Made in Norfolk: 13 of the best restaurants serving locally sourced produce
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk is home to a range of unique restaurants that celebrate and support the local food and drink economy. Here are 13 places where you can feast on local produce.
• Benedicts, Norwich
Former Morston Hall head chef and 2015 Great British Menu winner, Richard Bainbridge, is the owner and head chef at Benedicts, a bistro on St Benedicts Street that is keen to use local produce as much as possible across its tasting and a la carte menus. Norfolk pigeon, Norfolk lamb, Cromer Crab, Thornage Hall Spring Cabbage and Blickling Hall Estate Aberdeen Angus beef are all seasonally available in the restaurant and used in Benedicts modern take on traditional meals.
• The Moorings, Blakeney
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This relaxed restaurant offers a menu inspired by its local surroundings that features fish and shellfish purchased straight from the local fishermen's boats, and at lunch time they offer different Norfolk cheeses in their salads and sandwiches. Chef and owner Richard Long recommends customers try the locally sourced game, 'the venison, partridge and pheasant are great.' He also revealed that a new menu will be put in place this weekend to highlight the best produce available this season. 'I'm hoping to start using more asparagus now, but if it's not available locally I won't be including it.'
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• The Crown Inn, East Rudham
The Crown Inn in East Rudham serves up a range of seasonal ingredients sourced locally from farmers, fishermen and traders. The use of these ingredients means that the menu is not set in stone and can change sporadically to reflect the produce available to the restaurant. Their sample menu however provides an idea of the type of local ingredients to be expected, such as Norfolk pigeon, pickled local beetroot, Wells alpine cheese, Norfolk kale and Houghton Hall cocoa marinated venison.
• Market Bistro, King's Lynn
This family-run restaurant in King's Lynn prides itself in producing good quality food made from fresh local produce. Owners Lucy and Richard Golding are incredibly keen on supporting local suppliers and heavily praise the farmers and producers who provide their raw materials, such as The Fruit Pig Company who supplies their pork-related produce, All Organic Limited, an organic farm in Walpole Saint Andrews who deliver their organic and seasonal vegetables and Norfolk Cordial who provide all of the cordial used in the restaurant's non-alcoholic drinks.
• The Wiveton Hall Café, Wiveton
This cafe and restaurant overlooking the sea, opened in 2007 and specialises in locally sourced produce. A large portion of the ingredients used in the quirky dishes cooked by head chef Benjamin Pert stem from the fruit farm the cafe is situated on, or if not, he makes sure they come from as close by as they possibly can. The dishes are altered regularly due to seasonal ingredients and so printed menus are not available, as the restaurant believes they wouldn't be able to keep up with the changes.
• The Neptune, Old Hunstanton
The Neptune, a fine dining restaurant in Old Hunstanton, has a menu featuring 'the best' produce that Norfolk has to offer, including locally landed fish, local game, Great Ryburgh quail and fresh fruit from Drove Orchards in Thornham. Chef and owner Kevin Mangeolles suggests customers try the Brancaster lobsters, which he uses for main meals and in salads with croutons made from the corals.
• The Victoria Inn, Holkham
This independent English inn offers visitors simple meals inspired by the likes of Elizabeth David and Fergus Henderson and made using classic locally sourced food. Their venison, beef and game all come from the Holkham Estate, while their crab is from Cromer, the cheeses are from Wighton and the mussels originate from Brancaster.
• The Globe Inn, Wells-next-the-Sea
The Globe works closely with local fishermen and butchers in Wells-next-the-Sea and around North Norfolk to source produce for their fresh meals. Their key suppliers include Andrew Frary who brings mussels and crabs straight up from the Quay, Barsby Produce who along with Elveden Kitchen Garden grow niche vegetables and H.G. Graves a butchers based in Briston who supplies their beef, pork, lamb, chicken and game.
• The King's Head, Great Bircham
Offering customers a varied, and where possible, locally sourced menu, the King's Head in Great Bircham is the place to go for a traditional meal. The restaurant works with suppliers such as Simon Letzer, who owns Letzer Seafood and Smokehouse and makes use of ingredients such as Cromer crab, local goat's cheese and Norfolk reared pork and steak.
• The Walsingham Café, Great Walsingham
The Walsingham Cafe is owned by 'the pie man of Norfolk', Paul Stretton, who is well-known for his locally supplied pies, puds and tarts. The cafe is open five days a week, serving North Norfolk produce as well as tea and coffee. The menu includes pies with fillings such as venison and sloe gin as well as goats cheese and sundried tomato tarts.
• The Norfolk Riddle, Walsingham
The Norfolk Riddle only uses the finest quality produce from local suppliers and employers in order to help their businesses survive. For this reason they use Barsby Produce of King's Lynn to supply their fruit and vegetables, Arthur Howells Butchers in Wells-next-the-Sea for their meat, Coles of King's Lynn provides their fish and their beer and cider is from the Norfolk Brew House in Hingringham and Whinn Hill Ciders respectively.
• The Assembly House, Norwich
The Assembly House provides visitors with a selection of seasonal dishes featuring locally-sourced ingredients across their menus. Their lunch menu for example, features Norfolk rump steak, Binham Blue cheese and Norfolk dapple.
• Back to the Garden, Letheringsett
Back to the Garden runs two menus side by side, one featuring traditional food to be eaten all year round, and one that is constantly changing to focus on celebrating the best ingredients of the day or week. Both their restaurant and shop sells produce that has either been raised by the owners organically at their farm or sourced locally. Restaurant manager, Annie, recommends customers try the trio of breaded seafood, or the Astley Estate beef, which is served with seasonal vegetables and Norfolk dapple dumpling.
• Have you been to any of these restaurants? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.