New cafe opens on ‘secret’ Norfolk beach
PUBLISHED: 16:44 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:19 17 March 2020
Coast Kitchen Cafe offers brunches, takeaway picnic boxes and small plate lunches.
The Norfolk coastline, with its undulating sandy dunes, ancient fishing villages and spectacular nature reserves is one of the biggest tourism draws to the county.
From the spectacle of Holkham’s far-stretching, rippled shores, to Horsey’s seal colonies – there’s a lot to explore and a lot to love. But have you heard of Waxham? The little-known spot is thought to be one of the county’s best-kept secrets. And it’s just become home to a new family-friendly café, which its hoped will encourage daytrippers and locals to use the stretch of ‘hidden’ beach.
Alex Firman (who runs his own catering company and operates the popular Garden Kitchen Café at Hoveton Hall) recently opened the doors to Coast Kitchen Café - a relaxed, rustic, informal eatery that welcomes visitors with sandy flip flops and canine companions.
Nestled into a beachside barn, used throughout the year for weddings and events, the new café brings Alex’s love of local produce and sustainability to the shoreline, with food served from brunch through lunch to mid-afternoon snacks.
“The opportunity arose last autumn to create Coast Kitchen and it was something I just had to do,” Alex says. “Waxham beach is a bit of a secret gem on the north Norfolk coast: understated and often eclipsed by the likes of Horsey for seal spotting and Sea Palling, but it’s definitely the most beautiful spot. We’re hoping that the cafe is going to make a trip to the beach into a day out to remember- we are just five minutes’ walk away!
“The barn itself is a real icon on this stretch of coastline and it’s a privilege to serve our kind of food in a spot with such heritage. We definitely use the coast as inspiration for our menu- our ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, and we’re always on the lookout for fish landed as close to us as we can possibly get.”
Sarah Bradford of Coast Kitchen Café adds: “Waxham really has the wow factor. There’s nothing commercial about it. You just come across this little beach, bump your car up on the side of the road and head into the wilderness. Dogs are welcome all-year-round and it’s perfect for families. Once people find it they always want to come back. It’s gorgeous.”
The café is currently open from 10am to 4pm Fridays to Sundays but will be open six days a week (Tuesday to Sunday) from 10am to 4pm from the Easter holidays – when, weather permitting, diners might want to try out Alex’s takeaway picnic boxes (£9 per adult and £6 per child) to enjoy out on the beach.
In the mornings, the day begins with leisurely brunches. Dingley Dell sausage, bacon and egg muffin, rancheros quesadilla, smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive bagel, or perhaps a bowl of coconut, pineapple, mango and peanut granola.
The main daily menu, in addition to cakes, scones, sausage rolls and tray bakes (lovely rocky road) is made up of plates to snack on and share within the barn, or in your sandy flip flops out in the courtyard.
Currently the menu, changing regularly, includes Parmesan and onion tart with sweet tomato chutney, braised smoked pork belly and beans, lentil and coconut daal with raita and flatbread, toasted salt beef, mustard, cheese and pickle Reuben in sourdough, salad bowls, loaded nachos and more.
Children have their own boxes to dip into, packaged up with miniature sausage rolls, sandwiches, a piece of brownie, cake or traybake, and fruit.
“It’s a lovely spot in a wonderful place,” adds Sarah. “We can’t wait to see what people make of it when they come and visit us.”