She’s a pasty master at wooing tourists in Horning

The Best Food and Drink Tourism Attraction award recognises the important role food and drink play in making a visitor's stay memorable.

It is a key fact not lost on Ian Russell, who has raised the quality of the menu in his Wroxham Barns' restaurant/cafe to spearhead the offering at his craft and shopping complex in Tunstead Road, Hoveton.

Since taking over in 2007, chef Chris Hyde has meticulously followed his boss's instructions to make the most of Norfolk food and drink.

The restaurant now sources its flour from Letheringsett Mill; ducks eggs for cakes from Mattishall; milk and cream from Nortons Dairy, Frettenham; and Sunday joints from Swannington Farm to Fork.

Mr Russell, a prime mover in Broads Tourism and the rebranding of the Broads, said: 'The reputation of a destination is hugely dependent on its reputation for food and drink.

'A survey carried out by the Broads Authority a couple of years ago highlighted the biggest issue for boating holidaymakers was the quality of food and drink by the riverside - it simply was not good enough.'

However, he said businesses such as the Waterside restaurant at Rollesby and Farm to Fork and Fish near Coltishall were thankfully beginning to change perceptions.

Most Read

He added: 'Quite a lot of attractions in quite subtle ways now recognise the importance of food and drink for day visitors.

'I always urge businesses to sell local products. For visitors, it makes shopping a fun part of their holiday.'

Since Wendy Timewell opened her delicatessen, The Galley, eight years ago, it has become an oasis on the riverside at Horning for holidaymakers and locals seeking homemade food with locally-sourced ingredients.

She said: 'We started sourcing locally before the buzzword was local; people in the village said we would not last three months but we have just grown and grown.

'People on boats are delighted to find they can buy fresh olives and fantastic cheeses and say it makes their holiday. They bemoan the fact this area is starved of good food outlets.'

The Galley, which is run as a family business with Mrs Timewell's daughters Candice, 23, and Camilla, 19, helping out, has become famous for its Hornish pasties, given a Norfolk twist with the addition of Woodfordes ale.

As well as its range of pasties the deli has also become renowned for its sausage rolls and scones.

Mrs Timewell said: 'We started with a small art gallery in the shop but people said they loved our food so much they wanted us to open a cafe.

'We began with one table and now have four, serving teas, light lunches and even breakfasts.'

She said they made all their own cakes and customers loved their cream teas.