Where to enjoy fine food and drink from a Fine City

Adam Jarvis, head chef at The Dining Rooms, Cinema City with his Norwich inspired dish.Picture by SI

Adam Jarvis, head chef at The Dining Rooms, Cinema City with his Norwich inspired dish.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The Norfolk Food and Drink Festival 2014 is set to hit Norwich this weekend with plenty of delicious events to whet your appetite. STACIA BRIGGS finds out where you can feast on the street, take a Norfolk afternoon tea, visit a farm in the middle of the city and eat an Elvis Toastie Macaron this weekend.

Adam Jarvis, head chef at The Dining Rooms, Cinema City with his Norwich inspired dish.Picture by SI

Adam Jarvis, head chef at The Dining Rooms, Cinema City with his Norwich inspired dish.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

There's plenty of fabulously foodie fun planned in Norwich from today until Saturday – fill your larder, fill your belly, fill your weekend with the very best of Norfolk's wonderful local produce.

The Norwich Food and Drink Festival, sponsored by The Maid's Head Hotel, is under the umbrella of the main Norfolk Food and Drink Festival 2014. With other city-based events planned throughout the month, including the meaty celebration that is Porkstock, a pop-up restaurant at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, a food safari that raises funds for charity, the battle of the bangers and the battle of the baristas and a decidedly different dinner held in the dark.

Here are a selection of mouth-watering suggestions to help you make the most of the food festival in Norwich this weekend…and beyond:


Café Culture at The Forum:

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New to the festival, the Café Culture event at the Forum in Norwich will celebrate everything from a hot steaming mug of coffee enjoyed on Norwich market to an artisan brew in one of the small independent cafes, restaurants and bistros in the city, while not forgetting the larger establishments, both independent and national. There will be the first NNFF Regional Barista Competition, cake stalls, competitions and much more. From 10am to 4pm.

September 6:

The Battle of the Bangers:

Butchers across the county will be sizzling their very best sausages for a panel of expert judges and the public to sample and vote for their favourites. Whose sausage will go off with a bang? Tasting starts at 9.30am on Saturday at The Forum in Norwich. Butchers battling it out are The Beefsmith from Starston, FL Edge and Son Ltd from East Harling, Tasty Tavern Meats from Swafield, Bradwell Butchery, Bakery and Delicatessen, The Fruit Pig Company and Icarus Hines from Cromer.

City Farm at The Forum, sponsored by Ben Burgess:

On Saturday at The Forum, the Norfolk Young Farmers' Club will bring the farm to the city. There will be a display of local crops and produce and a tractor to sit in. Meet the future food producers of Norfolk and find out about the EDGE apprenticeship scheme.

The Norfolk Producers' Market:

Almost 30 stalls of locally-produced food and drink will be outside The Forum, showcasing the very best of Norfolk's storecupboard.

Slow Food Artisan Farmers' Market, The Library Restaurant, Norwich:

Norfolk producers will be showcasing produce made with love and care at The Library on Guildhall Hill from 11am to 4pm. Produce will include Elmtree Beers, Scrubby Oak chutneys and vinegars, Peter's Organic Vegetable Boxes and Norfolk chocolate. The Library will be featuring some of the produce on its lunch menu, too. For more details, visit www.thelibraryrestaurant.co.uk or call 01603 616606.

Macaron Day 2, Macarons & More, Royal Arcade Norwich:

From 9am to 5pm there will be 45 different flavours of macaron to try from the classic salt caramel and pistachio to the more bizarre – Marmite, goats' cheese and the intriguing-sounding 'Elvis Toastie'. During the day, there will be the chance to find the Golden Macaron and win a hamper of sweet treats worth £100. All profits for the day will be donated to Leeway charity. ICAL EXPORT

Norfolk Afternoon Tea, Assembly House, Norwich:

Until October 11, there will be a Norfolk-themed tea on offer with sandwiches that are filled with free range egg and Norfolk cress, creamed Binham Blue cheese, Cley Smokehouse salmon and Norfolk ham and Colman's Mustard Mayonnaise plus the famous Assembly House cheese scones and fruit scones, Grain Stout brownies, honey and mustard cheesecake, raspberry and green tea tipsy trifle and Championship-friendly canary macaroons. Book on 01603 626402.

Other events in Norwich throughout the festival:

September 13 to September 14:

Great Food Festival, intu Chapelfield: There will be a professional cookery theatre on Chapelfield Plain where shoppers can watch live cookery demonstrations and take away samples and recipe cards. There will also be foodie workshops for children, mocktail making sessions, comedy chefs and restaurants inside the centre have been encouraged to create something special for the festival.

September 15:

EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Awards 2014, in association with the East of England Co-op, Norfolk Showground: Celebrating the very best of Norfolk's food and drink and the people who stand out from the rest, these awards are sponsored by some of the most respected names in the county's food, drink and hospitality industry and are valued for the recognition they bring to the winners, their peers and their customers.

September 19:

Something Fishy, Debut Restaurant, Norwich: A fish cookery demonstration with wine and canapés followed by a three-course fish supper in the Debut Restaurant at Norwich City College. The event is from 6pm to 10pm, tickets cost £45 per head, call 01603 773227 to book.

September 23:

Lloyd Addison's Moveable Feast, supported by Cozens-Hardy LLP: A thousand diners, three courses – each at a different venue – and a host of local, independent restaurants, the Moveable Feast is a favourite on the Food Festival calendar. The event raises money for Parkinson's UK. For more information, contact 01603 617269 or visit www.moveablefeastnorwich.org.

September 23:

Local Flavours 2014, Royal Norfolk Showground: This event brings together hundreds of buyers with food and drink producers from around the region to celebrate the diverse and flavoursome food and drink available in the area. By invitation only.

September 26:

Institute of Food Research Tallest Jelly Competition: Use your culinary cunning to build a monster jelly. A team from the Institute of Physics will judge how well children use food science, physics, engineering and sheer ingenuity to build their edible edifices. Can anyone break the record of a 1m high jelly?

September 26:

Great British Breakfast, Debut Restaurant: Enjoy a locally-sourced Norfolk breakfast at Norwich City College's restaurant from 8am to 10.30am. Call 01603 773227 to book, tickets cost £7.25.

September 27:

Gluten-free Masterclass, Hotel School, City College Norwich: Head of school and Master Chef of Great Britain Steve Thorpe – who has recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease – shares his knowledge and skills to help you create dishes that not only reflect modern culinary trends but can help make a difference to your life. For more details, ring 01603 773227.

September 27: Porkstock, Redwell Brewery: Porkstock began 10 years ago as a celebration of pork, beer and having a good time. This year, Porkstock is teaming up with Redwell Brewery on Bracondale to offer a day of celebration that will include fantastic local food producers, games for children, cookery demonstrations, hands-on classes, craft beers, music and great food. The event starts at 10am and ends at 11pm. Visit www.porkstock.co.uk for more details.

September 27:

Dining in the Dark, The Maids Head Hotel: A truly enlightening experience that combines a charity event, great food and a chance to understand the difficulties the blind overcome when eating out. All proceeds will go to the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. Tickets cost £40, for more details, call 01603 272008.

September 30 and October 1:

The Great British Food Quiz at The Assembly House: Join Food Festival patron Richard Hughes for an evening of food, fun and frivolity at the food quiz that will test your taste buds while exercising your noodle. The ticket includes a two-course dinner, coffee and the quiz. The night begins at 7pm at the Assembly House and winners will be given great food-related prizes. Tickets cost £25 each. Book on 01603 626402.

October 2:

The Lavender House and The Assembly House Pop-Up At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital: From noon until 2.30pm, the teams from two of Norwich's best-loved restaurants will be offering staff, patients and visitors the chance to enjoy a gourmet pop-up restaurant at the NNUH to raise cash for the Targeted Radiotherapy Appeal. Diners are being asked to pay what they think is fair for their high-end meal. To ensure a table, book at cchettleburgh@norwich.serco.com.

October 6:

Food-themed TED Talk Gala Dinner, John Innes Conference Centre: Join internationally-acclaimed speaker John Bates in this food-themed evening. Learn the secrets of great public speaking and enjoy a locally-sourced and seasonally-inspired menu with local wine. Tickets cost £50 per person, see www.jic.ac.uk for more details.

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