The Wine Press @Wensum

Maid's Head Hotel 20 Tombland Norwich NR3 1LB

Norwich's venerable old Maid's 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, which has a new chef who has recently unveiled a series of impressive menus. 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. 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 the centre of Norwich, certainly at these moderate prices. Try the pork fillet saltimbocca or a lovely seared fillet of sea bream with saffron potatoes, and be sure to finish with the fab and quite inventive signature fruit salad to finish – worth ordering 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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