Today’s Pub of the Week is the White Lion in Oak Street, where the food and drink make it tops with customers

PUBLISHED: 15:09 28 October 2011 | UPDATED: 17:13 04 November 2011

Evening News Pub of the Week The White Lion, Oak Street, Norwich. Landlords Becky Lakeman-Turner and Ben Ackers. Photo : Steve Adams

Evening News Pub of the Week The White Lion, Oak Street, Norwich. Landlords Becky Lakeman-Turner and Ben Ackers. Photo : Steve Adams

Archant 2011 0

Pubs may have many different strings to their bows nowadays, but when the food and drink is the big draw, you can guarantee it will be a hit with punters.

Customers without exception at the White Lion in Oak Street told me this week that it was the food and drink that especially attracted them to the venue, which is run by couple Becky Lakeman-Turner and Ben Ackers, who just took over four weeks ago.

Keeping the beer in tip-top quality is down to Mr Ackers while his partner Becky Lakeman-Turner is responsible for the kitchen.

Prior to arriving in Norwich she spent five years as the chef at Cambridge University’s Magdalene College.

During her time there she cooked for Loyd Grossman, Mitchell and Webb and Clive Anderson, plus countless students and fellows.

And a quick glance at the pub menu tells you that this is not just your run of the mill pub food.

Home-made carrot and cumin soup for starters, followed by smoked paprika sausages and spring onion mash with four different potato options should illustrate my point.

Mr Ackers worked at pubs in Cambridge before coming to Norwich and the couple were told about the vacancy at the White Lion, which is a Milton Brewery pub, by the head brewer.

Miss Lakeman-Turner said: “But before that we had been to Norwich and seen the pub, which we really liked. We thought it was such a nice place.”

Her partner added: “The way we do things is a bit different. We’ve cleaned it up, as it was a bit dirty. The pub was closed for two days while we did that. We offer good food and good beer.

“Next week, from October 28 to November 4, we are holding an apples and pears week as part of Camra’s cider and perry month.

“We will also have pork with cider and cream sauce on the menu, and mulled pear crumble.”

He said that running a pub was good fun. “It’s nice to chat to people and we want to make it a real community pub.

“We want to be friendly and amiable, and serve, as far as possible, local produce.”

The change from living in Cambridge to Norwich has also been quite painless for the couple.

He added: “Both have similar sized city centres, lots of students and a market, and you still get people riding bicycles on footpaths.”

The Evening News has been supporting pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit

Would you like your local pub to be our next Pub of the Week? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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