North Norfolk food and drink
Wherever on the Norfolk coast you find yourself, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. One of the great pleasures here is enjoying local produce freshly cooked by talented chefs and you'll find examples of this in abundance, including locally reared meat and freshly caught fish.
The area boasts two stunning Michelin starred restaurants for special celebrations. Galton Blackiston's renowned Morston Hall, with an ever-changing menu of sensational seasonal dishes, has a magnificent setting to match, and the service, as you'd expect, is warm and friendly. The other Michelin star has been prized since 2009 by the pretty Old Neptune in Old Hunstanton, where owner-chef Kevin Mangeolles uses Norfolk's finest seasonal produce including locally landed fish and lobster and Graham Yewdale’s famous lamb.
Pubs with excellent food abound and many come with a stunning view, like the Crown Inn at Sheringham which boasts a great location right on the cliff overlooking the sandy beach. For breath-taking views over the salt marshes, the cafe at Cley Marshes reserve has good scones, cakes and light lunches, while local landmark Cley Windmill, dating from the early 18th century, has a traditional menu in its restaurant. In this pretty village you can also try Cookes of Cley for morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea, all homemade and specialising in seafood.
Twenty minutes along the coast, in Wells-next-the-Sea, The Bowling Green serves traditional home cooked cuisine in a relaxed and comfortable pub setting and you'll also find the Crown, overlooking the green. This is one of the acclaimed Flying Kiwi pubs, as is The Ship at Brancaster. The Kiwi in question is Chris Coubrough (from ITV’s Coastal Kitchen) and his inns serve stunningly good food in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Another favourite and slightly off the beaten track, is the Banningham Crown. In a rural backwater between Cromer and Aylsham, it has just been refurbished and offers a great selection for lunch and evening meals, very popular with locals.
In trendy Holt and Burnham Market, meanwhile, you'll find plenty of charming tea shops nestled amongst the independent shops and boutiques; worthy of special note are The Folly and Byfords in Holt, both of which have homemade cakes to die for, as does Tilly's in Burnham Market which also does a very fine breakfast.
Gourmet delights apart, sometimes traditional fish and chips is exactly what's needed - and where better to eat it than sitting on the quay wall watching the boats bobbing on the harbour in Wells? Plattens fish and chip shop here were finalists of the 2013 National fish and chip award and Frenches next door is just as good in the eyes of many locals! And while you're in Wells, do try the quirky Albatros, an old sailing ship overlooking the quay and tidal marshlands that serves authentic Dutch Pancakes and local real ale.
Brays Cottage Pork Pies are one of North Norfolk's best kept secrets that we are happy to share with you. Produced in a converted flint barn overlooking the sea, you will find them in a number of cafes and farm shops in the area and are always made with the best Norfolk pork for a fantastic flavour. 01263 712958
The Norfolk Sloe Company is a family run business based in North Norfolk. The company delights in producing the highest quality delicious liqueurs and amazing chocolate truffles by making the most of locally sourced ingredients. Stockists include Walsingham Farm Shop, Kelling Heath and Back to the Garden in Leatheringsett. 01328 856042
Mrs Temple’s Cheeses are well known all over North Norfolk and I’m sure if you have a cheese board in any restaurant in the area you will get the chance to try at least one of the farmhouse cheeses, hand-made from the milk of their own cows in Wighton. Look out for them in a number of deli’s and farm-shops, popular varieties include Binham Blue, Crumbly Walsingham, Melton Mozarella, Wells Alpine and Gurney Gold. 01603 424102
Not forgetting your dogs, established in 2009, Pooch’s have gone from strength to strength offering our four legged friends home-baked, tasty, nutritious, low-fat treats including cheese bones, fish fingers and yoghurt snaps. You can purchase these goodies at Holt Posh Pets, Big Blue Sky in Wells, Wiveton Farm and Back to the Garden in Leatheringsett. 01760 756024
Found in cafes, pubs, shops and restaurants all over North Norfolk, is Norfolk Cordial, this company recently appeared on Dragons Den and produces soft drinks using fresh local produce and natural ingredients. Flavours to try include Raspberry, Rhubarb/Orange & Ginger, Strawberry & Lime and Wild Elderflower. 01263 570251
Located in Wells in the centre of the North Norfolk coast, Whin Hill Cider is a small company producing cider, perry and apple juice using traditional methods. Real cider apples & perry pears are grown in their orchard at Stanhoe and the products produced are natural containing no added water, flavourings or artificial sweeteners. You can purchase these at their shop, The Cider-works on Stearman’s Yard in Wells. 01328 711821
Whether you are looking for a family lunch, afternoon tea or an evening meal for two in a gourmet restaurant, everyone is catered for while you're visiting this lovely coastal area.