So Sam turned twenty-five, though I keep being mean and rounding him up to thirty, and for his birthday we went away to Norwich. A place he's always wanted to visit. I'll admit I had no idea what to expect, I'd heard it was pretty but didn't know anything beyond that. Safe to say we both absolutely loved the city and plan on going again.
I'd booked us an Air BnB in this adorable little hut called The Nest. It was perfect. We could spend the night in and cook with the facilities provided, the bed was super comfy with a TV mounted on the wall that had access to Netflix and there was a log burning fire! Our favourite thing. Which was, of course, Sam's job to maintain. I gave it a go...it did not go well. Rest assured though I still have my eyebrows and fingerprints. The hut was a little outside of Norwich in a little village called Buxton. Which as you can see was adorable, if a little remote.
On our first day, we ventured into Norwich town centre for a look around, but not before Sam made us a full English in the hut. Nothing better than a full English with a brew....and I even had an orange juice. Look at me starting my five a day early.
We came across this sweet little independent store. The Book Hive was spread across two floors and multiple rooms. There was a slight organisation in the sense that they had a table with new stuff and the certain shelves held different genres. Beyond that there was a great deal of it...but I loved that. Having to hunt around for different things. They had titles I recognised and ones I didn't. One place to put on the list if you're visiting.
The town is filled with twisting turning streets with shops on every corner. Big chains like Dr Marten's or Boots and independent stores too. I'm not sure if it's always there but the market was on too. With food stalls, clothing and everything in between. We did, however, see a stall called a 'fruiterer' which I have never heard before. It's a place you can spend hours, which we did, wandering around discovering different places.
Of course, we went into the Waterstones...When do I not drag Sam into a bookstore(s)... This time we did actually come out with books though! He got some presents for people and also got me the beautiful clothbound Penguin classics edition of Frankenstein. I don't believe I've ever mentioned it here before...though I could be wrong, I collect editions of Frankenstein and Dracula. This copy marks my third or fourth copy of the book.
After a lot of walking a pit stop and beverage was required. My eagle-eyed boyfriend spied this little pub tucked down an alleyway. Oh my god, it's cute. The Lamb Inn was the perfect blend of a 'local' and in my opinion somewhat hipster-esque (it's a word). They had loads of ales to try, plenty of gins and also served food. At this point, we weren't that hungry and so went for a half pint of ale each. I know. I didn't get a gin. Yes, I was feeling fine. If and when we go back I'd like to see what their Sunday roast is like.
It was far too chilly for us to sit out, but I imagine in summer it'd be incredible and probably full to bursting. The outdoor seats spread across the walkway with heaters suspended and next to the tables if it got a bit nippy.
OH. And they had a cat. A pub cat.
A museum! What a shock... Before we went we spent the night and days before looking up places we wanted to visit. This was at the top of our list. Unfortunately, a few of the rooms and exhibits were closed off which wasn't great. There were also about four primary schools running amok throughout too which were very funny but very loud. In the main Keep of the castle was a dressing up section which one school had claimed. You needed to walk in and out of the Keep to the different rooms and exhibits. Each time we passed through the same little girl was dressed as a Princess refusing to move from the throne. The hierarchy was well and truly established. There was also a tiny dragon terrorising the people, with a tiny knight chasing after it and a very worn out looking teacher trying to corral the both of them.
After all that wandering around we needed to refuel. Forunately, Sam had spied a restaurant in the bottom level of Jarrods. Yes, you heard that right. Jarrods. The Harrods of Norwich. Anyone how knows me and knows me well is aware of my mild addiction to gnocchi. If it's on a menu I will be having it. I've gone out of my way to search for a place that does it before now. Safe to say I was a very happy little camper when I saw it. Mine had a pesto and white wine sauce. Sam went for some very snazzy ravioli and we shared a tomato and basil garlic bread...which you can see a blurry hand going for. The blurry hand was attatched to a very hungry gentleman....
That night we decided to stay in, we'd certainly done enough walking! I'd love to have known how many steps we'd got in.
Despite the fact it was his birthday Sam cooked for us. A good old fashioned steak and chip dinner with this incredible beef mayo magical thing. He's a wizard. I swear I tried to help. I offered. And was then placed, I kid you not, in front of the fire, given my book and handed a glass of wine. What I did to deserve this I know not. Though it does make me wonder if the sacrifices from the blood moon many years ago actually worked...
Regardless, reading Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas whilst my favourite person cooked for me was an incredible way to spend an evening.
Friday we decided to venture a little further away from Norwich and went to Great Yarmouth. We regretted it and swiftly detoured over to Cromer which was adorable. A very picturesque, if a cold seaside town with a multitude of cute cafes and traditional pubs. I imagine in the summer it'd be so busy and full. For dinner, and to get warm we ended up in a place called the Hatter's Tea Room. An Alice in Wonderland themed cafe. I was in my element. I had the best pot of breakfast tea. I'm a simple girl when it comes to a brew, though they had loads of blends to choose from. Then my usual, poached eggs on toast. Sam had this mahoosive sandwich type thing and we polished off a slice of Victoria sponge together.
Saturday was a duvet day. We binged watched Benidorm, finally watched Birdbox (which we loved) and ate chips. Then that night we went out to the most beautiful pub called the Recruiting Sargent for Sam's birthday meal. I forgot to take any photos and honestly, it was lovely. The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was great and we both loved it. Then as per, we spent the night with wine and Netflix before leaving on Sunday morning.
Hello, internet. That's my naked face. A sight I don't think I've ever posted on the internet before. Enjoy! There was no way I was putting a face on that early....but I realised we hadn't taken any photos together. So Sam obliged and then we went on our merry way home.
I had the best time, in a lovely place with my favourite person celebrating his 25th Birthday. I hope you enjoyed reading about our time as much as we enjoyed living it.