Creative Festive Dining

Every Christmas I love to see the magical Christmas makeovers that shops undergo to make them feel extra festive, but this year it is the restaurants that have impressed me most.   Not just for their Christmas decorations but they way they have adapted their outdoor seating areas to enable diners still to enjoy festive food in fabulous surroundings this Christmas. You almost expect it from the London dining locations and the likes of Coppa Club at Tower Bridge and Bluebird in Chelsea did not disappoint.

But the small local pubs and restaurants in East Anglia have really upped their game and pulled out all the stops to ensure they can still allow people to enjoy a Christmas get-togethers with their friends and family even though we are in tier two.

Issacs on the Quay in Ipswich, The Willow Tree in Bourn just outside Cambridge and The Assembly House in Norwich have beautiful dining domes, while The Crown in Stoke by Nayland and The Weeping Willow just outside Bury St Edmunds have amazing tipi’s.

But it is the city of Norwich that particularly impresses me,  from the Botanical Beer Garden that is set up by a local theatre company and based out of an old church, to the JunkYard a global street food and drink market the city really has some unique experiences available this Christmas. 

My personal favourite is MysaBar set up in the grounds of Norwich Castle.  The winter beer garden is inspired by a Scandinavian mindset, serving both food and drink.  The location is perfect with views of the castle as you sit under a beautiful stretch tent filled with fairy lights, candles, blankets, heaters and of course Christmas trees!  Mixed households of up to six can meet there and customers can order by scanning a QR code and it is all table service.

As well as the truly festive feel, I love the fact that the whole setup is local. I am a big supporter of keeping it local and MysaBar really does capture that perfectly.   The initiative came from local pub landlords and they partnered with the local tent supplier to make their

Written by Kim Dodd