Eating & Drinking inEast of England

The vast East Anglian skies are of course the stuff of legend, and the region’s 500 miles of sweeping coastline are an enduring pull, but carve a peaceful route through hard-working farmland and a tapestry of market towns and villages to find produce-led cooking of the highest order. The region which embraces Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire is justifiably proud of what it grows, fishes and harvests – and the best chefs champion this abundance cleverly. Look out for those plump Mersea oysters, sweet Cromer crab, pork from pigs reared on sandy Breckland or coastal farms, or carrots pulled from nourishing Fenland soil.

Often this food is found in the most unassuming places. Take tiny Old Bank in Snettisham, a neighbourhood restaurant that hits that sweet spot of thoughtful, seasonal food so convincingly that it has scooped this year’s overall Best Local Restaurant award; or the generous, unpretentious Anchor in Burwell, an ordinary Fenland village which has a pub worth going out of your way for at its heart.

There’s plenty of classy town-centre eating, too. Check out Loft in St Albans and Restaurant 22 in Cambridge, two applauded newcomers, and be thrilled by the food scene in and around Norwich where the likes of Benedicts, Roger Hickman’s and Woolf & Social lead the way with their inventive menus. Linger in lovely Bury St Edmunds to enjoy 1921, Pea Porridge and Maison Bleue, or drive west for Lee Bye’s acclaimed cooking at Tuddenham Mill, and the world-class offer at Daniel Clifford’s recently revamped Midsummer House, one of East Anglia’s – if not the country’s – hottest tickets.

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Bedfordshire * Cambridgeshire * Hertfordshire * Norfolk * Suffolk

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