Can you get a table at one of Norfolk's hottest new restaurants?
- Credit: Tori Hancock
For chef Greg Anderson, when it comes to working with suppliers, local really does mean local.
“We use John round the corner at the North Norfolk Fish Company, he’s literally less than five minutes’ walk from our door,” he says.
“We get fruit and vegetables from Benbow’s greengrocers which again is five minutes from the door.
"We use P and S Butchers in Holt, so that’s maybe six minutes’ walk, it’s in the centre of town and they source all the meat locally.
"So that’s the fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, all from the town.”
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In May Greg, who was head chef at Michelin-starred Morston Hall and his partner, Rebecca Williams, who worked front of house at Morston, launched Meadowsweet, a restaurant with rooms in a characterful Grade II listed building in Holt.
Everything about it is thoughtfully small and perfectly formed.
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The intimate dining room has 16 covers, serving a taster menu of five or six courses, which allows the produce and Greg’s well-honed skills in the kitchen (he’s also worked at the renowned Gravetye Manor in Sussex and L'Enclume in Cumbria) to shine.
And upstairs in the 18th century building, which was previously a home and before that Yetman’s restaurant, are three guest rooms, which are the epitome of understated luxury.
“I had been at Morston for six years and Rebecca for five and we thought it was probably time to do our own thing,” says Greg.
“We really wanted to do something small, so the idea was that Rebecca would be out front and me in the kitchen.
“We looked at a few pubs, but we really wanted a small restaurant with rooms. The kind of place that we would like to go and stay at.
“And then we came across this building and it was perfect. The kitchen was right, there were three bedrooms upstairs, the restaurant size was right.”
They open four nights a week and listening to Greg’s amuse bouche of the tasting menu, there’s little wonder that you’ll be lucky to get a table before Christmas.
“We do a lobster ravioli. We use lobsters from Cromer so we work directly with the fishermen,” says Greg.
“We do the ravioli. We bind it with a hand dived scallop mousse and we serve it with lemon verbena, so lemon verbena pureed, fresh lemon verbena and a lobster and lemon verbena sauce.
"And spinach, so spinach with garlic, ginger, salted lemon and confit red pepper. So simple, but there are lots of layers of flavour to it.
“That sort of dish has been on since we opened, more or less every week.”
An often underappreciated vegetable is given star billing too.
“We do a roasted cabbage, so we just take a white cabbage, roast it for about four hours in foaming butter really, really gently then serve it with some sour cream and a bacon marmalade. So that’s treacle smoked bacon just cooked down with molasses and cider, then the roasted cabbage on top, and in between the layers of the cabbage, Granny Smith apples for some fresh acidity.”
And for dessert, you might find retro favourite Black Forest gateau given a Meadowsweet twist.
“There’s quite a lot of layers, so there’s a chocolate sponge, there’s two chocolate mousses, a white chocolate with cherry liqueur and a dark chocolate mousse, there’s a liquid cherry centre, a cherry liqueur ganache, chocolate coating and then sour cream ice cream and a black olive tuille,” says Greg.
The wine list is looked after by Rebecca.
“I use the Wright Wine Company run by Julian Kaye based in Skipton in Yorkshire who I have known for a couple of years,” she says.
“They support us amazingly with some gems like Alheit, Cartology Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2019 from Western Cape, South Africa; Tara, Ventisquero Tara Chardonnay 2019, from the Atacama Desert, Chile and López de Heredia, Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva 2006 from Spain.
“We have about 70 bins on the wine list starting from around the £25 mark in addition to a wine pairing to accompany the menu at £55.”
Upstairs the aesthetic for the guest rooms is “clean, simple and modern.”
“The house has got loads of character and we wanted to try and keep it and enhance it. So there isn’t very much on the walls and they’re all white,” says Greg.
They opened in May, the week after restrictions lifted to allow restaurants to welcome back indoor diners.
As like most restaurants, they have experienced cancellations due to diners being ‘pinged’ to isolate, they say that they’ve been “overwhelmed” by the support they’ve had.
“We can’t believe the number of people that want to come,” says Greg. “We thought we’d open and have two or three people a night, but the bookings have been incredible, the restaurant’s fully booked until December.”
To find out more visit meadowsweetholt.com or follow on social media @meadowsweetholt