High quality cooking with quality local ingredients in a landmark city centre hotel restaurant.
Maids Head Hotel 20 Tombland Norwich NR3 1LB 01603 209 955
Norwich's venerable old Maids Head Hotel has been through many changes of ownership over the years, but finally seems to be on a roll, sprucing up its rooms and investing in its restaurant, The Wine Press, which is consciously a cut above most hotel restaurants – and certainly those in Norwich city centre!. It's always enjoyed a decent – and unique – space, fashioned out of the covered courtyard of this ancient coaching inn, with flagstone floors and a cosy oak-panelled Jacobean bar off to the side. They've had the same head chef for several years now, and the food is hearty, modern British-type fare with the odd continental twist and a focus on local produce evidenced in Cromer crab ravioli and local rare breed pork belly – good cooking, and really the match of anything you'll find in Norwich. Try the Dedham Vale beef, local duck or sea trout with sorrel and beetroot, and be sure to finish with one of their fab and inventive desserts – worth a try even if you usually skip desserts. Service is briskly informal and as friendly as you want it to be, and our only complaint would be that on quiet nights the main space lacks a bit of atmosphere. Full of people, on the other hand, it's an unusual and very inviting place to eat, and a perfect venue for a special night out.
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Starters from £7–£8 main courses £20–£25.
Daily noon–2pm & 6.30pm–9.30pm.