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5 Fab Things to do in June

1 June 2016

Norfolk Food Drink Festival

Make June a month of discovery; try new things, explore the city's hidden gems and get involved in fun events taking place throughout the month.

Here are our picks to keep you entertained this month...

1. Make the most of the city's many performance venues and enjoy an evening of music. Jazz fans can't go wrong at the Maddermarket Theatre, home to the Norwich Jazz Club. Check out their monthly jazz jam session (13 June), see the Janet Siedel Trio perform (14 June), or for something a little different in the same theatre give Forever in Blue Jeans a go; it's an evening of fun rock 'n' roll and country music from the 50's and 60's.

Also this month, the Plantation Garden are combining two of our favourite things, vintage shopping and dancing, at their Vintage Fair and Tea Dance (12 June). What could be lovelier than immersing yourselves in all things vintage and learning to dance to the tunes of the 1930's through to 60's? Unless you've got two left feet (scrap that, especially if you have two left feet), come along and let loose!

Plantation Garden Norwich 2

Alternatively soak up the sounds of a fantastic band; OPEN have an ever-exciting line-up of bands taking to their stage in June, the Head Out, Not Home programme of events include various live music acts every Thursday evening (30 Jun – 1 Sep) or join Broads Tours for Boogie on the Broads (29 June) and An evening on the Broads with SiMBiOSiS Jazz (30 June). And if brass bands are more your fancy, there'll be free bandstand concerts at parks across Norwich every Sunday during the summer.

2. Immerse yourself in a live action adventure, right here in Norwich; The Mystery of the Star Eaters (25 June) is an interactive game where players are transformed into a consulting detective for the day to assist Norfolk Police in solving a tricky (and imaginary, just to be clear!) case. Off you trot with your casefile to seek out clues and question witnesses in various city-centre locations (some of which aren't normally open to the public – we can't tell you where, you'll have to find out on the day!)

Whether you're attempting it solo, in a pair or as part of a group (5-6 players is the recommended maximum), the game should take about 2-3 hours to complete, so fire up the logical side of your brain and prepare to be surprised, puzzled and entertained! This is the first event of its kind in Norwich (though it's previously been tested in another town with fantastic feedback) and is bound to be popular, so we'd advise buying advance tickets now to secure your place; they're £12 per person and available online.

City of Ale Behind Bars

3. Catch the end of Norwich City of Ale 2016; from now until 5 June the city's participating pubs and drinking establishments are alive with events and entertainment to celebrate the city's great love of all things beer. Get involved in their beer tastings and food pairings, complete the ale trails (using the City of Ale programme or via the free Discover Norwich app) and enjoy some great live music whilst you sip your pint.

As part of this year's festival, the Maids Head Hotel are offering a guided pub tour (3 June, £4.50) with official City of Norwich tourist guide Paul Dickson. Explore the pubs of Norwich and learn about their history, as well as about their famous visitors who used to prop up the bar - who wouldn't want to see the Alan Partridge's favourite bar (yes, he may be fictional but he's just as interesting!) or the location of Ralph McTell's first professional gig? Finish the tour off back at the Maids Head and sample the hotel's new signature beer, brewed by local beerhouse Woodforde's! Alternatively, get behind the bar (3 June) at The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell for a tutored beer tasting (tickets £5, over 18's only).

4. Take a day tantalising your taste buds; the Norwich Food & Drink Festival has moved from September to June this year, with Sunday the 29th being the day the county's fantastic food and drink offer is celebrated with aplomb, featuring live cooking demos, tastings, producers village market and live music. Plus, don't miss the return of the ever-popular Battle of the Bangers; a true 'sausagefest' where you are the judge, featuring 10 butchers offering their unique recipes hoping to be crowned the ultimate master of sausages!

The Waffle House blog

Foodies needn't think that's the only day to enjoy good food; you only have to turn a corner to discover fresh and exciting meals using locally sourced produce in Norwich; head to Delia's restaurant, located at the football ground and committed to using local produce, or enjoy organic and free range ingredients at the Waffle House, Norwich's unique coffee house and restaurant. Their sweet and savoury waffles are a must-try whilst you're in the city! If traditional fish & chips takes your fancy then head to Orford Plaice, who use local spuds which are peeled and prepared on the premises for a truly fresh fish supper.

Alternatively Delice on Castle Meadow pride themselves on their fantastic range of freshly made meals, sandwiches, sundaes (using ice cream from local producer Ronaldo's) and - perhaps their pièce de résistance - a selection of delicious tapas boards that are ideal for sharing (not that you'll want to) and feature a whole array of British, organic produce: tapas with a British twist! Choose from mouth-watering options including Mediterranean, Veggie and Fish boards, plus many more; the hard part is deciding which one!

5. Finally, don't (under any circumstances!) miss the arrival of the British Art Show 8 via horse-drawn carts in a procession around the city. Orchestrated by artist Alan Kane, it'll deliver the show in style to the participating venues (Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, NUA & The Forum) whilst announcing the show's arrival to the people of Norwich. Get yourself down to Chapelfield Gardens on Saturday 18 June and follow the procession which leaves at 11.30am; for more information check out our blog post on British Art Show 8.

Images from top: The Norfolk Food & Drink Festival; The Plantation Garden; Behind the Bar event at the Bridewell; dessert at The Waffle House; Colman's Mustard Shop & Museum