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We don’t have long to wait until the next phase of restrictions is lifted. Hurrah! If you’re like us, you’ll have loved getting back into the shops for those “non-essential” purchases (although who’s to say a fabulous new pair of shoes aren’t essential?) And you’ll have braved the weather for some outdoor drinks.
But in less than 7 days – whatever the weather – we’ll be able to enjoy all our favourite places to eat, have fun in groups indoors, and take a relaxing break at a hotel or B&B. And boy do we deserve it. Cue a huge sigh of relief.
However, with restrictions being lifted even further we still need to be careful. And hospitality and culture will look slightly different. Please be mindful of the following:
> We’re back to planning ahead and booking everything in advance.
> Venues will have less capacity to enable us more room and to keep socially distanced.
> Attractions and exhibitions may offer timed entry.
> If you have a reservation and no longer need it please cancel. This allows others to take your table/tickets and makes sure businesses don’t miss out on trade.
As much as we all love having a chat with friends on a nice long walk, we’re certainly excited by the prospect of other things to do!
And there’s plenty of fun to be had in Norwich. Why not test your athletic ability with a game of bowling at Bowling House? Located on Dereham Road, Bowling House is a great night out for groups, families, and couples. If you aren’t too confident with your hand-eye coordination, you can always give karaoke a go and belt out a few of your favourite songs. And once you’ve tired yourself out singing the classics (Grease anybody?), there’s food and cocktails to enjoy.
Looking for something a little different to do? Escape games are a great way to test your mind (and your friendships) as you work in a team to get out of a locked room. Cryptic Escapes, open from the 17th May, has 6 different rooms across 2 locations to enjoy. And if you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss out on History Mystery with games curated in amazing historical locations. Indoor games open from the 21st May.
How about booking tickets for Norwich Cathedral’s Shakespeare Festival (9-10 July) to give you something to look forward to? This year The Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays – Macbeth. Tickets cost £20 – book here.
Head on indoors for food and drink in all weathers
Enjoying alfresco dining has been a lot of fun and it’s fair to say it’s added a certain ‘continental feel’ to Norwich, but we are itching to get back to all of our favourite places, some which have been unable to open. Until now.
Got a special occasion to celebrate? Benedict’s is the perfect choice if you’re looking for fantastic food in a chic setting. There’s a range of menus available from a 2-course set lunch to a 7-course tasting menu. Opening from the 19th May, you can book yourself a table now.
Fancy some incredible architecture to ogle while you eat? Book a table at The Cosy Club on London Street in The Lanes. Housed in the restored old National Provincial Bank, you can take in the original glass domed ceiling and the old vault doors while you munch on some delicious comforting food.
The Ivy is also located in The Lanes with beautiful Parisian style dining outdoors but from 17 May you can head indoors too. And they have a stunning room upstairs for private events and parties in case you’ve had to delay a celebration or two. This summer they celebrate a ‘Summer of Love’ with a bespoke 1960s themed cocktail menu and new summer dishes to enjoy.
If it’s comfort food you’re after, The Ribs of Beef by the River Wensum is ready and raring to serve customers once more. Pop in for some drinks and stay for delicious burgers, served by The Recipe Kitchen. Or if you like your comfort food to be of the sweet variety, head over to The Waffle House for an irresistible selection of sweet waffles. (There’s also a range of savoury ones too if you prefer!)
And we can’t forget our favourite spot for some after-work or weekend cocktails. Gyre & Gimble is reopening from 19th May with £5 cocktails on Wednesdays to enjoy! Pop along and sample Norwich’s most creative and innovative cocktail menu while you catch up with friends.
Whether you’re looking to explore and need a comfortable base to retreat to after a day filled with discovery, or you want to treat yourself with a relaxing break away from it all, there’s a variety of choices in Norwich.
For the explorer
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being transported back in time. If it’s history you’re after, book yourself a stay at Gothic House. This two bedroomed elegant B&B is a hidden gem in Norwich. A grade II listed building believed to have been built in the early 1800’s, it’s situated in the oldest part of central Norwich and takes only moments to walk to all the sights, shops and eateries in the city. Rooms from £105 per night (parking available.)
For an affordable and comfortable base only a 10-minute walk from the city centre, check in to the Best Western Annesley House Hotel. Consisting of three Grade II listed Georgian buildings and two converted coach houses, the hotel is a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
For the romantic
The Assembly House is the perfect boutique offering for those who love a bit of romance. Stunning chandeliers and regal furniture decorate the house, while the bedrooms offer a stylish experience with big bathrooms and secret gardens in some of the rooms. Book a decadent escape now with their special offer – 1 night’s stay, Afternoon Tea, a bottle of fizz and breakfast for only £199 between 17 May and 1 September.
With rooms overlooking the Norwich Cathedral, the Maids Head Hotel is perfectly located in the centre of Norwich. Boasting charm and an abundance of character, its range of luxury and junior suites are ideal for those looking to treat themselves. Plus, the hotel provides guests with the option of unique experiences to enjoy. Take a spin around the city in one of the hotel’s vintage Bentleys or enjoy a cruise along the river in their Frolic 31 river boat, the Tiffany Rose, new for summer 2021. Find out more and book now.
For the rural rambler
One of the many great things about Norwich is that it’s within easy reach of the countryside, the coast and the Broads. So, if you like to explore the unbeaten path as well as the city, there’s plenty of options surrounded by gorgeous countryside and within easy reach of the city.
Barnham Broom is located just west of Norwich and overlooks 300 acres of beautiful countryside. With two golf courses, a stunning restaurant and its own Spa, there’s no shortage of facilities in this elegant hotel. Book here.
In the heart of the Norfolk Broads and on the banks of the River Bure you’ll find The Norfolk Mead hotel. With elegant rooms, spa treatments, eight acres of lovingly kept private grounds, and an English Harbour yacht for day boat hire, The Norfolk Mead makes a stunning destination venue with rooms from £135.