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Eight of Norfolk's best butchers in honour of National Butchers Week

PUBLISHED: 11:27 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:46 11 March 2019

Jamie Archer, centre, with Ollie Baxter, left, and Ian Plunkett, at Archer's Butchers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jamie Archer, centre, with Ollie Baxter, left, and Ian Plunkett, at Archer's Butchers. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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They're a friendly face behind the counter, and a reliable source of advice when looking for that perfect Sunday roast.

Icarus Hines, who has since retired, outside his shop.
 Picture: Neil DidsburyIcarus Hines, who has since retired, outside his shop. Picture: Neil Didsbury

And every year, National Butchers Week - now in its 11th year - aims to praise some of the country’s best butchers.

So we’ve pulled together a list of some of the county’s best in honour of the week.

• Archer’s, 177 to 179 Plumstead Road, Norwich

It would remiss to not include Archer’s on this list, with them having been named Britain’s Best Butcher Shop in the 2018 Meat Management Industry Awards. The shop is owned by Jamie Archer, grandson of Jack Archer who founded the business on Norwich market in 1929. Its meat comes from local farms, it trains its apprentices in traditional butchery skills and the team get involved in some of the city’s big food events, including Porkstock.

G. F. White Butchers was named the best in Britain at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards.G. F. White Butchers was named the best in Britain at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards.

• Icarus Hines, 69 Church Street, Cromer

In September last year, the shop’s namesake Mr Hines stepped down after 33 years in the business. In that time he has built up a strong reputation and plenty of loyal customers, and earned a clutch of awards. The shop has since been taken over by Richard Banning and Jake Wright, who have worked there for the last 15 years.

• Harvey’s Puremeat Butchers, 63 Grove Road, Norwich

This butcher has been providing meat and game around the region since 1924, and has a particular focus on organic and green, having bought a new emissions-free delivery van in 2015 and having earned its accreditation from the Organic Food Federation. The business was set up by Nigel Harvey’s grandfather Reginald, and was originally a game and poultry dealer in the city’s Tombland area.

• GF White Butchers, 16 Red Lion Street, Aylsham

Crawford White, who runs the business, has been in the industry since childhood - when he was just 10 he started selling pet food out of ox heads. GF White has become a popular mainstay in Aylsham, and has even been featured Countryside BBC One and Marco Pierre White’s Great British Feast. In 2016 it was named Britain’s best butcher in the Countryside Alliance Awards.

• Spurgeons, 23 High Green, Brooke

Frank Spurgeon opened the business in the 1920s in Harleston and a second shop in Norwich city centre in 1938, which stayed open for almost 60 years. Today, it has a farm shop, including a butcher, bakery and delicatessen, at its site in Brooke, as well as its shop in Harleston and another on Unthank Road in Norwich. It still sells its Spurgeon sausage, created by Frank 85 years ago.

• Tavern Tasty Meats, The Street, Swafield

Norfolk’s only accredited rare breeds butcher has two bases, one in Swafield and another in Horning. Owners Claire and Andrew Hudson opened the second shop at the end of 2016, and hoped to both show the quality of the meat from high-welfare rare-breed animals, but also to keep the farms selling them on a stable footing.

• Bowers Butchers, 71 Lynn Road, Gaywood

Set up in 1932 by George Bowers, the business has won several awards for its well-known sausage recipes, including a national gold award in 1988, the best sausage in King’s Lynn competition in 2010 and a national silver award for its pork sausages in 2012. Its pork and wherry option claimed a gong in 2015, while its pork and wild garlic ones did in 2016.

• Fleetwoods Butchers, 75 High Street, Gorleston

The business was set up by a father and son team in 1950, when food rationing was still in place. It needed 25 registered customers to open by law, and was licensed to sell meat, bacon and eggs. It stayed at its former home, on Plane Road, until 1980, but moved to its current site on the High Street 36 years ago, where it is now run by Mark Allen.

• There are plenty more excellent butchers around Norfolk - leave your favourites in the comments below.

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