Entertainment, Restaurants and Bars in Norwich
Norwich is not a city that is particularly well known for its ‘night-life’. It does, however, have some fine restaurants, pubs and cafes with charm and history that you wouldn’t encounter in other cities. Being the home town of Delia Smith, a popular TV chef, a visit to Delia’s Restaurant and Bar would seem an obvious thing to do and at £30 for a three course meal, excellent value..
Bars and Pubs:
The Gardeners Arms, on Timberhill to the south of the castle, is one of the older pubs in Norwich with a licensing history that can be traced back to 1850. The building itself dates back to 1542 and incorporates The Murderers Café, so named after a stabbing in the building in 1890. Adam and Eve’s on Bishop Gate is a serious beer drinker’s pub. Complete with a stone floor it’s the sort of pub that you can rarely find these days in that it is quite simply a pub! Having been in the Good Pub Guide for over 25 years should be sufficient testament to the credentials of this pub to make it worth a visit when you are in Norwich. On West End Street, not far from the hospital, is the Fat Cat Public House which has twice won the prestigious award of CAMRA Pub of the Year. The Fat Cat has its own micro brewery and is famed for its excellent selection of 19 regular and other guest beers. Opening hours are generally 12 noon to 11pm, during which they serve also serve a fine selection of ciders, wines, lagers and food. The Billy Bluelight on Hall Road serves beers from the local and small Woodforde brewery. This pub is the venue for monthly meetings of the Norwich Poetry Society and takes its name from a local character. Around 100 years ago Billy Bluelight used to run along the footpath, racing the Wherry boats as they plied their trade along the river. However, if you’re looking for a pub that’s a bit livelier, ie one with music, a large screen TV and a noisy atmosphere; try the Ribs of Beef on Wensum Street or the Wild Man on Bedford Street. Both of these pubs are popular drinking haunts for both residents and students in the city.
If you want a gourmet seafood meal then visit Brummels Seafood Restaurant, which occupies a 17th Century building on Magdalen Street and is open seven days a week for lunch and evening meals. Prices are not cheap. Depending on your choices a three course meal will cost between £20 and £50 per person and the prices on the wine list are not for the feint hearted. With an excellent selection of wines their prices start at £19 for a young Bergerac Blanc and rise to £480 for a bottle of 1973 Chateaux Pétrus. If you fancy a Brandy with your after dinner coffee you can choose from a selection of cognacs from the Remy Martin V.S.O.P at £3.00 a glass through to a glass of Louis XIII de Remy Martin at £69.00. The Des Amis Restaurant, which is also a Guest House, is located on the Dereham Road just off the A47. The menu here is a French Creole and Cajun one with a three course meal costing in the region of £20 to £30. The menu has a distinctly Caribbean flavour as the owner, Denis Rosembert, was born and trained as a chef in St Lucia over 30 years ago. The restaurant has an excellent selection of fish, meat and vegetarian options. Catering more for the theatre going public is the Ivory’s Restaurant, which is located inside the Assembly House on Theatre Street. Whilst the selection on the menu is quite limited you can have a three course meal here for £20 or a two course one for under £15. At 21 Tombland, near the Cathedral, is Tatlers Restaurant which serves modern British cuisine. Set in a Victorian town house that was formerly a Dentists they offer set lunches from £12 and a three course evening meal for around £20. They also have a good wine list with prices ranging from £12 to £100 a bottle.
One of the two principal nightclubs in Norwich is the Waterfront which is between King’s Street and the river. Sponsored by the University of East Anglia, it is virtually the sole venue inside the city for ‘clubbing. Open five nights a week its main club nights are Friday and Saturday, with the other nights being given over to live music. Opened in 1993 the club has a capacity of 700 and occupies a building that was once a bottling plant for the Truman’s brewery. Liquid, is a smaller nightclub at Imperial gate off St Mary’s Street that delivers techno and hard house music. Another small club is the MoJo, on Prince of Wales Road that features soul, hip-hop and R&B music. The largest nightclub in Norwich is Time, just off the Thorpe Road near the River Yare, which is technically just outside of the city. This nightclub has a 1700 capacity and is open four nights a week; Tuesdays then Thursday to Saturday.
Norwich is home to the Maddermarket Theatre which is one of the smallest, non-provincial, theatres in the UK with an auditorium capacity of only 310. However, it is a popular venue and hosts production by all the top British and international writers. The Norwich Playhouse on St George’s Street was opened in 1995 and is another small venue, with a capacity of just 300. It is mainly used for small touring productions, one-man shows and musical acts. The Theatre Royal in Norwich is the city’s largest theatre with a capacity of 1300. This theatre is used as the major venue for larger touring drama and musical productions.