Early in the month, G and I spent an afternoon at the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham Hall. It was such a fun day and we tried so much amazing food. We both agreed, though, that it was a drink that stole the show – Grey Seal Coffee, to be precise. When we discovered that Grey Seal has three cafes around the north Norfolk coast we immediately planned to go to one, so with just two weeks before I left for uni we took a drive up for lunch at the Glandford Art Cafe.
The Cafe is located in the Glaven Valley, amongst the picturesque scenery and sweet country lanes between Holt and Blakeney. Glandford itself is a little hamlet, but according to the Cafe’s website it boasts ‘North Norfolk’s only vegetarian restaurant, gallery and licensed cafe.’ From the outside, the Cafe looks relatively unassuming. Housed in a stretching barn conversion, it’s only once you cross the threshold that its light, airy feel really take effect.
Before you even reach the door there’s a lot to look at; the Cafe is situated on a farmyard amongst other local small businesses including a boat builder and art gallery. And once you do step inside, there’s a treasure trove of items, garments and artwork to browse through in the shop; it’s definitely easy to get distracted.
Don’t be too long though; you’ll have to spend a lot more time trying to decide what you’re going to eat. The Art Cafe’s main focus is vegetarian food and their menu changes all the time, including tagines, soups and curries as well as sandwiches and lighter bites.
The Art Cafe also houses an amazing selection of cakes, including gluten-free options. We both went for the amazing carrot cake, but couldn’t resist picking up some brownie for the ride home too – and there was so much else we wanted to try! Everything we ate was totally delicious, and all we could say was”I wish we’d found this place sooner!”
If you try one thing, though, let it be the coffee. Grey Seal has only been established since 2013, but their coffee has already won numerous awards – and with good reason. It’s quite unlike any coffee I’ve ever had before, and has quickly become my favourite. Their cold brew, in particular, is something very special.
Grey Seal makes a point of ethically sourcing all of their coffee beans, and their roastery is just across the yard from the Art Cafe, so it might well be the freshest coffee you can find in Norfolk! Best of all, you can take some home with you from the Cafe, or even buy online – though again, choosing from their amazing selection of roasts is very difficult. Thankfully staff at the Cafe were more than accommodating in helping us pick, and even offered to grind up the beans for us before we left.
We were so glad we took the beautiful drive to Glandford to find this amazing treasure. When you’re done, Glandford is surrounded by stunning countryside and it’s only a couple of miles to the coastline. Alternatively, Glandford itself is the home of a Shell Museum (open March-October), so there’s plenty to explore – if you can bear to leave, that is…