Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Trip to Norwich

I was born and bred in Norwich, so yesterday it seemed truly odd going into the city I pop into most days for tedious tasks, this time with a big fat camera around my neck. However, since the boyfriend was still down I wanted to show him my fair city in all its glory, which meant turning into a bit of a tourist myself!

When we first got there I wasn't entirely sure where to begin. I don't know if this is just me, but when it comes to showing non-hometown friends around where I live I always go blank and forget anywhere and everywhere that might appeal to an outsider. When I'm on my own I tend to dash round the shops in the city centre as quickly as possible and head off home! However, I was surprised how pretty the city centre is when you stop for a minute. The castle is right by the shops, and looks pretty spectacular on the hilltop. The royal arcade (in the pictures below) is also crammed full of amazing shops, mostly independent and deliciously quirky. A top pick of mine is "Macarons & More" - I'm not even a huge fan of macarons, and I have a lot of time for that shop.

We then walked along my favourite part of the city, which is Elm Hill. It's very quintessentially British, with cobbled roads and mismatched buildings. It's definitely the sort of place where you have no idea what little shops could be lurking there. It's still city centre, but a bit off the beaten track so usually pretty quiet :)
Perfect for a Saturday stroll in the afternoon sun. 

The last place I insist that people HAVE to see is the Cathedral. The Cathedral itself is obviously mightily impressive, but for me it's the grounds that make it so special. Norwich does pretty well for its greenery - there's lovely gardens at Chapelfield and the Castle, to name just a couple of big'uns. But there's something very peaceful about the Cathedral close, especially if you walk all the way down & sit by the river. I have lots of fantastic memories of picnics & sunbathing sessions there with friends over the years, and I decided to add to my memory bank this time by forcing the boy to take selfies with me ;)
(Yes, I must confess that afternoon we became those people, but don't worry there weren't any kissing ones!)

Naturally, all that posing made us pretty thirsty so there was only one place to go - The Belgian Monk.

The Belgian Monk is definitely my favourite pub in Norwich, its brilliance means it is usually packed but since it was quite early we were able to get a table rather than awkwardly holding our drinks in the corner (I am not one of those people that looks cool leaning against bars). 
The beer selection in there is AMAZING. I'm not a huge fan of regular beer but their fruit beer selection seriously cannot be rivalled. I opted for my poison of choice aka cherry beer. Which is almost better than attending a party with Beyonce. Almost.

I would have loved to stay in Norwich sightseeing longer but after all that I was completely pooped. I'm hoping another friend will come to stay soon so I can take them around and find places that I've missed!

Have you been to Norwich, or any of the places I've mentioned? I'd love to hear where you like to go most!