Enjoy a Christmas meal at these Norfolk restaurants
It may still seem like a long way off, but Christmas is on the horizon, and if you’re planning a long overdue meal this year, now is the time to start booking for what will likely be a very busy season.
It has been almost two years since we have been able to go out to a special place to enjoy an evening of delicious food and drink, cheerful festive traditions and lots of laughs with those we love and, after the last 18 months, a chance to celebrate the holiday together is certainly much needed.
Here is a selection of Norfolk restaurants eager to get us into the festive spirit.
Branfords Restaurant and Bar
“This year of all years everyone should have fun and revel in traditional family values,” said Tyrone Harold, director of Branfords Restaurant and Bar in the seaside village of Caister on Sea.
“What could be better than a glass of wine and mouth-watering festive delicacies?”
Branfords patrons can revel in a bit of festive cheer this year with a traditional two- and three-course Christmas menu offering five options for each course.
Choose from succulent Norfolk turkey, lamb, beef, North Sea cod loin or delicious vegetarian and vegan options for your main course and settle in for a cozy Christmas evening with festive music , Christmas crackers and tarts.
To protect customers and staff, Branfords has a ‘comprehensive Covid policy’ in place, with social distancing in place and hand sanitizing stations throughout the restaurant.
“We work hard to create a safe but social environment for the enjoyment of our customers,” Tyrone says. The restaurant will also refund down payments for Covid-related cancellations with notice.
The pig hotel
The pig hotel in Pakefield offers “a civilized and elegant option for a Christmas dinner or party,” according to owner Sally Jones.
The hotel’s three-course Christmas menu includes a choice of starters, main courses, and desserts, plus an additional course of cheeses, appetizers, mini apple pie, and coffee.
“Naturally the Norfolk Bronze turkey is wrapped in Dingley Dell bacon and with all the trimmings, but also for small tables our a la carte menu will be available,” says Sally.
The hotel also offers excellent vegan and vegetarian options and a tempting cocktail menu.
“There has also been a clear interest in drink and cocktail packages,” adds Sally, “so people are clearly planning to push the boat! “
The Hog Hotel has been awarded the “Good to Go” rating for its commitment to ensuring the safety of its guests. He is currently taking down payments as a deduction from the final invoice and, in the event of a positive Covid test, requests that other guests who have not had contact with the individual to attend anyway.
The traditional Wortwell’s Bell pub, tucked away in the quaint village of Wortwell, is eager to help us have a merry little Christmas with its festive menu and entertainment throughout December.
“We welcome everyone, new and old customers, with a warm and welcoming smile,” says owner Patricia Fry.
“You will find our restaurant and heated marquee decorated in a traditional festive style, and you can enjoy a festive three course meal and drinks.”
The Wortwell Bell’s Christmas menu features a plethora of delicious local produce, and once your group has finished their plates, you can top it off with a thin pie and coffee.
“We’re almost full for Christmas Day and we’ve had a lot of other inquiries for the holiday season, so it’s refreshing to see people come together and celebrate this year,” says Patricia.
A one-way system, screens and hand sanitizing stations are in place to protect guests and pub staff, and down payments will be refunded if parties have to cancel due to Covid restrictions.
The new forge
TO The new forge in Aylsham you can expect something a little different from the traditional Christmas roast. Fresh and authentic Thai recipes are served alongside classic British cuisine to delight traditionalists and the more adventurous eaters in your group.
Christmas parties can choose a two- or three-course meal, traditional or Thai, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options available for all diets.
“The new Aylsham Forge is ideal for any occasion and is available any day of the week,” said owners Tim and Koi. “It’s a great place to get together with family and friends, and there’s plenty of space for everyone to enjoy.
“The huge catering area, which can comfortably accommodate 130 people per session, has space that can, if necessary, be partitioned off for parties and private receptions,” they add.
This, along with the pub’s other Covid precautions, ensures that parties of any size can have a safe and memorable evening.
The dabbling duck
Rachel Eagle, Executive Director of The dabbling duck in Great Massingham, says people are really keen to celebrate Christmas properly this year.
“Everyone is so ready to get together and party,” she says. “I think people will be celebrating very loud this year because they missed last year’s celebrations.”
A friendly pub that champions the best of local meat and game – with delicious vegetarian and vegan options as well – The Dabbling Duck offers a welcoming atmosphere, real ales and the pub’s own Mucky Duck gin to complete your festive gathering.
“The Dabbling Duck has something for everyone,” says Rachel. “A sit-down meal, something a little formal, then there’s our barn, where you can play music, pizza, your own private bar and a more relaxed atmosphere. Whatever you are looking for, we can answer it.
In the event of a positive Covid test, reservations will be modified or canceled. While the pub forgoes entertainment evenings in December, you can still enjoy live entertainment at its Christmas market on December 4th.