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Does Norwich have its very own Father Christmas? - Mystery Man picks up bill for tables at The Assembly House

PUBLISHED: 13:26 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:30 19 December 2018

Front of house manager, Jamie Gooda, and Lindsay Beard, raise their glasses to the mystery customer who paid for other diners meals at the Assembly House. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Front of house manager, Jamie Gooda, and Lindsay Beard, raise their glasses to the mystery customer who paid for other diners meals at the Assembly House. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

For all the naysayers and scrooges in the world, there is proof the Christmas spirit is still alive and well in Norwich.

The Assembly House, Norwich at night. Photo : Steve AdamsThe Assembly House, Norwich at night. Photo : Steve Adams

A kind stranger made several diners’ day on Tuesday when he picked up their bill at The Assembly House, in Norwich.

The man, who remains anonymous, was enjoying lunch at the city centre establishment when he paid for two adjacent tables’ bills along with his own.

Sam Matthews, the general manager at The Assembly House who was working at the time said: “He paid for two tables close to him plus his own, he didn’t even talk to them he just came up and paid for them.

“The bills were upwards of £40 per table.”

Adding that one of the tables was a retired couple who have been visiting the restaurant every week for the last 20 years, Mr Matthews said: “They’re lovely regulars, and were really touched by the gesture,

“It was lovely that he chose them, one of the ladies had a little tear in her eye.”

The 30-year-old who has worked at The Assembly House for nine years, said while the restaurant occasionally saw people buy drinks for one another he couldn’t remember a time when someone had picked up a whole bill, let alone two: “I don’t remember it happening here, we have the odd glass of wine bought for but not whole bills,

“He did it so quietly and discreetly,”

The gesture is the second act of kindness of its type in the city within the space of a week, sparking some to speculate whether Norwich has its very own Father Christmas.

Last week, a group of nurses enjoying a Christmas meal at the Vine Thai, on Dove Street in Norwich had their evening paid for by a mystery stranger who upon learning the group were nurses stepped in to pay for their food and drinks.

Mr Matthews said: “We are speculating, [about if it was Father Christmas] but he wasn’t wearing a red coat.”

• Are you the mysterious stranger or were you one of the tables to have your bill paid for? Contact this newspaper via Facebook or Twitter

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