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New restaurant, Socius, to open in Burnham Market this month

PUBLISHED: 20:05 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:05 06 February 2018

Burnham Market, Norfolk. Socius restaurant which is nearly completion in one of the new Foundry Place retail units, Burnham Market. It’s design led and modern with north Norfolk style at its heart. Pictured are Natalie Stuhler and Dan Lawrence.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY

Burnham Market, Norfolk. Socius restaurant which is nearly completion in one of the new Foundry Place retail units, Burnham Market. It's design led and modern with north Norfolk style at its heart. Pictured are Natalie Stuhler and Dan Lawrence. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark Bullimore Photography 2018

Tapas-style plates of sharing food made with local produce at the heart of new coastal restaurant.

Ox cheek, onions and tarragon. Hake, artichokes, shallots and capers. A homemade chocolate bar with salted caramel and caramelised white chocolate.

These are just some of the temptations that can be shared, tapas-style at brand new Burnham Market restaurant Socius when it opens its doors for the first time on Sunday, February 25.

The eatery is a dream realised for owners Natalie Stuhler and Dan Lawrence, who searched the county far and wide for the perfect spot for their open-plan, open-kitchen, bright, spacious social dining destination.

And Natalie (who met chef Dan seven years ago when they worked for an upmarket events company) cannot contain herself. “I love it! Every time we go in we see something new. It’s just so, so exciting.”

The Socius building is one of two commercial properties designed as part of a new housing development in the town, and it had everything Natalie and Dan were looking for. “There’s a lovely south-facing terrace, so in the summer we’ll have outside seating. And it was literally a great big blank canvas. Over the past couple of months the builders have gone in there and put in a mezzanine floor overlooking the restaurant. There’s a big open kitchen so you can see the chefs working and really immerse yourselves in the experience.”

And that’s an important part of the whole Socius ethos, Natalie explains: “For the past year we’ve been running outside events to get our brand and our names out there. We went to clients’ homes where Dan would cook and guests were interacting with him. It was such a lovely atmosphere and we’re really keen to replicate that in the restaurant with the open kitchen. You can see exactly what’s going on.”

Being a small, self-funded, independent business, the couple have been keen to support other local businesses like themselves, and during the past few months have thrown themselves into getting acquainted with Norfolk’s farmers, vegetable growers, breweries and distillers so that every plate, every glass, speaks of the county.

“The amount of amazing produce right on our doorstep is fantastic,” Natalie beams. “We are spoilt for choice. We’ve just come back from Nurtured in Norfolk where they grow micro herbs and baby vegetables and the stuff they’re doing there is phenomenal.

“We’re passionate about using as much local produce as possible to showcase what Norfolk has to offer. Also we’re actively going out to our suppliers and asking them ‘what’s best this week’ or this month, so the menu will change depending on the best of the best of what they can offer, and will be perfectly in season for that time of year.”

Inspired by holidays in New York, where sharing plates and tapas-style dining is hot, Dan and Natalie’s concept is small plates, big flavour. They want customers to come in and try a bit of everything between their table in a casual, sociable way.

Brunch will be served on weekends.

And there’s a big focus on families on Sundays, because the couple are hoping the restaurant will become a family favourite, welcoming children and even well-behaved dogs.

“We wanted to have a family style offering on Sundays so you can order a whole joint of meat which comes to the table and the chefs come out and carve it. We love eating out but where there’s high quality food the atmosphere can be pretentious and uncomfortable. That’s not what we’re about. We wanted to eradicate that by offering amazing quality food and amazing service in a relaxed atmosphere.”

You can find out more at sociusnorfolk.co.uk where the online booking system is already up and running.

For more foodie news and events, join our Facebook group Eat Norfolk



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