Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Best Pubs and Restaurants in Norfolk: Reviewed And Rated With Birds

Poppies near Roydon Common

The Bridge Inn, Acle Bridge, Acle

Bird Equivalent: Sedge Warbler. An unspectacular but lively summer treat.
Overview: Large, traditional, family-friendly, riverside pub on the main road from the Broads to the coast.
Food Highlight: Excellent £8.95 ham salad featuring generous helpings of potato salad, pasta salad and  hand-carved glazed ham.
Beer: Woodforde's Wherry and Adnams Lighthouse - both well kept.
Service: Cold but efficient.
Bottom Line: £45.95 for four main courses and a round of drinks.

The Lifeboat Inn, Ship Lane, Thornham

Bird Equivalent: Avocet. An uplifting sight on the Norfolk coast.
Overview: Large, rambling village pub/hotel just off the main coastal road with a great outdoor patio garden and distant views of the sea.
Food Highlight: Reasonable bacon & cheese burgers with average chips and a little punnet of relish.
Beer: Woodforde's Wherry and guest ales
Service: Quick and friendly.
Bottom Line: £45.60 for four main courses and a couple of rounds of drinks.

The Kings Head, High Street, Holt

Bird Equivalent: Marsh Harrier. Soaring imperiously above all it surveys.
Overview: One of our favourite pubs. Great food and a great range of well-kept beer guaranteed in the centre of the bustling Georgian town.
Food Highlight: We sat in the lovely new conservatory and ate a deliciously well-done T-bone steak with a jacket potato, salad and onion rings.
Beer: Wherry to start then a bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Service: Not great on the night - it was only 7pm but they'd ran out of chicken and after a long wait chips were presented in a tiny metal basket instead of the ordered baked potato; spud delay resulted.
Bottom Line: £60.40 for two including the booze, a bottle of fizzy water and a latte.

The Crown Inn, East Rudham

Bird Equivalent: Great Crested Grebe. Serving freshly caught fish as a speciality.
Overview: Newly-modernised, chain-owned gastro pub in a village on the main road from Fakenham to Kings Lynn.
Food Highlight: An intricately and deliciously-cooked pollock which had to be unwrapped from its grease-proof paper jacket, served with biriani rice.
Service: Friendly, quick and efficient.
Beer: Adnams Bitter well kept.
Bottom Line: £23.45 for the fish, two pints and a coffee.

Chai-Yo, High Street, Sheringham

Bird Equivalent: Goldfinch. A colourful taste of the exotic amid the ordinary.
Overview: Traditional suburban Thai restaurant in the heart of the traditional seaside town.
Food Highlight: The sort of fresh, crisp, spicy food everyone has come to expect.
Service: Very friendly and efficient.
Wine: Nicely chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Bottom Line: £71.55 for four starters, four main courses and the wine.

Taste of India, Holt

Bird Equivalent: Sandwich Tern. Deep breath, dive in, enjoy.
Overview: Another firm favourite, especially with the kids - traditional Indian food in a nicely modernised, cosy and very busy restaurant. Booking essential.
Food Highlight: The usual gravy-rich masalas, bhunas and tandooris and those frozen desserts that come in lemon peel and coconut shells.
Service: Clinically efficient.
Beer: Kingfisher lager on tap.
Bottom Line: £66.85 (including tip) for four starters and main courses with all the trimmings and a couple of beers.

The Fur and Feather Inn, Slad Lane, Woodbastwick

Bird Equivalent: Not a bird but a Swallowtail butterfly - a wonderful and exclusive Norfolk speciality.
Overview: Not just the best pub in Norfolk but probably the best pub in Britain. A classic thatched roof building in a picture-postcard Broads village. It serves every Woodforde's beer straight out of the barrel from the brewery next door.
Food Highlight: The beers
Service: You might have to wait patiently to get served at the bar but it's worth it.
Beer: Wherry, Admiral's Reserve, Nelson's Revenge, Norfolk Nog, Headcracker, Sundew, seasonal specials.
Bottom Line: worth every penny to sample the ales while Swallows swoop over the beer garden pond.

Three generations taking refreshments at the unrivalled Fur and Feather Inn

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