Bars and Pubs:
The Gardeners Arms, on Timberhill to the south of the castle, is actually one of the oldest bars in Norwich with a licensing history which can easily be traced right back towards 1850. The building itself dates straight back towards 1542 and also incorporates The Murderers Café, so called following a stabbing in the building in 1890. Adam and Eve’s on Bishop Gate is a major beer drinker’s bar. Complete with stone flooring it really is the kind of bar that you can seldom find these days in that it is quite simply a bar! Having been in the Good Pub Guide for more than 25 years should be adequate testimony to the credentials of this particular pub to make it worthwhile a visit whenever you are in Norwich. On West End Street, not far from the hospital, is the Fat Cat Public House that has twice earned the esteemed honor of CAMRA Pub of the Year. The Fat Cat offers its own micro brewery and is renowned for its exceptional range of nineteen regular and other guest beers. Opening times are generally twelve twelve noon to 11pm, during which they serve also serve a good range of ciders, wines, lagers and meals. The Billy Bluelight on Hall Road serves beers from the local and small Woodforde brewery. This bar is the venue for the monthly gatherings of the Norwich Poetry Society and takes its name from a local figure. Around one hundred years ago Billy Bluelight used to run along the pathway, racing the Wherry boats as they plied their trade along the river. Though, if you are searching for a bar that is a little bit livelier, for example one with music, a big screen TV as well as a noisy atmosphere; try the Ribs of Beef on Wensum Street or even the Wild Man on Bedford Street. Both of these bars are popular drinking haunts for both residents and students in the city.
If you want a gourmet seafood dish then go to Brummels Seafood Restaurant, which occupies a seventeenth Century building on Magdalen Street and is open 7 days a week for lunch and evening dinners. Costs are certainly not cheap. Depending upon your choices a 3 course meal can cost anywhere between £20 and £50 per person and the costs on the wine list are not for the feint hearted. With an exceptional selection of wines their prices begin at £19 for a young Bergerac Blanc and increase to £480 for a bottle of 1973 Chateaux Pétrus. If you would like a Brandy with your after dinner coffee you can select from a range of cognacs from the Remy Martin V.S.O.P at £3.00 a glass through to a glass of Louis XIII de Remy Martin at £69.00. The Des Amis Restaurant, which is actually also a Guest House, is found on Dereham Road just off the A47. The menu here is a French Creole and Cajun one with a three course dinner coming in at the region of £20 to £30. The menu offers a distinctly Caribbean flavour because the proprietor, Denis Rosembert, was born and taught as a cook in St Lucia over 30 years ago. The restaurant offers an exceptional range of seafood, meat as well as vegetarian options. Providing more for the theatre going public is the Ivory’s Restaurant, which is found inside the Assembly House on Theatre Street. While the range on the menu is kind of limited you can have a three course meal here for £20 or a two course one for under £15. At 21 Tombland, near the Cathedral, is Tatlers Restaurant and serves modern British cuisine. Set inside a Victorian town house which was formerly a Dentists they give set lunches from £12 and a three course evening meal for about £20. They always have a great wine list with costs starting from £12 to £100 a bottle.
One of the two major nightclubs in Norwich is the Waterfront and is between King’s Street and the river. Sponsored by the University of East Anglia (UEA), it is virtually the sole venue inside the city for ‘clubbing for students. Open five nights a week the top club nights are Friday and Saturday, with the other nights being given over to live music. Open in 1993 the club has a capacity of seven-hundred and occupies a building which was once a bottling plant for the Truman’s brewery. Liquid, is a smaller nightclub at Imperial gate off St Mary’s Street that provides techno and hard house music. Another little nightclub is the MoJo, on Prince of Wales Road that features soul, hip-hop as well as R&B music. The biggest club in Norwich is Time, just off the Thorpe Road near the River Yare, which is technically just outside of the city. This particular nightclub has a 1700 capacity and is open four nights a week; Tuesdays then Thursday to Saturday.
Norwich is home to the Maddermarket Theatre which is one of the littlest, non-provincial, theatres in the UK with an auditorium capacity of just 310. Nevertheless, it is a fashionable venue and hosts production by all the best British and worldwide writers. The Norwich Playhouse on St George’s Street was opened in 1995 and is yet another small venue, with a capacity of only 300. It is primarily used for smaller touring productions, one man shows and musical acts. The Theatre Royal in Norwich is actually the city’s biggest theater with a capacity of 1300. This theater is actually used as the leading venue for bigger touring drama and musical productions.