|Back to the Garden|
Back To The Garden, Fakenham Road, Letheringsett
Bird Equivalent: Swallow - summer not complete without a visit.
Overview: On the main road from Fakenham to Holt, this used to a be a fabulous farm shop selling the very best local produce around. It still is, but now it's added a stunning, Mediterranean-style garden to its barn-conversion restaurant. A delicious lunchtime menu served amidst the bees buzzing on the lavender. Stock up on the way out with Brays pork pies and Wiveton strawberries for tea.
Food Highlight: Three succulent, Norfolk-pork and leek sausages and herby mash served with a giant bowl of fresh vegetables grown in their very own market garden.
Beer: The shop sells a wide selection of local, bottled ales but the restaurant limits the choice to a stout from Yetman's up the road in Holt and a couple of beers from the St Peter's brewery - those ones in the antique-style bottles, which are fine but controversially from across the border in Suffolk.
Bottom Line: Under £40 for four lunches with drinks.
The Lodge, Norwich Road, North Tuddenham
Overview: The first restaurant we've visited as a result of a recommendation on Twitter. We arrived at this stylishly-modernised village inn just off the A47 at 9pm last Friday night - and amazingly we were the only people there. Unexpected James Bond memorabilia on the walls, comfy chairs, Eighties songs playing and a warm welcome from the man in charge who told us it had been much busier earlier on.
Food Highlight: The perfectly cooked medium-well-done ribeye steak came with a giant mushroom and big, fat chips; the burgers were plump; the pollock was fresh and fragrant.
Beer: The last pint of Beeston's Worth The Wait golden ale lived up to its name after a three-hour drive and after that the new barrel of Adnam's Bitter was up to its usual reliable mark.
Bottom Line: £56.95 for four main courses with the drinks.
The Kings Head, Letheringsett
Overview: A fine-looking manor house-style building set just off the the main road from Thetford to Holt with a gravelly car park hidden by a big children's playground to the side of a generous outdoor seating area. It used to be a sticky-carpeted beer-and-burgers family pub but it's been taken over by the Kiwi Inns chain and upgraded into a posh gastro pub with bookshelves around the tables and very friendly and efficient staff.
Food Highlight: Melt-in-the-mouth beer-battered haddock and thick-cut chips, a huge crab salad and a very juicy ribeye steak. Brownies, parfait, panacotta and Eton Mess desserts at £6 a pop.
Beer: The ubiquitous Adnam's bitter from Suffolk - reliable but it would be nice to see a wider local selection.
Bottom Line: £100 gets you four main courses, desserts, three pints, two large bottles of water, a large glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc (on the pricey side at £6.55) and a coke.