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