10 of the most romantic restaurants in Suffolk and Norfolk
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East Anglia isn't short of 'date night' destinations - here are some of the best restaurants in Suffolk and Norfolk for Valentine's Day.
The Leaping Hare, Wyken
A visit to Wyken Vineyards, especially in the summer months, when you can eat al fresco on the sun-drenched south-west facing terrace, is quite experiential. While the restaurant is only open on Friday and Saturday nights, the café opens its doors seven days a week, so you could easily share a Valentine's lunch here before exploring the beautiful gardens. Set overlooking mature parkland, the restaurant and café barn exudes country charm, but has a smart, elegant feel that makes it perfect for a special occasion. Pretty well everything on the menu is either grown, shot or butchered within just a few miles of the kitchen, and you have to try the estate's own wine, including some fabulous bubbles.
Bishops Dining Room & Wine Bar, Norwich
Found in one of the oldest parts of the city, although this place prides itself on informality, there's no denying its romantic atmosphere - especially when the candlebra are flickering. The menu on Valentine's Day includes one of the ultimate luxuries of the sea - pan-roasted turbot, served with caramelised salsify, charred cucumber and cockle emulsion. There's a 'Toblerone' fondant with honeycomb ice cream too!
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Hintlesham Hall, Hintlesham
If you want to make an impression on your date, you'll certainly get it travelling up the driveway of this sunset pink hotel, the exterior magically uplit as evening falls. The stately formal dining rooms create an unforgettable sense of occasion. On Valentine's Day diners will be greeted by a Champagne reception with canapes in the lounges before sitting down to executive chef Alan Ford's five course menu, including lobster and scallop chowder and iced tonka bean parfait with rum chocolate ganache.
Brasteds, Framlingham Pigot
Popular for weddings, it's no surprise couples love heading for this romantic 2 AA Rosette restaurant on date night. You'll have to give them a call to discover what's on the Valentine's Day menu, which hasn't been published as yet, but whatever the kitchen concocts, you can expect it to be seasonal and creative, taking over all your senses.
Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds
Luxury, gourmet and romantic are three adjectives regularly directed at this spectacular French restaurant, whose interior, service, food, wine list, and attention to detail have made it a must-visit for couples. It really does feel like a chic Parisian eaterie, and chef patron Pascale doesn't shy away from being inventive in the kitchen, using his experience and intuition to come up with plates such as marinated gravadlax with langoustine tail, tandoori mouli, mussel cromquis and lemon confit. Call for Valentine's Day details.
Strattons Hotel, Swaffham
An award-winning boutique hotel, with sumptuous decor, a gorgeous leafy setting, and a real hint of glamour. The overriding colour scheme of the dining room may be beige and neutral, but this doesn't reflect the beautifully colourful, artistic plates of food that arrive at the table. Strattons was awarded Best Afternoon Tea in Norfolk, so it seems fitting to spend an afternoon there. On February 10 and 11 the Valentine's Afternoon Tea includes luxury sandwiches, mini fishcakes, fruit scones, vanilla and rhubarb cheesecake, chocolate and pistachio cake, passion fruit and lemon meringue and a chocolate and caramel eclair.
Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham
A favourite with the guide books, this luxury hotel and restaurant has some of the finest rooms (plus nooks with hot tubs) in East Anglia, and some of the very best food too, winning Best Restaurant in our 2016 food and drink awards. The dining room is understated and warm, the service as close to fine dining as you'll get without being stuffy, and the food divine. Lee's Valentine's menu inculdes baked scallops with smoked roe and chive butter sauce, and chocolate millefeuiille with honeycomb and peanut.
Morston Hall, Morston
Galton Blackiston's charming hotel and restaurant has all the trappings of a world class destination, while retaining a truly homely, welcoming feel. The dining room is quite lovely, and the food worth travelling for, with much of the produce in the kitchen sourced from practically on the doorstep - be that game from local shoots, vegetables plucked from a nearby farm, or seafood caught by John the Fish. If you live in East Anglia you must eat here at least once - and when better than Valentine's?
Boarding this floating restaurant, moored on Ipswich Waterfront, transports you to another place. Looking out to the water from the windows, a glass of wine in hand, surrounded by wood, brass and crisp white linen, you could be anywhere in the world. French in style, food is wonderfully presented and thoughtful. On Valentine's Day expect a tasting platter of salmon tartare, guinea fowl and pork pate en croute and more, as well as a trio of classic French desserts.
The Assembly House, Norwich
If you want grandeur you've got it. This is a fabulous architecural gem in the centre of the city and screams romance with its palatially high moulded ceilings and grandiose chandeliers. There's a Valentine's baking class (including afternoon tea) if you want to do something a bit different. Otherwise, sample the restaurant's Valentine's evening menu, which includes saffron glazed monkfish, pan-fried beef fillet, and passion fruit pavlova with pink Champagne sorbet.