Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Eating, drinking and music

Knowing how good the Wiveton Bell can be, I just couldn't wait to find out how The Duck Inn at Stanhoe is getting on under their care.  Pleased to say Bank Holiday Saturday lunchtime found it pleasingly busy - and crucially service was good!  Beer and food more than up to scratch, probably better than my last visit to Wiveton. Hope they keep it up, for as I've said before it's a perilous business being asked to suggest places to eat round here.

Purely by chance, this was followed very closely by a return to The Hunny Bell.  What a great pub. Just shows what hard work can achieve.  Having said that I've always preferred the bar to the restaurant in terms of atmosphere.  Last time, they had jazz in the bar; Three in a Bar to be precise, who we liked so much we booked them!  This time, I don't know who they were, but again very good.  I've heard far worse fiddle playing in much more august venues.  It would be fascinating to know whether good music boosts their sales?  I doubt it but I very much hope I'm wrong. The only problem for me is that its 17 miles away.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Done different

Of all the quotes dragged up about Norfolk, the two that most people know are firstly what most think is the county motto - "Do Different" and secondly Noel Coward's "Very flat, Norfolk".  Well as most of us know the latter of these isn't exactly true whilst the former is in danger of going the same way as more and more is 'discovered' by the weekend supplements.  However, Norfolk does remain different for those who care to look and in a final quote "Once you get to know Norfolk, there is no better place to live" in the words of the late John Timpson.

So what prompted all this navel gazing?  Well not actually the current exhibition by Kevin and Ann-Marie Ryan, but more the reaction to it.  Just in case you haven't seen it or don't know their work, they are - like most - incomers,  and have lived in a quiet corner of high Norfolk for the last 20 years.  Their palettes are dominated by intense colour - orange, brown, red punctuated by the occasional intense blue, whilst their compositions are singularly lacking in either horizontality or any obvious reference to big skies.

So - not flat, and very different. And people love it.  Which just goes to show that the Ryan's are firmly in the Timpson camp and that there are plenty out there who understand and can look beyond the Norfolk being peddled by the Sunday supplements.