7 Best Destination Restaurants within an Hour’s Drive from Norwich
Norwich is a city of foodies, with streets packed full of food markets, quirky cafes and fine dining options. But once you’ve had your fill of the county capital’s gourmet scene, it’s worth taking to two wheels to see what the rest of the region has to offer. Norfolk is one of the country’s premier food producers, famed for Cromer crabs, Brancaster mussels, Holkham venison and other exceptional locally-produced ingredients. Many of the county’s best-loved restaurants are less than 60 minutes drive from the city centre too. From a 17th-century deer park to a British tapas restaurant, here are 7 of the best destination restaurants within an hour’s drive from Norwich.
If you are planning a trip to Norwich, Here Are 7 Best Destination Restaurants within an Hour’s Drive from Norwich
1. The Gunton Arms – Norwich
The Gunton Arms, Norwich NR11 8TZ
The Gunton Arms is set on a tranquil 1,000-acre country estate, where deers roam freely. Art dealer Ivor Braka purchased the 18th-century park in 2016 and, with help from a fleet of acclaimed interior designers, transformed the estate to its former glory. Interiors exude a chic, shooting party atmosphere, with antique furnishings, mounted deers and neon works by Tracy Emin and Damian Hirst. The food is every bit as good as the decor, cooked from local ingredients and seasonal produce, including venison from the deer park and beef from the local herd at Blicking. For the best seat in the house, reserve a table in the Elk Room, where chef Stuard Tattersall cooks up the meat on an open wood fire.
Distance from Norwich: 40 minutes (18.7 miles)
2. The Ingham Swan – Ingham
Sea Palling Road, Ingham, NR12 9AB
This 3 AA Rosette and Michelin recommended gastropub boasts an idyllic location overlooking flat fields and blue skies, minutes from the coast. It’s set in an original 14th-century thatched pub that miraculously managed to survive a huge fire in 2017. These days, the restaurant offers the quintessential rural Norfolk experience, complete with roaring fireplaces, exposed (and original) wooden beams and bare brick walls. But the focus here is on really good, high-quality food. The locally-inspired menu changes daily across lunch and dinner “du jour”, a la carte, taster and Sunday lunch. Menus feature many Ingham Swan favourites and dishes inspired by chef Daniel Smith’s time on BBC2’s Great British Menu.
Distance from Norwich: 40 minutes (21 miles)
3. The King’s Head – Letheringsett
Holt Road, Letheringsett, NR25 7AR
The King’s Head has a string of awards to its name, including Norfolk County winner of the National Pub and Bar Awards in 2021. But while it might have an illustrious reputation, it’s far from stuffy – think comfy armchairs, a good spread of the day’s papers and cheerful service. It’s conveniently located too, set back from the main drag in an elegant Georgian building surrounded by meadows, just up the road from handsome Holt. The menu features a good mix of classic pub grub and more adventurous dishes, while showcasing the freshest ingredients sourced from local farmers. Fish and tempura batter is made from milled at Letheringsett Watermill and beers are brewed locally, some at the pub’s own Brancaster Brewery.
Distance from Norwich: 48 minutes (23.6 miles)
4. The White Horse – Brancaster Staithe
Main Road, Brancaster Staithe, King’s Lynn, PE31 8BY
If it’s dinner with a view you’re after, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better than The White Horse. The terrace offers sparkling views over the salt marshes and out to the North Sea coast and Scolt Head island. It’s also an excellent starting point for many of the area’s best walks, including the sweeping Brancaster Beach. The menu is particularly strong on fish and seafood, featuring dishes like the ‘Staithe Smokehouse’ salmon starter, roasted scallops and Brancaster Bay mussels. Other highlights include the Norfolk venison loin cottage pie and the Norfolk foraged wild mushroom risotto. Choose from more casual dining at the bar or the light-filled conservatory.
Distance from Norwich: 55 minutes (31.9 miles)
5. Morston Hall – Morston
The St, Morston, Holt, NR25 7AA
If you’re celebrating an extra-special occasion, a trip to Michelin-starred Morston Hall is in order. People travel across the country for the restaurant’s acclaimed seven-course tasting menus, dreamed up by multi-award-winning chef Galton Blackiston. The restaurant is set in a 17th-century country house two miles from the coast, making it an excellent option for those looking to make a day of it. Open for dinner, Sunday lunch or afternoon tea, prices are fixed for a multi-course meal which changes daily and begins with canapes in the garden on sunny days. Ingredients are sourced locally, either picked from the kitchen garden, foraged from nearby beaches or delivered by local farmers and fishermen. Unsurprisingly, booking is essential.
Distance from Norwich: 1 hour (30 miles)
6. Victoria Inn – Holkham
Park Road, Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1RG
It’s well worth the trip to Holkham for the beach: the three-mile sandy stretch frequently tops the list of Britain’s best beaches. But the thought of the Victoria Inn at the end of the hour-or-so drive from Norwich will make the day out all the more appealing. Affectionately known as the Vic Inn, the 19th-century coaching inn is now owned and managed by the Holkham estate. As well as a spacious conservatory, there’s also a traditional snug bar and private dining corners for a more intimate setting. The food is just as brilliant, with a menu featuring fresh and seasonal dishes using ingredients from the estate’s tenant farms where possible. Fish is caught from a local boat and there are daily changing specials.
Distance from Norwich: 1 hour (35 miles)
7. Socius – Burnham Market
11 Foundry Place, Burham Market, King’s Lynn, PE31 8LG
Located in Foundry Place, just off North Street in Burnham Market, award-winning Socius is “a space where there are no rules”, according to head chef Dan. Unlike many of Norfolk’s best-loved restaurants, Socius is a bright and modern space, with a steel-framed mezzanine and sleek furnishings. The menu is as modern as the interiors, featuring unfussy small plates that showcase the best of British and local produce. There are lots of options for vegetarians – parmesan arancini, roasted tahini carrots, burrata with roasted squash – on the constantly evolving menu too.
Distance from Norwich: 1 hour (36 miles)