Norwich: Lamb Inn
It's easy to forget this ancient city centre hostelry. DEREK JAMES returns to the Lamb Inn in the heart of Norwich after more than a quarter of a century to see how it is coping with the demands of the 21st century.
I was trying to work out how long it had been since I had last visited this famous, and some say haunted, Norwich public house.
It must have been at least 25 years while my brother-in-law thought it was 40 years since he had been in the place.
But stepping into Orford Yard, in the shadow of Debenhams, was like walking back in time.
You are greeted by the laughter of the people, eating and drinking, in the picturesque courtyard, and the bar itself still has a welcoming and friendly feel to it.
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When you think about it, it is almost a miracle this place has survived over the years.
It escaped, first re-development for the trams more than a century ago, and then the 1942 Norwich Blitz by the skin of its teeth.
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During the days when a late night amounted to being in the Samson & Hercules at midnight, the Lamb was one of the great Norwich meeting places.
And it is good to see that after suffering from a ludicrous name change (the Rat & Parrot of all things, then the more agreeable Henry's Cafe Bar), it is now called the Lamb Inn again.
I hate it when people mess about with pub names. Just leave them alone.
The pub was re-opened last year after a �200,000 refurbishment when the then Lord Mayor Jenny Lay said she was delighted a place which had always been known as the Lamb was returning to its original name,
Four of us returned last Saturday night with a five-year-old in tow.
We had booked in advance and asked for a table upstairs. We were the only people in a large dining room so our little companion was in her element.
The menu offered a range of tempting choices - from pasta to mezze and from salads to burgers. Plus some British classics.
And it was one of those classic dishes which turned out to be rather disappointing.
Three of us picked ham, eggs and chips - not a good idea.
Presentation was poor. The eggs were small and hard, and the ham rather thin and tasteless. To be honest it wasn't up to much. It was the kind of meal you expect at a transport cafe.
My sister-in-law selected the Caesar salad with garlic croutons which she loved. It was, as the menu said, everything you would expect and more. It was one of the best Caesar salads she had for some time.
As far as the desserts were concerned. The sticky toffee puddings were excellent but the Tiramisu tipsy trifle which was turned out to be a Black Forest tipsy trifle and was not that tasty.
But we all enjoyed our visit to the dear old Lamb where the atmosphere and the welcome is warm and friendly.
While It is a pity that some of our courses were not as good as they could have been I would certainly recommend a visit to The Lamb Inn. It is part of our heritage and well worth supporting
Go and take a look for yourself. And there are a whole host of good value courses, from snacks to main meals, to choose from.
Open: Food served daily from 11am - 10pm.
Prices: Starters from �3.45, mains from �10, desserts from �3.75p. There is also a special menu for children
Vegetarian options: Yes
Wheelchair access: Yes