East Norfolk food and drink
Norfolk is a well-known ‘foodie’ county and with such a long stretch of coastline, locally sourced fish and seafood is high on the menu with the area being well known for its excellent mussels, crab, lobsters and oysters. In recent times there have even been some amazing maritime discoveries of a 300 million year old chalk reef and a pre-historic submerged forest just metres off the east Norfolk coast but that, as they say, is another story.
East Norfolk also has vast areas of arable land, which generates crops for many of the local artisans with an ever growing reputation, who produce fabulous food. For some meals you will no doubt want to be out of the kitchen, after all you are on holiday but if you fancy cooking up something magical, you can find many of these producers at farmer’s markets throughout the eastern region showcasing their organic and free-range produce. Try Acle Farmer’s Market, every 2nd Saturday of the month, North Walsham Farmer’s Market every 2nd and 5th Saturday of the month, the market at Hoveton Village Hall every 4th Saturday in the month and the market at Stalham Town Hall every 1st and 3rd Saturday in the month; whilst there drop into Truly Local, an award winning food store, where everything is sourced from within a 35-mile radius.
Not to be left behind there are 60 micro-breweries in Norfolk, two of which are centred in the east coast region. Look out for beers from the Bees Brewery near Walcott and the Blackfriars Brewery in Great Yarmouth. If you are here in August take a trip to the Star Inn at Lessingham, which holds an annual beer festival towards the middle of the month, real ales, ciders and live music, dogs welcome too.
If you are visiting the area and celebrating a special family occasion why not have a vintage afternoon tea delivered to your door by Lazy Afternoon Teas? Their mobile service comes fit to bursting with fabulous home-made cakes, bakes, pastries and tea is served in and on an eclectic collection of vintage china. They can also provide a ready-made picnic hamper and rug, homemade meals, cream teas and buffets, just the ticket for self-catering holidays.
If you prefer to go out for afternoon tea there are plenty of tea rooms to be found, some of our favourites are The Waterside at Rollesby Broad, where apart from tea, in season you can take a trip on an Edwardian launch, hire a dinghy, fish for bream, roach or pike if you have your own equipment, or hire a set of binoculars to spot the rich variety of wildlife in the area. Inland, Butterfingers Tea Room at North Walsham is a welcome stop in the town famous for where Lord Horatio Nelson went to school.
If you are on one of our lovely beaches try the Corner House at Mundelsey, the Happisburgh Tea Rooms or the Waxham Barn Café, where after a scrumptious tea you can take in a little bit of history by visiting the fantastically restored barn next door.
The restaurants and pubs in this region are a-plenty and too numerous to name all but you will find something for all tastes and budgets to suit family outings, romantic dinners for two or a great night out with friends. Two good watering holes, worth a visit for all are The Crown at Banningham, wood fires in the winter, a pretty garden in the summer, local ales and locally sourced food and The Gunton Arms, further north on the outskirts of Thorpe Market. Here you will find a traditional pub with invigorating art, dishes cooked over an open fire in the restaurant and all set in a 1,000 acre deer park. For riverside settings try The Bridge Inn at Acle or the Wayford Bridge Inn at Stalham, The Boathouse at Ormesby Broad has a great view over the Broad itself and if a fish is more your thing, don’t miss out on 85 North Quay in Great Yarmouth, locally sourced fresh sea food, an entry in the 2015 Waitrose Food Guide and lobsters of your choice from the tank, if you are not squeamish!