Life In My Fine City: The former UEA student still here after 38 years

PR consultant Andy Newman in front of Norwich market on a grey winter's day

Andy Newman, of Newman Associates PR (newmanassociates.co.uk) first came to Norwich as a student 38 years ago - and he still hasn't left - Credit: Andy Newman

PR consultant Andy Newman on why he fell in love with living in Norwich.

How long have you lived in Norwich and what brought you here?
I came to Norwich in 1984 to study languages at UEA.  Like many fellow students, I fell in love with the city and decided to stay here when I graduated – and 38 years later I’m still here!

What do you like most about living in the city?
Norwich has all of the advantages you would expect of a city, in terms of culture, restaurants, shopping and other facilities, but it seems to enjoy a much more human scale than many cities.  I like that it has a strong sense of identity and community, which makes us all feel we belong here.

View over Norwich Market and The Castle in the city centre

Norwich Market is a great place to buy most of your food, says Andy Newman - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What is your favourite fact or landmark about/in Norwich?
I love the Golden Triangle, and have lived in or around for most of my time in Norwich. It has a real bohemian and cosmopolitan feel, and a sense of tolerance and acceptance.  And I am a big fan of Norwich Market, both for its history and the fact that you can buy such incredible quality food. I do most of my weekly shop there.

Roadworks begin on St Stephens street in Norwich. Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Andy Newman's pet peeve is the city's recurrent roadworks - Credit: Archant

Any pet peeves?
The constant roadworks are annoying, especially when they are digging up the same bit of the city for what seems like the fourth of fifth time. Once upon a time I would have said the communications with the rest of the country, but both the road and rail connections have improved immeasurably since I have lived here.

Where's your favourite spot in Norwich... for a three-course dinner?
Roger Hickman’s Restaurant is unquestionably the best food in Norwich.  You will also find me in the Last Wine Bar and Benoli. I think it’s Norwich’s sense of identity which means that so many high quality independent restaurants can hold their own against the big chains.

...to go for a walk?
I really enjoy walking in the city centre on a Sunday, exploring all of the hidden alleyways and historic streets that you don’t notice when you are rushing about during the week.

Jarrolds department store viewed from the corner of Norwich market in the city centre

If Andy Newman had to choose just one store in Norwich to buy a gift for someone, it would be department store Jarrolds - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

...to buy a birthday present?
The Norwich Lanes are full of locally-owned, independent and interesting shops, it’s what sets Norwich apart from many ‘identikit’ city centres.  If I had to choose one store, it would be Jarrolds, both because it has shown that it is possible to beat big corporate retailers at their own game, and also because it has its own wine bar.

...to see a film?
Cinema City, which has an atmosphere all of its own.  It offers a more interesting range of films than other cinemas - although I would like to see it dare to be even more different and not try to compete with the multiplexes at their own game.  How many cities have a cinema housed in a 14th century merchant’s house?

Blue Joanna restaurant on Unthank Road, Norwich

One of Andy Newman's favourite city spots is the Golden Triangle, where you will also find Blue Joanna, one of his favourite spots for a drink - Credit: Archant

...to go for a drink?
So many choices: Blue Joanna for a ‘Bakewell Fizz’ cocktail on a Friday night; The Wallow for a glass or three of wine; The William & Florence to sit outside and watch the world go by with a glass of Bullards Gin; and my local (it’s 200 metres from my house), The Beehive, which is the perfect neighbourhood boozer, with a great range of ales.

If you had to describe Norwich in three words, what would they be?
Friendly, tolerant and individual.

Any top tips or advice for someone who's just moved here?
Speak to people on the street; if you have come from a less friendly place, you will be surprised how many will respond positively.  Buy your food on Norwich Market, rather than in the supermarket. Take the time to explore the city properly, there are loads of hidden gems.

If you'd like to share with readers why YOU love living in Norwich, get in touch by email at rebecca.macnaughton@archant.co.uk.