No Norfolk or Suffolk restaurants make it into top 100 awards

More than 80 eateries are taking part in Norfolk and Norwich Restaurant Week Picture: Getty Images/

More than 80 eateries are taking part in Norfolk and Norwich Restaurant Week Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

No restaurants from Norfolk or Suffolk made it into an awards ceremony celebrating the top 100 in the country.

The National Restaurant Awards were held on Monday night, with its results decided by chefs, restaurateurs and food writers nationwide.

Eateries from around the country made this year's list, including in Cornwall, Leeds, Merseyside, Birmingham and York, as well as many in London. The number of restaurants from the north of the country which made the list has received widespread praise.

The closest to Norfolk and Suffolk, though, was the Midsummer House in Cambridge, which earned a spot at number 65.

Chef and Norwich restaurant owner Roger Hickman. Picture: Archant

Chef and Norwich restaurant owner Roger Hickman. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Roger Hickman, who runs Roger Hickman's restaurant in Norwich, said there were local restaurants which could hold their own against others in the competition.

“In this region we are perhaps not that good at blowing our own trumpet on the national stage," he said.

"But with fantastic local produce, some very talented chefs and a vibrant foodie culture, it is a bit of a nonsense that East Anglia is conspicuous by its absence in the new list.”

Chef patron Ben Handley behind the bar at The Duck Inn in Stanhoe.

Chef patron Ben Handley behind the bar at The Duck Inn in Stanhoe. - Credit: AWPR/Andrew Waddison

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Ben Handley, of the Duck Inn at Stanhoe, said Norfolk and Suffolk were brilliant places to eat, with something going on in all areas.

"We have got little pockets which cater for different tastes and everywhere is really, really good," he said.

"In Norwich there are so many places I would like to eat, there's a real buzz in the city.

"There's north Norfolk which has so much going on and in west Norfolk there are always new things happening."

He said local produce was a key draw for food-lovers, and said it was attracting attention from suppliers based elsewhere around the country which were hoping to distribute it.

Turkeys on a Norfolk farm

Thousands of Norfolk turkeys had to be culled following bird flu outbreaks at the end of last year - Credit: Matthew Usher

But despite Norfolk and Suffolk's popularity, in particular throughout summer, when tourists often flock to the coast, he said the area was still overlooked by some in favour of counties.

The Duck Inn was listed in the Top 50 Gastropubs for 2021.

Three reasons Norfolk and Suffolk are perfect for food-lovers 

1. If fine dining is what you're after, the region has plenty. Norfolk boasts two Michelin-starred restaurants, Morston Hall in north Norfolk and The Neptune in Hunstanton, while Suffolk recently gained its first, Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds. Many others are featured in the Michelin guide.

Cromer Crab. Photo: Antony Kelly

Cromer Crab. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

2. Their role in agriculture is key - farmers around our region put dinner on the plates of thousands of households every day. With seafood, meat and produce as fresh as it is here, why would you travel elsewhere?

3. We are nothing if not varied. Alongside our fine dining restaurants, we boast an enormous food scene - from village cafés and beachside huts to street food markets and traders offering tastes from around the world.