Local restaurants who made it to Michelin 2021
We have an impressive fifteen Michelin 2021 listings for Norfolk so get your pen and calendar at the ready and let's meet the county's gastro glitterati.
Hot of the press is this year’s Michelin Guide star ratings – and it was a bit of a strange one with restaurants temporarily closed, and a graveyard of culinary giants laid waste by the global pandemic. But god knows the hospitality industry needed a boost, so a live YouTube event, hosted by Davina McCall, announced the newcomers to the gastronomic glitterati.
A reminder of the five criteria required to make it into The Michelin Guide – it’s not all white tablecloths and tasting menus. Far from it. Officially, it’s fairly simple:
- Michelin Plate: recognised by the Guide as good cooking.
- Bib Gourmand: Very good food and good value.
- One star: Very good cooking in its category.
- Two stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour.
- Three stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
Now let’s get the rundown on the local restaurants shining bright…
One Michelin Star
In Norfolk, Morston Hall and The Neptune retained their one Michelin star each, impressively retained for 22 and 11 years, respectively. Galton Blackiston of Morston Hall has that brilliant combination of a great team and consistent, innovative cooking. Hunstanton’s The Neptune‘s dynamic husband and wife team continue to wow inspectors enough to retain their position, making them front-runners with Morston Hall.
The Gunton Arms and The Wiveton Bell both kept their Bib – a huge accolade. The Gunton is a Muddy fave, with it’s laid back country-chic vibe sat in a mystical deer park, celebs and carnivores love it here. Watch your steak being cooked over the fire while you neck a big glass of red. The Wiveton Bell is a lovely coastal haven, perfect for a weekend; think cafe latte colours, a touch of sea mist, tweedy armchairs and pub classics done well.
Wowzers. A whopping eleven places in our county have won their 2021 place on the Michelin Plate. Our friends at Farmyard have made it into the guide with their simply cooked and ‘unadulterated’ local ingredients. Read my rave review of Farmyard here, and visit their sister The Dial House when you can, for a fun quirky treat with a bit of vintage shopping thrown in. The Rose & Crown in Snettisham is also a Muddy fave and much loved locally with its 14c low beams and classic pub grub / bold global menu. Plus it’s Prince Will’s local which is good enough for us, right?
Other local venues listed in Michelin 2021 are:
Socius is Burnham Market’s scandi-style restaurant, and one to watch as it’s been on many an awards list in recent years, so it’s good to see this place is getting the wider acknowledgment it deserves. Read the Muddy review here.
Bure River Cottage – Lowestoft’s freshest fish in a pretty boating village – the perfect summer jaunt, no?
Benedicts is an unfussy yet classy restaurant where the quality of the ingredients speak for themselves. Chef Patron Richard Bainbridge is not only the nicest man in hospitality, but also one of the most talented, having cut his culinary teeth at Michel Roux’s 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn as well as winning Great British Menu in 2015.
Roger Hickmans on Norwich’s fashionable Upper St Giles. This is one to save for that special occasion treat for fine dining, pretty plates and great local ingredients served in a grown-up, flatteringly lit (er, yes please) restaurant.
The Ingham Swan in Sea Palling gets full marks for quintessential British pub charm: 14C thatched roof with stone walls and low beams, modern British dining and bedrooms to boot.
Stoke Mill is 700 years old and sits across the River Tas in Stoke Holy Cross. Much awarded for it’s clever combination of flavour and ingredients. Worth a visit.
The Conservatory is Titchwell Manor’s formal dining room, a light and airy space overlooking the walled garden. The perfect spot for a summer gathering – large or small.
The Chequers Inn in Thornam is a welcome retreat for walkers, locals and holiday makers to the North Norfolk coast. Offering coastal delights from the lighter bistro-style lunches to the more substantial gastro dinners. Food to suit everyone and every taste, with enticing packaged stays available.
The Old Bank in Snettisham (this area is a hot spot for Michelin pubs) has held a Michelin listing since 2019 and prides itself on offering ‘fresh, modern and imaginative’ food, using the very best local ingredients.