Issuu on Google+

SHHHH Beginners Guide to Norwich FREE

Contents Intro


Food & Drink


Shops & Services


Clubs & Culture



Some of us have lived in Norwich all our lives, some have arrived here through studying in the city, some have simply turned up here on a whim. The main thing is, however, that all of us are here and you are too. Arriving in a new city can be daunting, exciting and overwhelming all at the same time; that’s where we come in. It may not be London, New York or Las Vegas but Norwich has a variety of hidden treasures. We’re here to help you find them. This publication was created by people who were once in your shoes and possibly still are. A handful of writers, designers and creative-types from the SHhhh Collective came together to aid you in the transition from your old home to your new home. We were able to create this guide with the support of local, independent businesses; without them it would have been impossible. This guide is aimed at anyone new to the city in search of a good place to eat, drink, party, learn, get inspired or just simply meet new people. We’re hoping that you can enjoy the city as much as we do, but realise that you may need help navigating Norwich’s cobbled streets. A lot of what Norwich has to offer is bubbling away under the surface, and we want you to find everything as quickly as possible. This is our beginners guide to Norwich. Enjoy. To keep up with events, offers and general fun things check out for continuous updates on what’s happening in this fine city.



What We’re About SHhhh is a clothing brand and artist collective run by a group of young, enthusiastic individuals who all share a passion for life and a penchant for art. We give opportunities to emerging talent, enabling them to express themselves through their contribution to our ever growing idea. Using art, apparel and music as our key mediums of expression we strive to promote positivity and primitive pleasures on a global front through our collections, events and online presence. The seeds of the brand took root in a small seaside town on the East coast of England and from sand to city it has grown into a well-established platform for creative potential. Our universally recognised speech bubble suggests that we have something to say. We are inspired by life experiences, the world around us and, most importantly, each other.

SHhhh products are proudly made using organic cotton and only by people who are paid a fair living wage. There are no sweatshops involved in our manufacturing processes and we utilise environmentally friendly techniques wherever possible. We can’t admit to being perfect, but we do aim to pursue the most sustainable creative path possible.

Enter the code:

SHHHHBOOK to receive 10% off all orders from our online store. Limited Time Only

Food & Drink

//10 Food & Drink

The Playhouse Chances are you may have already come across this theatre/drinking establishment opposite Norwich University of the Arts. As with many places in this guide, The Playhouse is an absolute stalwart of the Norwich scene. Throughout the year you can treat yourself to a wealth of comedy, arts, music and drama in the lovely 300 seat theatre with touring performances from around the globe. Of course grandiose excitement lies in the larger venues both in the city and out, but something genuinely unique goes on in the walls of this intimate space. As well as this, there is The Playhouse Bar. We don’t claim to predict the future in this guide but we can assure you that this watering hole will be your downfall. The double whammy of both summer and winter allure will guarantee your spot as a regular. Be it hours spent in the garden sipping gin with friends (and dogs) or a winter filled with hot spiced cider and endless tea, you’ll struggle to find a more popular or well-loved bar. It doesn’t even end there, fantastic food of all descriptions feature throughout the year as well as local gigs, record sales and resident DJ’s. No one can drag themselves away from The Playhouse Bar, not even the staff. You can try but it just won’t work. Like Narnia, weeks and months can pass by with the outside world seemingly unaffected, until you sober up that is. As soon as you take the first step into this little world, you’ll be more than thankful.

//11 Food & Drink

Finnie’s Juice Bar

Who doesn’t like a freshly made smoothie served with a smile? Whatever you’re in the mood for, Sam Finnie will make it for you. Finnie’s Juice Bar sits on Lower Goat Lane next to Moorish Falafel Bar. It is probably the best place to visit with a hangover, as Sam will know exactly what juice concoction to prescribe. If you see anyone walking around The Lanes with a smoothie, a betting man would say it’s from Finnie’s. They don’t just juice though. Finnie’s serves a range of takeaway food such as thai green curry, various soups, organic chilli con carne, free range chicken dishes, and a lot more that changes daily for less than a fiver. You can then either sit outside and watch the world go by, or take it round the corner to The Birdcage and enjoy that curry of yours with a cold pint. Your best bet is to pop by and look at the board outside to keep up with what’s on offer. Finnie’s Juice Bar was one of the first juice bars in Norwich and is still going strong, opening in 2005, with Sam Finnie known by everyone in The Lanes for his expertise. The ‘Berrytastic’ smoothie is definitely one to try. “Here at Finnie’s Juice Bar we sell many specialised and exotic fruits that come direct from the Amazon, acai being one of them. That’s a Brazilian power berry with lots of anti-oxidants and vitamins. It’s very good for you, very filling if you’re hungover or if you’ve just come from the gym.”

//12 Food & Drink

The Bicycle Shop You’d be forgiven for thinking that The Bicycle Shop was a really unimaginatively titled bicycle repair operation, when in fact it is an imaginatively titled bar-type-restaurant-type-venue operation. A very twee and quirky bar-type-restaurant-type-venue operation we’d like to add (we’d usually refrain from using the word ‘quirky’ to describe somewhere as it brings back bad memories of awful people who described themselves as ‘random’ on myspace), but, architecturally speaking, it’s quirky. “There was a bicycle shop on St.Benedicts Street, and for eighty-two years it provided the people of Norwich with the means of stable, clean transportation… Now, it provides the people of Norwich with a means of stable and clean lubrication, a place for eating, drinking, music and merriment!” The Bicycle Shop is split over 3 floors; the upstairs resembles an extremely cosy tea room (this is the ‘twee’ part; imagine Zooey Deschanel and Belle and Sebastian teaming up to open a tea room). The middle floor is the most restaurant/bistro like, with a large amount of seating, especially for its size. Their menu goes all the way from breakfast to dinner, with a great selection of tapas and, most importantly, cheese. These guys know cheese; you’re going to want to have the whole wheel of baked Camembert, trust us. The mixed cheese board is also worth a try. If you like cheese this is the place to visit, if you don’t you should probably rethink your life. Downstairs is the basement (I know right, I’m shocked too) which is our favourite part of The Bicycle Shop, serving as a great space to enjoy a relaxing drink, and the ‘venue’ part. There’s often something going on such as poetry readings, live music and other beautiful things. Remember, they don’t sell bikes.

//13 Food & Drink

Grosvenor Fish Bar

In the heart of Norwich is a 300 year old building nestled bottom of Lower Goat Lane, a building that, hopefully, you very fond of. Eating superfoods can be really rewarding at can eating a huge piece of mackerel, in a soft white roll, by a huge tray of chips dripping in gravy.

at the will become times. But so accompanied

The Grosvenor Fish Bar is quite simply an institution, and a 30 year old one at that. Somehow bridging the gap between British tradition and contemporary cool, this is Fish & Chips at its finest and friendliest. As we write this our stomachs are rumbling at the thought of a simple chip butty or a more adventurous, mango salsa covered, Bass with Sass. Expect a warm welcome from the staff still keeping this business in the family and expect lovingly made, nostalgic food. Not only is it allowed, it’s expected, for you to take your meal over to The Birdcage opposite and enjoy your morsels with a pint or a cuppa. Or grab a freshly roasted coffee from Strangers and sit on the green in front of the Church. It’s just another example of the community feel that this area of Norwich possesses. To be perfectly honest, there are few finer pleasures in the midst of a rollocking hangover than the experience of The Grosvenor Fish Bar. Don’t expect to dig deep for good food, and don’t expect your bog standard, run of the mill chip shop. And whatever you do, don’t ever, ever, have a bad word to say against it. We love it.

//14 Food & Drink

The Birdcage What to say about the place that we spend all of our time and hard earned money in? It has a cat called Maraud, serves alcoholic drinks, has friendly staff and is simply the best pub in the city centre. Most of us have been going to The Birdcage since we hit 18, and dread to think how much money we’ve put behind the bar. The building was modelled on a cruise liner, with a recent renovation emphasising that style. The ‘Ballroom’ downstairs changes every few months, with a different artist ‘curating’ the space which is used for various events such as live music, drawing lessons and other creative pursuits. There are so many ‘pop up’ events going that it’s impossible to list them all. If you’re thinking of putting on an event, The Birdcage has a great (and cheap) space for hire. The Birdcage sits on St.Gregory’s Green in Pottergate, next to Strangers Coffee House and opposite The Grosvenor Fish Bar. As well as all the alcohol, the pub serves coffee and has several homemade cakes for sale, as well as ‘Jam Jar Tapas’. The Birdcage doesn’t serve hot food because everyone is encouraged to bring in food from the local eateries. I say encouraged but as soon as you get peckish, you’ll already have chips in front of you. Just don’t feed them to the cat as he’ll be sick. Very sick, trust us. Being a bar/pub, The Birdcage’s primary purpose is drinking, and there are few better places for that purpose. As well as the usual beers and wines, they serve unique cocktails designed by the staff there. A special mention has to go out to ‘The Outlaw’ which is made up of cocchi americano, bourbon, Cointreau, ABSINTHE and fresh lemon juice, served in a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. It’s best drunk while wearing a poncho and walking through saloon doors.

//15 Food & Drink

The Sir Garnet

Sitting adjacent to The Norwich Market alongside Gentleman’s Walk is The Sir Garnet, the sister pub to The Birdcage. The Sir Garnet is the perfect antithesis to The Birdcage, where the latter has more of a sleek bar-like feel; The Sir Garnet is a traditional market pub. The building itself goes back to medieval times, which is pretty insane, and first opened as a pub in 1861. “The Sir Garnet is totally different to the Birdcage. It’s a back-to-basics kind of pub with locally brewed ales, locally sourced food with an emphasis on quality, not trendy brands.” It has the best range of ales we can find in the city centre, but the place itself doesn’t feel like a musty old ale joint at all. The drinks menu changes from month to month, and the bar-staff are always happy to recommend a drink to suit your needs. If you’re a fan of ales, hell even if you’re not, there’s not much better than getting a pint and sitting outside on a crisp evening, listening to northern soul interwoven with America’s ‘A Horse With No Name’ or Ennio Morricone’s ‘Dollars Trilogy’ soundtrack. Unlike The Birdcage, The Sir Garnet offers food courtesy of the ‘Baron of Beef’ (which, fun fact, used to be the pub’s original name). The menu mostly consists of high quality burgers, very meaty specials, and traditional pub food such as a ploughman’s, soup, and pork pies. Food is served between 12pm and 9pm (with a small break in the afternoon) from Tuesday to Saturday. The kitchen is closed on Sunday and Mondays. Like The Birdcage, The Sir Garnet offers rooms to hire for private functions or events but has a late licence for those times when normal pub opening hours just don’t cut it.

//16 Food & Drink

Strangers For some of the best coffee in the city head down to Strangers Coffee House on Pottergate, next door to The Birdcage. Whether you’re in need of a quick pick me up or want to take your time enjoying award winning coffee made by expert baristas, they’ve got you covered. Alex, the head barista, (usually wearing a hat) reached the top 20 in both the 2012 and 2013 UK Barista Championships and is always happy to talk about anything vaguely coffee related. Strangers has been through various iterations throughout its four years of trading under Alex Sargeant and Samuel Maddocks, but it’s always kept a focus on the highest quality, light roasted artisan coffee. On his continued growth as a Barista, Alex says: “I wanted to be an expert in what I was doing. I started by creating latte art as it looked awesome and customers really appreciated the ‘wow factor’, but then I wanted to start making better tasting coffee.” If coffee isn’t your thing, they serve teas, milkshakes and the usual soft drinks (including Rio), as well as a range of homemade cakes, hot or cold ciabattas, and sandwiches. Along with Frank’s Bar, it’s one of the only places Norwich has that resembles a continental cafe, so if you want to sit outside with a hot drink and watch the world go by Strangers is the place to go.

//17 Food & Drink


As if the wonderful St. Benedicts Street wasn’t already jam packed with great places to eat and drink, Flathouse have now entered the independent arena. Situated in the iconic corner building at the head of the street, this brand spanking new eatery offers sumptuous flatbreads comprised of the best, locally sourced ingredients. “Fresh food is important to us. We source our wheat from East Anglian farmers. We work with local suppliers for all our vegetables, salad, meat, fish, dressings, ice creams etc. Nothing travels further than it needs to.” If you’re not entirely sure what flatbreads are, you should know that they are completely a sum of their named parts; flat and bread. It’s that simple. And it’s this basic simplicity that leads it to be such a versatile stomach filler. At Flathouse the menu ranges from a basic mozzarella and sun dried tomato topping, to the wonderful steak and cheese or salmon and aubergine. Couple that with a side of quinoa or cous cous, and you’ve got a serious dinner. It doesn’t even stop there, you can run straight on to a Crème brûlée or home made crumble and forget that restraint is even an option. As with all good restaurants in Norwich, Flathouse is versatile. Eat in, out, lunch, dinner, slow, fast, all bases are covered. Good, healthy food, in a beautiful, historic building. There’s not really much more you could ask for.

//18 Food & Drink

The Reindeer What’s better than a pub? Yes! You’re completely right, two pubs. Affiliated with another fine establishment in this guide (The Rumsey Wells), The Reindeer is an absolute gastronomic experience. Gastronomically mind blowing some might say. Gargantuan, yet homely, this is an absolute must for completely filling your belly and dosing up on ale. Based in traditional pub surroundings on Dereham Road, this boozer smashes all pretense of gastropub and collapsed Yorkshire puddings. Instead, think sea trout, ox tail and pork, smoked apple, duck hearts (sorry Daffy) and pigeon (looks like they finally caught it). Add 22 draught beers, and for the love of God drink an Elgood’s, brilliant desserts and large, airy surroundings. You may be wondering where Dereham Road is, but it’s simply at the tip of St. Benedicts Street, where so many of our other fine recommendations live. If anything you’ll be led down a road of beer and entertainment, directly into the welcoming arms (or antlers) of The Reindeer. We may be fishing too far into Britain’s pop culture here, but if anyone remembers the brilliant film ‘Robbie the Reindeer’, you’ll also recollect a classic ‘you are what you eat’ scene. Now this pub has nothing to do with animated animals whatsoever, but if what you are is wholesome, stomach stuffing, beautiful food (I feel that’s a personality type?), The Reindeer is certainly for you. And much like the film, it’s great to enjoy at Christmas.

//19 Food & Drink

The Rumsey Wells

As you have probably gathered, Norwich likes a good drink. But the thing is, there’s a good drink, and a very good drink. The Rumsey Wells on St. Andrews St is one such place that offers a bloody good beverage. If you aren’t content with their fantastic ale selection (even writing that sentence confuses me, how could that not be enough?), they also offer a brilliant range of bottled beers, a comprehensive spirit choice (including the odd and unusual, always with a regularly recommended tipple), well priced wines and more. This, combined with a food menu that can only be described as hearty and oh so satisfying, makes for an irresistible retreat. Set in an unusual, rabbit warren like building on the fringes of the main bustle of the city centre, The Rumsey Wells is a cosy and welcoming pub ideal for all seasons. Midsummer attracts people to the lovely covered courtyard at the rear, whilst winter keeps everyone glued to their sofas with a pint of stout and a good board game. As with many drinking spots in Norwich, it’s a brilliant meeting place for friends. A friendly and social atmosphere with booze aplenty, brilliant music (live in the superbly named Underbelly) and absolutely cracking pies, you’ll soon find a corner of your own to chat the night away. It’s easy in this guide to offer you the downfall of alcohol and the ballooning of your stomachs from homely meals, but if it’s something we’re good at, why not shout about it? The Rumsey Wells will take a little part of you but don’t worry, they’ll nurture it with hops, sausages and a rather generous smattering of fun.

//20 Food & Drink

Frank’s Bar Frank’s Bar is probably the closest thing Norwich has to a continental cafe. It’s a cosy little cafe/restaurant/bar situated on Bedford Street in The Lanes. Frank’s Bar offers great table service and it’s perfect for if you want to relax and have a full on meal, or sit and get drunk while playing board games with a group of friends. If you can get your mitts on the large bench at the back, it’s worth having a team game of Scrabble (even if it’s just to see who keeps leaving the triple word score open, they’re probably not worth being friends with anyway). Frank’s Bar is so relaxed that it’s practically horizontal. Food wise, Frank’s has a wide range of different menus. The usual lunch and dinner menu has some cool platters, and light meal starter type snack things called ‘Grazers’; much of the food has a Mediterranean feel. It also has special breakfast menu until midday, and (insert heavenly sound here) the lifesaving Sunday menu. The Sunday menu is basically breakfast food served all day, and as Leslie Knope says in Parks and Recreation:‘Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?’ Obviously the full English is there, but there are also toasted bagels, American style pancakes and variety of croissants. They also screen films on Sunday afternoons at 4.30pm so it’s a great place to go on an otherwise boring Sunday. Drink wise, Frank’s Bar leans towards the cocktail end of the spectrum, and are happy to have a go at making whatever cocktail you want. They also serve wine and draught beer, but we recommend asking for the cocktail that tastes like apple pie.

//21 Food & Drink

Bar Tapas

So normally night spots are divided up into eating, drinking, dancing, late night drinking and even later night drinking. Well for us it is anyway. Somehow Bar Tapas manages to fall in to every single one of these categories. As the name suggests, lovely Spanish appetizers (and brilliant meals) are on offer as well as much wine, beer and tequila. All of that a stones throw from the dead centre of Norwich, based above Brambles on Exchange Street. There’s something immensely enjoyable and secretive about this first floor bar, sneakily overlooking the passing public as you enjoy the heat of food and dancing. We have wondered if the doors ever close at Bar Tapas, as it always seems ready and willing for us, but late night is when the place really warms up. After you’ve enjoyed a nice civilized sit down with friends elsewhere over a couple of drinks, walk up the inviting staircase and witness exhausting salsa dancing over a cool beer. It’s the time of the evening that really makes you feel like you’ve stumbled across pure fun. As some places wind down, Bar Tapas is getting it’s bloody dancing shoes on. For almost 25 years this fantastic bar has made it’s presence felt in Norwich. However it’s always been subtle, it’s the place that creeps in to your subconscious when you’re thinking, ‘Where can I dance? And I mean really dance?’ There’s no pretension, no pressure but certainly patatas bravas. See what we did there? Ignore our dreadful alliteration, but not Bar Tapas.


Food & Drink

The Iron House The first thing you’ll notice about The Iron House is that it’s a beautiful building. The former bakery, then pub, had fallen into complete disrepair before becoming what it is today. What is it today you ask? It’s a contemporary and innovative café restaurant open for breakfast, drinks, light bites, lunch and of course dinner. “We want everyone who comes here to remember their experience, whether it’s an intimate dinner with a loved one, a special occasion with friends or just a relaxed working lunch… We wanted to create an oasis of calm in Norwich’s bustling city centre, while staying true to the building’s heritage as a place of entertainment and hospitality.” It’s a really good place to go if you want genuinely great food, let me italicise that, genuinely great food. There’s a lot of traditional European dishes with a modern take or twist, like the halloumi and mushroom ‘burger’ where the mushrooms act as the bun (it also comes with salsa, fries and pickle if that’s peaked your interest). The Iron House is a nice place to unwind and enjoy some great food and drink in a light, spacious environment. The way the building has been renovated blends the traditional and modern perfectly, and the same can be said of the food. Whatever mood you’re in, The Iron House is a safe bet if you just want some delicious food in a great looking environment.

//23 Food & Drink

Wild Thyme

Sitting above Rainbow Wholefoods in Labour In Vain Yard, is Wild Thyme, a brand new 100% vegetarian restaurant. When we say brand new, it was opened by Pip Wilkinson in November 2013. It is no coincidence that it uses a lot of Rainbow’s products as the two share very similar philosophies. They use locally sourced and organic produce when available, and are completely GM free. They’re a fully licensed restaurant, with coffee and cakes, available all day, and many vegan and gluten free options for meals such as stir fried vegetables marinated tofu with coconut and ginger rice noodles and toasted cashews. Wild Thyme puts the stereotype that vegan food is boring firmly to bed. As restaurants tend to be, Wild Thyme is open for a pre-theatre dinner and lunch, but it’s also open for breakfast as well! You might get a few funny looks if you try and order a falafel burger on a wholemeal bun with tzatziki winter slaw and oven baked sweet potato chips though. Wild Thyme’s spacious loft is available for functions and events too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vegetarian, vegan or not; whether you’re looking for a coffee and cake or a full meal, Wild Thyme is well worth a visit.

//24 Food & Drink

Redwell Brewery The Redwell Brewery don’t make energy drinks, they make incredible craft beer. How anyone can get those two things confused is well beyond us. Sitting under the railway arches in Trowse, it was set up by a group of friends with a passion for beer. Now most people would describe themselves as having a passion for beer, but this lot really do. They’re also the ‘father’ to The Norwich Tap House, which is the place to go for specialty beers. The Redwell Brewery hand craft lager and beer in small batches that now live in various establishments around the city, but also available from the brewery bar and shop. “Quality is everything to Redwell Brewery with taste coming before style, trends or money. Focussed on opening everyone’s minds and pallets to the exciting world of craft micro brewing… be prepared to be blown away by what a brewer with 20 years brewing experience can create…” Tasting tours of the brewery itself are available, so if you’re interested in a hands on, informative journey from inception to the glass, guided by a passionate brewer it’s one to look out for. There’s nothing quite like a fresh pint directly from the tank, trust us on that. It’s not just tours though, but a veritable beer related smorgasbord of events. There are night markets, live music events (think micro-festival) and even a pop up cinema from time to time. All to be enjoyed responsibly of course.

//25 Food & Drink

The Norwich Tap House

“What do you do? We sell 20 craft beers on tap and 50 by the bottle. Did you say 20 beers on tap?” Starting with a quote may seem a bit cheap, but the first thing that stands out about The Norwich Tap House is the row of twenty taps on the wall behind the bar. That may sound like a daunting amount of beer, but fear not, help is always at hand from the passionate, friendly staff. Even if you can’t choose from the constantly rotating beverages on the blackboard, you can always go for the tasting paddle which consists of three different third pints. If you really can’t decide and are feeling fearless, there may even be a twenty sided die kicking around somewhere… The Norwich Tap House is located on Redwell Street in the centre of the city, and it is no coincidence that the Redwell Brewery has the name it does. The two are basically parent and child. Just as the Redwell Brewery is Norwich’s first craft beer brewery, The Norwich Tap House is the city’s first craft beer pub. If you couldn’t guess, they have huge passion for craft beer, even to take away. They don’t just sell craft beer though, but also amazing spirits and wine from the bar to take away; they’re a fully-fledged artisan off licence. The long and the short of it is that the place looks amazing, the beers taste incredible, and the staff are super friendly and knowledgeable. Quite frankly, if you’re sick of drinking shoddy lagers or substandard ales, a trip to The Norwich Tap House is a must.

//26 Food & Drink

Appleyard & Co Sitting at 36 Exchange Street, just a bit further down the street from SevenWolves, is Appleyard & Co. Whether you’re looking to grab a coffee in the morning, a quick take away sandwich for lunch, or even fancy a big group dinner of plates to share, Appleyard & Co has you more than covered. It’s a cleanly styled, very spacious and relaxed food and wine bar, with different menus for dinner and lunch. For lunch they offer homemade gourmet sandwiches, soups and a wide variety of bistro dishes (think bread and olives, meze boards). For dinner they offer a great range of tapas style dishes, including a great baked camembert in pastry. If baked camembert in pastry doesn’t interest you, you probably don’t eat solid food yet. “We pride ourselves on using local, seasonal ingredients, and our ever-changing menus draw influence from around the world.” Appleyard & Co is fully licenced, stocking a range of local draught ales, various bottled beers from around the world, a carefully selected wine list, as well as regular cocktail specials and aperitifs. It’s not one of those eateries that’s going to scowl at you if you just want to pop in for a beer, a few cocktails and a good conversation with friends. At the weekends, like many of us, Appleyard & Co comes alive hosting a variety of musical events, from live acoustic bands to late night DJ parties. Every month they host art exhibitions featuring work from local artists, so we implore you to get in contact with them if you’re an artist interested in showing your work. They’re also available for private hire.

//27 Food & Drink

42 King Street

42 King Street is, shockingly, located on King Street. I’m guessing that we don’t have to put the number down as well. 42 King Street are purveyors of fine cocktails, coffee and cuisine; there’s an emphasis on the cocktails though. There are an incredible amount of well-made cocktails available and, when you order, you don’t just get a drink but also a lot of information about your drink. Did you know that the spirit used in your cocktail has changed since its inception, and during prohibition it wasn’t readily available, so this spirit was used instead giving it a different flavour because… You get the idea. If you’re into cocktails, this is the place to go. You’re not just limited to the menu either, 42 King Street makes bespoke drinks to cater to whatever you want. It’s not just all about the cocktails though as there’s a range of tapas available. You’ll notice the MASSIVE blackboard with the current menu on it when you enter. Everything is presented in small tapas bowls, which are great for sharing and well worth waiting for. It’s very, very cosy, intimately cosy, so it’s perfect for a quiet relaxed evening with a significant other. As well as the cocktails and food there’s also a solid wine list to match the food. There are also various events popping up there from time to time from live music to supper clubs.

//28 Food & Drink

Take 5 Take 5 is another Norwich institution. Filled with memories of students, musicians, artists and drinkers past, everyone has spent at least one significant night here. Be it sat down over hours and hours of ale drinking or drenched in underground dance sweat, Take 5 has that brilliant ability to stay with you for one reason or another. Also, being based in a beautiful, historic building on Tombland, eating and drinking here affords you the luxury of being directly opposite Norwich’s iconic Cathedral. Take 5 almost escapes definition. At any given moment it can play host to groups of regulars, having frequented the pub for years, or students working over endless cups of coffee. The basement area, the Crypt, has been the location for some of the most iconic music nights in Norwich history. Club nights, intimate gigs and secret shows have all had their fair share of the crypt pie. You can spend countless evenings here without even noticing you could have been there in the day time too, eating good, simple food and enjoying a glass of wine. And winter, what winter? A roaring fire and cosy, intimate surroundings ensure you’ll never get cold until you, eventually, have to leave. As with many other places mentioned here, Take 5 is a spot to really take your time with. An intimate atmosphere, filled with great drinks and great people. Come back again and again, day or night, and you will be richly rewarded.

//29 Food & Drink


Roots is a brand new farm shop/bistro/coffee house located on Pottergate in the Norwich lanes. Everything from Roots is locally sourced as you’d expect from a farm shop/bistro/coffee house. The salads are grown in Newton Flotman, the coffee is from Wilkinsons around the corner, the breads are baked daily in the Golden Triangle, and all their lagers and ales are from Norfolk. “Our aim is to provide a relaxed, family friendly environment to have a great meal whether that be in the café of bistro. We make every effort to educate you on our food, our suppliers and give you a great level of service. The ethos of our business is to source locally and this is reflected in our seasonal menus.” Roots is a beautiful Grade II listed building, and as such is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Norfolk ploughman’s lunch, a local cheese board or a hearty soup of the day. Dinner is as Norfolk as it gets, with roast turkey breast and handmade venison sausages on offer. Sitting in Roots and enjoying a ploughman’s lunch, surrounded by hay bales and pitchforks takes you back to a simpler time where you may just have been out in the fields enjoying the serenity that nature brings.

//30 Food & Drink

The Ten Bells Do you like Whiskey? Or do you like Whisky? Either way you spell it, The Ten Bells has the largest selection of the stuff in the city. Sitting on St. Benedicts Street, opposite the Norwich Arts Centre, The Ten Bells has a great variety of craft cocktails from the originals to the classics. Don’t worry if whiskey/whisky isn’t your thing though because they have a huge range of rum, gin, tequila, and everything in between. The 5 spice Dark & Stormy is incredible (this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like rum), and you can never go wrong with an Old Fashioned. Even if spirits aren’t your thing there’s a rotating selection of four Cask Marque approved real ales. If none of that sounds appealing, you probably shouldn’t be in a pub should you? Well there is some wine there too, and draught beer obviously, and regular live music. There’s even food from Friday at five through the weekend. At the weekend, The Ten Bells plays host to the Harbercue, an American style barbecue from Norwich’s original backyard smokehouse. “We cook guuuud ol’ American style smoked barbecue, rich in flavour and steeped in American tradition. Sourcing only the best in local meat from Swannington Farm it’s then cooked ‘low and slow’ in our backyard pit for 13-16 hours.” The smoked barbeque is the perfect accompaniment to a smoked whiskey/ whisky (there’s even a ‘Tobacco Old Fashioned’ made with tobacco liqueur), maybe throw a cigar into the mix too if you dare. There’s not just smoked everything though, but a variety of battered objects too. If it’s not smoked it’s usually battered or spicy, and in the case of the battered jalapenos it’s both.

Shops & Services

//32 Shops and Services

The Book Hive

We all know that Waterstones exists, and we’re all aware of the tax dodging, small business crushing behemoth that is Amazon. But in Norwich we are lucky to have the services of The Book Hive. Situated on London Street on the fringes of The Lanes, is a three tiered, crooked book shop offering the best in true American novels, great masterpieces, sumptuous cookery tomes, children’s pop-ups, philosophy, popular science, and one whole floor dedicated to all of the art that you could ever wish for. Chairs, yes real usable chairs, are at hand for you to sit for hours and browse the pages of fresh smelling books. Feel free to order in brain liquefying chick-lit but you won’t find it on the shelves. Handpicked reads, chosen for their literary merit, fantastic storytelling and beautiful design are the order of the day here. The Book Hive was opened 4 years ago in the eye of the recession storm and has weathered it ever since as Norwich’s only independent. Challenging the naysayers and doom peddlers, it’s doors have stayed firmly open every day of the week. As well as your simple, honest books there are regular events and readings, appearances at local festivals and special order services to ensure you will always (in theory) find the book that you are looking for. Recently they have even launched ‘A Book Hive Year’, a bespoke subscription service where you can receive one glorious book a month for a whole year. Magic. As Neil Gaiman wrote,‘It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul’. And this, we imagine, is the kind of place he means. Saving yourself three quid here and there to have next-day delivery (which The Book Hive offers anyway) from a faceless company sure sounds practical, but does it really match the excitement of browsing for hours on end in a well-loved and independent bookshop? We think not.

//33 Shops & Services


Now you may be thinking, what the hell is Thorns? And when we tell you, you may still be a little confused. Thorns is a one hundred and eighty year old DIY shop just down the road from the main shopping street of Norwich, Gentleman’s Walk. We’re underselling them there, they describe themselves as ‘DIY and so much more’, which is completely true. One question that crops up in everyone’s mind semi-regularly is ‘where can I get that thing? You know, the thing I need, for that...thing.’ Well look no further than this incredible, labyrinthian wonder of a hardware store. Opposite Sevenwolves on Exchange Street, this shop is crammed with nails, bath taps, timber, screwdrivers, lightbulbs, spectacle repair kits, paint, padlocks, candles and the odd saucepan. You will, as we have, get lost. It’s a sort of Norwich trial by fire, go in to Thorns and attempt to come back out of the same door that you went in only minutes before. In the same vein as so many other shops we mention in this guide, this business is all about tradition and independence. You don’t really get more Norwich than this. Sure it may not feed you exciting food or take you on a wild night out with your friends, but what happens the next day when you get home and your house is a sh*t hole? What about that lightbulb you placed in the microwave in a drunken stupor? Or the bannister you ripped off the wall, mattress surfing down the stairs in stage one of house olympics? Thorns has your back, as long as they aren’t holding one of their professional chef’s knives.

//34 Shops & Services


Dogfish & Catfish are brother and sister clothing stores. Arriving on the scene in 1992 they’ve been going strong ever since. Catfish sits on Exchange Street, under it’s older brother Sevenwolves, and Dogfish can be found on Bedford Street in The Lanes (kind of opposite Frank’s Bar). Both shops have a warm and friendly atmosphere and are a pleasure to shop in. The ‘family’ of Dogfish, Catfish and Sevenwolves, is where most of us here tend to go for our duds. To put it simply, they only really stock well-made, fashionable designer clothes and footwear. “Catfish pride themselves on being able to carry some of the most desirable labels in ladies fashion. With collections selected with their customers in mind their aim is to both continuously evolve their range while keeping loyal clientele coming back each season.” Catfish is the womenswear side of the family, and everything is of the highest quality; they carry lots of Vivenne Westwood, Fred Perry, Barbour and too much more to list. Catfish is basically the place to go if you want the good stuff, it comes at a premium, but in this case you really are getting what you pay for. You’ll find an eclectic mix of luxurious street-wear and a comprehensive, cutting edge collection of jewellery and footwear.

//35 Shops & Services


Dogfish is the younger brother, taking care of the menswear and streetwear side of things. Dogfish carries a wide variety of brands such as Carhartt, Fred Perry, Nike, Nudie, Obey, Stussy and Billionaire Boys Club. They constantly champion and support new emerging brands; they’ve been really supportive of us being one of the first places to stock the SHhhh Collective range. The staff there have great knowledge of what’s happening locally like music, club nights, break dancing lessons and where to get a good breakfast from. They’re also closely associated with some of the cities vibrant nights: Tropico, The Plugg presents and they occasionally team up with their friendly neighbours Frank’s Bar for a wild little party named Frankfish. “Everyone who has stepped a foot through our doors will remember the relaxed and easy going shopping environment we create.” Both stores have a very strong online presence, with Dogfish having the more active Twitter and blog. Their respective online stores do a great job of capturing the essence of what the physical stores are all about, a warm, personal retail experience. “Our aim is to mirror this ethos through the online store giving you a secure, stress-free, enjoyable shop, delivered to your front door, wherever you are in the world!”

//36 Shops & Services

Brambles Imagine the scene: you’re sitting at home relaxing, maybe watching some old episodes of The Simpsons, or maybe even doing some work. Then you get a message (either a text or on Facebook, it’s your imagination) ‘Birthday drinks tonight, see you there.’ Hot damn it’s someone’s birthday and you’ve completely forgotten about it; that’s where Brambles comes in. Located on Exchange Street, Brambles is a one stop gift bonanza set up by former students of the Norwich University of the Arts. It’s a quirky, not so little, gift shop with its own picture framing workshop, and HUGE variety of cards, picture frames and stationary. It’s basically impossible to describe all the different knick knacks and do-das as Brambles stocks all the little things you could possibly want, and all the things you didn’t know you wanted. Yes you do now want that tiny Henry the Hoover, that emergency poncho, that classic bike horn, and more magnets. It’s not just gifts though, Brambles is a great place to check out if you need those odd bits and bobs to furnish a new place. They have an extensive selection of prints and posters to brighten up those bare walls, and they also stock the ever fashionable LAVA LAMPS. If lava lamps aren’t your thing you can also get an array or paper lanterns and lampshades.

//37 Shops & Services

Phillip’s Cameras

If user comments on Flickr are anything to go by, ‘Phillip’s Cameras is great for a long chat. Knows his stuff. Won’t rob you’. This is, aside from being a slightly blunt endorsement, completely true. If you need to know anything about camera equipment in Norwich, this is the place to go. And the shop sums up everything you’d want from an independent seller. Situated on Wensum Street, just before Fye Bridge, this camera shop is bursting at the seams with years and years of photographic history, equipment and technical know-how. Whether you’re in the market for a beginner’s Pentax film SLR, a vintage Leica or need help with your fancy, top of the range digital monster, Phil is here to help. Buying or selling, there is always time to get what you need. It may be small but we’d be surprised if you couldn’t find, or at least find out about, your camera solution. Lenses, film, tripods, batteries, straps, flashes are all here too, just ask away. As with so many creative industries, including shops we’ve mentioned in this guide, we are bombarded in the press with stories of decline and bust. And yet again a shop like Phillip’s Cameras is bucking the trend. He’s been solving problems for amateurs, professionals, arts students and casual snappers for a long time. And as our user review pointed out, ‘he won’t rob you’. There’s no photo snobbery, no baffling jargon and certainly no attempt to price you out of the market. Expect honesty, a fair deal and, as with all great shops, some brilliant conversation.

//38 Shops & Services

Drug Store It’s pretty simple, if you live and skate in Norwich, you really should be spending most of your time in Drug Store. It’s the city’s own skateboarding haven, smack bang in the middle of The Lanes, on the cobbled street of Pottergate. One more specialist store that we can safely say defies snobbery and the dreaded ‘do you know ANYTHING about the goods you are trying to purchase?’ A small, inviting shop front and a sign assuring you that no actual drugs are for sale, lead you into the brilliant Drug Store. As with any business worth it’s weight in grip tape (I imagine that’s a fair few bob), this place has everything covered. 6 years of skater owned inventory has resulted in a wealth of boards, accessories, shoes, apparel and their city wide recognized t-shirts. If you need any help with set-up, recommendations or the odd fashion tip, your friendly neighbourhood skaters will be there to assist you with your every need. Just don’t bring in a scooter. As we mentioned, it’s not all about skating here. Sure it’s the one stop shop for gear but it’s as much about clothing you in some of the finest street wear around. All seasons are covered, from trainers to tees, beanies to sweaters. And the aforementioned Drug Store t-shirts, as close as Norwich gets to an iconic piece of branding. As well as their own clothing, they stock ranges from Palace, Diamond, Supply Co, Nike SB, Adidas, Vans, Altamont, Thrasher, Dickies, Rip n Dip, Bohnam, Brixton Ltd, Polar Skate Co, The National Skateboard co, Skateboard Cafe, Emerica and more. One problem you may discover is Drug Store’s ability to always have what you need and tweeting you to let you know. ‘Look at this beautiful shiny object, you love it don’t you?’ Yes, yes we do, we’ll buy 7 please. Luckily for you everything is well worth opening the wallet for, making sure that in no time you’ll be a loyal and happy customer. It’s not pharmaceutical, but it is bloody great.


Shops & Services

Blossom Records

As with a lot of specialist independent shops, they are more often than not a rare bird. So when Blossom Records became our second independent record store, we knew that this could only be a good thing. Norwich at one time had several vinyl emporiums and we hope that this is the beginning of an era akin to those golden days. Sure the industry has changed and sure we’re being told that vinyl is a dying medium but blah blah blah rubbish. People want a record the same way they want a physical book or magazine. Art, pleasure and musical ownership all combine to make this shop a great addition to the Norwich landscape. Tucked away down Bridewell Alley, Blossom Records boats 1000’s of new and reissued records available to order, as well as a brilliant selection always at hand. And one thing that’s a given with an independent record store is knowledgeable and passionate staff. You don’t just open a shop like this on a whim. Helpful, friendly and above all, music lovers are at hand to help you with any music based quandaries. As Fat Mike from NOFX once said, “If it wasn’t for independent record stores, I would be a San Fernando valley real estate agent.”

//40 Shops & Services

Sevenwolves Sevenwolves is Dogfish’s older, more sophisticated brother, following the same ethos as it’s younger siblings; it sits on Exchange Street above Catfish. “Sevenwolves was born out of a desire to showcase the outstanding quality the last few years of men’s fashion has created. Aimed at the mature customer with a refined and discerning taste in clothes, our line-up at Sevenwolves has been carefully curated to reflect the best brands on offer: Norse Projects, Oliver Spencer, Folk Clothing, Patagonia, Libertine Libertine, Loake 1880, Universal Works, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Edwin, and more.” When you think of Sevenwolves, think of a Berlin like style: simple, considered and distinguished. Sevenwolves is all about the subtlety within the world of fashion, focusing on the individual details that create a ‘look’, rather than throwing things together to see what sticks.

//41 Shops & Services

Jarrolds Jarrolds is, quite simply, the Norwich institution. It’s an independently run department store, with the flagship store sitting on London Street, with Office Stationary & Equipment next door, Pilch Sports down the road, The Granary on Bedford Street (for furniture and home accessories), and specialist stores dotted around Norfolk. Take a guess who sponsored Norwich City F.C’s Jarrold Stand, it wasn’t Marks and Sparks. “A family run department store since 1823, Jarrolds sit proudly in the heart of the city. Jarrolds reflects Norwich perfectly, combining a unique and contemporary shopping experience with a sense of heritage; a mix that helps make us East Anglia’s favourite independent store.” With every department, Jarrolds look to have the highest quality product coupled with the best customer service. Need to find the perfect perfume? Talk to one of their many beauty stylists in their fantastic beauty hall. Making someone a card or need arts supplies? They have you covered. Want to order in a specific Lego set for a child (or yourself)? Take a trip upstairs to their toy department. Even if you fancy a coffee and bite to eat they have four cafes and restaurants in store, including Chapters, a new coffee bar. There isn’t time or space to write about their incredible book department, or massive range of perfume and beauty products, or every brand that each department offers (it is however one of the few places in the city stocking Mont Blanc pens), but what I will say is this: I worked there when I was about eighteen and it was one of the nicest jobs, with the friendliest staff, I’ve ever had. Jarrolds genuinely care about the customer, and will do anything and everything to help, even if it means running up five flights of stairs to see if they have those particular trousers in a different size.

//42 Shops & Services

Future Radio If you tune your radio to 108.7FM, or at on, you know, the internet you’ll find Future Radio, a speech, arts and music alternative community radio station with over 170 volunteers. Broadcasting to 42,000 listeners a month across Norwich and beyond. With an eclectic, BBC 6Music-style daytime playlist that showcases new music from emerging artists. Future Radio also has over 40 specialist music shows, which play a huge range of genres. I’m going to list some music genres here; you can either read them, or imagine various music genres and maybe jump ahead a few lines. The genres include: house, dubstep, indie rock, folk, gospel, drum & bass, film & TV soundtracks, reggae, funk, Motown, Latin, and electronica. Future Radio prides itself in having listeners such as Morrissey and Blur’s Alex James, even Stephen Fry has emailed into shows saying he was listening. “Future Radio was one of the first community radio stations to be awarded a full-time licence by Ofcom. We produce more live local content and commissions more drama than any other radio station in the region…We pride ourselves on commissioning content and dedicated shows for people that are not catered to elsewhere, including the Chinese, Polish and South African communities.”

Future Radio is more than just an Alan Partridge style local radio station; the sort that will forever be associated with Norwich. Its weekly arts and culture show Platform on Sundays at 5pm is a particular highlight, giving airtime to the thriving local arts scene. The Josh Show on Wednesdays at 3pm is another treat, leaning towards the soul and jazz end of the musical spectrum. Planet of Sound on Monday nights at 10pm is your new music style show, with a lot of local bands being aired as well as indie style classics and, oddly, grime. Dotted throughout the week is The People’s Playlist, open to anyone in Norwich, the show allows members of the public to present their own show, selecting and introducing the twelve songs that mean the most to them. It’s also worth noting that Future Radio was awarded the 2012 Broadcast & Press Award at the Norfolk Arts Awards. It was named by OFCOM as the station whose listeners were the most engaged, ahead of the BBC, Heart & Galaxy (Future of Small Scale Radio-Ofcom August 2011).

//43 Shops & Services

Creative Giant

Now, not every business in this guide needs to be a high street shopfront. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the businesses behind the businesses. Creative Giant are one such company, a boutique design studio offering everything from bespoke font and logo design and illustration to social media campaigns and advertising. Someone had to mastermind the plan to bring the Alan Partridge premiere to its rightful home in Norwich, and Creative Giant were those such people. “We approach each project with equal enthusiasm and passion. Listening first, we then think openly, react strategically and move forward creatively in order to develop and deliver results that engage directly with your audience across all platforms, creating a lasting experience.” Established by Rob Wilkes, graphic designer and general music/design/ culture nut, Creative Giant have been offering their custom design services since 2006. They state their ethos as a ‘combining a love of design, popular culture and, most recently, social media to deliver forward thinking strategy.’ Creative Giant back up their vision with an impressive client list, including MTV, Mayor of London, Norwich City Council, Redwell Brewery, Dogfish and more.

//44 Shops & Services

Ink & Stitch We really like businesses that tell us exactly what they offer, immediately. Ink & Stitch are the pinnacle of this form of direct advertising as they provide both the services of printing and embroidery. On St. Andrews Hill, just around the corner from The Book Hive, this shop has been specialising in these garment processes for almost ten years. However, if you are too lazy to make the walk all the way in to the city centre, Ink & Stitch will deal with all quotes and queries online. Including Skype, of which personally I think should be the medium for all business transactions. Then all work could be done from the comfort of one’s own bed, with just enough low lighting on the webcam to ensure full modesty is preserved. Coupled with embroidery, their printing services incorporate direct to garment, screen printing and vinyl transfer. All of these methods are put in place to create items of clothing as varied as football kits and KUNG FU CEREMONIAL GOWNS. Imagine getting that call, ‘I need a quote for some ceremonial gowns please’. On a serious note, Ink & Stitch make a (needle) point of using high quality garments and only the most experienced staff, ensuring that you get serious threads for your buck. If the gown example didn’t already explain this to you, Ink and Stitch will go out of their way to try and find a solution to your needs, no matter how niche your printing problem. More importantly, they offer a rather comprehensive Hen & Stag Party service. I genuinely cannot think of a better way of spending my day, sitting on Skype, planning the most ridiculous outfits in the world.

//45 Shops & Services

Taxi Vintage

The covered market in the centre of Norwich is filled with a rich history and a vibrant collection of local businesses. Taxi Vintage is a prime example of why this area is so important. Situated at the back of the market, under the gaze of the War Memorial, is this brilliant stall offering the best in retro and vintage garments. I don’t know about you but I bloody love a good Hawaiian shirt, it makes me feel like a social nightmare from the mid 90’s and tempts me to get frosted tips in my hair. There aren’t many friendlier faced proprietors than Mark Wright either, a man with a genuine passion for all things vintage. He even went as far as installing a heated changing room, yes, a heated changing room. Don’t feel afraid to ask for fashion advice either, your style guru from Whitechapel is always at hand. There’s no ‘secret business knowledge’ upcycled price hike either, just honest buying and selling of great clothes. If you are going to be spending time at the market in Norwich, which of course you should be, Taxi Vintage has to be one of your stops. As Mark says... “People can get clothes from New York and Berlin, the boutique cities of the world, all on the back row of Norwich market”. Even if you don’t buy anything on your first visit, you will have a damn good time browsing and chinwagging with a styrofoam cup of coffee.

//46 Shops & Services

Philip Browne Philip Browne has been servicing the fashion needs of discerning Norwich-men for over 25 years, bringing us the best in Vivienne Westwood, Moncler, Belstaff, Matchless, Barbour, Stone Island Shadow Project, Adidas Originals and many other names synonymous with high quality menswear. On Guildhall Hill, this store combines beautiful garments and accessories with years of passion. We know that if that one luxury brand is what we need, Philip Browne is the place to go. And what should always go hand in hand with high end products? High end customer service. Something that is apparent from the moment you step foot through the door. A. The staff actually care, we mean really care about the products they sell, and B. They won’t force a single sale on you. It sounds like a cheesy brand slogan but it’s true, they are there to find the right choice for you. To really put into perspective the fashion know-how and passion of Philip Browne, this shop sold the first collections of such designers as Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier. If that doesn’t butter your sartorial muffin, you must be cold and dead inside. We understand that price is always a consideration, but as with so many other businesses, fashion has it’s own broad spectrum. If you are looking for the best in quality, design and staff knowledge, you really needn’t look further than Philip Browne. Helping to remind us that shopping can be an experience and not just a necessity, this really is a store that has earned it’s respect and heritage.

//47 Shops & Services

Rag & Bone

The sight of a poverty stricken man collecting unwanted junk from people’s houses may have died out, but at least his job title has been reconstituted as a tattoo studio. And a damn good one at that. Situated on the first floor of Philip Browne on Guildhall Hill (the brilliant menswear shop mentioned elsewhere in this guide), Rag & Bone is a fantastic new addition to the Norwich tattooing scene. The shop may be new but the artists at work here certainly aren’t, you may have already heard of Wink Evans, a respected name synonymous with the tattoo scene here, and in the wider world. Originally set up by Wink and fellow tattooist Brad Ward, Rag & Bone combines years of experience to provide a knowledgeable, professional and highly creative environment. Based in a light, airy studio, the artists pride themselves on original artwork and fully bespoke, one off pieces. Rag & Bone also regularly invite guest tattooists to add to the already burgeoning talent pool in the shop. Since opening this year, they have already hosted the likes of Caesar and Gary Burns, ensuring a constant flow of exciting work. As with all areas of tattooing, there are always many decisions to make. However the most important one will always be choosing to work with professional, experienced artists. Rag & Bone combines this high level of quality with intelligent and creative art to ensure you always receive the best possible tattoo. Don’t shop around for a life decision, go with the best.

//48 Shops & Services

Rainbow Wholefoods Rainbow Wholefoods is a shop that, surprisingly, sells food, 100% vegetarian, GM-free and, as often as not, organic wholefoods. It’s also a wholesale warehouse, despatching over 5000 products over land and sea to anywhere and everywhere. Tucked away in Norwich’s Labour in Vain Yard, underneath Wild Thyme, it’s only a short distance away from the original Rainbow Wholefoods that was started by Richard Austin in 1976. “We’re deeply committed to stocking decent products, treating people decently and charging a fair price for what we do. Rainbow Wholefoods is firmly opposed to animal testing and we’ve campaigned vigorously against GM products. Our shop and warehouse were the first in the UK to be completely GM-free.” The Rainbow Wholefoods staff are some of the friendliest and most helpful people we’ve ever encountered. Staff are generally friendly but these guys go above and beyond friendly; it’s the staff themselves which makes Rainbow’s beliefs so strong. The products available are fantastic, from the small things such as an apple flapjack or a bag of quinoa, through to their smoked tofu and meatfree ‘meats’. It crushes the misconception that vegetarian and vegan foods are somehow boring. Rainbow Wholefoods have never altered their reason for being: to offer customers the finest range of wholefoods they possibly can, at reasonable prices and to trade in a responsible way.

//49 Shops & Services

The Orange Grove Clinic

The award winning The Orange Grove Clinic makes it simple for you to do yourself good. It really is as simple as that. They provide over 30 different complementary therapies by professionally trained experts, alongside a range of health boosting products, workshops, personal development and training. “…our centre is the hub for good health in East Anglia. We know that sometimes life can be tiring and stressful so come and see us for a calm but fresh approach to health - whether you’re looking for an afternoon of pampering massage, a therapeutic back treatment or support for pregnancy, specific health problems or help through difficult times - we are an expert one stop shop for all your complementary health needs, offering inspiring and enriching products, advice and therapies to boost your wellbeing.” So if you’re feeling a long way from home and need a bit of TLC, someone to talk to or just a comforting back rub, then do get in touch. Obviously if you think there’s something seriously wrong you should go to doctor; if pieces are falling off you, maybe call an ambulance! The Orange Grove Clinic’s dedicated and highly qualified team of complementary health experts will provide you individual care, tailored to you individual health needs, both at their clinic and online. There’s no reason not to check it out, it is your health after all.

//50 Shops & Services


Sitting on Pottergate in the Norwich Lanes is Ethika, a lifestyle store where the focus is on sourcing fairly and locally traded products underpinned by a stylish and strong aesthetic. Ethika retails a little bit of everything, from clothing, homewares, jewellery and accessories to fair trade chocolate and local organic vegan truffles! Their featured brands include: Braintree Hemp, Sahara, Flax; local designers Twisted Tailor, Marian Eve Williams; Alison Varley, June Croll, Aviva Leigh; Bentley Organic, and Love and Chocolate to name a few. “Dedicated to fairtrade, Ethika is an elegant yet functional lifestyle choice for the practical and sophisticated.” Aesthetically, Ethika’s retail space reflects its products and philosophy. At its heart there’s a Scandinavian/Germanic base style, but with a Japanese twist. Ethika follows the Bauhaus ideal that form follows function, that the design of an item is a result of its functionality, and that there are no unnecessary artistic frills, but instead, no distinction between form and function. It may seem strange truffles at the same different. Knitwear other and, luckily,

that we talk about Bauhaus and local organic vegan time, but Ethika blends seamlessly the seemingly and chocolate should be sold within feet of each Ethika won’t put the two in the same bag for you.

//51 Shops & Services


Located on St. Benendicts Street is Flint, one of the more popular hair salons in the city. With a strong focus on quality technique and attention to detail, their philosophy is to create a mix of the traditional and modern in a relaxed environment. It is run by Conor O’Brien, who has been from Norwich to London via Paris, and then back to Norwich. Flint’s haircuts are unassuming and unpretentious but pretty damn fantastic, subtly outstanding is probably the best way to describe them. They take care of your every hair based need, so it’s easy to relax and get lost in their selection of books and magazines without a worry. “Every element of Flint, from the chairs you sit in to the hair style you leave with, is carefully crafted and thought out with clean, strong and technical precision in its services... We’re about keeping a cut simple and well structured, paying attention to every detail and, ultimately, giving people a haircut they can wash and go and not spend hours getting right.” Flint isn’t just a hair salon but also a gallery of sorts as well. Its transient design allows it to play host to a variety of exhibitions and events. These usually include photography, illustration, comedy and/or music. Hell Flint could be doing anything, anytime; the only real way to keep up with everything is either popping by or following them on Twitter.

//52 Shops & Services

Aladdin’s Cave To put it simply, Aladdin’s Cave is a 12,000 square foot antiques centre on Magdalen Street. Yes, it’s really that big. We like a place that you can get lost in (see Thorns) and this is a perfect example. Boasting over 30 years of antiques and collectables experience, this gigantic treasure trove is a great way to spend a Saturday. Be prepared for a possible pedestrian collision as you walk past however, the window displays always range from the esoteric to the beautiful. Unlike some shops, it doesn’t narrow itself to the very rare and expensive, nor the kitsch and tacky, Aladdin’s Cave has literally EVERYTHING. I couldn’t possibly list everything but I will try. Deep breath. Model boats, taxidermy, armchairs, books, comics, jewellery, suits, suitcases, service medals, football programmes, glassware, fishing gear, cut throat razors, baby dolls, globes, toby jugs, walking sticks, stetsons... You get the picture. It’s brilliant. Whether you want a flippant, fun purchase or a serious investment, the staff at Aladdin’s Cave will advise you accordingly. Open, honest help from antiques aficionados with no pressure to instantly buy a suit of armour. The important thing to note is that Aladdin’s Cave pride themselves on the notion of a bargain. For any regular person on the street looking for an exciting purchase, this is the place to go.

//53 Shops & Services

The Den

The Den is a brand new barber shop located on Lower Goat Lane that opened up in mid-2013. It’s the perfect place to pop into if you’re in need of a good, quick, cheap trim rather than a larger than life art piece on your bonce. We’ve all had those haircuts where you come out of the place looking f***ing fantastic, but as soon as you go to sleep that haircut is lost in the ether forever; this is not the case with The Den. They have a bit more about them than just short back and sides though. There’s no need to book with The Den, it’s a walk in and take a seat kind of place. Maybe have a peruse of the magazines, a friendly chat about fantasy football with the staff, or just look at your own beautiful face in the mirror (which is what most of us do). A haircut at The Den is going to cost you £10 with an N.U.S card, that’s cheaper than 3 pints of beer; it’s a no brainer really. At the time of print, the walls of The Den are a little bare, but they’re looking to use it as a space to showcase local artist’s work; so get in touch.

Clubs & Culture

//55 Clubs & Culture

Norwich Arts Centre It’s a fairly simple formula really; take a beautiful 650 year old church, add decades of musical heritage, a sprinkle of comedy, performance art and education, and a brilliantly stocked bar. The result of this entertainment experiment? The Norwich Arts Centre. Growing up in Norwich, chances are you watched your first gig here, played your first gig here or ended up getting a job here. It’s one of those brilliant, city-wide loved spaces that everyone should have in their life. Located on St. Benedicts Street, this fantastic old building has opened it’s doors to acts as far reaching as Nirvana and The Manic Street Preachers, Dylan Moran and David Baddiel. The quality of booking and entertainment never wavers at The Norwich Arts Centre, be it jazz or pop, alternative comedy or live theatre. Just to reiterate, you get to watch all of this, in a church. Not a massive, Sacre-Coeur type affair. We’re talking intimate and cosy. Like watching live music with your local parish vicar waiting in the wings. The cafe/bar area is as much of a night out as the main room itself, with live music regularly taking place here too. You can peer down from the mezzanine with a pint of local ale or fresh g&t in hand (if you spill your drink on another punter’s head, you are fully at fault, believe me). Take a gamble, buy a ticket for something you have never heard of, and the chances are you’ll find your new favourite music or medium. Independent, charitable and inspirational, The Norwich Arts Centre fully deserves it’s place at the heart of our entertainment scene.

//56 Clubs & Culture


Tropico is a collective of crate digging, melon wielding, palm tree swinging party throwers, DJs and designers hailing from the fine cobbled streets of Norwich. Originally coming together through social connections between the SHhhh Collective and Dogfish, Tropico has evolved organically into a group of friends with an insatiable desire for good music, relentless dancing and all things fruity. Since its inception the ethos of the Tropico brand has remained simple: To bring the sunshine, whenever and wherever possible. To make you smile and dance is the primary goal and anything else is a bonus. Tropico pops up in a few locations, mostly in Hideout on the last Friday of each month, and at various other venues around the city and further afield. There have, for instance, been regular Tropico sightings at Bam Bams, Franks Bar, OPEN and in store at Dogfish and Sevenwolves. Always a group to make friends, Tropico even have a hook up with Nando’s Norwich, who add the Peri-Peri pièce de résistance to all their events, bequeathing free chicken vouchers to all involved. Look out for them! And while the Tropico family love to throw their own parties, they have also had the pleasure of playing alongside the likes of Gilles Peterson, Submotion Orchestra, Onra, Bombay Bicycle Club and Crazy P. On their own, or with friends, this fun-loving lot will provide all the dancing (and chicken) you can shake a melon at. For bookings contact

//57 Clubs & Culture


If you’re looking for a drink and a dance, Hideout is the place to go. Sitting on Queens Street, this place is the home of independent and underground music. It houses most of Norwich’s best promoters and obviously we’re a bit biased as Tropico (which is our metaphorical baby) has its roots here. Basically if you’re looking for a messy one, the kind of night that ends up with spilt kebabs and a 4am wait for a taxi, this is the club for you. Hideout is home to 808, Tropico, Deep Trouble, Pow, Just Is, Bassjam, Sadiqi and many other independent club nights hailing from this fine city.

//58 Clubs & Culture

Moonshine Moonshine formed primarily as an excuse to play the music they enjoy, and to share a more diverse selection than can often be found in the city. They can be found sporadically at Bedford’s Crypt, a celebration of music from the world over. The resident DJ’s Ronnie Orbit, Terminator, and Broad Appeal spin garage, afro, psychedelia, funk, soul and disco almost entirely on vinyl. Each event sees a headline DJ take to the decks, previous guests have included some of Norwich’s finest selectors: The Anthropologist and Keith Slater of Boiling Point. Projections, lights and shit load of smoke transform the Crypt into an intoxicating space to dance into the early hours. “Moonshine is not just a club night; it’s a nightclub... for the night.”

//59 Clubs & Culture

Sounds Like Music

Sounds Like Music has an ethos of supporting underground music and bringing it to the people, communicating good vibes and that feeling of oneness that all good dance floors should have. With Sounds Like Music it’s not about the DJ but the music and the people that are experiencing it together. “Sounds Like Music is Alex Black, Carl Muir and The Anthropologist. We started the night at Take 5 two years ago in October. We all share a common love of black music and have all been involved in putting on nights prior to Sounds like Music’s inception, Alex and Carl were involved in running Nightmoves in Brighton before moving back to Norwich and I have been involved in various nights for around 24 years including the Marvel alongside Damien which ran for 11 years at The Loft.” We try not to get too hung up on musical genres but you can expect to hear soul, hip hop, house, garage, reggae, dancehall, disco, jazz, afro played predominately on vinyl drawn from a collective musical knowledge of around 50 years.

//60 Clubs & Culture

Moosey Art Moosey Art is a street art curation company, stemming from Frazer Bailey’s passion for all things street art. They curate and promote for some of the biggest artists in the world along with a host of local talent, attempting to bridge the gap between talent and success by aiding those who maybe aren’t able to help themselves. “Our aim is to promote local talent and supply the tools for these young artists to excel outside of Norwich. On the other hand we aim to bring as many global street art superstars to Norwich as we can. In our first major show in Norwich “Art in my Mouth” this year we managed to bring in the London Police, Mr Penfold, My Dog Sighs and place their work right next to local up and coming Norwich artists.” Moosey Art have big plans for the future, both in Norwich and further afield. Keep an eye out for the Moosey Art and SHhhh collective team up for Get Walls. If any young artists coming across this guide want to be involved in future shows or need help getting their work out there, give Frazer an email at

//61 Clubs & Culture

Get Walls

Get Walls is a collaborative art project involving ourselves and Moosey Art, and the idea is simple. Get walls to paint on. The aim is to gain approved permission to paint on residential and commercial properties in Norwich, working with local and guest artists in order to decorate and brighten up the city. When a lot of people think of street art, or graffiti, they think of a rubbish tag, by a hooded vandal, on the side of a bridge that you can see from a train. This is not what Get Walls are about. Get Walls wish to (legally) liven up the city, and contribute to its culture, while also giving artists the opportunity to showcase their art to a wider audience (and hopefully inspire others). They also believe that a city with a lot of public art acts as a tourist attraction and generates interest in a city. You see it on the continent with Berlin and Amsterdam, and in Britain with cities such as Brighton and Bristol having reputations as having bright, vibrant and youthful art scenes, with a large amount of visible (and legal) street art. Even in Norwich recently the ‘Gorillas’, whether you liked them or not, generated tourist interest. If something is encouraging creative pursuits, and enabling artists to showcase them, it is very special indeed. If you’re interested in having you walls painted please contact Frazer Bailey at

//62 Clubs & Culture


Norwich is, without a doubt, a fantastic city for arts and entertainment. A great example of this is OPEN. Not content with a spanking great big thousand capacity room, showcasing the best touring artists around, there’s even a smaller venue space for local talent to show off. One absolute pro about this building is the variety. Sure there are places to play and go and watch shows in Norwich, it’s something we do well. But OPEN has two venues, a recording studio, a dance studio and a whacking great big climbing wall. Who’s to say you can’t spend your day indulging your Everest climbing fantasy before going to watch balls out rock, accompanied by an obligatory pint of cold gig beer? We’ve done it, it’s exhausting. Located on Bank Plain, right in the heart of the city, OPEN is a former bank (funnily enough) of mammoth proportions. Shows run throughout the year, and the venue recently played host to a sold out London Grammar show. It’s also the prime spot to carry on from to some of the great clubs and nights out we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this guide. It may not have the nostalgic scent of urine and stale beer but what it lacks in foul memories, it makes up for in brilliant entertainment.

//63 Clubs & Culture

The Plugg

The Plugg deal with events, their aims are to showcase both established and upcoming music artists together for gigs, with a fresh and unique party vibe. It’s brought to you by the independent business family of Dogfish, Catfish and Sevenwolves, who hold a massive New Year’s Eve party at OPEN each year. The 2013 event features The Marvel and Tropico, and Studio glamour 54 meets the 80’s; Frank’s Bar is also popping up there too. The plans for 2014 are tightly under wraps, we’re told, so expect The Plugg to get bigger and better from event to event. “Over the last twenty years, Dogfish has built a strong reputation for running music events in and around Norwich. Back in 1994, they joined with DJs Sure D and Anthropologist to launch THE MARVEL; a sell-out club night featuring DJs and live bands with some legendary after parties to follow... In 2012&13 THE PLUGG replicated this atmosphere on an even bigger scale. Partnering with Norwich’s exciting venue, OPEN, we have brought you some of the best artists and DJs out there, on a local and international scale and from a range of genres…” The New Year’s Eve event sells out fast, so don’t sleep on getting a ticket which are available at Dogfish, Sevenwolves and Frank’s Bar. Keep your peepers peeled for future events from this Norwich Lanes collaboration.

//64 Clubs & Culture

Deep Trouble

Deep Trouble is an in-house, deep house music night at Hideout. House. Did we mention that it’s a house night? It is. One with all the best DJs from the best nights at Hideout involved, bringing Inception levels of house. Deep Trouble is Norwich’s only weekly underground club night, and is a relatively recent addition to the city’s flourishing underground scene. Priding themselves on championing the very best in underground electronic music, they keep their events fun and accessible. Whilst they regularly play host to some of the biggest headline DJs on the scene, the foundation of the night is a core team of talented full time resident DJs, who can hold their ground alongside the bigger names. Their main ethos is to build a club night from the grass roots up, not just drawing punters in with big headliners. They’re genuinely trying to provide something for every fan of underground electronic music.

//65 Clubs & Culture


808 is more than just a number, an unquantifiable amount more (if we used more numbers it’d just get confusing). Specialising in forward thinking underground music, it began at the start of 2012 and is becoming one of Norwich’s most popular club nights. It was one of the first nights to really bring Norwich up to speed with the current underground music scene, with a different headliner every month, and since their arrival they have brought an impressive list of artists to this fine city. “We started 808 as we felt there was a lack of a real underground music scene in Norwich” Previous bookings have included: DUSKY | BODDIKA | KLOSE ONE | MC CHUNKY | ZED BIAS | FUNKINEVEN | SOUTH LONDON ORDNANCE | THE HEATWAVE | SHADOW CHILD | JACKMASTER You can find 808 every 3rd saturday of the month at Hideout, and has recently started branching out further afield; I was going to make a witty joke about Norwich and fields and underground music but why cheapen this.

//66 Clubs & Culture

Stew Gallery The Stew Gallery was founded in 2008 by a group of graduates, students and lecturers from the Norwich University of the Arts. If you couldn’t guess from the name, they like food; it plays an important role in the history of the studio, with early board meetings revolving around a concoction of cooking (see what I did there) and decision making. It’s located on Fishergate, (more food) and it’s well worth the short walk, especially for good studio space. Stew is an artist led, not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation which aims to be as inclusive as possible. This is embodied in the low studio and project space rents. All surplus monies are re-invested into materials, projects, improvement of the space and of course, food. The Stew Gallery isn’t just open-plan studio space or hireable gallery, I didn’t mention hireable gallery part before because I assumed you guys would get that from the name; it is over 2000 square feet (making it one of the largest exhibition spaces in Norwich with a wall space of 1375 square feet). The Stew Gallery is also home to the only publicly accessible screen printing rooms in the city and Norfolk: Print to the People.

//67 Clubs & Culture


Now this is a place that’s exciting even for us. We’ve mentioned many institutions and well-loved watering holes in this guide but Kings is a new pub and music venue for Norwich. When it comes to drinking and partying, you simply can’t rest on your laurels, just because we’ve been frequenting somewhere for years, doesn’t mean the new guys can’t have a chance. And what Kings have done with this chance is to create something genuinely fantastic. They refer to themselves as ‘a big tumble down pub’, now big is one word, we would say huge. In the tiny section of King Street, just off the main ‘clubbing’ circuit of Norwich, Kings dominates the road with it’s massive, old fashioned exterior. The windows hint at just enough of the fun going on to tempt you inside for a taste of their self proclaimed ‘titillation’. Quite often a pub will pride themselves on a particular facet of their business, and the speciality here is a party. With great pleasure I can tell you that Kings present a monthly ‘Vogue Ball’ hosted by their resident drag queen ‘Scarlet Fudge’. Y’heard, Scarlet Fudge. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to events here, regular entertainment is the order of the day, ensuring fun is always close by. If you fancy a drink and a dance in somewhere that takes it’s influences from ‘Hackney via Montreal via Berlin’, with an unswerving addiction to getting you up on your feet, Kings is the place for you.

//68 Clubs & Culture

Yallops / Nunns Yard / 13A Norwich has a proud history of creativity across many mediums, from great literature and music to an overwhelming amount of original, visual art. However great work always needs support to exist and breathe, and it’s places like Yallops and Nunns Yard that provide this framework. Both situated on St. Augustine’s Street, these two contemporary exhibition spaces take the form of old, renovated shop premises open for hire. And to really give you artistic options, a third premises has just been opened on the same street, ‘Thirteen A’. Pop-up exhibitions, art auctions, installations, live music, illustration, fine art, and photography all combine in these two adjacent spaces to make for a visually arresting walk down St Augustine’s Street. Both can be hired for £15 each a day (or £10 for students), ensuring accessible, affordable spaces. Since their original use as retail premises, they have not only been refurbished but also modified to best suit their creative role. Tony, whose brainchildren these spaces are, has created something for all of Norwich to use through his own vision and connection to art. Buildings like these always create strength through numbers and the more we have, the more the city can offer. Luckily for us, there are already three brilliant examples on one road.

//69 Clubs & Culture


It’s probably safe to say that at some point you WILL end up in Kartel. It has a sort of magnetic pull akin to fast food, you know what you want and you want it now. You want to dance, you want a beer and you want loud, loud music. With the added entertainment of several hundred people sharing exactly the same idea as you. All this, in the city centre and devoid of the usual club suspects of sloppy drunks and dance floor brawls. An actual club, for dancing. Based at the end of London Street, smack bang in the middle of Norwich and away from the carnage of Prince Of Wales Road, Kartel has been servicing the needs of city party goers for 5 years. Hosting club nights and events pretty much every day of the week, Kartel will cater for your musical needs all the way from Funk & Soul to best in House. And more House. The great thing to know about Kartel is that whenever you want to go, it will probably be open. The best place to end your night, dancing right through into the morning until the sweat and exhaustion takes hold. You may not be entirely happy when you get home and look in the mirror, but that’s generally the mark of a good night out.


So there it is. The SHhhh Collective Beginners Guide to Norwich. It has been a real pleasure putting this together. Special thanks to all of the businesses that have supported us; in particular The Playhouse, The Birdcage and The Sir Garnet for letting us use their facilities as workstations and watering holes. We hope that this book takes you on many wild adventures, crazy nights and memorable times with your friends and family. Now get out there and explore! For updates on all our forthcoming projects, clothing collections and publications find us on Facebook: or on Twitter: @shhhhcollective Thanks The SHhhh Collective

Credits Written by David Sexton & Rory Hill Designed by Toby Price & Sam Harrons Curated by Lauren Lees & Alice Lee

“A fine city”

SHhhh Collective's Beginners Guide to Norwich