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

PUBLISHED: 11:04 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:27 26 April 2017

The cheese board at The Wallow in Norwich with an order of bread and oil. Photograph by Emily Revell

The cheese board at The Wallow in Norwich with an order of bread and oil. Photograph by Emily Revell

Emily Revell

The Wallow is an ideal place to indulge in great food and wine in the heart of the city.

The giant 'PLONK' wall upstairs showcases the wine machines at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell The giant 'PLONK' wall upstairs showcases the wine machines at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

Interior/atmosphere

I could wallow in The Wallow all day long and believe me I’ve tried. Quite possibly one of my favourite places in the city, the giant ‘plonk’ wall brings unprecedented levels of excitement. Spread over three floors they all have something slightly different to offer.

Upstairs is ideal for large groups, with a round table in the centre and open fire, it’s made for a girl’s night out.

The ground floor offers great people watching opportunities through the large window, whilst the basement is extremely romantic, candlelit and perfect for a date night.

The Wallow cards needed to operate the wine machines at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell The Wallow cards needed to operate the wine machines at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

MORE: Donnelli’s Pizzeria, food review: ‘A cosy little eatery that knows EXACTLY what it’s doing’

Food

Serving food at lunch and dinnertime as well as offering mid-afternoon snacks, the menu, complied of boards and sandwiches is simple but scrumptious. If like me you enjoy grazing, the charcuterie, cheese and antipasti boards are everything your heart could possibly desire.

You can nibble for hours over a glass or three. It also feels very luxurious and indulgent. We shared both the cheese and the antipasti board for dinner and couldn’t manage it all. We were given five different cheeses, a variety of hard, soft and blue alongside a selection of flavoured crackers. Every cheese was as good as the next, it just comes down to personal preference.

A menu board on display on the ground floor of The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell A menu board on display on the ground floor of The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

The artisan bread with the antipasti is to die for, but my favourite part has to be the mini pickled gherkins which are highly addictive. The only slight downside was that my companion asked for a small plate of some of the charcuterie meats, but was refused.

Drinks

While the Wallow offers everything from your basic beer to a cosy coffee, the real stars of the show are the self-service wine machines that adorn the walls.

To get yourself a glass, you have to purchase a “wallow card”, add your desired monetary value then insert it into the machine and select the wine and glass size you want. The best part is that for a few pennies you can buy a taster to make sure you like it before topping up.

Upstairs at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell Upstairs at The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

All of the wine has been carefully chosen, so that drinkers are only offered the very best. The reds come highly recommended but my favourite has to be the Furlan Spumante Rosé.

Service

The staff are chatty, sweet and unobtrusive due to the self-service nature of the place, but they do swiftly appear when a machine runs out of wine (panic!). They are also dog friendly.

Loos

The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

One male and female toilet, exceptionally decorated with pretty, colourful tiles. Very clean and complete with the softest hand napkins a girl could ask for!

Parking

The Wallow is just opposite St Andrew’s car park but if multi-storey isn’t for you it’s less than a five minute walk from Duke Street or Elm Hill car parks.

Location

The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell The Wallow in Norwich. Photograph by Emily Revell

Sitting on quiet Exchange Street, The Wallow is perfectly placed in between St Benedicts and Tombland whilst being a stones throw away from Gentleman’s Walk.

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

Price

The most cost effective beverages are the sparkling wines which come in at £3.20 per glass. The rest of the wine is averagely priced between £4 - £6 per large glass. The food is slightly on the steeper side at £11.95 for a cheese board, however it’s very reasonable considering the quantity.

Highlight

Each wine machine is named after an iconic character from the 90s sitcom, Friends, so you and your drinking companions can quickly discover whether you’re more of a Monica or a Rachel.

In summary

The atmosphere in The Wallow is spot on, add in cheese boards and wine machines and I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect place. Sadly they are still refusing my requests to move in…

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