Grub's up: Cafes and restaurants rammed as indoor dining returns

Owner Nicola Hay, happy to see people enjoying being back inside at Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. Pict

Owner Nicola Hay, happy to see people enjoying being back inside at Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Kitchens across Norwich were abuzz as diners headed back to the city's cafes and restaurants in their droves. 

At Cafe 33 in Exchange Street, customers were queuing up ahead of owner Nichola Hay opening the doors. 

Visitors to Norwich sit outside the busy Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. From left, Amarina Fakir, Mark

Visitors to Norwich sit outside the busy Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. From left, Amarina Fakir, Mark Evans, Monica Evans, and Vic Evans. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

She said: "It was lovely to get here this morning and have people queuing outside waiting to get in. Brunch has been really popular, as have takeaway cakes and coffees. 

"I was a bit nervous about reopening and how busy we'd be - but now I'm just excited. I think the weekends will be the busiest for us though we are pretty much at full capacity today.

"We've had some outdoor seating which really helped during summer and as the weather gets warmer it'd be lovely to keep those as it gives the city a more European feel." 

Busy staff at at Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Busy staff at at Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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The team has also hired a busker for this weekend to keep people waiting for a table entertained. 

Lunch service at The Last Brasserie was similarly busy. 

Sisters Elysse Bell, left, and Charlotte Lightfoot with her daughter two-year-old Poppy, enjoying be

Sisters Elysse Bell, left, and Charlotte Lightfoot with her daughter two-year-old Poppy, enjoying being able to socialise back inside at Cafe 33 at Exchange Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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Iain McCarten, chef and owner, said: “We’ve had the courtyard open for outdoor dining and as well as the click and collect meals which have saved us. But even then it couldn’t prepare us for how busy it’s been which is wonderful. It’s great to see the regulars back and we’re hoping to be just as busy over the next few months.

"We've got some of our classics back on the menu like the Cromer crab donut but we've added some new dishes like escargot which has been selling well. We want people to find their favourites but also something different when they get here.

Chef Iain McCarten, chef and owner at the Last Brasserie

Chef Iain McCarten, chef and owner at the Last Brasserie - Credit: Archant

"We've also reworked the menu a bit so we have a lot of sharing plates - people haven't been able to socialise in so long we wanted to bring back that social aspect."

He added: "There was some nervousness that Norwich as a whole might not be busy. I've got a lot of mates who run restaurants and cafes and we were all texting and keeping our fingers crossed that people would come out - it's wonderful that so many people will come out and show their support." 

Plating up for lunch service at The Last Brasserie

Plating up for lunch service at The Last Brasserie - Credit: Archant

The news comes as this paper launched its Summer in the City campaign sponsored by Chantry Place and Norwich BID, which encourages people to get out and about in Norwich this summer, and to make the most of its shops, pubs and restaurants and events.

Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to make the most of all Norwich has to offer this summer.

Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to make the most of all Norwich has to offer this summer. - Credit: Archant


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