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The 20 restaurants in Norfolk you should visit according to The Michelin Guide

PUBLISHED: 12:06 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:53 21 January 2020

Lamb belly, artichoke and salsa verde at the Socius Restaurant at Burnham Market, which is one of 20 Norfolk restaurants in The Michelin Guide 2020 Credit: Denise Bradley

Lamb belly, artichoke and salsa verde at the Socius Restaurant at Burnham Market, which is one of 20 Norfolk restaurants in The Michelin Guide 2020 Credit: Denise Bradley

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From fish and chips with a difference to a farm cafe, here are all the restaurants in Norfolk that feature in The Michelin Guide 2020.

Anonymous inspectors review establishments across the world each year and in the latest Great Britain and Ireland book, 20 Norfolk restaurants feature.

They are spread across the county and if you're still looking for a new year's resolution, then make it to try some, or all, of these brilliant and diverse independent spots.

For Morston Hall, near Holt, and The Neptune, in Old Hunstanton, there was even more reason's celebrate as they both retained their Michelin stars in the latest edition.

Poached pears with caramelised yoghurt and pecans at the Socius Restaurant  in Burnham Market. Credit: Denise BradleyPoached pears with caramelised yoghurt and pecans at the Socius Restaurant in Burnham Market. Credit: Denise Bradley

1. Socius

Where: 11 Foundry Place, Burnham Market, PE31 8LG

What the inspectors said: One meaning of the Latin word Socius is 'sharing' - and it is all about sharing at this smart, Scandic-style restaurant. Sit up on the steel-framed mezzanine level or on the ground floor to watch the chefs hard at work. Unfussy modern small plates feature on a flexible, constantly evolving menu.

The Wiveton Bell. Picture: Ian BurtThe Wiveton Bell. Picture: Ian Burt

2. The Wiveton Bell

Where: Blakeney Road, Wiveton, NR25 7TL

What the inspectors said: A modernised pub featuring beams, stripped floors and wood-burning stoves; with picnic tables out the front and a beautifully landscaped rear terrace. The seasonal menu offers pub classics that are carefully crafted from quality local ingredients. Stylish, cosy bedrooms have smart bathrooms.

3. Roger Hickman's

Where: 79 Upper Saint Giles Street, Norwich, NR2 1AB

What the inspectors said: Personally run restaurant in a historic part of the city, with soft hues, modern art and romantic corners. Service is attentive yet unobtrusive. Cooking is modern, intricate and displays respect for ingredients' natural flavours.

Bure River Cottage Restaurant Credit: James BassBure River Cottage Restaurant Credit: James Bass

4. Bure River Cottage

Where: 27 Lower Street, Horning, NR12 8AA

What the inspectors said: Friendly restaurant tucked away in a lovely riverside village that's famed for its boating. Informal, L-shaped room with modern tables and chairs. Blackboard menu features fresh, carefully cooked fish and shellfish; much from Lowestoft.

Chef Stuart Tattersall, cooking at the fire in the Elk Room at the Gunton Arms pub. Credit: Denise BradleyChef Stuart Tattersall, cooking at the fire in the Elk Room at the Gunton Arms pub. Credit: Denise Bradley

5. Gunton Arms

Where: Gunton Park, Thorpe Market, NR11 8TZ

What the inspectors said: This charming inn overlooks the 1,000 acre Gunton Estate deer park. Enjoy a tasty homemade snack over a game of pool or darts in the bar or make for a gnarled wood table by the fireplace in the flag-floored Elk Room. Dishes are fiercely seasonal; some - such as the Aberdeen Angus steaks - are cooked over the fire. Well-equipped bedrooms have a stylish country house feel.

6. The Conservatory

Where: Titchwell, PE31 8BB

What the inspectors said: Titchwell Manor's smart restaurant offers lovely views over the garden. Dinner offers an à la carte of creative modern dishes. Alternatively, you can dine to sea views in the more informal, funky Eating Rooms, where they serve also light lunches.

Dinner at the Georgian Townhouse, in Norwich. Credit: Lauren CopeDinner at the Georgian Townhouse, in Norwich. Credit: Lauren Cope

7. Georgian Townhouse

Where: 30-34 Unthank Road, Norwich, NR2 2RB

What the inspectors said: Laid-back pub with a flexible menu: choose small plates to start or to share; dishes 'for the table' for two or for; or something for yourself 'from the store'. Fruit and veg is home-grown and they home-smoke cheese and spit-roast and flame-grill meats. Bold, retro-style bedrooms have fridges and coffee machines.

Farmyard restaurant in Norwich features in The Michelin Guide 2020 Credit: Simon Finlay PhotographyFarmyard restaurant in Norwich features in The Michelin Guide 2020 Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

8. Farmyard

Where: 25 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4PF

What the inspectors said: As its name suggests, the cooking at this spacious bistro centres on unadulterated local ingredients. At the heart of the open kitchen is a Big Bertha charcoal oven, which adds plenty of flavour to the various meats and fish. For dessert, try the Farmyard Chocolate Bar. The lunch menu is good value.

Morston Hall owner Galton Blackiston and head chef Greg Anderson. Credit: Ella WilkinsonMorston Hall owner Galton Blackiston and head chef Greg Anderson. Credit: Ella Wilkinson

9. Morston Hall

Where: The Street, Morston, NR25 7AA

What the inspectors said: Galton Blackiston hoped to make his name on the cricket pitch; that was until he discovered where he really excelled - in the kitchen. He met his wife Tracy while working at Miller Howe and they then set up on their own, in an attractive 19C country house in a coastal hamlet. Galton has always been enthused by the quality of Norfolk produce and many of his ingredients are plucked from the kitchen garden or foraged from the local beaches.

10. The Neptune

The Neptune Inn and Restaurant, Old Hunstanton Credit: Ian BurtThe Neptune Inn and Restaurant, Old Hunstanton Credit: Ian Burt

Where: 85 Old Hunstanton Road, Old Hunstanton, PE36 6HZ

What the inspectors said: The experienced chef, Kevin, works alone in the kitchen, making everything from the bread to the ice cream, and his skilfully crafted, unfussy dishes allow the natural flavours of top quality local produce to shine. Meats and vegetables are from the surrounding countryside and seafood is from the nearby coast - Brancaster mussels are often a feature. Dishes are brought to the table by Jacki, Kevin's chatty, friendly and equally enthusiastic wife.

11. No1 Cromer

No1 Cromer Fish and Chips Credit: Charlotte Smith-JarvisNo1 Cromer Fish and Chips Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Where: 1 New Street, Cromer, NR27 9HP

What the inspectors said: This is fish and chips with a difference: looking out over the beach and pier and offering everything from fresh fish and battered local sausages to cockle popcorn and mushy pea fritters. Potatoes are from their farm and the varieties change throughout the year. Head up to the bistro for some tasty fish tapas.

12. Stoke Mill

Stoke Mill Restaurant in Stoke Holy Cross Credit: Sonya DuncanStoke Mill Restaurant in Stoke Holy Cross Credit: Sonya Duncan

Where: Mill Road, Stoke Holy Cross, NR14 8PA

What the inspectors said: Characterful 700 year old mill spanning the River Tas; the adjoining building is where the Colman family started making mustard in 1814. Confidently prepared, classically based dishes use good ingredients and flavours are distinct.

13. The Mulberry

Fresh egg tagliatella, green vegetables and pine nut pesto at The Mulberry Credit: Mark HeathFresh egg tagliatella, green vegetables and pine nut pesto at The Mulberry Credit: Mark Heath

Where: 11 Raymond Street, Thetford, IP24 2EA

What the inspectors said: A bell tinkles as you enter this delightful stone property and the charming owner welcomes you in. The dining room leads through to a conservatory and a walled garden complete with a mulberry tree. Cooking is gutsy and boldly flavoured.

14. Wiveton Farm Cafe

Wiveton Hall with owner Desmond MacCarthy ouside the cafe Credit: Antony KellyWiveton Hall with owner Desmond MacCarthy ouside the cafe Credit: Antony Kelly

Where: 1 Marsh Lane, Holt, NR25 7TE

What the inspectors said: An extension of a farm shop, set down a dusty track and run by a smiley young team. Light breakfasts and tasty, salad-based lunches; weekends see 'Norfolk' tapas in the evenings. Take in glorious farm and sea views from the terrace.

15. Chequers Inn

The Chequers Inn in Thornham Credit: Matthew UsherThe Chequers Inn in Thornham Credit: Matthew Usher

Where: High Street, Thornham, PE36 6LY

What the inspectors said: Sit on the terrace or hire a wooden pavilion and take in the view. Cooking makes use of the local bounty; alongside the main menu there's tapas, such as tempura mussels, and pizzas which are stone-baked using local ingredients.

16. North Street Bistro

Where: TBC

What the inspectors said: An old flint chapel set just off the village green; inside it's small and simply decorated, with high ceilings and a bistro feel. Cooking is fresh and unfussy, with local produce well used. Flavours are clear and textures are complementary. It's proudly run by Dan, Holly and their charming young team. The restaurant shut in Burnham Market in December 2019, but on their website it says they are looking for a new site and are aiming to open in late 2020.

17. Goldings

Where: 11 Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn, PE30 5DQ

What the inspectors said: The traditional-looking Goldings is a smart but pleasingly laid-back pub, where they serve local ales and dogs are welcome. Classically based menus offer plen ty of choice - including platters for two - and portions are substantial. Modern bedrooms and a deli complete the picture. Since being reviewed for the guide, Goldings has moved to a new location further along the street and was previously at 8-9 Market Place.

18. The Old Bank

Where: 10 Lynn Road, Snettisham, PE31 7LP

What the inspectors said: A friendly young couple run this laid-back restaurant. Cooking is modern and sophisticated, with well-crafted dishes keeping local produce to the fore, from Norfolk asparagus to Cromer crab. Lunch is good value and dinner sees the use of more luxurious ingredients

19. Rose and Crown

Where: Old Church Road, Snettisham, PE31 7LX

What the inspectors said: 14C pub featuring a warren of rooms with uneven floors and low beamed ceilings. Gutsy cooking uses locally sourced produce, with globally influenced dishes alongside trusty pub classics. Impressive children's adventure fort. Modern bedrooms are decorated in sunny colours, and offer a good level of facilities.

20. Benedicts

Richard Bainbridge in the kitchen of Benedicts Restaurant Credit: Katja BainbridgeRichard Bainbridge in the kitchen of Benedicts Restaurant Credit: Katja Bainbridge

Where: 9 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4PE

What the inspectors said: A huge window lets in lots of light and white wood panelling keeps things suitably down-to-earth. Tried-and-tested combinations are given subtle modern touches and show respect for good quality Norfolk ingredients.

You can purchase The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2020 on Amazon.


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