Norfolk’s reputation as being inbred is well known. Anyone growing up in Norfolk has had to suffer jokes about marrying siblings and webbed feet from the moment they cross the border. And, while I am sure that many years ago, many remote and rural places gained this reputation deservedly, I am happy to report that I do not know of a single person who has married their sibling, or even their cousin (unless you count third cousin once removed that is – then it gets a bit hazy). But this blog is not about inbreeding but it is about something much better – good friends. The Norfolk community is getting a reputation for being just that – a community. Someone asked me on twitter, recently, why there was so much talk about Norfolk food, and Norfolk drink and Norfolk this and Norfolk that. If you compare to Cambridgeshire, for example, there is talk about Cambridge but not a lot about the surrounding countryside and what that brings to the county.

As a business, we are very lucky to have built up good relationships with many other local businesses suppliers and friends. Just a few examples of these are from the restaurant side of things. Davies Fish Shop supplies us with Cromer crabs and freshly caught lobsters, and Icarus Hines and Herbert Graves supply us with meat sourced from local farms including venison from Gunton – 6 miles away, chicken from Hevingham – 10 miles away, Norfolk Black Spot pork and Norfolk quail, and of course, there are Brays Pork Pies for breakfast.

We are very lucky to have what seems like 1000 micro-breweries in Norfolk. We support a chosen few, namely Panther and Norfolk Brewhouse. Over the last year, we have made friends with three Norfolk distilleries, Wild Knight Vodka, The English Whiskey Company – who supply us with Distiller’s Elect. We are proud to say that this can only be bought on their site and at The Grove. And also, the Norfolk Sloe Company, who make Black Shuck Gin, which really does go down a storm. When we first bought some, we thought this wouldn’t sell as it is a premium gin, but it flew off the shelves and we were ordering more days after purchasing the first batch.

There is a real community in this area Richard Lees of Randalls, who do all our electrics, is on the lifeboat crew with John Davies of fish shop fame, Icarus will often deliver Davies’ seafood, if he is going our way. Likewise, Norfolk Brewhouse will often deliver for Black Shuck. It is almost a bit incestuous really; but that’s Norfolk for you.