Norwich café hopes to be voted best on the menu

Laurent Zahorosko, owner of The People's Palace Café at Suffolk Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Laurent Zahorosko, owner of The People's Palace Café at Suffolk Square. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Like Yorkshire puddings, a nice cup of tea and Coronation Street – the good old greasy spoon is a staple of British life.

Barbara Spencer, left, and her sister and brother-in-law, Linda and David Cameron, are regular custo

Barbara Spencer, left, and her sister and brother-in-law, Linda and David Cameron, are regular customers at The People's Palace Café. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

And one Norwich café has clearly found the right recipe for success after being shortlisted for a competition to be named Britain's Best.

The People's Palace Café, in Suffolk Square, was entered in a competition held by Sig Roofing to find the best british café. Customers can vote online before the end of October for their favourite local café in England.

Owner Laurent Zahorosko said: 'It's simple: when you make good food, you get customers. I don't own this café to win awards, but it would be nice to have other people from the area know about it. I also like the challenge: a life without challenge is not a life.'

It hasn't always been smooth sailing for Mr Zahorosko. He is originally from France and took over as owner of the café in 2006.


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He then had to learn to put aside French cooking and make traditional English dishes (one item on his menu is a full breakfast with tea or coffee for a fiver) to appeal to Norwich diners.

'I went to cooking school in Paris but I was never a chef. I was always cooking with my mum; when it's something you love to do, it's easy to learn,' he said.

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'I love Norwich. I like going back home to Paris to see my family, but I choose to come back here for the peace and quiet.'

For Mr Zahorosko, the most important thing is that the café is an inviting meeting place for his regular customers.

'I only have two other employees and I do a lot of the cooking myself. But I like to be in touch with my customers, to not be behind the counter all the time. After so many years you start to be friends with the customers and close to them. Without this place I would be totally lost.'

The 14 regional winners of the Sig Roofing competition will be invited to lunch at London's Chiswell Street Brewery. The national winner is awarded a 4-star holiday to New York City's Manhattan Island, including a visit to Ellen's Stardust diner.

To vote, visit www.britainsbestcafe.co.uk.

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