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“Good but lacks the x-factor” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Lavender House

The Lavender House
39 The Street, Brundall, Norwich NR13 5AA, England
+44 1603 712215 ‎
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Ranked #41 of 634 restaurants in Norwich
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Norwich, UK
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Good but lacks the x-factor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2010

We love eating out and have tried most of Norfolk's restaurants but have always missed out on a table here. From the reviews and the price we expected to be wowed but as good as the food is it just lacks something.
The service and atmosphere were first rate. The little touch of Richard Hughes coming out to mingle and attend to his clients is a nice touch. The food is good.
The problem is there is nothing here that hasn't really been done before. In summary it is cooked and presented well but with little originality. The portions are adequate but in my opinion relatively small when they lack the buzz of something original. The canapés, the pre-starter and pre-dessert were wonderful. When we tried the canapés we thought we were in for an interesting journey through the food landscape but it was one we'd visited before and paid less for. The mains were particularly disappointing - fillet and shin of beef with roasted vegetables was bland and small with exception to the flavoursome shin.
Would we return? - yes. Would we make it a regular treat in preference to other local favourites? - definitely not.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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151 reviews from our community

81% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Wedding Present!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2010

My partner and I recently got married after being together for 6 years. As we have lived together for some while there were no need for gifts as such as we had everything which we needed. My Brother and his wife suggested an all expense spared evening at The Lavender House as their gift to us to which we were pleased to accept.

I can not talk about this restaurant enough, from the moment I walked in, throughout the 4 hours I was there to the moment we left we were made to feel at ease and more welcome than I have ever felt in a restaurant before. The first moment I knew it was going to be a good evening was when the waitress came over to greet us, she was friendly, happy and above all else knew her stuff about the food and more importantly for me the wine. We were then walked through to the main eating area where upon we were met by the waiter who again was just a pleasure to talk to.

Then came the food, which was brought out by the chef (Great touch) who talked you though each course (there was 8 of them!) and the wine to match. He was clearly passionate about the the food which he was presenting (which by the way was presented beautifully) and again was a pleasure to talk to. Each course was better than the last and I ate every single bit. There was no way I was leaving any. There was a variety and as they were only small portions, (all 8 of them) I left nicely full.

Whilst some may say its expensive I would say its without doubt worth it. The whole experience is one which I will remember for a while and I am keen to go back! I haven't stopped talking about it since last week. The whole evening was just a fantastic night and I felt spoilt rotten. It was great! 10 out of 10. I will go back no question and I would recommend anyone to try it. Well Done to the lavendar house.....You made my Friday Night!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk, UK
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Misses the mark by a Norfolk mile”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2010

Visited for dinner, four in our group. Waited for 15 mins after being seated. No drinks or menus offered - had to go find the waitress, an old schoolmaam, who seemed rather put out to be asked. Our order of a bottle of Bollinger (it was a celebration) was met with incomprehesion – the waitress asked what “number” it was on the menu. There was only one Bollinger on the menu, so can only assume that the staff have no idea what they have to sell.

Food was OK, but only just. Not compatible with the restaurant's ego, and certainly poor value compared to other places in Norwich.

At the end, no staff were available to prepare our bill. Was tempted to do a runner, but we needed someone to order us a taxi!

Food and, especially, service were sadly provincial. This place may get good reviews in the local press, but it wouldn't survive a week away from Norfolk. Must do better.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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NorwichRichard, Owner at The Lavender House, responded to this review, November 24, 2010
Confused by this as we havent listed Bollinger for months. Contacted the reviewer who last visited Feb 2010. Obvoiusly she felt so strongly it took her 9 months to post this review! She then offered to come for a freebie so she could tell me where we went wrong! We declined the offer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Top Notch - Amazing experience all round!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

We have visited The Lavender House a few times now, both when Richard Hughes was in charge, when Richard Knights was head chef and recently went back to dine with Richard Hughes being back in the kitchen.

It was a superb experince, the staff were so attentive, they were so helpful and knowledgable on the menu - making our experience one to remember and we will be returning in the new year for sure.
A perfect place to go for a romantic treat, I can't put my finger on what made it so perfect, the cosy predrinks and nibbles, the little surprises of soup/predesserts or the hand made gorgeous choccys to finish it off - everything was spot on.

well done to all at the lavender house - you've certainly come back with a bang!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
“Best in Norfolk??”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

This place has to be one of the best in Norfolk. Location, building, atmosphere, service, and most importantly the stuff on the plate, all superb. Have been lucky enough to eat at some of the well known names around the county, and whilst we have some great restaurant around at the moment, none of them offer EVERY aspect of a great dining experience. The staff at the Lavender House seem to have a great understanding of their business, and seem proud of the work that they do. There is a review of this restaurant on this page, which im sorry,is pathetic. It comments on the team at The Lavender House, having some of the newpaper features on the restaurant hanging up in a small corridor, saying they 'are blowing their own trumpet!' I loved reading the reviews, and learning more about the team that were looking after such a fantastic occasion.

The food on the evening was fantastic, try the Barnards Beef dish, never experienced meat like it! The Iced peanut parfait, cleverly descibed as a snickers bar, oozing with caramel, chocolate, and salted peanuts. And to finish with Julia's chocolates rounds of a superb evening!

The service was imaculate. Attentive, but not intrusive. You were made to feel welcomed from the moment you walk through the door, to the minute you leave. As the evening goes on and a few glasses of wine down, it just gets better, the staff take time to talk to you about your evening, answer any questions and are genuinely thankful for your custom. Oh and if an Italian gentleman by the name of Tony is working, you will have so much fun!

Value. Whetherspoons is good value for money. The Lavender House is great value for money. No where in Norfolk do you get service like you do at this place, the quality of ingredients served to you, the elegant listed building. No its not a cheap place to eat, but i found i didnt even look at the bill, i didnt need to, it was worth it.

Lastly the atmosphere was brilliant, warm, friendly, family vibes. Enhanced by, as i have already mentioned, some great front of house staff, with genuine passiona nd enthusiasm for what they do.

This is a great dining experience, i cant wait for an excuse to go back!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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