Grey Seal Coffee – Wells

How better to warm up on a cold grey morning then visiting the newest site of Grey Seal coffee? We have been fans of the Roastery since it opened, so we were excited to see their new digs in Wells-next-the-Sea.  

   
The new place has all the rustic charm you find at the Roastery itself as well as the Blakeney site.  Just the cosey sort of place to take refuge on the North Sea in winter.

   
    
 
The Portuguese tarts are a must try! 

I also noted the mod cons including outlets for electronics and USB ports. A nice touch in a region with very little mobile phone service. 

  
With local knowledge and attention to detail on top of Amazing coffee I’m sure it will be a hit!

  

Wiveton Hall Cafe

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The ever popular Wiveton Hall Cafe is back for a new season after some refurbishments and additions. This year, on top of the daily breakfast and lunch, a new wood fire pizza oven has been built and they will be serving from 4-6pm Monday through Thursday. This in addition to the Friday through Sunday dinners.

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Note: Some of the photos are taken from their website.

A trip to Norwich

Norwich is a great city. Where else could a trip for a car service become an adventure in food? Today was a day of exploration and we were not disappointed.

We started our morning by dropping off said car and heading to Strangers coffee shop. The cakes are very good and the barista really knew his stuff. We had a chat about natural processing and how it can infuse the coffee beans with a fruity flavour. The macchiato had strawberry notes to it which was a world away from your average chain. The enthusiasm for his subject was clearly in evidence.

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Lunch brought another discovery at the Iron House. The soup of the day was pulled pork and chorizo with a hunk of home baked bread. Marek chose the pulled pork in a brioche bun with home made coleslaw and fries. After ordering the server walked past with what looked like mouthwatering chunky chips so we had to add that to our order. The result was very satisfying. So much so that I was disappointed to not have any room left for any of the amazing cakes on display.

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Finally we took the scenic route home, going through a new village, Itteringham. Situated on the banks of the River Bure, we were pleasantly surprised to find an interesting looking pub and village shop. As it was tea time we stopped in the Little Village Shop; the “smallest cafe in Norfolk” for a cuppa. Inside were all the basics one could need from a village shop but with a few extras. The cakes were homemade by a lady in the village. The flour for the bread was from the Letheringsett Mill where we buy our flour. Local Norfolk favourites such as Aspalls cider, Norfolk Cordials, and Adnams were also on display. Linocut cards from local/well-known artists and felted crafts covered the walls. We were so pleased to discover this hidden gem to round off our day!

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The Funky Mackerel, Sheringham

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To continue our winter revival we finished our costal path walk today, starting in Cromer. We decided to walk along the beach as it was low tide and finished in Sheringham where we sought lunch at The Funky Mackerel Cafe. Dog friendly and overlooking the sea, this cafe was fun and relaxed serving significant portions of freshly made simple food. Espresso based coffees and cakes finished off lunch before we set back out again to Cromer. On the way back we took the coast path which went iand through beautiful woodland.

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Buying late night dinner at Creake Abbey Food Hall

Creake Abbey Food Hall & Cafe
Creake Abbey Food Hall & Cafe

It was Thursday night and the cupboards were bare. We were wondering what to do for dinner when I remembered I’d seen a post on Twitter earlier in the day from Creake Abbey Food Hall, saying they were open until 8pm on a Thursday.

We’d been meaning to go back after acquiring some delicious local lamb (and not so local olives) on their opening day last month. It seems such a good idea to have a late night opening once a week, and rare among the local delis, so we jumped in the car and headed down.

We arrived just as they were closing up but Steve, the owner, and Tom, the manager, couldn’t have been more welcoming. A glass of wine was offered almost the second we walked through the door (a Mexican white, surprisingly good, and they also have a red from the same producer).

They chatted about how things have been going since the opening and showed us around the cafe.

Eventually we remembered we’d come to buy something for dinner and chose some of the meat balls from the well stocked butcher’s counter. They had minted lamb and spicy beef, so we took a handful of each.

It was then that I noticed the pie: a great hulk of pastry and meat, with a thick wedge already cut. It turns out it is made by the landlady of the pub near owner Steve’s village, close to Halesworth in Suffolk. According to Steve, it won recognition at a local food fair and deservedly so.

Made with chicken and pork, it had a wonderfully herby flavour, spiced with plenty of pepper. The pastry, so key to the success of any pork pie, was thick and hearty.

We added that to our list and, suffice to say, it was stuffed in faces before we’d finished the drive home.

It is good to see this new venue growing. The range of produce is interesting, from local favourites like Candy’s Chutneys, to an extensive and well curated butchery counter.  Combined with the warm welcome, the location among an already established collection of shops at Creake and smart ideas like late night shopping on a Thursday, they look set for deserved success.

We’ll be back to try the cakes in the cafe, some more of the olives, their great selection of meat and maybe even the eclectic wine choices.

Google Maps link.

A visit to the Art Cafe

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I think today we should take a look at one of the very first places Marek and I discovered in Norfolk. The Art Cafe is just what it says on the tin, a cafe that is filled with art. But it is the quality of the food and craft that is what makes it special.

The frontage has two large barn doors, brightly painted, and many windows to let in plenty of natural light. Inside you are greeted by the art and craft display which includes pottery, textiles, paintings in modern and traditional styles, and handmade jewellery. After you wander though the goods you finally notice the counter of the cafe. And what a counter! It is full of both the sweet buns, cakes, and scones available as well as enormous bowls of the many colourful, healthy, and delicious salads. Each main comes with the full selection of sides and you never leave feeling hungry.

A great choice all year round, during the summer you can sun yourself in their courtyard out front, and in winter the wood burner is cranked up to warm your soul. They also do bistro nights where you book in advance for dinner. We cannot recommend this place enough. Come try it.

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Google Maps link.

Market Cross, Swaffham, Norfolk

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Today is all about a leisurely lunch. In the town of Swaffham, in the Brecks of Norfolk, is a very cute cafe, Market Cross.

It ticks all the boxes for a very cozy lunch: beams, wood burner, bunting and delicious food. I have become addicted to their cheese scones (and I am a bit of a scone snob!). The ladies who run the establishment always have time for a chat and the sofas convince you a three hour lunch should be an every day affair. Most importantly, all their food is made fresh and this is evident in their scrummy cakes and scones.

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Swaffham is a great little market town, with a large church.  It sits just outside Thetford Forrest, along the route North to the coast. Stop by next time you are on your way through!

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Google Maps link.