Why I love Norfolk: John Gordon-Saker

John Gordon-Saker

John Gordon-Saker - Credit: Supplied by Norwich Film Festival

The director of the History of Advertising Trust, chairman of Norwich Film Festival and former CEO of the Open Youth Trust shares his favourite things about the county.


The first night my family moved to Norwich from Liverpool we went for dinner in Tombland. The snow was falling heavily, creating a winter wonderland in the orange streetlamps and floodlit Cathedral through the arch. Magical.


Norwich Castle. It has not only witnessed various stages in Norwich's development from Norman times, but also becomes the biggest screen in the city. In November, it featured the Film Festival's promotional trailer and is now showing Christmas projections."


Holkham out of season is no contest. Various routes to reach it - unspoilt terrain with huge skies, pine forests, dunes and miles of golden sand. Mammoth.

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Holt - not only was I married there, but I believe it's the capital of North Norfolk with lots of interesting shops and eateries. Pretty.

Place to eat

Bishop's Dining Room, Norwich, has the most creative menu, intimate ambience, genial host and friendly and knowledgeable staff. Delightful.


Well, it used to be the Ferry Boat Inn on King Street before it was closed-down by people complaining about the noise - rather like moving next to an airport and complaining about the planes! It was a great music venue with wonderful river frontage. Devastating. My favourite riverside replacement is the Red Lion on Bishopgate. 

Attraction or day out 

A day's cruise from Wroxham to St Benet's Abbey with a stop off for lunch at The Swan in Horning. There's nothing more hilarious than watching the holidaymakers get it all wrong either mooring up or dodging the yachts! Entertaining.

Something that happens every year

My annual pilgrimage with the grandkids to Cromer - slots, crabbing, hanging out on the pier, paddling and ending the day with fish and chips overlooking the pier Upstairs at Number 1. Joyful. 


Retail is not my thing, but Jarrold makes Christmas shopping a joy especially with all the delights of the deli, but Holkham Hall has to take the prize for the best gift shop on the planet. Painless.


All of the world famous brands that have been founded in Norwich - Mackintosh, Colman's, Start-rite, Norwich Union, Kettle, Gnaw Chocolate . . . to name but a few that have added to the city's rich brand heritage. Fascinating.