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The Lavender House Restaurant in Brundall, Norwich
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The Lavender House in Brundall, Norfolk

Lavender House Restaurant in Brundall, on the outskirts of Norwich, Norfolk - Serving up high quality food and offering excellent service.

This is a place i've been to a couple of times before, i've enjoyed it in the past and I had heard that Richard Hughes had made some changes to it, updating the furniture and selection of wines - so I thought what a great opportunity to put a good quality restaurant on the website.

On this occasion I had guests with me so I was assured that this would be a great place to take them for excellent food, but I was disappointed to say that maybe another restaurant would have been more suitable after the experience I had there.

This english restaurant isn't the cheapest and is renowned for it's quality of food and service.

After arriving we are greeted by the friendly staff who seated in the reception area where drinks and nibbles were served, this I think is a great way to start to keep that hunger at bay!

We were escorted through to the main restaurant and taken over to our table - I ensured that my guests were seated but I was concered that the 4th seat had very little room for someone to sit - I'm not a big person so i was surprised how I was supposed to squeeze into the gap, the chair could hardly be pulled out and I could only fit one leg in, the staff did notice our difficulty so did try to re-arrange the table a bit so that I could seat myself properly. I was just so surprised that they hadn't experience this problem before, surely the table is situated in the same place every night!?!?

Anyway, that wasn't the greatest of starts, a little embarrassing but nevertheless I just put it down to one of those things! We looked at the menu, and the choice was varied - of course these are special meals (menu for 1-2 weeks) that are cooked and changed on a regular basis. They serve good english food and there was something for everyone.

We ordered our food and the wine was brought over, but I was disappointed that it wasn't even opened and served for us, normally with high service in the Lavender House it would be done without asking. I was starting to wonder at this stage whether standards had dropped here.

The starters arrived and were put onto the table, there was a great choice of foods and I started with the Pork but I was even more disappointed that the starters have dropped in size too, it wasn't much more than a mouthful, I was starting to think he'd change it to nouvelle cuisine! In a restaurant like the Lavender House you don't expect healthy portions as it is quality that you expect most, but the size of starters had certainly reduced in sized compared to my previous visits to the a la carte restaurant - could it get any worse!? Well i went for my cutlery so I could start eating, but I found that some of my cutlery was missing! My forks were not there...! This I thought was just careless how could this be missed,  I allowed my guests to eat as I didn't want their food to go cold, eventually after some time I managed to get one of the staff member's attention who kindly got my missing cutlery, but by this time my starter had got cold. This I don't expect from a restaurant that offers high quality food and very attentive service.

The food itself was good, but I felt that some of the changes in the restaurant weren't for the best, the decor hadn't changed, new furniture had replaced the old furniture which was an improvement - but food and service was starting to become an issue for me.

We had finished our main courses which I did think was very good - I had the lamb and the quality and the way it was cooked was perfect, it was a very enjoyable main course and hoped that this would be the turning point for the Lavender House.

Desserts came and gone - and the quality was adequate. One of my guests had ordered cheese and crackers, but he was disappointed to find that the crackers were actually in fact biscuits - he wasn't impressed to eat good cheese with biscuits, in fact he was almost put off by it all - I asked one of the staff whether they did actually have some crackers, but apparently no crackers were available at all. The only alternative was bread which my guest did accept, but I must say very disappointing indeed - I didn't think that the Lavender House was being very accomdating nor did they seem very attentive.

Overall, the meal was okay, but I didn't feel that it was worth the money we had paid for the it - I hadn't been disappointed in the past with the Lavender House, but this time it was one meal that would put me off taking guests there again. I would like to think this was just a one-off but my view would be, if you are keen on a restaurant that offers good food and service at this price, then risk it and take a chance, but if you are looking to spend this kind of money on a restaurant and you would like to ensure you receive good service with staff that are attentive, then another consideration might be Adlards.

Richard Hughes at the Lavender House also offers cooking classes at the weekend - he produces a range of cooking books too.

My Rating: Disappointing

If you decide you would like to try the Lavender House in Brundall then book a table by calling telephone number 01603 712215. Don't forget to tell them that mo4 sent you!

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