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Best pub gardens in Norfolk

OK people, time to renew our gin membership! Social drinking is back and we're taking it outside. Well what did you think going out, out meant? Pints and prosecco a go-go! So where are we meeting?

Here’s a mix of Norfolk’s best pub gardens – waterside, coastal, village, city centre…if your fave isn’t here drop a comment and we’re more than happy to investigate. You know the score, girls just wanna have rum. More puns where that came from, I’m here all night. Right, my round.

The Rose and Crown, Snettisham 

Last summer local lad HRH Prince William popped in to have chips and a post lockdown pint of cider. He knows The Rose & Crown is a great family pub in the west Norfolk village of Snettisham. There’s a lovely sun trap beer garden, amazing locally sourced food and a very cool wooden play structure for the kids. Fresh for 2021 is the blue ‘beach hut’ bar and a new heated double marquee. Until 17 May there’s a short garden menu with lovely platters from classic ploughman’s to my favourite seafood. Not only this, Jeanette and Anthony Goodrich have been named Licensees of the Year for the whole of the UK in The Good Pub Guide plus Norfolk dining pub of the year 2021, for the second year running. Read more here!

Coldham Hall Tavern, Surlingham

It’s hard to pick a favourite picturesque country pub as we’re properly spoilt in Norfolk. However Coldham Hall Tavern with its riverside location, beautiful garden and stunning sunsets is up there with the prettiest. These guys are on top of their food footprint with beef from Yare Valley, veggies from Framlingham Earl and wine from the village vineyard Winbirri. Worth checking out their wine tours for next year! Max 6 outside for now and if it’s chilly bring your hot water bottle – they’ll keep refilling it as often as you need to keep cosy. No such thing as bad weather…

No. Twenty 9, Burnham Market 

We love the cool courtyard at No. Twenty 9 and the way the whole place struts vintage glamour. It’s now listed in The Sunday Times 2020 Best Places to Stay as one of the Top 80 Hotels in Great Britain and we can see why! They’re taking reservations for the courtyard area, gorgeously festooned with fairy lights – magical! And there are flame patio heaters but still…this is England so bring a coat, blanket or even a hot water bottle. Complimentary top-ups obvs! Perfect for cocktails and catch up with gal pals. And the rooms are pretty special too, if you fancy making a night of it!! Check it out in our Little Black Book here.

The Bell, Brisley 

bristly bell

Fabulous beer garden at this lovely village pub. It’s large enough to find your own little space, there’s a seated veranda for enjoying some great gastro grub, a giant weeping willow for a pint in the shade and a croquet lawn for the kids to destroy play on! There’s also a meadow in the grounds so mini explorers can safely go adventuring for a couple of hours and let you enjoy a large glass of something sparkly. And breathe…

The Brisley Bell is back open 7 days a week although Monday & Tuesdays are drinks only until 17th May, unless you are staying the night. So…stay the night! Because the food is seriously lush too. Outside tables in the covered areas on the Patio / in The Shed can be booked online. The garden tables are available for walk-ins to eat or drink up until May 17, after which they’ll be drinking tables only. Want to know more? Check it out here.

The Ffolkes Arms, Hillington  

Ffolks Hillington beer garden play area

Perfect for little Ffolkes, this beer garden is truly awesome! There are heated and covered areas and our biggest high five goes to the creative minds behind the zip wire, boardwalks, slides and climbing wall. Perfect for families with younger kids as they’ll be happy for hours leaving the grownups scoffing everything on the menu. Dogs welcome too – if they’re very good they might even get a treat! The Sunday Pie Roast is legendary and on Sundays, between 4pm-6pm kids under 12 eat free (one child per paying adult).

Don’t miss Street Feast – every Friday and Saturday at The Ffolkes Stables Courtyard – a whole load of fantastic street food and drink stalls, plus a guest DJ to bang out some mellow summer choons! You have to book – £3 per person – and 3 quid for the car – hey, cars are one of the family too! Uber cool so get your place sorted – no FOMO at The Ffolkes!

The King’s Head, Letheringsett Near Holt

kings head letheringsett beer garden

Great food and service make The King’s Head, just outside Holt, a winner anytime of year but it’s their enormous garden with enclosed play area for the kids, which makes it just the ticket on a sunny day. This year there’s a marquee so you’re covered whatever the weather. No booking needed, first come first served. From 17 May you can book tables inside, all being well!

Food is served outdoors all day from The Shack, with good vegan options. Although you don’t have to be vegan to relish the crispy tofu burger with katsu sauce, skinny fries & kimchi slaw (£12.50) And who can resist a Tidal & Stormy? Golden aged Rum infused with oak smoked pepper dulce seaweed, foraged at low tide. Delicious with ginger beer & a squeeze of lime. Oh my word!

The Fur & Feather Inn, Woodbastwick 

fur & feathers beer garden

Set in the beautiful village of Woodbastwick and a stone’s throw away from Salhouse Broad, the traditional thatched Fur & Feather Inn is the epitome of an idyllic country pub. A great little sun trap with plenty of outdoor seating and good slap up food – Pepperells butcher’s sausages, Cromer crab salad, North Sea haddock fillet in Wherry batter, sweet potato korma, great sarnies, pizzas (smoked beetroot and brie – yum!) and a cracking Sunday roast. Ale drinkers’ delight, this is home to award-winning Woodforde’s Brewery, and THE place to sample from source or take home from the shop. They’re planning The Big Dray Out music and beer festival on 10 July, with top tribute acts and local bands, street food and stuff to keep the kids happy too. Tickets £25 with limited number of early bird rates (25% off) until 30 April.

The Georgian Townhouse, Norwich

An outdoor bar, BBQ in the summer, large garden, small play area for urban fidgets and great food – lots of vegan options too – Salt Baked Celeriac Katsu Curry? Yes please! We just love this hidden city centre oasis and it’s dog friendly too, with Pooch Hooch (aka water) for laid back urban hounds. The Georgian Townhouse is perfect for after work drinks or, indeed, pre-work drinks depending on your profession.

Some tables are available to be booked in advance but most of them are reserved for walk-ins so bring on the impromptu cocktails!

Don’t forget to download the City Club app ahead of your visit so you can order food and drinks without even leaving the table. Who’s got time when there’s a totally weird year’s worth of gossiping to do?!

The Jolly Sailors, Brancaster 

jolly sailor beach huts

The Jolly Sailors has a whole bucket load of awards including Nation’s Best Family Pub and welcomes sandy feet and muddy boots, paws and Stilettos…Lovely vibe here at the heart of village life, just across the road from Brancaster Staithe harbour and beach. They serve real ales from their own microbrewery Brancaster Brewery and are totally up for the joy of outdoor cooking with a BBQ, great pub classics including Jolly Smokehouse specials (all the best pubs have their own Smokehouse round the back!) local seafood, stone baked pizzas and ice cream from a garden beach hut (and not forgetting the largest selection of rum on the coast!). Yo ho ho!

Talking of pirates, the garden’s enclosed with a giant play area fab for small scallywags who’ll love the Jolly Roger boat. Seating for adults includes deck chairs, so you can lie back and spill your third Pimms in style.

The Horseshoes, Warham near Wells-next-the-Sea 

wareham horseshoes

This is a proper village pub dating from 1725, incredibly pretty and full of character. The Horseshoes has a beautiful, sunny walled garden, nicely sheltered, with a garden bar. They love pies and puddings and all pub classics – what a coincidence, so do we! Especially the Warham Plough Pudding juicy with sausage meat, bacon and herbs (£12). Bliss for the belly!

Local ales are from Woodfordes and Adnams and the children’s menu has Dragon’s Blood (tomato) pasta and Pebbles and Starfish (beans on toast). Pampered pooches have their own treat menu too, available at the bar (hair of the dog?!). And (another) best thing? It’s off the tourist track and well worth the detour for those in the know!

The Dun Cow, Salthouse

Just across the coast road (A149) from the wild saltmarsh, The Dun Cow is loved by locals and returning visitors. There’s a sweeping front garden edged with airy plants, dancing splashes of colour overlooking the whispering reeds and wheeling skies of North Norfolk’s stunning coast. Even the sunniest day can be breezy so bring a jumper and then sit back and enjoy the gorgeous view. The delicious menu always has daily specials lovingly rustled up with the best local ingredients. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…half a dozen oysters and an ice cold sherry in the garden of The Dun Cow is living your best life.

Dogs on leads are most welcome, as are families (leads optional). But if you can slip off without attendant children, there’s a beautiful Secret Garden at the back where only adults are allowed. Ssssh!!

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