Cafes in Norwich (Part Two)

In May, I wrote about some of my favourite cafes and tea shops in Norwich – you can find that post here. But there’s plenty more to recommend, so welcome to part two!

1.The Tea House

The Tea House is one of my absolute favourites and was one of the first tea shops I visited in Norwich. It’s very small and quiet, but it does a great selection of tea and is run by a really lovely lady. My favourite thing to order here is tea and and a scone, because their scones are so good! The Tea House is hidden away on Elm Hill, one of the prettiest streets in Norwich, so it’s a great place to visit if you’re showing people around Norwich for the day. Pop over to the website to find out more.

2. Bicycle Shop

If you’re looking for something less quaint and more hipster, the Bicycle Shop is the place to be. The Bicycle Shop is very quirky and has a great selection of food and drink, from lunches to tea and cake. I’ve heard their breakfast/brunch dishes are some of the best in Norwich. Why not check out their website for more info!

3. Storm in a Tea Cup

Storm in a Tea Cup is another one of my favourites and, like the Tea House, is also on Elm Hill (I’m sensing a pattern). The service here is always so friendly, making it a lovely place to visit. It does breakfasts and lunches and an excellent variety of teas and freshly made cakes. They also usually do a soup of the day which is always great, but my go-to order is one of their homemade sausage rolls followed by a (very large) slice of cake. You can find opening times and more information on their website.

4. Eaton Park Cafe

Eaton Park Cafe can be found in, you guessed it, Eaton Park. Eaton Park is a lovely area so the cafe makes for a nice spot for a snack or some lunch if you’re spending an afternoon in the park. The cafe itself is run by the same people as the Bicycle Shop, so the menu and decor is reasonably similar, but the cafe is more family friendly and feels brighter and more open than the Bicycle Shop. Find the cafe by the bandstand in the park and visit this website for more information.

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Cafes in Norwich (Part One)

I love Norwich for many reasons, but one of my favourite things about it is the amount of cafes and tea rooms to explore. I thought I’d list a few of my top recommendations (or at least, part one of my recommendations)…

  1. No 33 Cafe

No 33 Cafe does it all – excellent coffee and cake selection, but also a really good breakfast and lunch menu. I went for breakfast on my birthday and it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had – the American Style pancakes were so good (and massive). The only problem is it’s quite small and very popular, so it fills up quick. When we went for breakfast, we turned up not long after they opened so managed to get a table easily, but it soon filled up and there were people waiting to be seated when we left. It’s a really lovely little cafe though and I’d definitely recommend it – check out their website for more info.

2. Biddy’s Tea Room

Biddy’s is becoming one of the best known tea rooms in Norwich, and can be found tucked away in the lanes. If you’re a tea lover, this is the place to be because the tea selection is almost overwhelming! Biddy’s also has some of the friendliest service of all the cafes I’ve been to. It’s also got very quirky interior design, and is possibly one of the most instragrammable places to have tea and cake. Here’s their website if you want to know more.

3. Britannia Cafe

This one is a bit different, because it’s not in the city centre but rather a bit further out on the opposite side of Norwich to the university. Although it’s not as easy to get to, it’s a great place to go with your family if they’re coming up to visit because it’s really quick to get to by car. Britannia Cafe does cake and tea but also does really good full meals – they have a menu over on their website. The Cafe itself is staffed by low risk prisoners, and all the profits go towards rehabilitating prisoners and charitable causes, which is really cool. Britannia Cafe also has one of the best views over Norwich so it’s a brilliant place to go on a nice day!

4. Sanctuary Coffee Stop

The Sanctuary Coffee Stop is a really lovely family friendly cafe, run as part of a Norwich church, St Thomas. It does cakes and drinks, as well as sandwiches and paninis for lunch. The cafe is largely run by volunteers, and it’s a really friendly atmosphere. It’s a great place to go for coffee and a chat, or there are tables to the side where it’s perfect to work, especially if you enjoy a background buzz of activity. They also have jazz mornings once or twice a month on a Saturday – head to their facebook page for more details.

That’s it for part one of my recommendations…there’s plenty more to come, so keep your eyes peeled!

Foy Vance

Coming to university in Norwich means there’s loads of really cool opportunities to go to gigs and live music events. On campus, the LCR hosts all kinds of musicians and bands, including Coldplay, the Fratellis, Bears Den, Jack Garratt, Sigma, the Kooks, Scouting for Girls and Busted, as well as so many more! There’s also lots going on in the city, such as the Waterfront (run by UEA Student Union) and loads of smaller places dotted around Norwich which are always hosting some awesome artists. The key is to keep an eye out for up coming gigs – joining mailing lists and following venues on social media is a good way to find out who’s coming up in the next few months.

Last Tuesday, my housemate and I went to see Foy Vance at the Norwich Arts Centre. Foy Vance is one of my favourite artists, so when I found out he was coming to Norwich, I had to buy a ticket – only £15! The Norwich Arts Centre runs a mixture of events, like live music, dance, theatre and spoken word. It’s pretty small, with a standing capacity of 260, but that makes it great for more intimate gigs, and in 2014 it was named ‘Britain’s Best Small Venue’ by NME.

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It was such a good night, Foy Vance was incredible live, and it was a really great atmosphere. It was the first time I’d been to Norwich Arts Centre but I definitely will keep an eye out for upcoming events there, because it’s a brilliant venue.

If you’re interested in finding out more about live music in Norwich, check out upcoming events in SU managed venues here or visit the Norwich Arts Centre website.

A Day in Norwich

This weekend I was back in Norwich to visit my new house for next year (very exciting!) and to move in some of my stuff. Despite being a student in Norwich for a year now, I realised I’d never shown my parents around the city properly, so we decided to use bank holiday Monday as a chance to explore Norwich. We had a really lovely day, and if any of you are thinking of bringing your parents to Norwich for a day hopefully this will give you some ideas of where to go!

We started the day with a late breakfast at the Unthank Kitchen in (surprise surprise) Unthank Road. It’s a really nice little cafe with good service, and we chose to sit outside to eat because it was a sunny morning. They do a great selection of breakfasts, from fry ups to pancakes, as well as toasties and sandwiches for lunch. It’s just around the corner from my house so I have a feeling I’ll be having a few more breakfasts here during second year!

From there we took a short walk to the Plantation Garden just off Earlham Road. The garden was created in Victorian times and was restored in the late 20th century. It’s such a beautiful place, and you can wander round or just sit on a bench and admire the view!

I’d actually never been to the Plantation Garden before – it’s quite hidden from view – but I will definitely be returning!! You pay £2 to go in and it would be a lovely place for a picnic, or they do Sunday afternoon tea on the lawn in the summer months.

After the Plantation Garden we headed into Norwich to do the riverside walk, which takes you along the river across Norwich past St James’ Mill and Cow Tower.

Walking along the river is a brilliant contrast to the city centre where there’s lots of buildings and people, because it’s so green and quiet along the river. Something I love about Norwich is the fact there’s plenty of shops and buildings but also really beautiful open areas.

You can follow the river walk all the way along, but we took a detour to visit the cathedral, a must visit for Norwich! We actually ended up being at the Cathedral at the same time as a wedding was happening, so although we couldn’t go in, we got to sit in the cloisters instead and enjoy the atmosphere when the bride and groom came out of the Cathedral.

The last event of our day in Norwich was dinner at Bills, which is right in the centre of Norwich, close to the market. It does delicious food and is the perfect place after a day out in Norwich because it’s so central.

I had such a nice day in Norwich, I hope this has given you some inspiration for places to visit or take your parents to. There’s so much to do/see in Norwich, if you have any suggestions for any other great places to visit, feel free to leave them in the comments!!

Exploring Norwich

On Saturday, some friends and I took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in Norwich. UEA is a campus university, but it has great links to Norwich, with the 25 and 26 buses regularly running between the uni and the city centre (£3 for a return). Despite being so close to the city, I realised that so far I’ve only really gone into town when I had something to do, like shopping or a meal out. Norwich is such a nice city, so it seemed fitting to have a touristy day, and explore the older areas of Norwich, rather than hanging around a shopping centre like Chapelfield or the main high street.

We managed to pick the rainiest day for our little sightseeing trip, but the lanes and river still managed to look nice! We headed towards Elm Hill, which is a picturesque cobbled street with Tudor buildings and plenty of small independent shops and cute tea rooms. From there we walked along the river to Cow Tower, a historic artillery tower (not a tower of cows unfortunately) which provided some shelter from the English weather.

After our rainy river walk, we decided it was definitely time to take shelter in a tea room, so wandered back to Elm Hill towards the Tea House, which serves homemade cakes and snacks along with a choice of over 35 types of tea! We all opted for cream tea, which includes a scone and a pot of tea. I love little tea shops, and Norwich is full of hidden gems like the Tea House.

tea house

When we’d finished our delicious afternoon tea and warmed up a little, we visited Norwich Cathedral. It was so peaceful and beautiful and also brought back Christmassy memories, as the last time I was there was for a Christmas Carol service hosted by the UEA Christian Union. Unfortunately there weren’t any mince pies or mulled wine available this time, but it was nice to look around the building in more detail when it was pretty empty, and wandering through the cloisters makes you feel like you’re at Hogwarts.

I really love the city of Norwich – it’s big enough to have everything you need and feel busy and modern and yet is small enough not to be overwhelming and has some amazing history and beautiful areas. I definitely enjoy living on a campus and being surrounded by students, but it’s great to have such an easy link to a city. If you’re coming to visit the university on an open day or applicant day, try and pop into the city for a little explore, even if it’s just an excuse for tea and a slice of cake in an adorable tea room!