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The Golden Fleece, Wells-next-the-Sea, restaurant review: “More than worth the wait”

PUBLISHED: 15:30 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 24 April 2017

Menu board and outside seating at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Menu board and outside seating at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Emily Revell.

The Golden Fleece, food review: ‘More than worth the wait’

The front of The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell. The front of The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Interior/Atmosphere

The best thing about this place has got to be the marquee offered at the back of the pub. It’s filled with large chunky wooden tables and roaring heaters with big flames. If you were told you’d been dropped down in Scandinavia for a Christmas break you’d believe it. Inside the pub it is also comforting, very rustic and open, with views onto beautiful Wells Harbour.

MORE: Lust & Liquor, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘The place itself is inviting but the experience was subpar’

The view from our table at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell. The view from our table at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Food

I had wanted to try the roasted autumn squash with olive oil gnocchi, wilted kale, marinated goat’s cheese pearls and honeyed squash and sage puree for some time, and it was more than worth the wait. I’ve found that coming across a stand out vegetarian option seldom happens but this was truly original. It was spot on, being both indulgent and healthy. The kale was cooked perfectly, and the puree exquisitely flavoured. The gnocchi was the right texture, not overdone and all around perfect. All elements were in complete harmony and I could eat it over and over again.

Across the table was breaded plaice with seaweed potatoes and oyster mayonnaise from the specials board. The seaweed flavouring on the potatoes was disappointing. You could barely tell it was there, to the point where we aren’t entirely sure it was. Realistically the dish would’ve been nicer with chips and a side of samphire. 
The fish itself was decent, very fresh and didn’t crumble into mush once you got it on the fork.

The Autumn squash gnoochi at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell. The Autumn squash gnoochi at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Unenthusiastic boyfriend gave it a seven out of 10, which is pretty darn good coming from him. He did spend a long time lusting over my dish, which I think he would’ve scored even higher.

The table next to us ordered a giant sandwich with fries, which looked very appetising! We also saw the English breakfasts, which were very generously portioned and we didn’t overhear any complaints.

MORE: Bishop’s Dining Room and Wine Bar, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘worthy of a plate lick’

Fish special at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell. Fish special at The Golden Fleece in Wells-next-the-Sea. Photo by Emily Revell.

Drink

I had a glass of the Primera Luz Sauvignon Blanc. It was pleasant enough but nothing special. My boyfriend had a Peroni (always good). There is a large selection of soft drinks, beer and plenty of choice on the wine list.

Service

We didn’t wait long to be served or receive our food but it was a quiet Saturday lunchtime.

Loos

Just your basic, clean toilets. Nothing too fancy but they did the job.

Parking

There are several pay and display car parks in Wells-next-the-sea, all within walking distance of The Golden Fleece.

Location

On the corner of the The Quay, it is very central. It’s easy to find and hard to miss.

Price

Starters and light bites are mostly £6.50, with mains averaging out at £15. For me, it seems reasonably priced. The portions are generous, quality high and the ambience delightful.

Highlight

The menu is so varied and there is something to please everyone. There’s a selection of lighter lunches, sandwiches and salads as well as the classic pub grub you’d expect and it doesn’t stop there – you can also choose from a selection of extremely impressive mains, daily specials and a large pizza menu - ideal for devouring on a chill out weekend.

Pizzas are all cooked to order on handmade bases and can be topped with a variety of scrummy sounding concoctions.

We like the sound of the ‘bacon jam meatball’ pizza, with meatballs, mozzarella, pancetta, tomatoes, bacon jam and Parmesan.

MORE: The Wallow, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘With cheese boards and wine machines I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect place’

In Summary

I really really like this place and not just because it’s one of few places in Wells that isn’t named “next-the-Sea”.

The atmosphere and interior are charming. It strikes just the right balance between being classy and chilled out. The food is delicious and just that little bit different.

Thoroughly recommend!

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