North West Norfolk – What to eat and where to get it?

by Sherbhert Editor
food in Norfolk

Given that most places to stay in the area are self-catering holiday homes it is a massive plus that there is so much good local food easily available and so you can eat very well indeed with little effort. This has been even more relevant in this year of social distancing as the most popular restaurant tables have been harder to secure which has meant more meals need to be taken at home. 

Sherbhert recipes typically have few ingredients and so easily lend themselves to self-catering holiday cooking. Type a key word, for example, “samphire” in the search facility and hit enter to check for recipes on this site. See also below some suggested links for some of the local Norfolk foods mentioned.

Eating In

There is an abundance of good seafood including crabs and oysters (available all year) and now the local mussels are available again (late September to late March) and will be all through the Winter and there are cockles too which are a good local alternative to clams. And, if you are very lucky, you may be able to get a locally caught big fish (or fillets) such as a turbot or wild sea bass. These foods are great for self-catering as they need very little preparation and cooking and very few additional ingredients. Gurney’s https://www.gurneysfishshop.co.uk  in either Burnham Market or Drove Orchards is a good source for fresh or smoked fish as well as a range of fresh herbs and some other bits and pieces including knives for oyster shucking. But look out too for Brancaster mussels for sale at the side of the road in Brancaster Staithe, most notably at Steinvora (home of Branta Cruises https://www.brantacruises.co.uk and the Front Room Art Gallery) on Main Road.

Fresh Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs

 Drove Orchards http://www.droveorchardsfarmshop.com or Walsingham Farm Shop 

https://www.walsingham.co/our-farm-shops/walsingham/   are both good, and they also sell all sorts of other staples including cheese and good quality fresh meat. But, look out too for fresh vegetables and fruits for sale at random places at the side of the road where, subject to the season, you can often pick up outstanding home-grown fruits such as gooseberries (June to July), raspberries (July to September) and plums (August to September) and vegetables such as  asparagus (April to June) and samphire (May to July) – these are just a few examples. There is an outstanding fruit and vegetable stall on the main road at South Creake about a 10 minute drive from Burnham Market – they sell eggs too, but the produce is so good that, subject to the time of year, everything sells out  quickly – it’s best to try this stall first and if you have no luck, go to one of the places mentioned earlier. Nisa Local, https://www.dalegatemarket.co.uk/deepdale-stores/the supermarket at  Burnham Deepdale sells most of the items you would expect but in addition has lots of local produce such as cheese, charcuterie, eggs and soft fruits in the summer as well as some craft beers and local wines – this excellent addition is apparently due to the manager listening to local people.

Cheese, Cured Meats and other treats

For cheese, Suffolk cured meats, bread and other delicious items, go to Humble Pie which is situated in Burnham Market upstairs from Gurney’s fish shop. They sell an excellent selection of regional cheeses including Binham Blue, Wells Alpine, Norfolk Dapple and Norfolk White Lady and also the fabulous Baron Bigod from Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk https://fenfarmdairy.co.uk as well as their outstanding Bungay butter. There are good pork pies too and good range of other deli items and cakes and jams. It is a delightful place and the staff are helpful – it gets very busy. 

Meat, Poultry and Game

Aside from those general food shops already mentioned, a consistently good butcher is Howells http://www.arthurhowell.com/contact/  in either Wells or Burnham Market. Their Old English sausages are excellent as is the boiled ham hock. They also have local lamb and pork in particular and game when in season. Also, PJ Kew in East Rudham https://www.norfolkbacon.co.uk/contactus/ sells excellent hams as well as aged beef ribs and, if you are stuck for ideas, will even send a gift of their outstanding bacon by post. 

For drinks to have at home there is Adnams at Holkham which usually has a good selection of beers wines and spirits, mostly Adnams branded. On the other hand, the longstanding independent wine merchant, Satchell’s in Burnham Market stock a wide selection of finer wines, liquors and spirits https://satchellswines.com  

Eating out

There are lots of good pubs which do food, most notably the Hero on the main road at Burnham Overy http://www.theheroburnhamovery.co.uk  and the Duck at Stanhoe https://duckinn.co.uk . Also notable is the Crab Hut at Brancaster Staithe Harbour where they sell teas and coffees and great seafood and sandwiches to take away open from April to October). For more sophisticated dining the best eating house is Socius https://sociusnorfolk.co.uk which has the added benefit of easy parking if you need it as this delightful restaurant is situated in the main car park at Burnham Market. Socius is easily the standout place to eat in the area serving consistently excellent sharing plates of delicious and beautifully executed, locally sourced, seasonal food, with Sunday lunch being a more traditional affair – no surprise that this is a Sherbhert favourite. 

Here are some links to Sherbhert Recipes relevant to Norfolk and see also North West Norfolk and its Brilliance

 Whole Wild Sea Bass Baked with Sherry Vinegar

Marinated Leeks

Edible Brown Crab

A Simple Picnic to Ease You Out of Lockdown

Marsh Samphire and what to do with it

Gooseberries

Lettuce and Leaves

Local and Seasonal in April – Asparagus

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb

 Local and Seasonal in February – Cockles with Linguine

Game Stew

Sherbhert local and seasonal in November… Mussels

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