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3 Of The Best Museums In Norwich

Farewell Summer! The Autumn equinox has come and gone, and we can feel it in the air. The days of revelling in those sunny afternoons, till the warm early evening, picnicking in the park, or sitting by the river, are coming to an end. However, after all that we’ve been through, who wants to stay at home?

At ABC Taxis, we’re committed to making sure you’re making the most of being out and about! While the Autumn and Winter months are rolling in, we’re happy to say that some of our favourite galleries and museums are re-opening, just in time to keep you out of the cold, yet still preserve your cultural cravings! 

Many of these stops are already accepting members of the public to visit, while others are still in the re-opening process, so make sure to take a look at their websites, so you can book your journey with us at the right time! With that out the way, let’s start our guide with a few locations in the Fine City itself:

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a guide of museums and heritage sites without Norwich Castle, yet who are we to argue with one of the most popular and important locations in the centre of Norwich? Following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066, nearly one hundred Saxon homes were demolished in 1067 to make way for the construction of a wooden fort. This iconic piece of East Anglian history was not transformed to the impressive stone structure, keep and all, until 1121, the construction itself outliving the monarch who commissioned it, William II.

The different uses of Norwich Castle over the span of its existence are reason enough to visit – from its beginnings as a strategic emplacement for the Normans, to a royal palace that was only used once, then to its transition as the city gaol, holding some of the worst criminals to come out of Norfolk, the castle is truly one of those locations that make Norwich a historical haven!

Unfortunately, the iconic stone keep is closed for the time being. Ongoing renovations on the structure mean that only the interior castle and museum are open to the public at this point, but with the cold weather steadily moving in, spending a day inside a marvel of 12th-century architecture doesn’t sound too bad.

For more information about visiting Norwich Castle and what they have to offer, visit their website at https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/norwich-castle

Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts 

The Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts

If a historical day out is not what you’re looking for, but you still need that much needed cultural hit, be sure to check out the Sainsbury Center. Both art aficionados and history buffs will delight in this wonderfully maintained, and lovingly curated collection of world and modern art.

Located on the UEA campus, the Sainsbury Center has located a little way out of the city, a perfect opportunity to take advantage of our first-class eco-friendly transportation solutions! Found at the southern end of campus, the now-iconic grade II listed building was completed in 1973 by the then relatively unknown architect Norman Foster – the installations outside are peppered with works by Henry Moore, which should give you an idea of what to expect within. You may be wondering if Sainsbury is really that Sainsbury and the answer are yes – the collection has been gathered, and many works donated by the English supermarket giants.

The gallery is home to one of the most varied collections – exhibiting ancient art emanating from across the globe, to more recent pieces by Degas, Bacon, and even Picasso! The best part of all is that the main gallery is completely free to the public, and even contains a coffee shop and restaurant. Long-running exhibitions are often introduced and can be booked online and at the gallery. To see what the Sainsbury centre can offer, or to book an exhibit, visit https://www.sainsburycentre.ac.uk/

Norfolk Tank Museum

Norfolk Tank Museum

Now this visit is really more for the military mad folk out there – those who are more World War One rather than War of the Roses! Norfolk has one of the richest, yet also most hidden, heritages of military history! Being the home for both the RAF, and the US Air Force, and the grounds for the UK’s development of nuclear weaponry, it’s no surprise that Norfolk is home to some of the most extensive military history museums in the country, one of which being the Norfolk Tank Museum.

There is undeniable awe that comes with seeing a real behemoth of a tank, first-hand. It really is an experience that is shared by all ages, and Norfolk Tank Museum really is a fun-for-all-the-family location. It is always a pleasure to find a non-profit museum that truly devotes itself to a purely educational cause! The exhibitions that the volunteer staff maintain are varied and special – home to pieces spanning from, Deborah II, a replica Mark IV WWI tank, to collections of American, Russian, and Swedish armoured vehicles, let alone an extensive collection of small arms and other militaria from around the world and different conflicts!

The museum is currently holding an exhibition that follows the day to day life of a 19th-century soldier, from the home front to the days in battle, and also is known to host impressive live events where visitors can ride inside these great metal machines! A great educational tool for children with a mind for history, and also a great reminder of the sacrifices made during history’s toughest periods, Norfolk Tank Museum receives a ‘must visit’ from us.

Located just south of Norwich, just ask our dedicated team of drivers for the best way to visit this great location – for more information, and to read their blog, visit http://norfolktankmuseum.co.uk/

We know that there are only three must-see stops on our guide today, we felt it important to give something to the Historians, the Artists and the Militarians on this one – but remember to keep checking in, because there is so much to explore in this fine city, and here at our ABC Blog, we want to help plan the memorable adventures around you! Check-in regularly to find more intrepid exploration advice!  

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Everything You Need To Know About Ketts Rebellion

In many parts of the country, and in fact, worldwide, remnants of history are not always fully formed, and sometimes even non-existent. Trying to piece the fragments of ancient buildings and the ruins of old battle emplacements together can often just add to the mystery.

It is rare that you will find a coherent and fully formed chain of events, let alone one that you can literally follow yourself – which is why the events that took place in the summer of 1549 stand as one of Norfolk’s most fascinating historical moments.

Ketts Rebellion

 The story of Kett’s rebellion is rich, too rich in fact to include it all here, although, in the spirit of travelling throughout Norfolk, we did our digging to give you somewhat of a historical tour of Kett’s rebellion, with sites, and stops along the way! Retread the steps of history, from Wymondham all the way to the heart of Norwich, and why not organise a 16th century guided tour with us and our committed and knowledgeable drivers, with our ABC guide to Kett’s Rebellion. 

Attleborough & Wymondham

All journeys must begin somewhere, and for Kett and his rebels, it was the Attleborough and Wymondham area. The small village of Attleborough can be found by following the A11 southwest from Norwich, and it was this village in late June 1549 where the first series of fence destructions against Lord John Green was committed, following higher rent fees, and demarcation of public land. 

Dating as far back as the Anglo-Saxon period, Attleborough has enough local points of interest to keep any local historian busy – however, we recommend visiting St. Mary’s Church, an ancient church indicative of Norman style architecture, and features rare original wall paintings. These houses of worship, along with Eccles Church and Wilby Church, both located in neighbouring villages, serve as important locations, as these would often be the places of meeting before the start of the uprising. 

St Marys Church Attleborough
St Marys Church Attleborough

Wymondham, located before Attleborough, maybe one of the most significant locations at the beginning of the revolution. As the home of the 57-year-old landowner Robert Kett, Wymondham saw the beginning and the end of those fateful months of 1549, as it would be the same location Robert’s brother, William, would be executed, his body hanged from the tower, less than six months later. Becket’s Chapel may be the epicentre of Kett’s involvement in the rebellion – it is now the location of the local library. 

On the 7th of July, 1549, in the shadow of Wymondham Abbey, festivities were taking place at the chapel to celebrate Thomas à Becket’s appointment as the Archbishop of Canterbury. The people were merry, the ale was flowing, and Robert Kett was in the middle of it! It wasn’t long however until the discontent of villagers took hold, and soon a group began levelling fences. In the spirit of rebellion, Kett joined in, and even when the band of rebels took down his own fences, he was behind them all the way!

Wymondham Abbey
Wymondham Abbey

As this leg of the route follows forward along the A11, it is a perfect opportunity to utilise our travel experts and their knowledge of this fascinating part of Norfolk, for booking call 01603 666333. 

Following the Rebellion 

After the first sparks of rebellion had begun to take place, following smaller bouts of fence-post destruction, and gathering more men at the village at Hingham (north from Attleborough on the B1108), Kett had his eyes on Norwich and began a march towards Mousehold Heath – a position of strategic advantage on the right side of the city. This stretch of his journey is as important as any, and many locations along the way are well worth visiting – the first of which is a tree.

Yes, one of the most important locations of this story is a tree, but not just any old shrub – it’s Kett’s Oak. Located on the B1172, on the way out of Wymondham, and just before Hethersett, this ancient, roped off Oak tree is probably the most symbolic stop on this tour (and symbolic trees, period), as this was the place where Kett gathered his forces and following an impassioned speech, began his great march towards Norwich. Some historians debate whether this tree was the exact tree, yet the story remains the same, and a location very similar to this one was most likely used – so get inspired and definitely take a look.

Ketts Oak
Ketts Oak

Travelling through Hethersett, imagine this as the first village an unprecedented rebellion marched through. It was also the home of John Folwerdue, the nemesis of Kett’s story, and a person so unpopular in his community, that his personal dislike of Kett rallied even more rebels. It may be at this point in your travels that you might need to rest. Cringleford Bridge is down the road and from the Parish Church of St. Peter in Cringleford. It is here, following the crossing of the bridge, that Kett and his men began razing more fences – and the word was reaching the city. There is a picnicking spot near the bridge, and this section of the river is often used by kayakers if that sort of thing floats your boat. 

Cringleford Bridge
Cringleford Bridge

Kett might have stayed here, near Eaton woods, and is claimed to have made another rousing speech – “for you who have already stirred, there is no hope but in adventuring boldly!” We have to agree with old Robert on this one, and we aim to provide the best experience for adventuring boldly, organize your next journey with us by calling 01603 666333, or visiting https://www.abctaxisnorwich.co.uk.

We hope you return to continue Kett’s journey with us, expect more exciting adventure guides in the Norfolk and Norwich area, and find some more days out by following our blog, and as always, safe travels!

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What You Need To Know About How To Shop Vintage In Norwich

As we all know, styles and fads come and go – blink and you’ll miss them. Fashion, music, furniture – really all trends have a shelf life, but then again, who says you have to follow the grain?

The beauty of vintage styling is that, in a way, it’s timeless. No matter if it’s a groovy pair of flares, a chic mirrored coffee table, or an LP of your favourite permed rock star, if it’s stayed hot for this long, there’s no sign it’s losing its appeal any time soon. Pair this with environmentally friendly and sustainable purchasing choices, today has never been a better time to buy yesterday’s gold.

Norwich is packed full of vintage gems, and we’d love to give you a crash course in our favourite locations to pick up those hidden sleepers in some of our favourite spots.

Lowell

Norwich Vintage Lowells
Lowells, 8 Pottergate

Opening in May of this year, Lowell is really the new kid on the block of Norwich’s vintage scene, and it’s clear they’re doing something right. Co-owners Jack and Cat definitely put a buyer’s experience as a top priority and stepping into their charming vinyl and vintage clothing collaboration feels more like an event rather than just a quick stop and shop moment. Perhaps this is why they’re beginning to host vinyl listening events in the evenings at their store in Pottergate, raising money for Women International – promising  “cheap beer and good music”, this surely is a spot to keep your eyes on.

Lowell definitely has its own style, Jack’s vinyl side is catered towards re-issues and new vinyl, but you’re more than likely to find some high-quality vintage re-pressings in his ever-changing stock that is featured as and when they come in on Lowell’s Instagram. If high quality, stylish clothing is what you’re after, then Cat definitely has you covered, with styles spanning multiple decades, these handpicked gems will surely be the envy of any dedicated follower of (vintage) fashion.

Take a look at what Lowell is up to on their Instagram @lowellnorwich

Looses Emporium 

Norwich Vintage Looses
Looses Emporium, 23-25 Magdalen St

While it is convenient to have a whole selection of vintage goodies, seemingly catered just for you – we can’t underestimate the importance of a good snooping spot. Looses Emporium may just be the kind of place you would want to get lost in all day, and perhaps even take several days to rummage through everything they have to offer. Located on Magdalen Street (home to many vintage hot spots) this mid-century style emporium is home to over 60 different shop owners, all making deals under one roof. If vintage clothing isn’t your thing, then you are definitely not at a loss here. Offering everything from antique or vintage, reclaimed or upcycled furniture, books, records, musical instruments, paintings, and of course, heaps of clothing.

Fit for a quick visit or even a day-long snooping session, Looses Emporium is a must-see, you can find their Facebook page here.

Slayy Vintage 

Norwich Vintage Slayy Vintage
Slayy Vintage, 11 St Giles St

Speaking of new kids on the block, another addition to Norwich’s vintage renaissance is  Slayy Vintage. With a clear sense of style emanating from the late ’80s through to the ’90s, owner  Rosie Dearlove has cultivated a following in her vintage wears since 2018. Starting as a vintage clothes vendor online, and swiftly becoming the youngest owner of a stall in Norwich’s historic market, Slayy Vintage now looks over its humble beginnings in its new store on St. Giles Street.

With a noticeable line often seen outside, Slayy Vintage is proving to be a popular location for those who are into rare or different vintage branded clothing or merch – everything from classic Polo Ralph Lauren, to Harley Davidson x Looney Toons, this place might just be the spot to find that forgotten streetwear head turner.

For more information about Slayy Vintage, or their online store, check out www.slayyyvintage.com

Soundclash

Norwich Vintage Soundclash
Soundclash Records, 28 St Benedicts St

We can’t talk about vintage, without talking about vinyl. While Norwich isn’t the largest city, we certainly have a more than our fair share of record shops for any budding crate-diggers, or serious collectors out there. While there are many places to rifle through vinyl (both Magdalene and St Benedicts are must-visits), we have to credit the longest standing independent record shop in all of East Anglia, Soundclash.

Opening in 1991, Soundclash proudly states it’s “survived thirty years, and three lockdowns”, and what a feat that really is. Vinyl may be one of the most turbulent trends in recent years, after being the bottom of the music pile for decades, a new ‘vinyl renaissance’ has seemed to sweep across the world – but Soundclash’s longevity, we think, is a testament to the obvious passion they bring to sharing music. Selling both new and old vinyl (and CD’s, if that’s more your jam), any jazz freak, metalhead or world music aficionado is sure to be satiated in this Norwich institution. You’ll also find, with venues and live music becoming more accessible now, Soundclash is the only in city vendor of UEA LCR and Waterfront tickets, and stock tickets for Epic Studios, as well as more arts and cultures events.

Make sure you stop by this one, find more information on their website.

So with trends coming and going like the seasons why not opt for timeless classics that were cool then, and are even cooler now. So, the next time you fancy some vintage shopping, have a look at the shops listed above and enjoy an awesome day of rummaging just a short ABC Taxi drive away.

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Discover the best places to Picnic in Norwich

Finally! With our lock-down restrictions loosening, and the Great British summer making a much-needed appearance – we have to ask ourselves, how do we make the most of our newfound freedom?

After what felt like an endless torrent of ready meals, take-outs and sitting inside in front of the T.V, there has never been a better time than now, to take a step outside and cast those lock-down blues to a summer’s breeze. That’s why we’re helping you find the best spots, in and around Norwich, to plan your perfect picnic!

Picnic Preparations

While everyone approaches picnicking in their own personal way, Norwich’s local and independent shops and market stalls can make your first picnic out something special! Here are just a handful of our recommendations..

St. Giles Pantry

St Giles Pantry, Upper St Giles St, Norwich

Picnicking and locally produced food really do go hand in hand – Alan Sabol, the owner and shopkeeper of St. Giles Pantry, understands the value of independently produced groceries, and has created one of the finest places to purchase every element for your perfect picnic, in his own words;

“jam, gin, cheese, chutneys – you name it, we have it!”

Alan Sabol

Working in the leisure industry for over 25 years, Alan clearly understands the ins and outs of good produce. Opening in October 2020, with the sole intention of supporting “great producers who were suffering from the pandemic”, all of his stock is being produced by local farmers, cheesemakers, butchers, breweries and wineries within a forty-mile radius.

With such a wide range of stock, asking Alan for a picnic basket recommendation felt appropriate

“On my picnic, I would bring some Marsh Pig, (a Norwich based charcuterie) Baron Bigod (a delicious brie-style cheese from Fen Farms Dairy in Suffolk), some Flint Vineyard wine, and maybe some Burnt Mill beer.”

Alan explained that every item in-store is there for a reason, “there is a story behind everything we sell”, and the passion with which he approaches good food makes St. Giles the place to find that perfect pairing for your basket.

Not only is the produce at St. Giles delectable, but the stunning shopfront in and of itself is also worth a visit alone, and can be found at 95A Upper St Giles St, Norwich NR2 1AB, or take a look at their story and events at www.stgilespantry.com 

Chef Ron’s Kitchen

Chef Ron’s Kitchen,19 Lower Goat Ln, Norwich

If before heading to your picnicking spot you’d rather fill your basket with some of the most delicious, no-frills attached great food in Norwich, then Chef Ron’s Kitchen may just be exactly what you are looking for.

If we had to reserve the phrase ‘hidden gem’ for one spot in Norwich, it would have to be for Chef Ron’s. He and his family have been operating from the heart of the Lanes for five years, and after speaking with the chef himself, it is clear that time, care and effort with which Ron approaches food makes this place a must-go.

“What makes Ron’s is flavour and quality of food at affordable prices – food for the working man and woman”, and it is clear that Ron’s outlook permeates every element of his humble deli;

“All our meat is local: all our chicken is free-range, all our beef is butchered in the area – we’re health-conscious, and our food is clean”

Chef Ron

Ron’s passion for his food and his business is inspiring, and with over 35 years of fine dining experience “from French cuisine, to Italian”, it’s hardly surprising to see why! 

Of course, we needed to hear what Ron would pick up for his own picnic, and without missing a beat he told us

“It’s got to be our homemade pastrami sandwich on our poppy seed roll – it’s got that flavourful crunch with our homemade bread. To drink I’d probably take our Acai smoothie with me as well – it’s one of the best superfoods and it’s delicious”

Ron’s eldest son, Roman, runs the aptly named Roman’s Juice bar, and really any pairing from the two is beyond perfect. On asking what he would recommend for picnic-goers, he assured “I could recommend everything – the question is, what do you want to experience?”

Chef’s Ron’s Kitchen and Roman’s Juice Bar can be found, tucked away in the lanes at 19 Lower Goat Ln, Norwich NR2 1EL, or peruse their gallery at www.chef-rons-kitchen-and-romans-juice-bar.business.site 

Sir Toby’s Beers

Sir Toby’s Beers, Stalls 182/183 Norwich Market

The pairing of a crisp, locally crafted beer, and breathing the air of where it was brewed, is among one of the finer things in life. For owners Toby and Dominic, this couldn’t be more true. Operating now for almost four years from their charming beer stall Norwich Market, they pride themselves on serving hundreds of different craft beers – from stouts, to IPA’s, to pilsners and so much more. On asking what makes Sir Toby’s special, Toby himself explained,

“we’re not pretentious about beer – whether you want a traditional ale, or an IPA, or a lager – we’re not ‘craft or go home’, and we love it.”

Sir Toby

On your summer picnic, Toby would recommend “a nice fruity sour beer – they’re crisp and not too heavy, so you won’t be falling asleep in the sun. So maybe a Radler or a Saison”, although he reminded us to keep checking, explaining excitedly that every fortnight “we have completely new stock!” 

 Sir Toby’s truly is your one-stop-shop (or rather stall) for that perfect beer to keep ice cold in your hamper, stop by at Stalls 182/183 Norwich Market, NR2 1NE, or visit their site www.sirtobysbeers.co.uk 

CJ’s Fruit and Veg

CJ’s Fruit & Veg, Stalls 26/27 & 36, Norwich Market

Picnicking isn’t quite picnicking without the sight of fresh strawberries, apples, pears, and all things fruit and veg to enjoy in the sun – and there is no place more fitting to pick up all you need, than the long-established market stall, CJ’s Fruit and Veg. 

Looking out directly over the high street, CJ’s truly is a cornucopia of all things fresh and locally sourced, and being a family run business, spanning four generations with no sign of stopping, we have to think they know good veggies! 

If you’re looking for fruit to pick at throughout the day, or want to prepare a salad, or even find the ingredients for that couscous you’ve always wanted to make, why not shop local, and support a true family establishment that prides itself on high quality, Norfolk sourced produce!

You can visit CJ’s at Stalls 26, 27 and 36 in Norwich Market, or check out their website at http://www.cjsfruitveg.com 

Where to Picnic 

There are almost an endless amount of places to set up a perfect picnic in Norwich, let alone the beautiful villages that surround it, far too many to even approach in this list – then again, here are a few of our personal favourite picnicking hot-spots to check out –

Eaton Park

Eaton Park, Norwich

Just a short taxi ride outside of the city centre, Eaton is one of the four historic parks located in Norwich, and it truly has the reputation to prove it. Opened by Edward VIII in 1928, Eaton Park might just be one of the most beautiful spots to relax and picnic in Norwich – with its bandstand, pavilion, rose garden and lily pond – you might just feel as if you had travelled back in time to its opening. 

Events are still held in the large pavilion, and more are expected in the coming weeks – anything from live music, book readings or an open-air performance, could be the perfect way to end your summer’s day. The iconic rotunda in the centre of the park also sports a café, just in case you need a top-up of anything, or if hot drinks with your picnic are more your style.

Eaton Park is just an ABC journey away, at 2 S Park Ave, Norwich NR4 7AU, review their history and events at www.friendsofeatonpark.co.uk

Plantation Garden 

Plantation Garden, Norwich

This hidden gem may be the closest you can get to a real-life ‘secret garden’. The Garden was established one hundred and forty years ago by Henry Trevor, a Norwich shopkeeper who, over a period of forty years transformed this former chalk quarry, into one of the most scenic locations in Norwich, especially perfect for a picnic with someone special.

A true Victorian showstopper, Plantation Garden features flower beds and lawns that are maintained beautifully, woodland walkways and a rustic bridge around the perimeter of the garden, an Italianate style terrace, and as a centrepiece, a Gothic-style water feature and fountain. 

Being maintained since 1980 by the Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, a collective established by Sir Roy Strong, previous director of the National Portrait Gallery, and the V&A – the suggested £2 entry fee seems almost too good to be true! 

Plantation Garden can be tricky to find but ask any ABC driver and they’ll know exactly where to go, at 4 Earlham Road, Norwich, NR2 3DB, and take a look at www.plantationgarden.co.uk

Waterloo Park 

Waterloo Park, Norwich

Along with Eaton, this is one of Norwich’s four historic parks – opening in 1904, Waterloo is a beautiful scenic park with a rich history, perfect for any picnic. The park’s bandstand and Art Deco pavilion are central to the park’s design, and both are also beginning to host events to cap off a perfect day out. Waterloo also hosts a plethora of activity grounds, including a tennis court, large open areas that have been used for cricket and other sports, play facilities for children, including the Splash Pad, a small interactive water feature, which operates in the summer months, so best to bring a towel! 

According to Friends of Waterloo Park, the volunteer community that supports the six-acre plot, Waterloo hosts one of the largest herbaceous borders in the UK – the style of which is reported to be extremely accurate to the period many of the parks in Norwich were established. A children’s sensory garden is also accessible for any budding young gardeners, alongside the Dyer’s Garden, which specialises in traditional plant-based dyeing techniques, so expect some craft events in the coming months! On the outskirts of the city, a cab ride would certainly make the journey worthwhile, you can find Waterloo at Angel Rd, Norwich NR3 3HX, and you can visit the Friends of Waterloo at www.friendsofwaterloopark.org.uk

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Discover the Best Al Fresco Dining in Norwich

When it comes to great al fresco dining spots, Norwich is spoilt for choice. Here are just some of the brilliant restaurants and places to eat that boast gardens, pavement tables and restaurant terraces that allow for exquisite outdoor dining in Norwich & Norfolk.

Bowling House

Bowling House
Bowling House, Dereham Road, Norwich

Bowling House Norwich offers amazing meals, beer, drinks, and wine, as well as ten-pin bowling lanes. The venue located on Dereham Road in Norwich boasts an exciting cocktail bar, karaoke venue, and restaurant with a ten-pin bowling lane. To the side of the venue is a stunning spacious courtyard. For a casual dining experience with a little extra, Bowling House is a great choice for a place to dine in Norwich. 

Click here to book your lane or call on 01603 397 412

The Maids Head Hotel 

Maids Head Hotel
Maids Head Hotel, 20 Tombland, Norwich

The Maids Head Hotel in Tombland has recently opened a stunning new outdoor seating space in the courtyard, which will be open for al fresco dining and afternoon tea. The 2 AA Rosette restaurant offers an innovative menu to today’s sophisticated diner. Set in the historic courtyard of the hotel you’re sure to enjoy a delicious meal from the amazing selection of dishes available.

To find out more, or to make a booking, please call 01603 209955, or email reservations at reservations@maidsheadhotel.co.uk

The Last Wine Bar & Restaurant

The Last Wine Bar
The Last Wine Bar, St Georges St, Norwich

Located on George Street in Norwich, The Last Wine Bar & Restaurant first opened its doors to customers in the ‘90s.  Over the years the cuisine has evolved but their love for fine food made from the best ingredients has not.  This delightful independent restaurant in the heart of Norwich offers an exquisite menu created using fresh products. All of which are acquired locally from high-quality growers in Norfolk, many of which have supplied the restaurant for over twenty years. 

To find out more, or to make a booking call 01603 626626, or email reservations at bookings@thelastnorwich.co.uk

The Norfolk Mead

The Norfolk Mead, Church Loke, Coltishall, Norwich

Nestled on the banks of the River Bure amid eight acres of meticulously maintained private grounds in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. Relax in opulence within the exquisite walled garden and enjoy pastries, afternoon tea, and a selection of hot and cold drinks with your family or friends. Friendly, local staff are on hand to make your visit an easy-going, relaxed experience with additional spa and treatment facilities available tucked away in the back of the hotel.

For bookings, call 01603 737531 or visit The Norfolk Mead website for more details.

Norfolk Mead Hotel

Giggling Squid

Giggling Squid
The Giggling Squid, Tombland, Norwich

 The Giggling Squid is located on Tombland in the heart of Norwich in a wonderful Grade II listed building with stained glass windows. The restaurant offers authentic, freshly prepared Thai food in a calm contemporary setting.

The Thai tapas lunch menu is a great way to sample a variety of dishes on offer with the Tapas ‘taste packages delivering a variety of four tapas designed to complement each other. The stunning outdoor dining area is situated just outside the Cathedral gates in one of the most historic parts of the city with the renowned Elms Hill just a stone’s throw away.

To find out more, or to make a booking, please call 01603 667341, or email reservations at norwich@gigglingsquid.com

The Rushcutters Arms

The Rushcutters Arms
The Rushcutters, Thorpe St Andre, Norwich

Set on the banks of the beautiful River Yare stands the 16th century Grade II listed Rushcutters Inn, a stunning riverside pub and restaurant in Thorpe St. Andrew. The location is a beautiful affluent area set between the River Yare on one side and a steep wooded slope on the other, with views across Whitlingham Broads. The Rushcutters menu offers seasonal specials and delicious pub classics that are available all day and on Sundays, enjoy the famous Rushcutters roast dinner with an excellent selection of real ales and fine wines.

Click here to book your or call on 01603 435403

Woolf and Social

Woolfe & Social
Woolf and Social, Nelson St, Norwich

Woolf & Social is an artisan-inspired pub and restaurant that promotes the idea of a social club. The menu is designed to be shared with friends and family and blends the greatest concepts from street food and fine dining. Launched by friends Felix Rehberg and Francis Woolf the cuisine on offer has been described as post-tapas and the pair celebrate being awarded the Good Food Guide prize for being the region’s finest local restaurant. Diners and drinkers can enjoy the seating area outside of the pub, providing authentic al fresco dining in Norwich.

For bookings, call 01603 443658 or email bookings@woolfandsocial.co.uk

So with Summer (supposedly) in full swing and outdoor dining permitted under the ongoing restrictions. It’s the ideal time to enjoy some delicious al fresco dining in Norwich. So, the next time the sun shines, have a look at the pubs and restaurants listed above and treat yourself to an unforgettable outdoor dining experience just a short ABC Taxi drive away.

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Best Locations in Norwich to buy Houseplants.

Being such a green city, it’s no surprise many of us here in Norwich have green thumbs. Surrounded by amazing natural marvels such as the Broads, Thetford Forest and Marston Marsh, a lot of us have decided to have a little piece of nature for ourselves. Houseplants are a great way to bring the beauty of the outdoors closer to us. Whether it be in our homes or our offices, having a houseplant is a great way to brighten your mood. 

They don’t just look nice. There are a great number of health benefits that houseplants can bring; Some of them are mental, some of them physical. 

ABC Taxis remains strongly committed to doing whatever we can in order to compensate for its carbon impact through our Ecologi partnership. Our donations help fund a range of activities, programmes and climate solutions that directly affect the atmospheric CO2 levels. We are committed to expanding the number of hybrid vehicles that makes up the ABC Taxis fleet and our funding has helped plant over 2,300 trees around the world.

ABC Taxis are proud partners supporting the Ecologi initiative.

Plants clean the air. Having a plant inside a building can take away some of the toxic vapours wafting around. Harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are absorbed by houseplants. Plants can also reduce the chances of you becoming ill. Studies show that having a plant in your house lowers the risk of you getting dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs. All in all, you can breathe much easier when there’s a plant in your house.

It’s not just our lungs that plants can heal. Being in nature helps improve concentration, memory and productivity. Of course, you get the most benefits by taking a taxi to the Norfolk wilds, but if you’re too busy you can bring nature to you. People working at home can improve their productivity by having a plant to look after. If you’re already back in the office, plants can make everyone’s day brighter!

With houseplants being a simple yet beautiful way to make your environment healthier, here at ABC Taxis we thought we’d come up with a list of places around the city to buy your houseplants!

Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle, Old Costessey

A couple of miles away from the city centre, Urban Jungle isn’t just a shop, it’s an experience! There are so many plants that you can really feel how clean the air is. When you go, take a deep breath. The people at Urban Jungle are experts and will enthusiastically answer any question you have about looking after your plants. If that’s not enough to entice you, there’s an amazing cafe and pond that’s home to some huge koi fish!

Elm

Elm on Elm Hill, Norwich

Elm is one of the Lanes’ true treasures. Selling stationery, gifts, decorations and plants, every aspect of your life can be made more beautiful with a visit to Elm. If you get a chance to go, there are plants outside that will close up when you touch them! A lot of the plants in their store are small, cute and easy to manage. For new houseplant enthusiasts who want the prettiest selection, Elm is for you!

The Plant Den

The Plant Den, 91 Upper St Gile Street

A small but elite shop, The Plant Den on Upper St Giles Street is so dense you’d think you’d wandered into the tropics! The plants they sell are exotic, completely transforming your space. There are no surprises there as transforming spaces is their speciality! With just a phone call, you can chat with them about how they can choose the best plants for your home or office. They don’t just sell plants, they are artists decorating your home!

Scaped Nature

Scaped Nature, 60 St. Giles Street

Sometimes you want a house plant to be part of your environment. Scaped Nature makes a little environment all for your plants! Specialising in aquariums and terrariums, Scaped Nature puts the jungle in a box and the results are gorgeous. The shop is a true passion project for people who have a love for the creative and mindful practices of creating mini environments. Take a visit yourselves and discover the beauty of Scaped Nature.

These are some of our favourite places to shop for plants here in Norwich. You deserve to have clean air and a lovely environment to live in so why not get yourself a houseplant? Whether you want a ride to the shop or your houseplants click and collected, ABC Taxis Norwich is here for you! Since we’re so passionate about clean air, we have an eco-friendly fleet of vehicles ready to take you to your destination! All you have to do is book ABC Taxis through the phone, ABC Taxis app, Facebook messenger or our online booking system!

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Have you met our fleet of eco-friendly cars?

With climate change already an alarming problem, ABC Taxis are doing our bit to contribute to the solution. One BBC article reports that a regular taxi emits 210 grams of CO2 per kilometre, whilst coaches only emit 27g and an average petrol car emitting 180g per km. Fortunately, ABC Taxis planet-saving eco-fleet are more than just ordinary taxis. Or should we say less?


Using cutting-edge engineering, many of our vehicles have cut down emissions to volumes as low as 86 g/km. This is all possible with hybrid vehicle technology.

What are hybrid vehicles?

Put simply, hybrid vehicles are cars which are both electric and petrol engines that intelligently switch from one to the other to maximise fuel efficiency and minimise carbon emissions. Cars like our Toyota Prius will seamlessly switch from petrol to electric during at slower speeds, eliminating the extra carbon emitted during traffic jams and driving in suburban areas. More high-tech additions to our vehicles are their self-charging implements. All of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles charge their electric engines when their petrol engines are in use, decreasing the energy consumed by charging our vehicles at electric charging stations.

Impact on Emissions

With the reduction of fuel consumption allowed by our hybrid vehicles, we’ve so far managed to offset 317,766 miles driven in a car and save 128 tonnes of carbon going into the atmosphere. That’s with our 150 eco-friendly vehicles. With ABC Taxis going full throttle with our focus on the future and our environment, that number is only going to get bigger, with the carbon we release into the atmosphere getting smaller. 

Why so eco-minded?

Photo Of Windmills During Dawn

We hear it everywhere. We are in a climate emergency. According to scientists, we have until 2030 until our damage to the planet is irreversible. In the UK, 50% of carbon emissions are due to transport. This is why ABC Taxis have decided to do something NOW. With Norfolk being a national leader in green energy research as well as home to one of the UK’s most beautiful green spaces and biodiverse eco-systems, ABC Taxis have both the means and the responsibility to make a real difference to the future of our planet.

Where we’re going…

Green Grass and Green Tree

The Delorean DMC isn’t the only kind of car that’ll bring us to the future. With our clean, efficient, eco-friendly taxis, we’ll be taking you on sustainable journeys for years to come.  

For a sustainable taxi journey from a company that cares about the future, book ABC Taxis through the phone, ABC Taxis app, Facebook messenger or our online booking system! We’ve taken our steps towards reducing our carbon footprint, take yours by riding with us.

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ABC Taxi’s Guide to decoding Medieval Graffiti in Norfolk’s churches

Graffiti often gets a bad rap in our modern society. Vilified as vulgar, unsightly and a mark of disrespect upon public and private institutions, the criminal element of the art-form is always front and centre of discourse on the subject. Whether you agree or disagree, there’s no escaping the illegality of graffiti. However, the opinion that etching tags on walls is always wrong seems to be a more modern one. The evidence? We don’t have to look any further than our own churches.

brown brick wall on green grass field during daytime

Norfolk as a county is home to more medieval churches than any other county in the United Kingdom with over 500 churches, some dating back as far as far as the 7th Century. Whilst some of these have been converted to beloved venues or antique stores, many stand proudly as living pieces of history. If you look closely at the walls of these churches, you may find some faint etchings. This is graffiti.

Writing’s on the Wall

Very recently, medieval graffiti has been the subject of intense academic study with Norfolk being a particular hotspot for this field of research due to the diligent preservation of our historic sights. One trailblazer in this new movement is Matthew Champion, whose book Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England’s Churches can be found in the gift shop of the Norwich Cathedral. The book seeks to decipher the long overlooked history of graffiti in our county and surveys the recurring archetypes of graffiti that can be found in our churches. Along with a hard-working group of volunteers, Champion is making sure the Lost Voices of the medieval common folk don’t go unheard.

Out of Line

With the wealth of churches in the country (‘one for every Sunday,’ as the saying goes) the results of the survey are outstanding. With their research, they managed to construct a fascinating tapestry that stretches over centuries. These etchings have revolutionised our understanding of the medieval commoner’s relationship with their church and their community. The abundance of graffiti being another astounding revelation. So let’s take a dive into what these mysterious markings actually mean:

From Scratch

The more that graffiti was uncovered, the more that researchers found recurring themes Deciphering these markings has been an intense yet rewarding effort. It hasn’t helped that many of these etchings have faded away, with only fragments remaining. Despite the longevity of these markings, the truth of them is hardly set in stone. Some mysteries may always remain mysteries but experts from the Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey have provided us with some enlightening interpretations. 

Ship Graffiti

The most straightforward interpretation of these markings is that the good folk of Norfolk’s coastal towns are just drawing what they see everyday. However, the discovery of these ship markings further inland suggest something else. It is now theorised that these markings are prayers, with the ship carving tradition stretching over decades. The SMGS proposes the question: Are they praying for the safe passage of a ship just sailed? Or are they praying for the long overdue return of a lost family member?

Mason’s Marks

It’s theorised that during the construction of these churches, the Masons who worked on them would leave these marks in order verify who worked on it and ensure that they would be paid accordingly. The fact that these marks more commonly occur in higher parts of the church imply that they could only be reached with scaffolding, which a mason would have the most access to.

Solomon’s Knot

Magic or superstition? These knots are an ancient symbol which experts have theorised are drawn as a form of ritual protection.

The Old Testament story goes that an angel gave King Solomon a ring that would give him control over demons. Inscribed in this ring was a knot that had no discernible beginning and end. In their stupidity and curiosity, the demon would be trapped following this knot looking for its beginning and end. 

Heraldry

These coats of arms are designed to correspond to a family. However, it’s hard to match which of these marks belong to which family as family coats of arms are reliant on colour to properly identify. What’s notable is the drama that can be found on these markings. Some heraldry marks are defaced, implying a level of disrespect and personal conflict. Unlike the other symbols which remain relatively untouched, individuals feel more comfortable defacing these symbols because they pertain more to an individual.

Today is not much different. There is a dynamic of respect that can be found in the way respected graffiti writers have tags placed around their mark whilst some rivals may provoke other rival artists by spraying over their graffiti.

On this Rock…

Why are we so fascinated with these often crude markings? One such answer is the intimacy of medieval graffiti. Much of what we remember about the medieval period from when were children are the tales of great men: King Arthur and his sword, the Black Knight, dragons and the heroes who slayed them. Even in the architecture, stain glass windows and grand tombs are there because someone could afford to build them and therefore we remember them because they can afford to be remembered.

The magic of graffiti lives in its depiction of regular people. You could say it’s a more democratic form of memorialisation because anyone can do it. The plague ravaged much of England, leaving hundreds of unmarked graves; its victims long forgotten. It is on the walls of these rural churches that we can find the etchings of three names with the same surname and the same date: 1515, the year of the plague. Memorial etchings such as these are among the most common that can be found in these churches, a way to be remembered or remember someone even if you didn’t have money.

Get involved!

If the idea of unravelling the mysteries of medieval graffiti interests you, the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey has a wealth of resources that might help an aspiring archeologist. So check it out and dive into our county’s history.

As always, ABC Taxis is here for you if you need a little help getting to these stunning historical sites. All you need to do is download the ABC Taxis App or give us a call on 01603 666333 to book your taxi.

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ABC Taxis | Book a Table at these fantastic outdoor experiences

They’re back! For almost a month now, restaurants and pubs have opened their doors to the eager patrons who’ve been waiting over a quarter of a year for a refreshing draught pint or an exciting dining experience. More than anything, it’s wonderful just to have the chance to spend some time with our friends and family.

The inspiring reminder that we’re not alone has likely come with the stark reality that an entire city is trying to pack itself into the handful of venues that can accommodate outside seating, which is almost always much smaller than its indoor seating capacity. The lines outside stretching far beyond the doorstep. 

We’ve waited long enough. That’s why we at ABC Taxis has compiled a list of some of our favourite places in Norwich that you can have a safe, socially distanced meal or pint that are taking advanced booking. Say goodbye to queues and say hello to good friends, good food and, with any luck, good weather!

Gonzo’s Tea Room

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This nostalgic yet exciting bar and restaurant is one of Norwich’s culinary prides. One of Big 7 Travel’s top 25 places to eat, top 5 chicken wings, and 50 best burgers in the ENTIRE country, you’d be missing out if one of the first stops of your post-pandemic food-crawls isn’t having one of Gonzo’s monster burgers. The bar and restaurant (gastropub, I think they’re called?) sports one of the most thrilling eating and drinking experiences with a rooftop venue, beautiful lighting and in-house DJ to accompany your dinner. 

Tipsy Vegan

The Tipsy Vegan, Norwich - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Our Fine City is a constant contender in the many lists of vegan-friendly cities. One the eco-friendly heavyweights in Norwich is the fascinating Tipsy Vegan in its lovely corner of St Benedict’s Street. The variety of food is just stunning. If you ask us, the most intimidating part of the whole experience is choosing just one meal! Our solution? Tipsy Vegan’s tapas selection is a brilliant way to get a bit of everything and enhance the experience by sharing with your friends, potluck style!

The Rumsey Wells

The Rumsey Wells - Norwich Lanes

Not just a fantastic pub, it’s long been one of Norwich’s favourite music venues. Now taking centre stage is Brick Pizza’s fantastic menu: The perfect food for hanging out with your mates! Norwich’s oldest pieminster is now serving a different kind of pie. Don’t skimp on the best selection of rum you’ll ever find.

Park Farm Hotel and Leisure

Should you desire to venture into Norfolk’s magical scenery, Park Farm Hotel and Leisure has the perfect sunset view to enjoy the splendid evening air. With stunning scenery providing the backdrop to a delicious outdoor meal made up of authentic Norfolk ingredients, Park Farm is undoubtedly the most romantic experience to have here in the East of England.

The Mitre

Mitre, Norwich - Picture of Mitre Coffee Shop, Norwich - Tripadvisor

Venturing a little further from the city centre is one of Norwich’s hidden treasures for more reasons than just the food. This wonderful coffee house is just such a pleasant place to be with a friendly atmosphere and some most welcoming staff you’ll meet in your lifetime. Serving a classic pub lunches with that little bit extra to elevate the menu, there’s such an easiness to this place that few places can properly master. 

The Blue Joanna

Another vegan paradise (though not exclusively so), Blue Joanna boasts one of the most innovative menus to be found in Norwich. Home of the Korean Blue Taco, prepare for a dance of flavour accompanied with a vast selection of wines and cocktails. If anywhere in Norwich deserves a blue plaque, it’s the Blue Joanna.

The Artichoke/XO Kitchen

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This dynamic duo stands proudly at the top of Magdalen Street as one of the fullest eating and drinking experiences to be had in the city. The Artichoke boasts a comprehensive rotating menu of beers and ciders served by a friendly team of knowledgeable enthusiasts. Meanwhile, it’s clear in the menu from the quality, the experimentation and the presentation that the kitchen staff have an immense passion for what they do. Forget everything you know about food and drink and let these guys take you for a ride.

So that’s our list! If we missed another favourite of yours please, please let us know. We love to discover more Norwich gems! Just as each of these venues have taken measures to bring us the safest experience, ABC Taxis have made sure that your ride to these venues are as COVID-free as possible. Also like these dining experiences, you can avoid disappointment by booking in advance. You can call us at 01603 666333, booking online, messaging us on Facebook Messenger or by downloading the ABC Taxis app.

From ABC, Bon appe-taxi!

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ABC Taxis Quiz | Put Your Norfolk Slang to the test!

Ar yer orrite bor?

Norfolk’s dialect is rich with slang terms that put our individual stamp on the English language. Even if you haven’t been here long, you’re bound to pick up a few. Even if you haven’t been to Norfolk at all, some of our words have ventured out! Ever been frazzled? Norfolk invented being frazzled. So you don’t get yourself lost in a loke, ABC Taxis has put together a Norfolk slang quiz. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Hope you had fun with our quiz! There are plenty of ways to get better with your Norfolk Slang. Friends of Norfolk Dialect (FOND) has a fantastic glossary and a library of interesting books on the subject. Of course, there’s no better way than to just get out there and see the county for yourself. For taking a trip to deeper Norfolk, just give ABC Taxis a ring or a message!

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