Top 10… Restaurants in Norfolk

Top 10… Restaurants in Norfolk

From groundbreaking Michelin-starred cooking to the great rural pub grub

England’s easternmost counties are known for flat landscapes covered in fields and surrounded by sea, which means that they are perfect for producing many superb ingredients, from cereals and vegetables to fine meat, seafood and even wine. The region’s top chefs are making the most of this local produce and it’s becoming one of the UK’s leading foodie destinations. We take a look at the must-visit restaurants.

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Titchwell Manor diningTitchwell Manor, Titchwell

Fans of Simon Rogan’s cooking at L’Enclume or Brett Graham’s cooking at The Ledbury should make a pilgrimage to this family-run coastal hotel on the outskirts of Burnham Market. Visitors will be rewarded with some of the UK’s most progressive cooking, courtesy of Eric Snaith, who started as a pot wash here at the age of 15. The Conservatory restaurant overlooks the walled rear garden and each evening the small team of chefs produce a seven-course set menu alongside à la carte dishes. For more casual dining, try the brasserie menu in the Eating Rooms at the front of the hotel.

When booking a table at either restaurant through {{site}} you and your guests will receive complimentary champagne and canapés on arrival.

The White Horse conservatory restaurantThe White Horse, Brancaster Staithe

On the north Norfolk coast, this charming pub with rooms looks out across rugged wetlands and sandy beaches. The menu changes daily to complement the fresh catch, which may include crab, lobster, sea bass and mackerel. Salty samphire is sourced from the marshes, while the ‘mussel men’ harvest molluscs from the bottom of the garden and deliver the haul straight to the kitchen door. The conservatory dining room is perched on a raised platform with an al fresco deck, so come rain or shine guests can take in views of the windswept coastline – best enjoyed after a long walk or cycle in the surrounding area. Also pictured top

The Gunton ArmsThe Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market

Set in 1,000 acres of deer park in the grounds of north Norfolk’s 18th-century Gunton Hall, this traditional pub is owned by art dealer Ivor Braka. It has all the trappings of your average local, but here the dartboard shares the wall space with Damien Hirst originals. The open fire in the main dining room serves two purposes: to warm the room and to cook the food. With the smells of roasting meat filling the room, it’s impossible not to order a rib of beef to share or a rump of the estate’s red deer, all served with crispy goose-fat roast potatoes.

Morston Hall diningMorston Hall, Holt

Though it is set within a 17th-century property, Galton Blackiston’s Michelin-starred restaurant is at the cutting edge of the culinary world. The dinner menu changes daily but diners can expect a menu bursting with seasonal local produce like Holkham Hall venison. Lunch is only available on Sundays and must be booked in advance; however, breakfast is served every morning until 9.30am and is popular with hotel guests as well as yacht owners moored at the nearby quay. For those who want to learn how to recreate the refined English cuisine at home, there are half-day demonstrations or three-day residential cookery courses – contact us to find out more.

Roger HickmanRoger Hickman's Restaurant, Norwich

Norwich’s dining scene has boomed over the last few years and there are some truly excellent places to eat, but this homely restaurant is setting the pace and is yet to be bettered. Roger’s precise modern European cuisine is peppered with Asian influences and has earned him three well-deserved AA rosettes – his restaurant being the only venue in the city to boast this accolade. The concise à la carte menu showcases the best of Norfolk’s bounty with fish, meat and vegetarian dishes and there is a well-considered wine list. With excellent service to match the quality of the cooking, this is a fail-safe option.

The Dial House diningThe Dial House, Reepham

Overlooking the main square of a rural market town 13 miles north of Norwich, this is from the team behind the well-established Byfords Posh B&B in Holt. They’ve got an eye for interiors and the dining room at the Dial House – which also doubles as a boutique hotel – has oodles of farmhouse charm. The food spans the globe, from spicy Asian noodles to hearty British classics, and the staff make you feel right at home. There’s an Aga at one end of the dining room and if you arrive around mid-afternoon you can enjoy scones and bread direct from the oven.

Congham Hall terraceCongham Hall, Grimston

On the southern borders of the Sandringham Estate, this handsome Georgian bolthole was a family home until it was transformed into a hotel in 1982. Since then, it’s become recognised as one of the county’s leading culinary lights, mainly thanks to the herb garden which nurtures more than 400 varieties, the large kitchen garden and bountiful orchards which shape every dish on the restaurant menus. By day, the dining room is bright and airy with views across the lawns, and evening meals are romantic candlelit affairs. The cooking is impeccable and the presentation does it justice.

The Rose & Crown, Snettisham

A pebble’s throw from the shores of the Wash, the small town of Snettisham has three pubs. Each has its own charm but the Rose & Crown steals the show – it serves very good pub grub, has a wide selection of local beer and claimed the Good Pub Guide’s Pub of the Year gong in 2015. Given its proximity to the water, seafood features heavily on the menu and the Cromer crab salad is a summertime favourite. Portions are generous, so work up an appetite with a stroll along the RSPB-protected beach which is a stopping point for thousands of migrating birds.

The Duck InnThe Duck Inn, Stanhoe

Provenance plays a huge part in Ben Handley’s cooking and the kitchen team can trace every ingredient to a trusted local supplier – the meat is from legendary Norfolk butcher Arthur Howell, the seafood’s landed at Brancaster Staithe and so the list goes on. With so many great ingredients at their disposal, the chefs keep things simple and let the natural flavours do the talking. Having said that, the dishes are far from ordinary and each is delicately plated to reflect the colours and contours of the surrounding landscapes. This is confident cooking that’s well worth planning a weekend around.

The Neptune salmonThe Neptune, Hunstanton

On first impressions, the ivy-clad coaching inn looks like most of the old pubs in the area, but the food stands it apart from the rest. It claimed a Michelin star in 2008, just one year after Kevin Mangeolles took over, and has retained the accolade ever since. Like most top chefs in region, Kevin finds all of his inspiration on his doorstep and fish weighs heavily on the constantly shifting menu. He has a modern approach and it’s not unusual to find yourself tweezering slithers of ceviche from your plate, scooping foams or shovelling edible soils. None of this is gimmickry though; all of the cooking is note-perfect. The wine list is well priced and well chosen.

Last updated on 12 May 2017


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