New café serving giant scones and toasties opens at Norwich Theatre Royal

Hospitality assistant, Qudra Heron, serving scones at the newly opened Cafe Royal

Hospitality assistant, Qudra Heron, serving scones at the newly opened Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

Norwich Theatre Royal has launched a new café packed with local produce to encourage people into the venue even when there is not a performance on. 

Café Royal has opened on the ground floor and offers a range of coffees and other hot and cold drinks, alongside giant sweet and savoury scones, cakes, pastries and toasties.

Pastries served at Cafe Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal.PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

Pastries served at Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

It compliments the pre-theatre dining available already at the Prelude restaurant and promotes and supports local producers.

This includes Loaf Microbakery in Wymondham, Norfolk Dapple and Norfolk White Lady cheese and Sponge Cakes handmade in Holt.

Stephen Wright, commercial and visitor services director, with the team at the newly opened Cafe Royal

Stephen Wright, commercial and visitor services director, with the team at the newly opened Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. From left, Qudra Heron, Bianca Bennett, and head of commercial, Laura Wakefield. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

Stephen Wright, commercial and visitor services director, said: "We've always had an ambition to have a daytime offering seven days a week not focused on shows.

"We wanted something for our generous supporters and also for people to pop in and have a cup of coffee.

"It is also a way of getting people to use our building as there are always loads of activities happening." 

The newly opened Cafe Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal.PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

The newly opened Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

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Café Royal is open daily from 8.30am until 5pm, closing earlier on matinee days, and the tables and chairs are cleared away in the evening to make space for audiences and the stalls bar.

It is part of a wider refurbishment of the venue that took place while it was closed, which has included new floors, lighting, artwork and upcycled furniture to bring out the building's art deco heritage. 

Stephen Wright, commercial and visitor services director, with the team at the newly opened Cafe Royal.

Stephen Wright, commercial and visitor services director, with the team at the newly opened Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. From left, Qudra Heron, Bianca Bennett, and head of commercial, Laura Wakefield. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

The café is also available as a workspace and a place where community groups can meet.

The new venture supports Norwich Theatre, which runs the Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two, commercially.

The organisation is governed by an independent charitable trust and receives no regular public subsidy, generating all of its own income through tickets sales, commercial activities and fundraising.

One of the cakes served at the Cafe Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal.PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the cakes served at the Café Royal at Norwich Theatre Royal. PICTURE: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant 2021

Any surplus funds generated each year are reinvested into Norwich Theatre’s artistic and creative programmes and support its work with the community to keep inspiring future generations.

Mr Wright added: "The reaction has been really, really positive and the outdoor seating gives us a street presence which Norwich Theatre Royal has never had."

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