

Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodHannah Springham and Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Assembly House, Norwich A grand venue with a sense of occasion, with renowned chef Richard Hughes at the helm and pastry wizard Mark Mitson creating drama with his magical afternoon teas.

Ber St Kitchen, Norwich This bistro serves food that just makes you smile; punches way above its weight – if it’s a nice day make a beeline for the courtyard!

Line Kiln Kitchen, Kilverstone A cut above the usual, this café restaurant is part of Thetford Garden Centre – but no dry cake and tepid tea here; instead excellent fresh fare awaits.

Dial House, Reepham Quirky setting inside a handsome house. But it’s not just smoke and mirrors as chef Andrew Jones delivers food that is eye-rollingly good.

The Owl Tea Rooms, Holt For over 90 years this wonderful place has been serving the town of Holt with delightful food; the secret garden is a bonus treat.

The Bell at Marlingford Proper, friendly village pub with plenty of space, a good all-round menu and excellent beers.

The Crown Lodge, Outwell The Crown Lodge is a cracking all-rounder, but it is the outstanding afternoon teas which won it our food and drink award title; a proper, high-class treat.

Waffle House, Norwich A personal favourite for 40 years. Somewhere a bit different that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Back to the Garden This is a feel-good destination for lovers of good, organic, seasonal and delicious food. Winner of the Best Independent Food and Drink Retailer award.

Saracen’s Head, Wolterton Once you’ve found it you won’t want to leave; brilliant food in a tranquil country setting.

The Wildebeest, Stoke Holy Cross For several years this has been a county favourite and, with Eat Norfolk Food & Drink Award-winning chef of the year Fabio Miani at the stove, is a must-visit.

The White Hart, Hingham At the heart of Hingham, pun intended, The White Hart combines the best of a friendly local with a cracking menu.

The Duck Inn at Stanhoe Adored by its regulars, this is another of those places worth making the journey for. Serious gastropub which lives up to its reputation.

Strattons, Swaffham Flies the flag for quality; a special place to go for a formal meal but equally excellent for a lunch or afternoon tea.

Shambles Café Bar Bistro, North Walsham Delightful café/bistro serving the folk of North Walsham and beyond outstanding food with a Mediterranean / Middle Eastern twist. Best Newcomer winner in our food and drink awards.

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Brasted’s, Framingham Pigot Synonymous with high quality for many years, Brasted’s is a very fine restaurant and, as the holders of our Outstanding Front of House award, you know you’ll be looked after.

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River Green, Trowse This vegan, vegetarian venue is a cracker; its imaginative, fresh menu could win over even the most committed meat-eaters.

Morston Hall, Morston Chef Galton Blackiston’s luxurious base is a standard-bearer for impeccable quality and , of course, bears a coveted Michelin star.

The Brasserie, Barnham Broom A smart restaurant with a very good menu and award-winning food; the afternoon teas in particular are a special treat.

Wells Crab House Spectacular seafood from our 2018 Restaurant of the Year; Scott Dougal’s kitchen artistry alone would make it worth visiting; Kelly Dougal’s front of house skills double the pleasure.

The Dabbling Duck, Massingham A lovely pub in a lovely spot, with a welcoming feel and cracking menu of modern food with an Asian twist. Has a big garden too, so family - and dog -friendly.

Heydon Village Tea Shop A classic tearoom is a special setting – this is a proper old-school treat. No wonder cyclists love it!

Past & Present Vintage Tearooms, Long Stratton Blink and you’d miss it – but this is somewhere well worth seeking out and discovering why it won out Best Tea/Coffee Shop Award in 2018.

Fritton Arms, Somerleyton So much to choose from here; a venue with strong green credentials and a great menu in one of the loveliest settings going. Best Family Dining winner in 2018.

The Neptune Restaurant, Hunstanton Stylish, understated destination which has exclusivity and a Michelin star to draw foodies from all over the country.

The Sitting Room, Sheringham The deserved winner of our Best Tea/Coffee Shop award, this fabulously stylish venue has a mouth-watering selection of treats to offer.

The Bank House, King’s Lynn A handsome venue which has made it to the Good Pub Guide top 10 for a reason – it’s very good indeed and one of the best in the west.

The Bay seafood restaurant, Jarrold, Norwich A high-quality fish restaurant in a department store? Why not? Really good for fresh, light lunches and a different city view.

The Hoste Arms, Burnham Market In new hands since last year, the Hoste Arms has been a fixture and a favourite on the North Norfolk coast for years and with good reason.

King’s Arms, Fleggburgh Out on the east coast Mark Dixon has been delighting diners with his strong skills for a few years now. Great local menu.

Wiveton Bell, Blakeney Smart gastropub with a strong reputation and a Michelin Bib Gourmand to show for it.

Eric’s Fish and Chips, Thornham and Holt Does what it says on the tin and does it very well indeed with freshness, simplicity and high quality.

The Unthank Arms, Norwich Nick De’Ath won our 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award; visit any of his Norwich pubs and you’ll see why but The Unthank is a jewel in the Golden Triangle.

Rocky Bottoms, West Runton Seasonal seafood caught pretty much outside the restaurant’s back door makes this a must-visit for anyone who enjoys great shellfish and fish.

Rani’s Indian Restaurant, Yaxham In the heart of Norfolk is our 2019 Family Dining Award winner, a super Indian restaurant with a great menu, executed perfectly.

The Chequers, Thornham As you’d expect from a venue in this posh corner of Norfolk, a consistent and reliably good place to dine.

Stoke Mill, Stoke Holy Cross The old mill makes for a special place to eat and chef Andy Rudd delivers imaginative, award-winning fine food.

The Cliftonville Hotel, Cromer Classic Edwardian seaside hotel with a great bistro which makes the most of local produce, especially the seafood.

Titchwell Manor Hotel, Titchwell A very smart north Norfolk coast boutique hotel with a deserved reputation for great food, thanks to chef Eric Snaith.

Imperial Hotel, Great Yarmouth Outstanding east coast venue with a strong reputation for fine dining and award-winning hospitality. (Reopening August 1)

Glen Lodge, Bawburgh The carvery at Glen Lodge is deservedly popular but the daily menu offers great value as well - ideal for hungry golfers.

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