Big is not always better, you know! Norwich has plenty of vibrant businesses which are small but perfectly formed, covering shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels and much more.
They provide fantastic customer service, high quality products, and offer you piece of mind in knowing you’re supporting small local businesses. Here are a few of our favourite ways to ensure you’re experiencing Norwich the small (and often indie) way! We’ve also got a great competition in association with The Tannery where you can WIN a stylish leather briefcase worth £265 - it would make a perfect Fathers’ Day gift!
Image: The Bear Shop
Image: Surlingham Lodge Holiday Cottages
We’d recommend booking a room at Gothic House, Wedgewood House, Beaufort Lodge Guest House, Number 17, The Old Rectory or Blue Cedar Lodge; all are conveniently located in or close to the city centre, and guarantees that personal touch to your stay. For a stay in the Norfolk countryside, but still within easy reach of Norwich, try Poolside Lodges or Surlingham Lodge Holiday Cottages.
Image: Sonkai, on Dove Street
The Norwich Lanes are a great place to start if you’re after smaller boutiques and independent shops; start off at Sonkai, a family jewellers and goldsmiths which prides itself on its original designs and bespoke pieces. Then head to Norfolk Yarn, which is often described as ‘a knitter’s paradise’, stocking high quality yarns, material and fabrics and offering practical advice and inspiration (as well as great workshops on a range of skills).
The Tannery offers beautiful leather goods at affordable prices in their new home on Exchange Street; the owners travel far and wide to source amazing products including handbags, briefcases, accessories, belts, scarves, shoes and even homeware! Find out more in our blog post here, and read on for the chance to win a gorgeous Picador briefcase from their range. The Lanes are also home to other small but lovely shops such as Lisa Angel, The Giggly Goat, Imelda’s, Sue Ryder Vintage & Retro and many more.
Moving into Norwich’s Cathedral Quarter, make sure you pay a visit to one of the most famous streets in Norwich: Elm Hill. Pop into The Bear Shop and browse hundreds of bears, many of which are collectibles. We’d also recommend visiting Elm Hill Craft Shop, Tombland Bookshop, The Jade Tree, and for a few hours of pampering how about booking a treatment at The Beauty Room?
Image: Bishop's Dining Room & Wine Bar
For a spot of lunch head to the Britons Arms, on Elm Hill – it’s a café-restaurant housed in an incredibly historic building, offering delicious light lunches, snacks and drinks which you can also enjoy in their pretty courtyard garden – or Louis’ Deli on Upper St Giles, for freshly made food to eat in or take away. You need to try their signature sausage rolls or a freshly filled baguette or cake. Plus they have an in-house Deli where you can buy home-made ready meals for dinner!
If pairing sweet snacks with a tipple appeals to you, you may also want to try Cupcakes & Bubbles on Timberhill. Cake with bubbly – has there ever been a better combination?
Vegetarians are spoilt for choice in Norwich, and one of our favourite veggie and vegan-friendly joints has to be Namaste India; they’re a family-run restaurant serving incredibly authentic Indian food and you can bring your own bottle! The River Green Café is also a vegetarian/ vegan restaurant in the pretty village of Trowse (only around 1.5 miles outside of Norwich) and they have some delicious options on their menu which even the most dedicated carnivores will enjoy!
Bishop’s Dining Room and Wine Bar offers a gorgeous dining experience in the heart of the Norwich Lanes. Offering delicious and beautifully presented food which can be paired with excellent wines, this really is the all-round perfect foodie experience – and the small, tastefully decorated restaurant feels both intimate and special.
Image: Cupcakes & Bubbles
Authentic Thai food is in abundance at Thai Kitti, a family-run restaurant with Thai chefs serving authentic food and drinks, whilst The Waffle House is a must-visit - a Norwich favourite, it serves Belgian waffles with a range of fun toppings like bolognese, cheese sauce and mushrooms, hummus & avocado. There are plenty of sweet waffle toppings too – try the hot Dutch apple waffle or the pecan nut waffle with butterscotch sauce and you won’t be disappointed (they’re all delicious, to be honest!)
Find plenty more tasty food on the go (or in some cases, eat in) in the Norwich Lanes – Finnie’s, Moorish, and Figbar are a few highlights!
You could also head outside of the city and visit one of the surrounding area’s pretty market towns; they have a lovely mix of independent shops, cafes, attractions and pubs. Depending where you’d like to be based from, you could stay at The Loddon Swan, which is in the pretty town of Loddon, or at Tapestry Cottage which - situated close to Attleborough, Wymondham, Thetford and Diss - is an ideal base for exploring!
Find out about South Norfolk’s market towns here.
We’ve teamed up with The Tannery to give away a Picard Briefcase from their range worth £265 (pictured above)! Made from full grain leather, the briefcase has a handle, an adjustable shoulder strap, plenty of pockets and zipped compartments along with a stylish pattern lining. Find out more about the briefcase here.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is enter your details on our entry page; you’ll you'll be signed up to our fantastic weekly City of Stories e-newsletter, full of the best things to see, do and visit in our wonderful city, and your details will be shared with The Tannery only. UK residents only - closing date is midnight on Monday 5 June. Full T&Cs on the entry page.
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.