I love Lodge Farm - on a sunny day with the glimmer of the lake and all the wildlife buzzing around cackling in the distance with the lush green of all the trees as they sway in the wind.
I love my children - despite the fact they are teenagers and quite frankly a pain in the bum at times, But I still love em and want to do whats right by them and bring them up to be good, happy an healthy.
I love my husband - - despite the fact he's a moody old northern so and so - I look forward to growing old with him, traveling and enjoying hopefully a healthy retirement together.
I love myself - i'm quite happy to have a good chat to myself, I think I'm a good person - I live my life with 'if its fair - its ok, if its not fair then don't do it - so I can sleep at night all peaceful and happy.
I LOVE FOOD MORE -
It's not just a passion, its my life, its my every waking thought, its my imagine before bed I - then I dream of foodie pleasures and wake up to do it all again. I love to teach - exciting themes, I love to watch food blogs from far flung places, I love to eat out, I love people to cook for me, I love to discover new flavours, I love to experiment and spend hours writing recipes and coming up with things to try. I love to cook - - -
Then theres the other stuff like food history, food science, experiments with chemical reactions - food thickeners, food enhancers, things that fizz and foam. Gaining knowledge learning new ingredients, facts and figures.
Like do you know what 'Kecap Manis' is - its a thick syrupy sweet Indonesian soya sauce, great for dipping or enhancing stir-frys, noodle dishes or fried rice.
Did you know 'Worcestershire Sauce' has got fermented anchovies in it - thats because fish brings out the flavours in meat, Roman's did it with fermenting fish guts, Asians do it with fish sauce or shrimp paste. We do it with Worcestershire - -
Did you know if you massage a lemon its more juicy - - - -
It's a never ending pool of Loving Food - yes, even more than life it's self!!!!
So when you some to Lodge Farm Holiday Barns you can be assured that your kitchen is full of the things you need, Norwich is full of great places to eat, the Guest Book is full of recommendations and if you fancy it you can even have a cookery lesson or scoff on ice-cream in the diner - - or just enjoy take-aways with no washing up but great views.
- Cookies Crab Shop – The Green, Salthouse, Holt, NR25. (ok not Norwich but worth the 40 minute drive in to North Norfolk) My absolute favourite food is Lobster and you can get half a lobster platter for under £15 packed with salad, prawns, several types of smoked mackerel, cockles, good old fashioned bread & butter and more. It’s a rustic beach shack spilling out in to the yard with a purpose made summer house and a marquis crammed with seating but it’s pure charm on the North Norfolk coast. Bookings a must in the summer months or get a takeaway and enjoy on the beach.
- Gonzo’s Tea Room – 68 London Street, Norwich. Is a crazy mad eccentric ‘man cave’ full of wonder, like a zillion collectable figures, pictures and stuff on stuff. But they serve the best burgers & sweet potato fries in Norwich and certainly the best wings with 7 finger licking toppings like blue cheese and walnut. But it’s not for everyone – it helps if you’re a little crazy yourself!
- Figbar – 23 St John Maddermarket, Norwich. Sometimes all’s you want is dessert and desserts all they do (we’ll except for a couple of savoury pastries). Delicious top London standard blends of sweet yumminess for around £6-8 or just opt for one of their freshly baked and prepared cakes ‘n’ bakes – all done to sweet perfection.
- Workshop – 53 Earlham Road, Norwich. My favourite lunch time haunt. It’s not about the service or the restaurant - that’s all casual, it’s about the delicious Mediterranean Middle Eastern infused tapas style dishes. Choose a couple each and share. The menus stuck to the bar (don’t try and move it!) and served from mid-day. I’ve only ever had one good dish the rest have been amazingly gorgeous and superbly delivered in taste.
- St Giles Hotel – 41-45 St Giles Street, Norwich. If you fancy superb service in a gorgeous art deco setting with quality food to match then St Giles is pure indulgence without the cost. St Giles is part of my food and drink walking tours, because it simply ticks all the right boxes.
- Grosvenor Fish & Chips – 28 Lower Goat, Lane, Norwich. Norfolk potatoes and Suffolk fish are superbly cooked together making the tastiest Fish & Chips probably in the world. The Grosvenor is no 1 on trip advisor and rightly so. The seating downstairs is atmospheric, the menu inspiring with exciting goodies like Wako Taco, five quid squid and more – for me it’s the highlight of my walking tour, just one of the many places we visit for a bite.
- Baby Buddha Chinese Teahouse –139 Ber Street, Norwich. One of my food pleasures in life is Dim Sum, I’ve even started teaching it at Lodge Farm Kitchen. Baby Buddha does a great lunch time menu with a few dozen tapas sized Chinese classic fried, steamed and baked goodies. I love the turnip cake – actually made from mooli. Fried wontons, spring rolls and steamed BBQ pork buns are all classic favourites but Fung Chung is my go to dim sum – steamed thick rice noodles stuffed with a choice of pork, minced beef or prawn. I enjoy my dim sum with a pot of jasmine tea at least every other month.
- Moorish – 17 Lower Goat Lane, Norwich. Take away or eat in falafel pittas – packed full of freshly prepared shredded salad, humus and a choice of chilli, yogurt & mint or tahini sauce – or go for all three. A basic falafel to take away is £3.80 delicious, filling, cheap and healthy.
- Woolf and Social – 21-23 Nelson Street, Norwich. Local Artisan bread, tempting exciting sharing dishes and great cocktails. Everything tastes so good in this local, just out of the city small but perfectly formed modern restaurant.
- Blue Joanna’s – 103 Unthanks Road, Norwich. A great mix of blue tacos with different fillings, small sharing dishes and tasty sides, they do the best fresh cut chips in Norwich – perfectly seasoned and moorish – load the table and enjoy. I can’t wait to go back for breakfast the menu looks amazing.
- Brick Pizza – 39 Market Place, Norwich. Simply the best pizzas in Norwich. I like the one with pear & walnuts but the classics are good too. A great dough, amazing tomato sauce and the best quality toppings all cooked in a wood burning oven to perfection.
- Dray yard Smoke House – 31 Exchange Street, Norwich. My kids (well teens now) love this American smoke house of meatiness. For lunch they sometimes do an amazingly good value £5 mid-week main meal – with choices like burger and fries, ribs n wings, mac & cheese or maybe even a burrito with slow cooked shredded pork perfect for family, friends or a lunch time treat.
- Waffle House – 39 St Giles Street, Norwich. A family favourite. I’ve been enjoying these tasty waffles for over 30 years. The milkshakes are the best in Norwich, I love the fact they source locally and ethically. My favourite is the hummus and avocado but I sometimes go for the specials if they have a curry on plus I can never resit the house salad with blue cheese dressing on the side – always tasty with friendly service.
- Flaming Galah – 123 Ber Steet, Norwich. My favourite chilly day take away. An Australian pie and mash shop. The specials are very special I’ve enjoyed succulent duck with red cabbage and come exciting Thai infusions, along with their classic menu – I love the chicken pie, so creamy and packed full served on a bed of mash, topped with mushy peas and smothered in rich gravy for just under a fiver with a drink to take out.
- Café Gelato – 6 Opie Street, Norwich. Norwich’s new proper Italian Gelato shop, gelato is freshly made ice-cream made mainly with milk making it soft and smooth. The Italian owner and creator makes tasty seasonal specials. It’s a great place to pop in to for a scoop and coffee.
- Namaste – 2a Opie Street, Norwich. While working in London as a chef, we often enjoyed south Indian vegetarian food always ordering Bel Poori, a bit like rice krispies, Bombay mix, cold potato & raw onions with spicy sauce, tamarind and yogurt – sounds strange but it tastes incredible. Namaste offer similar south Indian favourites including Dosa’s large stuffed lentil flour pancakes.
- Assembly House – Theatre Street, Norwich. One of my absolute favourite things to do is indulge in afternoon tea and I think the Assembly house is the best place to do just that. An historic Georgian building full of charm with great service to match. A perfect afternoon tea has to offer fresh loose tea, cut the crusts of the bread and always serve clotted cream with freshly bakes scones – they do just that, offering a big range of Wilkinson’s local tea and serving everything just right.
- Lust & Liquor – 2-4 St Benedict’s Street, Norwich. Is my top choice for cocktails, superbly blended with fresh ingredients, attention to detail with a lot of professional care and love which is just what a cocktail needs.
So you’re having a fabulous holiday in Norfolk at Lodge Farm Holiday Barns and you spend the day in Norwich.
Why wouldn’t you its in the top 10 shopping destinations in England with over 300 independent shops down the lanes alone, 12+ fabulous historical buildings, 31 medieval churches and the biggest outside market in Europe with 200 stalls including food stalls selling mushy peas & pies, hog roast, local sausage hot dogs, great coffee, gluten free pastry’s, fish and chips, a full English and more.
- So you’ve had a busy day shopping, had lunch in one of the great restaurants in the city, you’ve even maybe had afternoon tea in one of my favourite tea joints (Biddys /Harriettes / Assmebly House)With the day drawing to a close, you’ll soon be on your way back to your comfy Norfolk Barn surrounded by tranquility, idilic lakes and wandering wildlife (see what I did there) BUT with tired feet and a holiday appetite you might consider taking back some scrumptious take-away food.
Try – Flaming Galah’s - Australian pies served with creamy mash, mushy peas and comforting gravy. The Pies are packed with exciting delicious filling like Chicken sate, Chunky beef & bacon along with daily specials like braised duck, curry lamb and more all for under £5 plus you can pull up outside and grab a couple to go. Call 07837 915375 / 123 Ber Street.
Try – Moorish – Falafels to die for, warm whole-meal or plain pitta filled with 3 hot falafels, smothered in home-made humus, topped with fresh chopped salad and drizzled with chilli, tahini or garlic - - or have all three! A take-away falafel is only £3.50 extra topping are a grab at 50p each like feta, olives, tabbouleh or crispy aubergines. 01603 622250 / 17 Lower Goat Lane
Try – Brick Pizza – Pizza doesn’t get any better than this, wood fired fresh dough beauties with quality Italian style toppings on a delicious Italian tomato in house sauce. 01603 620661 / 39 Market Place
Try – Grosvenor Fish Bar – not just the best fish n chip shop in Norwich, it’s the no.1 restaurant on trip advisor. A well established family run business with a menu full of surprises as well as the usual’s. They use Suffolk fish and Norfolk potatoes. Fish n chips from £5.50 or go for Loony toons!! 01603 625855 / 28 Lower Goat Lane
Try – Louis Deli – a window and counter full of homemade & local tastiness. Grab a mezze picnic of artisan breads, charcutterie, pickles, salads, pastries, cakes and more. 01603 763377 / 81 Upper St. Giles Street. Then eat, enjoy and taste Norfolk and do it all over again the next day.
- - ah, holidays are great aren’t they.
For more takeout options in Norwich go to www.lovenorwichfood.co.uk
I love the sun - I love England and I love Norfolk - - after a drulling winter we can all embrace and worship the sun, after all we don't get it for long. A lovely Spanish couple came earlier in the year and arrived in the rain, I felt I needed to appologise like I was responsable for the bad weather we occasionaly endure at Lodge Farm - - but they said with out that rain your countryside wouldn't be lush and green and beautiful. It made me apprechiate the diverse weather we have, East Anglia produces crops that get exported all over the world because of our climate, when we get snow - we pick the children up from school and go on an adventure becasue those 3 days of snow we get every year mean fun and no work. Then when we get the sun we revel in its gloriousness - - - - and today I'm reveling.
A couple of Canadian geese are escorting 6 lovely little chicks around Lodge Farm - they have even learnt to hang around at corn time for the chickens to grab some them selves. Elvis and Pricilla the swans are taking it turns to sit on their nest - cant wait to see their cygnets. We have build a double garden bed to go on one of the lakeside decking ares for all to enjoy (got it in the winter sale for £40) - - what bliss lying on a bed on the waters edge watching the wildlife go by. The only problem is when the chickens know I'm down there they follow me - and cluck away until they realise im no good for corn.
Popping up soon is this years PoP uP restaurant - "my Little Greek Cafe' as we speak im listing to the Greek music cd i bought to see if its any good - - - I must admit I've shouted "Woopa" a few times. Me and hubby are getting the back garden ready, its the last place to renovate/landscape and its a big expensive job so we are doing as much as we can before the big event - - tickets are £5 for entrance and a drink, they'll be a bar - already in place, I just need to paint and decorate it. I'm doing food to order - mezze style like hallomi, lamb stew, humous, pitta bread, cheese balls etc etc - - the place will look, sound and smell lovely. I've sold 3/4 tickets already so you may get in if you contact me quick. Info on the event page.
So - - at present we have plenty of availability over summer in one barn or another, so get your self over here - contact me with any questions or go to the avaiability and price chart to see whats on offer.
Just sitting here sipping some liqouirsh tea waiting for the Visit England Assessor to arrive - it's an annual event. You see we are graded 4* GOLD which is really good, we could go for a 5 * but that means changing some furniture to French Boroque!!! or something like that and offering a welcome hamper and making sure you salute to all that enter. So we are happy with a 4 gold. Apparently lots of places when recieving 5* wish they hadnt bothered becasue its hard work keeping up imaculate 100
% on apsolutly everything and people would obviously have very high expectations - I know I would. So with our grading people can enjoy the high standard, with the 5* touches, 5* bathrooms, 5* cleaning and get comfort in knowing we are keeping up apperances while paying a very resonable price for a great place fantasticly located in a beautiful setting.
Every year I have to make sure there are enough cutlery and crockery in each barn - one for the dishwasher one for the cupboard with a few spare. I have to ensure all my weekly and monthly jobs are done like polish the sofa, scrub the walls, dust the ceiling! If naughtly peole damage anything - we have to replace it - hopefully with better next time so we are alwasy improving - they like that.
The assessor walks round with her white gloves rubbing her finger along door frames checking for a spot of dust - - I one left a single crumb in a draw and was marked down 2% - - I could of kicked my self because I saw it and left the draw open ready to hoover it out - but then shut it by mistake. I only got 98% cleaning that year but it was still a 5* standard - despite the offensive crumb.
This year they'll be happy as we have replaced the sofas with comfy new ones, replaced the king sized bed matresses with bouncy 1000 sprung, memory topped beautys, replaced a few white goods, replaced a few laminate furniture with solid Oak - - No veneer in errr. I've bought better knife racks, added branded pens, beer glassess (thanks to one visotors suggestion), water bottles and much more.
Since last summer last year we have re-painted all the ceilings and white walls, painted the gardned furniture, door steps and B.B.Q's - replanted, landscapped further - mind you thats always on going. We've added more lakeside paths. I've even added a hand built bench for the playground - - - pheew
You see thats the good thing about a good grade - it means your keeping up the standards - constantly imporving - it keeps us on our toes and our visitors happy. Welcome to Lodge Farm Holiday Barns - We are 4* Gold and proud of it.
I've been so so lazy over winter with lots of longer term holiday rentals and not so many cookery courses - I don't feel guilty!!! Well I do a little. But now its starting to feel a lot like Spring with enquiries coming in daily and cookery courses being booked. I've already taught Japaneese, Fish and Thai in the last two weeks -
While I've not been so busy I've been doing my home work - BREAD - experimenting with sour dough starters, theres a three week old one in my fridge now being fed every few days, maybe it will eventully be passed on to my grandchildren or maybe not - it's not quite perfect yet!
I've also added a few more courses to the site - Afternoon Tea in the Victoria Dining Room - look forward to people booking on to that plus Inclusion classess. I've got some childrens birthday partys coming up - they are always good fun especially the smell test!
Norwich has now got a tramploine park and due to be opening another one this summer - boing! I've now joined the UEA sportspark - its only 5 mins up the road and great for everybody who fancies a bit of something or other, guests of the holiday barns can enjoy the drop in classess, they do an over 50's club with aqua aerobics, netball, yoga and zumba to mention a few. There are tons of drop in toddler sessions, a climbing wall and gymnastics sessions for teens and inclusion clubs. It's a massive place with a full sized olympic pool and athletics track - plus its got a great cafe where you can watch the climbers on the wall in front of you.
Drey Yard is my favourite family mid week lunch time restaurant, they do a great lunch time special - perfect smoked meats and juicy burgers - love it and at night time you can get smoked brisket and colard greens - phooor.
Harrietts has been opend a year or so now - its East Anglians answer to Bettys - a quaint tea rooms with Victorian styles waitresses and a pianist where you can enjoy Welsh Rarebit, afternoon tea, fancy cakes and the like.
We went to the Bawburgh History group last night and found out that Herroin could be bought from Chemists in Victorian days for the benifit of healthier skin, Bawburgh used to have 2 butchers, 2 black smiths and a post office - all saddly gone now but at least we've still got the pub.
This years the anniversary of St Walston - we have St Walstons well behind the church and they'll be a big celebration in May with a pilgrimage and flower festival - apartently in the day St Walstons was as big as any other - 5 priests were brought in to deal with the crouds - well at least they had somewhere to buy some sausages and somewhere to post a parcel. Apparently the water from the well was sold on Norwich Market - -
We've got a well and the waters FREE from the taps in any of the holiday barns - go on - give us a visit.