Me and my friend Lucy are both from a small Norfolk town called King’s Lynn. We are both foodies, we both love talking and we are both very opinionated women. We are also both bloggers ( Absolutely Lucy), so when we get together for a girl date, it’s going to be pretty special. The good thing is, from this one night, yo will get to read two very different opinions of the same place as we rarely write from the same view point!
Apart from crossing paths at various festivals this summer (we also both write for online festival review magazine ‘This Festival Feeling‘), me and Lucy have had very little time for each other lately. Her job as a reporter for the local paper, as well as numerous other writing ventures and her plans to travel the World in January have her pretty busy, and you all know how hectic my social calendar is, so when we finally found an evening that we were both free, food had to be eaten and wine had to be drunk!
Because I’m a nice date, I let Lucy choose the restaurant and because she is a bit classy, she went for the Quayside 1500’s style Marriot’s Warehouse which is situated on the banks of the River Ouse, and backs onto King’s Lynn’s old town, which is a patchwork of Victorian buildings and cobbled streets that never fails to transport you back in time.
Since this picture was taken, Marriot’s have, for some unknown reason, changed the layout of their outside area and you would be forgiven in thinking that you were walking past a garden centre tea room, rather than a quaint restaurant and bar. Stacked pallets filled with reed-like plants and chunky wooden tables and seating hide far to much of this beautiful building for my liking and, even though they are clearly going for rustic, it actually cheapens the feel of the quay for me.
Mark had walked me down a little earlier than my 7pm date with Lucy, and he decided to stay and have a drink with me whilst I waited for her to arrive. The sun was just setting over the river, and we sat on one of the chunky chairs and browsed the menu; sipping cider and wine under a slowly setting golden sky was lovely, and I realised a whole summer had gone by and not once had we made the most of this little beauty spot. I live 2 minutes away as well,so have no excuses, and I made a mental note that whenever there is a nice evening, I would come down and sit by the river and ponder life for a while.
Lucy arrived exactly on time, and after we had all said hey and had a little hug, Mark left us to it and we went inside to find our table. The Marriots is all wooden beams and quaint little tables; very rustic and incredibly intimate, with no more than 15 tables in the entire building. You could possibly squeeze a few more in, but I’m glad they didn’t; there was plenty of room between each table so your conversations didn’t overlap and the waiters could move freely around without brushing your fork onto the floor( this happens a lot in my restaurant, as the need for more tables outweighs diner experience)
A lovely pink rose marked our table number and a pop cap bottle of water was presented to us once we had sat down, which I found lovely and much preferable to a jug. Within seconds of sitting down, our drinks order was taken and a few minutes later, our waiter came over and took our food order.
We decided on the Marriots signature sharing platter to start; a beautiful wooden board which hosted feta stuffed peppers, potato and chorizo salad, as well as a mixture of breads, goats cheese and mushrooms. By far one of the tastiest platters I have had in a while, and it made a nice change to see a sharing platter that wasn’t just deep fried battered whatevers, but real wholesome food. This didn’t last very long as it was so tasty, and seconds after we put down our forks, our plates were cleared, more drinks were offered and we waited for our main course.
As seems to be a theme with this blog, me and Lucy had both chosen the same; Pan fried duck breast, served with chocolate and chilli sauce, potato rosti, braised red cabbage and caramalised oranges. I had never tried or even thought of having chocolate sauce with a duck dish, but I am heartily glad I gave it a try. My first forkful had duck, a segment of orange and a dipping of the sauce and let me tell you, my taste buds literally did a Mexican wave of approval! The cabbage was delicious, if not a little over portioned (we both had plenty left on our plate by the end), but apart from that the rest of the dish was absolutely amazing. The duck was perfectly cooked; warm but still juicy and pink in the middle and deliciously crispy and dark on the outside and the presentation was what you would find in any upmarket London eatery. We both decided to skip dessert; maybe the chocolate sauce on our main had satisfied our sweet tooth enough, and we chatted over wine for a while longer, covering everything that we had both done over the summer, right through to what we would be doing over Christmas, and eventually we asked for the bill. This was the most surprising of all, as it came to a lot less than you would have expected; Three large glasses of wine, a half a cider, a sharing platter and two duck main courses came to just under £60, which for the quality and the portion sizes was more than reasonable in my book.
After a little chat outside in the still warm evening air, we parted ways and I headed home; nicely full up and ready for bed.
To view the Marriots website and menu: http://www.marriottswarehouse.co.uk/