Food, Leisure

The Assembly House, Norwich

I was in Norwich at the weekend with my daughter, and we stopped for tea and cake at the Assembly House. This is a remarkable building, purpose built for public entertainment back in 1754. In 1753 John Hobart, the Duke of Buckingham, granted a 500-year lease of Chapel Field House estate (as it was then known) to a number of aldermen of the city for the sum of £1,800 plus an annual rent of £5. The aldermen subsequently unveiled plans for its conversion into “public places of entertainment for the county and the city”, appointing architect Thomas Ivory, who also built the Octagon Chapel in the city, to oversee the works, assisted by Sir James Burrough. Ivory decided to demolish the central section of the building and designed a new house for the site, which became a ‘House of Assemblies’ where events were held for the gentry of Norwich. Just beside the Theatre Royal, and right next to Intu Chapelfields shopping centre, this little gem is worth a visit every time. We had tea and shared a cake (The Assembly House gateau)

from their extensive cake menu

None of the distracting noise and bustle of the nearby shopping centre national brand cafes here. just walking up the path to get into the building is a delight, and removes you from the crowd. The impressive entrance way, with corridors off to venue and meeting rooms, then the vestibule with the hostess greeting you with a smile and the politest of enquiries as to your comfort and needs, and you are no longer in 21st century Norwich.

Huge chandeliers light a room filled with club leather chairs arranged in easy conversation groups, exactly the right place for tea and cakes.

Staff were unerringly polite, the tea was lovely and hot (and served in a china pot), the cake was a delight and the bill less than you might imagine.

Afternoon tea, at about £20 a head, is as relaxed and as indulgent as you could wish.

And, if you really get the bug, the chef, Richard Hughes, runs classes.

 

The Assembly House, Theatre Street,Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1RQ.

01603 626402
Food, Leisure

Mistley thorn (Sunday Lunch)

This pub / restaurant in Mistley sits a little away from the causeway, on the main road through the village. It’s menu is on the pricey side, and I will never mind making that choice if the food is excellent.

 

 

This however  was a mixed bag. The roast beef dinner was lovely – the meat beautifully cooked, melty and lovely. The veg was nicely cooked, the gravy not quite enough. But the Yorkshire (green inside, if you can believe that!) was inedible. I saw several go back.

For pudding I opted for the american pancakes with toffee sauce but was told they kitchen had run out.

Run out.

Its flour, eggs and milk, and children learn them as a first ever lesson at school.

(lesson learned – sometimes when a menu says these things are cooked at the place, it might not have been recently.) I opted for the rhubarb jelly with vanilla ice cream, thinking it a poor second place to pancakes, but I was delighted with it. The jelly was a delight, so wobbly the whole table giggled, the ice cream was soft and lovely and the shortbread biscuits were yummy.

 

At £9 a glass of red was a raising of the eyebrow (only flippin Malbec ffs, not a chateauneuf!)

 

So I may not go again, but I might. Its a bit far to go to be disappointed but when they get it right they get it very right indeed.

 

Food

Oat cookies

These are the bestest, easiest cookies ever!

 

3oz each of SR flour, sugar, porridge oats and butter

1tbs each of syrup and milk

Mix all dry (I throw in a snack pack of nuts and seeds)

Heat all wet

Mix and bake at 180 for 10 mins

Makes 12

 

Yes, there are 11 in the picture.

 

(mental image of me wiping off a crumb………….)

 

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

 

never a bad choice, even if I have got a wedding to lose weight for…….

 

Now, that is an easy recipe and I do love those – do you have any to share?

Food, Leisure

Thatcher’s Needle, Diss

Yesterday I met an old friend in the Thatcher’s Needle, Diss. It is a very convenient place for us, half way between the two and cheap food. Word to the wise here – there may be no bad choices in that cheap food will keep you alive, but sometimes being kept alive is not the main reason for eating.I decided on the Chicken Club (forgive the fuzzy photo!)

What arrived was disappointing. A decent sized dinner place, half of which was chopped undressed salad greens (not a problem, nice to have salad with a club sandwich).

Let me describe the club.

Each slice of bloomer bread was half the plate. Each, just in case there was any moisture in them to help you eat, had been lightly toasted. Not enough to go brown, just enough to go dry.

It was unbuttered, again not a problem in itself.

On top of the first slice was one rasher of bacon, and one slice of tomato. about half the bread was bare.

Then the middle slice of dry bread

Between the second and third slices of dry bread were two thumb sized pieces of chicken, each about a quarter of the size of the slice of bread, and each topped off by a small Midget gem lettuce leaf (like one leaf taken from the middle of a midget gem lettuce.)

I asked the manager how this could be eaten as was and he apologised, saying that they should have been some mayo. He took it back to the kitchen and it returned with, I kid you not, one tiny smear of mayonnaise on each slice of bread.

Luckily there was plenty of mayo on the table, so I slavered it on – enough to make the bread edible. I think I missed the meat as it was so small.

No bad choices – I knew it was cheap –  but the next time I will be asking my mate to meet elsewhere.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, the staff were really nice. Helpful, polite, apologetic and charming. Clearly this is how Marstons make enough money to keep paying them.)

My mate had a baked potato with tuna filling, which she ate without complaint.

Food

Fludyers Felixstowe

We went out for a midday lunch today and decided to go to the Fludyers in Felixstowe.

Fludyers Website

It is a really old inn right at the end of the promenade at the seafront. Before it was bought by the current owners and refit their website used to say “we are a stone’s throw from the sea, and sometimes not even that!” which I thought was lovely. There is a decking patio with several tables to sit and watch the sea. It is raised up above the cars so is nicer than some of the alternatives. We have sat there in the middle of winter, summer evenings, autumn sunsets, many a Sunday morning and watched the sea go by.

They have a promotion on during January that we thought not half bad. 2 courses for £20, 3 for £25 INCLUDING 2 glasses of wine!

I had the chicken and avocado salad for a starter (over £7) and then the slow roasted pork belly (over £17 on menu) so to save cash on the menu as well as getting  175 glasses of a decent (OK bottom of price list but still fine for lunch) wine. The Mister had sweet chilli chicken wings followed by a duck hotpot. Every single mouthful was a delight, and we were far too full for pudding, even it it would only be another fiver (nothing on the dessert menu was a fiver).

No evening meal either as we were both still full.

Not a bad choice At All!

 

I have not been paid for this review, but, you know, if you felt you HAD to……………

go to contact page!

 

(EDIT  23/01/2018

In fact it was such a good deal we are going again today for lunch!- Dawn)

Food

BBC Food and Farming Awards

Every year the BBC honours excellence in food and farming, and every year I try and take note of local winners so I might try and buy from them

Link to BBC website

Do please nominate if you can, these awards are excellent for giving attention to excellence, something that we can all appreciate!

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Farming Heroes

Best shop / market

Best cook

Nominate!