Search

William & Florence, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘Easily one of Norwich’s finest’

PUBLISHED: 17:46 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:04 12 July 2017

Nut roast at William and Florence. Photo: Emily Revell.

Nut roast at William and Florence. Photo: Emily Revell.

Emily Revell.

It’s new to Unthank Road, can the William and Florence hold its own?

William and Florence. Photo by Emily Revell. William and Florence. Photo by Emily Revell.

Food

Not too long ago The Mulberry Tree on Unthank Road transformed into the William and Florence. The menus are in vogue with a variety of tartines, grazing boards, daily specials and boy are they big on brunch - at the weekends it’s bottomless!

We visited on a Sunday. Struggling to be anything other than very British, we couldn’t resist the roast dinners. I’m the first to admit that what constitutes the perfect Sunday roast is very subjective. I’ve personally been on the lookout for one in the city centre for a while.

MORE: The Kings Head, Letheringsett, restaurant review: ‘Quality and atmosphere are outstanding’

Controversially, I don’t rate the beloved Temple Bar that highly and have struggled to find one that even begins to rival my Nanny’s yet something about the William and Florence left me optimistic. I went with the nut roast and my partner opted for the slow cooked fennel infused pork belly.

Pork belly roast at William and Florence. Photo: Emily Revell. Pork belly roast at William and Florence. Photo: Emily Revell.

The nut roast was pleasant enough, nothing to write home about and the pork belly was slightly tough. It didn’t melt in the mouth as one would hope. The fennel infusion wasn’t up our street and the crackling was fatty and left untouched.

Both roasts came with identical trimmings; garlic and thyme roast potatoes, red cabbage, sweet potato and swede mash, runner beans, peas and a Yorkshire pudding. The garlic and thyme roast potatoes were gigantic, they could’ve done with being a tad crispier and softer on the inside but the generous portion size was refreshing – some leave me hungry. The red cabbage and sweet potato and swede mash were both enjoyable, the runner beans slightly underdone and I’m not a fan of peas with a roast, it seems rudimentary and in this case, a weak replacement for the “sauteed leeks, spring greens and parnisp crisps” listed on the online menu.

MORE: Eric’s Fish and Chips, Thornham, restaurant review: ‘Once in a lifetime dishes’

The Yorkshire pudding looked a little sad on arrival. I wasn’t too worried, it happens, anyone

that’s cooked one knows they have a mind of their own.

Outside seating at the William and Florence. Photo by Emily Revell. Outside seating at the William and Florence. Photo by Emily Revell.

Unfortunately on closer inspection the inside had curdled, was undercooked and inedible, I would suspect the batter was underbeaten. The gravy on the other hand was exceptional, homemade with the perfect weight and texture. Full of porky flavour yet not overbearingly meaty, a 10 out of 10. With a few minor adjustments this place could easily hold its own amongst Norwich’s finest Sunday roasts.

Drink

If you aren’t feeling too hungry, The William and Florence is ideal for just a drink and maybe a few nibbles. I took the waitresses’ recommendation of a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. It was light and fresh, just what I had wanted. They also boast an interesting selection of cocktails that average out at the reasonable price of £6.

Ambience

Inside is very bright, light and breezy. It feels very open and spacious. I liked the decoration - teal blue seats and dirty pink walls. The main attraction though, is the outside. With massive benches and umbrellas out front, as well as a shabby chic grassed seating area at the back, there’s plenty of opportunity for alfresco drinking and dining (my favourite!) The slight suburban feel of Unthank Road brings a refreshing change from thecentre of the city.

MORE: The Black Horse, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘This place needs to be raved about’

Loos

You may be amused by the reviewing of toilets, but I can hand on heart say these ones were exceptional. With grey patterned tiles, they were beautifully decorated and very clean.

Parking

There’s a small carpark at the back of the William and Florence or on street parking on Unthank Road, which can be tricky at peak times.

Location

Based in one of Norwich’s most sought-after locations, it’s bang in the middle of the row of establishments on Unthank Road. Easy walking distance into the city centre and perfect for those living in the Golden Triangle. It offers some tranquility and a change of scenery. Although it’s on the road, the cars weren’t a bother. I didn’t even really notice them.

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

Price

Brunches are roughly £8, but they offer some interesting alternatives to the usual fry up including a vegan shakshuka. Tartines range from £7 to £9 and grazing boards are £10. The nut roast was a very fair £10, the pork belly £12 and the local corner topside beef was £14.

Highlight

As usual, I loved sitting outside with a glass of wine. I also really can’t praise the gravy enough. I went on and on about it.

In Summary

Despite a few niggles it was one the better roasts I’ve had outside of my Nanny’s kitchen. My partner wasn’t terribly impressed but he’s a die hard Temple Bar fan. We both agreed we will definitely return, come rain or shine, to share a grazing board or two. I think it will be a place we frequent quite regularly.

This is an independent review.

For more food reviews click here.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest from the EDP

Show Job Lists

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 11°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast