We’ve scoured the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk to bring you the best food and drink experiences within striking distance of our Thorpe Forest cabins.
These two fertile counties are bursting at the seams with an abundance of good food and drink, and on your behalf we have gallantly consumed, dined, imbibed and shopped our way around this surprisingly tasty corner of England. Unveiled here are our top 10 foodie suggestions:
#1 Disney’s Deli
No, not the theme park, this is Disney’s Deli of Wymondham in Norfolk and if there is a theme, it’s all about the best food and drink in the local area. Cheeses, hams, jams, fruit, veg and more - it’s worth the half hour drive from Thorpe Forest for a true taste of Norfolk.
#2 The Green Dragon pub
Also at Wymondham, so a day out could be on the cards, the Green Dragon is a beautiful medieval, half-timbered pub, rich in English history. Meals are reasonably priced with an emphasis on local seasonal produce – and the beers are beautifully kept too.
#3 Woodfordes Brewery
Talking of beer, the award winning brews at Woodfordes are spot on. Brewery tours run through spring to autumn and the brewery shop is open all year round for a range of bottled beers and ciders as well as a fine selection of local foods. And don’t forget the brewery tap, the Fur and Feathers, where the full selection of beers is served, along with hearty pub food. Woodfordes is situated in the riverside village of Woodbastwick, less than an hour’s drive from Thorpe Forest.
#4 The English Whisky Company
Sticking with alcoholic drinks, how about England’s only whisky distillery? The St. George’s Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk not only produces award winning whiskies that can hold their own against Scotch but it also offers a fine day out. Tour the distillery, enjoy riverside walks in the grounds and stock up on gifts in the shop.
#5 The Lavender House
Richard Hughes, award winning chef at the Lavender House at Brundall, near Norwich, describes his style as “modern Norfolk”. This makes it perfect for sampling the gastronomic highlights of the region. Attached to the restaurant is the highly successful cookery school, awarded British Cookery School of the Year in 2012/13. Not a budget option, but worth every penny for a special occasion.
#6 Nick’s Diner
Down the price scale somewhat and back towards Wymondham, our recommended budget eat, Nick’s Diner, is a local institution serving home-made burgers, creoles, curries and other simple but perfectly executed favourites. Car racing memorabilia adorns the walls and blues, 50s and 60s music plays in this one-off diner that has been delighting customers since 1983.
#7 Jimmy’s Farm
The famous Jimmy’s Farm in Suffolk hardly needs an introduction and is well worth the hour’s drive from Thorpe Forest. From rare breed sausages to handmade sauces, the farm shop is a foodie heaven. Admission charges to the Farm Park for children are surprisingly reasonable and there is also a restaurant and some delightful little shops. Jimmy’s Farm holds regular events and our favourite has to be the Sausage and Beer festival in July.
#8 The Windows Coffee and Tea Houses
This tiny establishment in Norwich city centre has not gone unnoticed in local and national circles. Mentions in the Independent and the Guardian may have exposed this hidden gem to the world, but it still lives up to the aims of its owner Hayley Draper to be “a happy, inspiring, caffeinated space.”
#9 The Grosvenor Fish Bar
If you are on holiday you will want fish and chips; it’s a given. In this part of the world there is only one place to go – the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich. An unpretentious eatery, the Grosvenor specialises in simple food, properly cooked and served with a smile. Voted No 1 out of 610 restaurants in Norwich on Tripadvisor, it’s clearly a recipe for success.
For our final foodie favourite we head to the Suffolk coast. Orford is a delightfully pretty fishing village, famous for its smokeries, where you can savour smoked salmon, ham hocks and Butley oysters. For those oysters, visit the Butley Orford Oysterage where there is a shop and restaurant. On the quayside, buy freshly caught fish from Brinkley’s Fish Shed and then head to the Pump House Bakery for fresh bread that tastes how bread should.
There are so many places we had to leave out to keep this list to 10. What shines through, is Norfolk and Suffolk’s excellent local produce, talented chefs and passionate purveyors of good food and excellent service. All our choices are easily accessible from Thorpe Forest, so book today and enjoy a satisfying foodie holiday.