Food and drink to star in Norfolk Day celebrations
PUBLISHED: 20:33 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:33 18 July 2018
Food and drink is at the heart of Norfolk life and a major draw for visitors to the area. Reporter Sophie Wyllie finds out how local produce will play a starring role for dozens of Norfolk Day celebrations across the county.
“I see Norfolk as a pantry. It is the UK’s larder - everything is on your doorstep.”
That is one view from chef and Norfolk ambassador Charlie Hodson.
Scores of Norfolk-themed menus will be served up on Friday, July 27 and limited edition beers have been developed to celebrate the special day.
Mr Hodson, said: “I think Norfolk Day and food events go hand in hand. Everywhere you look, from cider, wine, beer, vodka and gin to turkeys at Christmas, pork, quail and Cromer crab - the county has a real affinity between land and sea and food. Norfolk Day will bring producers, farmers and brewers together.”
Another chef who is celebrating Norfolk Day is Richard Hughes, pictured right. Mr Hughes, chef director of the Assembly House in Norwich and the Richard Hughes Cookery School, is putting on an afternoon tea at the Assembly House on Theatre Street, Norwich.
He has also created a menu inspired by Norfolk ingredients for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s main restaurant, where he is consultant chef.
Mr Hughes said: “I am overjoyed to see that so many Norfolk restaurants, cafés and hotels have lent their support to Norfolk Day by showcasing the very best of the food and drink which the county has to offer – the county is the envy of Britain when it comes to spectacular produce, artisan enterprises, fabulous dining experiences and top-drawer service.
“I hope Norfolk Day encourages more people to get behind our local producers, support our economy and think about the journey their meals make from field to fork.”
He added: “It’s not just about the produce from surf and turf, incredible as it is, it’s also about the people who cook and serve our food and drink and whose knowledge about what is produced in Norfolk is second to none and about the people who ensure that knowledge is passed down to the next generation. We are passionate about what we do and about Norfolk – it’s a recipe for a great day.”
One eatery which will be serving up Norfolk-themed food, including Binham Blue cheese, Cromer crab and sausages from Papworth Farms, is Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden tearoom in South Walsham.
Louise Rout, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden manager, said: “Norfolk Day is a great way to bring everyone together and celebrate our wonderful county. We believe that it is important to use Norfolk produce whenever possible in our tearoom and promote it to our visitors.
“We really enjoy working with local suppliers and even have our own kitchen garden, which provides salad and vegetables to the tearoom.”
As well as food, drink also plays an important part to the Norfolk produce economy with the county being home to scores of microbreweries.
One of these microbreweries which has produced special Norfolk Day beers is the Norfolk Brewhouse in Hindringham.
It made the Norfolk Day Sunrise and Norfolk Day Sunset, both of which are made from Maris Otter barley - grown in Norfolk.
On Norfolk Day more than 50 pubs will be serving the beers.
David Holliday, co-founder of the Norfolk Brewhouse, said: “We are so proud to be part of the Norfolk food community – Norfolk Day symbolises just how passionate us artisan producers are about the county and the ingredients it provides us. To see so many producers celebrate the day encapsulates that passion. Let’s raise a glass to Norfolk.”
For one day only, on July 27, shoppers at House of Fraser in intu Chapelfield, will be able to buy a selection of local produce at the Porkstock Pop-Up event.
There will be more than 20 stalls selling items including artisan gin and spicy chutney to sausages and oils.
Pippa Lain-Smith, part of the Porkstock festival, said: “We are excited to be bringing a little bit of Porkstock to House of Fraser for Norfolk Day.”
Fans of condiments will also be able to get their hands on the new Norwich Mustard at House of Fraser from July 27-29.
Norwich Mustard, a community-owned venture, was founded last year after it was announced that Colman’s Mustard production was to leave the city after 160 years.
Robert Ashton, Norwich Mustard co-founder, said: “We wanted to make Norfolk Day special. This will give people the chance to taste the product we will be making ourselves later this year.”
■Are you organising a Norfolk Day event? Email email@example.com, tweet @norfolk or message the Norfolk Day Facebook page.
Norfolk Day shop
An online shop has been launched selling Norfolk Day marketing material which event organisers can display on the day.
The shop is selling a four-pack of flags, four-pack of A3 posters and 20 balloons at £4, while 5m of bunting is £8.
Celebration packs containing all of the above are available for £18.
Norfolk Day takes place on Friday, July 27, and is intended as a day of fun in which individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to get involved by hosting or participating in events.
The initiative was launched by the EDP and Norwich Evening News in partnership with BBC Radio Norfolk and has the backing of business and community organisations who are planning events for the day.
Details of events will be revealed in the newspaper, online and via social media.
To order Norfolk Day materials visit www.norfolkday.co.uk shop to buy celebratory items.