Eating out - Pubs and bistros
As pretty much every pub in this part of Norfolk serves food, usually in generous helpings, as well as the usual beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and there's therefore often little distinction drawn between a public house and a restaurant, here we takes a look at just some of the pubs, restaurants and bistros for eating out in and around Hingham.
Making recommendations is fraught with difficulties - what you like depends on your tastes, personal preferences, budget and maybe even your mood - and even the best restaurant or public house is subject to staff absences, problems with supplies or perhaps the occasional power cut so we've shied away from offering too many opinions, for reasons we hope you'll understand.
Eating of an evening tends to be quite early in Norfolk (possibly a vestige of needing to be early to bed so as to be early to rise to make use of the available daylight working the land), so don't be surprised if some pubs stop serving food at 9pm. You may also be caught out by their popularity and you're likely to be disappointed, even in winter, if you don't book a table at a weekend.
Cafe Verdé Restaurant & Bar offers reasonably priced, modern menus with everthing from a cup of coffee to a three course meal daily, with dinner served from Wednesday to Saturday. The environment is fresh and children, for whom there is a play area, are welcome.
The Chequers Inn in Thompson was built in the 16th century and retains some original features such as exposed beams, timber & a thatched swooping almost to the ground. As well as dinner, it offers lunch and high tea, or just drop in for a tea and coffee. This is a dog-friendly pub which gets consistently good reports from White Lodge Farm guests.
The Cherry Tree at Wicklewood is owned by Buffy's Brewery and is renowned not only for selling a range of Buffy's fine ales but also for its pies which it says are all made from locally sourced ingredients. There is a good menu and food is generally cooked to order. The pub is child-friendly and it has a beer garden with outdoor play equipment.
Located on East Anglia's largest village green, The Gamekeeper at Old Buckenham is a 17th century Grade II listed freehouse with a log fire in the winter months and a large garden for use in warmer weather. The pub, which has fairly recently changed hands offers a modern menu served by a friendly team in a pleasant setting. There's a garden and children are welcome.
A coaching inn since the 16th century, The Honingham Buck retains many of its period features with original internal beams and warm, cosy atmosphere. The pub has a good range of local cask ales and lagers on tap and an extensive wine list. The menu offers plenty of choice and and changes frequently. There's also a children's menu and also a "pick and mix" menu! Food is served daily and booking is advisable.
A 17th century inn with the traditional feel of the inglenook fireplaces, woodburners and low beamed ceilings The King's Head at Bawburgh is a free house with frequently changing guest beers. The menu is extensive and interesting, and although towards the higher end of the spectrum price-wise (this is a restaurant with beers rather than a pub serving food), generally comments are that the food is worth the price. There's a garden and children are welcome.
Lincoln's bistro in Hingham offers tea, coffee, cakes and lunch daily, as well as a bistro menu on Friday and Saturday evenings. With the added advantage of being within walking distance, this one is regularly recommended by guests at White Lodge Farm Cottages. Lincoln's is child friendly and booking is essential for evening meals.
Mark and Julie Bridges ran the restaurant at the Barford Cock for five years before taking on the Marlingford Bell with an extensive and interesting menu, with plenty of choice for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. There's also a snack menu with a special menu for Sunday lunch. Lunch and dinner is served daily.
Situated in the former station hotel, The Mulberry Tree at Attleborough is a firm favourite with guests at White Lodge Farm, offering interesting menus and well presented food in a warm and pleasant setting. Advanced booking (well ahead at weekends) is essential. Just the place for a celebratory meal, but bar food is also available. Open daily for lunch and dinner, except Sunday evenings. There's a garden and children are welcome.
One of our favourites, Nick's Diner is situated deep in the Norfolk countryside in between Wymondham and Hingham (best look at the website or ask for directions before setting off!). As the name suggests, it's an American style diner serving good food 7 days a week. All food is prepared and cooked to order and the 100% pure beef burgers are made from beef reared and produced locally by Shropham butcher, D.J.Barnard. Booking is essential and well-behaved children (there's no room for them to run around!) are welcome - and generally love the menu.
The Norfolk Golf Club offers bar meals and a more extensive menu seven days a week. Booking is generally not necessary and the club is open to non-members.
The Three Boars at Spooner Row gets regular plaudits from guests at White Lodge Farm and, due to its popularity, booking is recommended. You might even get a glimpse of one or two members of The Darkness! There's a garden and children are welcome.
Guest comments also suggest that the slightly longer drive to the The Bird in Hand in Wreningham may prove rewarding.
The Ugly Bug Inn at Colton offers pub food at pub food prices, in attractive mature landscaped grounds with a lake well stocked with a variety of ornamental fish.
The White Hart Public House at Rockland All Saints has a friendly atmosphere and serves real ales. Traditional home cooked food is served 6 days a week (closed Mondays, except bank holidays) at lunchtimes and evenings. This is a traditional village pub, well supported by the locals, serving good food and booking is recommended.
Guests say ...
“Nick's Diner - Great fun/atmosphere. Very friendly staff. Took our 80-year old mum - she loved it. Kids there were
also having a good time.”
“We enjoyed a delightful Sunday lunch at the Three Boars pub and restaurant at Spooner Row.”
“The Crown at Ellingham: Above average pub food and very child-friendly and helpful.”
“Lincoln's Sunday lunch excellent. Make sure you book.”
“Pub in Hingham is lovely. And an easy stroll.”
“Highly recommend The Three Boars at Spooner Row - great food, service and a beautiful garden. Very child-fiendly and welcoming.”
“I'd recommend the Royal Garden Chinese in Attleborough. In Attleborough Sherbourne House, The Mulberry Tree and
the Shapla Tandoori are also good, so if you can't get a table at your first choice you have options!”
“The Gamekeeper at Old Buckenham is quite plain from the outside but really is beautiful once you step in.
“The meal was exceptional. Well cooked and well presented. The tables were well laid and spacious.
We Would highly recommend this pub.”
“The Chequers Inn at Thompson does good food in a friendly atmosphere.”
“What a find - the Bird in Hand at Wreningham was the best pub food ever. A fantastic menu and too much to choose from.
Good choice on the kids' menu and some nice healthy options.”
“We recommend the White Hart Pub - Excellent food (especially the chips(!))”
“The Three Boars at Spooner Row is great - the landlord certainly seems to know his wine.”
“For a grown up meal Suphannahong Thai in Wymondham is highly recommended.”
“We found the Bell Inn at Barnham Broom very child friendly and helpful.”
“The Hoste Arms (in Burnham Market) has a lovely bar and, incredibly, serves skimmed milk with coffee
(much to my delight, Norfolk seems fuelled on semi-skimmed). Beautiful menu too..”