Sunday, 4 October 2009


Just got back from a relaxing weekend in Norwich with a very old and dear friend, which turned into quite a foodie weekend.

Friday night was a great start. Waitrose provided a pretty good selection of meats for a tapas-style starter. Only once we'd finished did I realise we'd just given a Spaniard tapas. He seemed to enjoy it, even his first pickle experience. Then we had moussaka and a plum clafouti. Tasty stuff, and a promising start to the weekend.

Saturday started with a selection of pastries from a local bakery the Dozen Artisan Bakery, a fantastic contemporary bakery which recently won Baker of the Year for at the 2009 Norfolk Food Awards. The almond croissant I had was phenomenally delicious.

Having done reasonably well in the Guardian's Quiz of the Week we set off into Norwich centre with the intention of going to the Norfolk Food Festival at The Forum. When we got there the place was packed, particularly with people taking part in the Battle of the Bangers. We gave it a cursory look and decided to come back for some lunch-time treat later.

However, somehow the afternoon managed to slip past far too quickly without us noticing. By the time we got back to The Forum most of the stalls were packed away and the grills at the sausage-off had long cooled. We did manage to salvage one left-over sausage from one of the competitors, very tasty it was too.

To make up for the lack of fresh porky delight we headed to Pickerings in Norwich Market. We picked up a selection of Grandad's Traditional Pork and Aunt Edna's Lincolnshire Pork. The sausages were put to good use in a Toad-in-the-Hole. The Grandads really had a delicious meaty taste and perfect texture. One of the best sausages I've had in quite a while. This meal then led to much discussion about the origins of the dish.

On a second trip into town on Sunday, not only did I manage to track down a Lakeland plastic and some hickory wood chips but also a brace of pies from Bray's Cottage Pork Pies. Which is where I have to agree with Giles Coren when he called them
the perfect pie

Pretty good weekend full of friends, banter and great food. Can't ask for more can you?

PS I've a dirty little secret to reveal. On the way back to London Town, Jo insisted that we stop at Little Chef, otherwise it wouldn't be a road trip. So we did. We both went for pancakes due to misty-eyed childhood memories of great steaming stacks of pancakes slathered sauce and accompanied with glistening balls of ice-cream. I went for the jubilee option, which in the menu looked like this:

What came was this:
To be frank it was a burnt leathery excuse for a pancake filled with what seemed to be pie filling which was hotter than the Sun:
Another case of reality not living up to the advert (or the menu in this case). How disappointing?


  1. I think you'll find, I made the suggestion of stopping at the Little Chef for pancakes. You leapt at the idea...

  2. Leapt? More like accomodating your whim. I would not have stopped at Little Chef through my own choice (except maybe Popham).

  3. Been there too - it is the king of Little Chefs

  4. Grrr...must find a way of going there en route to soemwhere else. I'm not sure I can warrant a unique trip!


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