Norwich city guide
Your essential guide to the historical craft haven
Monday 30 December 2019
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Pubs and bars
St Andrews Brewhouse (41 St Andrews Street, NR2 4TP)
The perfect pub to watch the world go by with a pint, or to learn about the brewing process with a tour of their on-site brewhouse, or to chow down on a delicious pie - St Andrews Brewhouse has it all. What’s more, the location is a gorgeous Grade II-listed building, with industrial-style interior decor that complements the visible brewhouse, and there’s over a dozen cask and keg beers to choose from (many of which are the ones brewed in house). Bliss.
The Rose Inn (235 Queens Rd, NR1 3AE)
Run by two passionate beer drinkers, Dawn Hopkins and Carl Newell, the Rose Inn is a must-visit gem in the Norwich beer scene. Their motto is to “drink extraordinary”, and they put so much love and care into their pub and the beers they serve that it makes my heart feel full. They have regular events like live music, quizzes and free pool days, a great burger menu, and they even have a wee flat upstairs that you can book through AirBnB. Is this the perfect pub? I think it might be!
Sir Toby’s Beers (Norwich Market, 182 Market Pl, NR2 1ND)
Sir Toby’s Beers is a cute little bottle shop and taproom at Norwich Market which stocks an ever-changing range of more than 100 local and UK beers. Get some food from one of the many stalls around the market, and then come here to find the perfect accompaniment to your scran. Keep an eye on their social media channels to find out about their regular events too!
Plasterers Arms (43 Cowgate, NR3 1SZ)
This friendly, unassuming local boasts around 20 beers to choose from on cask and keg, and a very extensive pizza menu (about half of which is vegan-friendly!) which makes it the ultimate place to go with your pals for an evening of food, drink and fun. They show sports on their TVs - but not in a ‘sports bar’ kinda way - and host a weekly pub quiz and regular live music nights.
Woodforde’s Brewery (Woodbastwick, NR13 6SW)
About an hour away from Norwich city centre on public transport, Woodforde’s Brewery has been making beer in the east of Norfolk County for almost 40 years, although its founders Ray and David have been home brewing since the 60s. Over the last few decades Woodforde’s has amassed hundreds (literally) of awards, including CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain for their Wherry amber ale in the 90s, which they’re still famous for today. Go for a brewery tour, then settle in to their pub the Fur & Feather for a few pints - you won’t regret it.
Wildcraft Brewery (Foragers’ Rest, Coltishall Road, Buxton, NR10 5JD)
The passionate foragers behind Wildcraft Brewery try and use as many wild ingredients as possible in their brews, and if not they grow their own. How nice is that? As well as its environmentally friendly ethos, this brewery is known for the cute fluffy pink and green monster (called Brewbacca - a local legend, apparently) on its branding, and its tasty regular and seasonal beers. Less than an hour away from Norwich, they’re worth a visit!
Chalk Hill Brewery (Rosary Rd, NR1 4DA)
The longest-running brewery in Norwich, and based on the same premises as the locally-beloved Coach and Horses pub, Chalk Hill Brewery brews a range of ‘proper’ ales using only Norfolk maltings and the best hops around so is a must-visit for fans of a good pint of cask ale! Fun fact: the area around the brewery is home to some of the chalk and flint mines that Norwich was famous for as far back as the 12th century.
Fat Cat Brewery (98-100 Lawson Rd, NR3 4LF)
This brewery was opened by pub landlord Colin Keatley back in 2005, and you can find their extensive range of real ales at its three pubs in Norwich - the Fat Cat Brewery Tap, the Fat Cat Freehouse, and the Fat Cat and Canary, all of which have the dozens of Fat Cat Brewery ales on tap. The brewery and the three pubs are CAMRA favourites, so you know they’re all worth checking out!
Brick Pizza (39 Market Pl, NR2 1ND)
Everyone loves pizza, right? And according to locals, this is the best pizza joint in town. Proper Italian thin-crust pizza cooked in a brick oven, topped with all the best ingredients. There’s a whole host of options on tomato sugo base (such as mozzarella, nduja, pepperoni chunks and chilli honey), or white base (mozzarella, gorgonzola, porcini, rosemary and Norfolk ham). BRB, I’m drooling.
Benedicts (9 St Benedicts St, NR2 4PE)
This three-AA Rosette-awarded restaurant was opened in 2015 by Richard Bainbridge, winner of the 2015 season of the Great British Menu and Veteran Judge of the 2017 season. The menu is full of decadent, creative dishes, and although it’s a fine dining restaurant, they cater for all appetites and price points - two courses cost £31, or you can have three for £39, and their seven-course tasting menu will set you back £60, plus £40 for paired wines. They even have a very reasonably-priced set lunch menu, and a kids menu if you would like to bring your little nipper with you.
The Last (St Georges St, NR3 1AB)
This truly lovely wine bar and brasserie is based in a former Victorian shoe factory in Norwich’s Creative Quarter. Their food menu is stunning - with plenty of meat, fish, veggie and vegan options, there’s something delicious for everyone here. Think luxurious fine dining without the price tag - how do you fancy a sourdough donut stuffed with crab, followed by a whole roasted partridge, and then a fig frangipane to finish? Since The Last is also a wine bar, you can expect some of the finest wines around to sip while you eat.
What to do in Norwich
Go to Sainsbury’s
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a stunning art gallery and museum located on the University of East Anglia campus. There’s a whole host of artist exhibits, special/collection-based displays, and project exhibitions at any given time, and even the building itself is worth seeing - a steel frame holds up huge glass walls and shiny white panels. Book a guided tour, or spend the afternoon wandering around looking at all the cool stuff.
Sample some English whisky
St George’s Distillery is home to the English Whisky Co, the first distillery in England in over 100 years. A mere 30 mins via train from the centre of Norwich, the distillery runs tours every day, and there’s a beautiful river walk on the premises too. Learn about the whole process, taste some unique malt whiskies, and relax in the countryside afterwards. Dreamy!
Take your pals bowling
Cocktails, karaoke, comfort food like nachos and ribs, and a ten pin bowling alley - if you’re looking for a fun night out, Bowling House have you covered! Perfect for groups big or small, and family-friendly, they offer different packages depending on what you want to get up to at BoHo and how many people you’re with. They’ve seemingly thought of everything!
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