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Date night by candlelight. Surprise birthday parties. Special celebrations, rare occasions. Or just an excuse to treat yourself to a memorable meal: something cooked fresh, with local ingredients, by the professionals.
In Norwich we’ve got some of the best fine dining restaurants around (and the critics agree). If you love food then this is your city – and if you love fine dining then these are your restaurants…
Perhaps one of the most popular spots in Norwich for fine dining, Benedicts has quite the reputation. And there’s a reason for that! A modern British restaurant run by Richard Bainbridge, his credentials speak for themselves. He worked under Michel Roux Senior at the 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn and won BBC 2’s Great British Menu. And since starting the restaurant in 2015, Benedicts has been named in The Times Top 100 restaurants in the UK, was awarded 3 AA Rosettes in 2018, and included in the Michelin Guide 2022. Enjoy a tasting menu from £57 or sample the set lunch menu from £28.
With its beautifully decadent interiors, The Ivy exudes luxury. It’s the ideal place to enjoy a fantastic dinner, and perhaps sample some of the magnificent cocktail creations on offer. We love the sound of the crispy duck salad starter (£8.95), baked miso aubergine main (£15.95), and the chocolate bombe dessert (£8.95). Pair with The Ivy Royale cocktail (Kir Royale, Plymouth gin, sloe juice and Cocchi Rosa Vermouth topped with Champagne for £12.50), and you’ve got a mouth-watering dinner indeed.
A newcomer to the Norwich food scene, Brix and Bones has certainly made an impact. Located above Gonzo’s Tea Room on London Street, this restaurant really is a hidden gem with plenty of treasures to discover inside, and sustainability at its heart. Many of the delicious dishes on offer are cooked over an open fire, such as the 200-day aged Hereford sirloin steak (£15 per 100g) and the pork chop with Korean pesto (£14). Round off your plate with a side of Wagyu beef fat potatoes (£4) and don’t forget to sample a staple of the restaurant – the bone marrow fudge donut (£6).
Food critic Grace Dent recently visited Benoli and published a glowing review in the Guardian. Most memorable was her description of the much-loved parmesan croquettes as “furious shredded wheat”, but moreover it was her words about the atmosphere, exceptional service, and comforting, ‘hectic and helter-skelter’ food. Down a small street, with Norwich Castle as a neighbour, is tucked this fabulous, intimate Italian restaurant. Head there for Cod and n’duja Kiev with whipped baccala (£9.30), and follow with Gorgonzoloa tortelli, cocoa, porcini and chestnut (£16). And the croquettes, of course.
The 2 AA Rosette WinePress restaurant at The Maids Head hotel offers fine dining in a uniquely historic setting, right in the heart of Norwich. Highly commended in The Taste of East of England award at the East Anglian Tourism Awards 2021 – the delightful food offering here, featuring produce from local suppliers, won’t disappoint. Treat yourself to 2 courses for £36 or three courses for £45 with dishes such as black garlic glazed pigeon breast, smoked jackfruit and caramel apple terrine to choose from.
If you want luxury, you simply can’t pass up afternoon tea at The Assembly House. Whether you go for the classic afternoon tea, or one of the themed teas that The Assembly House is renowned for, you are guaranteed a sumptuous experience. Opt for a glass of fizz to enjoy alongside your savouries, cakes and scones to make the most of the decadent food! £24.95 for one or £49.50 for two, children’s afternoon teas cost £14.95. Fancy really making the most of your visit? Stay the night in one of their beautiful, individually decorated rooms.
If you like to dine in gorgeous surroundings, The Norfolk Mead hotel will surely satisfy. In the idyllic village of Colitshall and situated next to the river, it’s not just the view that will prove impressive, but the food will too. Awarded two AA Rosettes, the restaurant only uses fresh, local ingredients sourced from the finest farms and markets in Norfolk. Have a taste of smoked haddock and gruyere arancini, nut roast wellington, passionfruit and ginger cheesecake and more. Two courses £38, three courses £48.
Stower Grange is a traditional countryside hotel, offering up classic dishes at its restaurant. With fresh and local ingredients (the meat is sourced from a local butcher within a mile of the hotel), a menu that changes monthly, vegetarian and vegan options, and a tempting selection of dishes – it’s no wonder this restaurant has received an AA Rosette.
The award-winning brasserie at Barnham Broom offers contemporary cuisine alongside stylish elegance. The menu regularly changes to reflect the changing seasons, and to put local produce that showcases the excellent offerings of the region at the forefront. There’s often delightful daily specials to complement the menu too, meaning you won’t be stuck for choice here!