The best of the bars in Norwich City Centre
It’s no secret that Norwich city centre has a large selection and variety of bars, some of them are great others are awesome but five of them are simply the best.
Best for what I hear you ask?
That depends entirely on what kind of experience you are looking for, Norwich student nightlife, Hen Parties, Gin Academy Experience and exclusive members clubs. we’ve got it all here.
A Bar for everyone
Whether you are searching for somewhere to socialize, the best bar for a romantic date or that ideal spot for that all-out party. In this article, I’ve made sure there is something for everyone.
This means this isn’t a top-five. The order in which the chosen bars appear in this article are based purely on opening times, as we journey from the earliest to the latest and discover why you should give each of these five Norwich bars a try.
The best bar for a social night out
In a world of decreased originality and individuality. The last thing I wanted to do was to include a chain of bars on my list. However, Be at One Norwich has its Merits.
I might be slightly biased because I have spent a good deal of time performing at this venue in the past as well as filming part of the Farthings Playing Cards Trailer here. But the atmosphere in Be at One is very different to other chain bars in Norwich.
For one the staff there are extremely knowledgable and friendly. This is good news because their in-house menu is gigantic. Comprised of 24 pages featuring names, pictures and ingredients for each cocktail. It can be a task in itself to decide which of the 100+ cocktails they have on offer you would like to try.
The knowledge and helpfulness of the staff really come into play here making them a real contender to be one of the best bars in Norwich. The staff are more than happy to suggest a drink for you and are very accurate in their taste judgement. It’s like they can read your mind!
Additionally, the whole vibe of the bar is fantastic. There is lots of space to move about and socialise without having to worry about someone spilling a drink on you because you crammed into the corner.
Finally, if you turn up early enough in the evening. They have a happy hour deal for two-for-one cocktails, making them the best value for money on this list. If you turn up late you can even extend this happy hour by downloading the Be at One App.
What did I have at Be at One?
Apple Pie Flat White at Be At One
On this occasion, we tried something from their Christmas Menu. An Apple Pie Flat White on recommendation from our Bartender Lewis. Comprised of Baileys Apple Pie, Kahlúa and Expresso. It was the perfect drink to kick the night off after a long week of Christmas party magic.
The Best Bar for Date Night
A destination bar close to one of Norwich’s most iconic streets. Located at 12-14 Wensum St just around the corner from scenic film location Elm Hill. Chambers Cocktail Company has changed and evolved a bit since I last visited.
Featuring tableside booking and no bar service. (At least on the nights we visited) This isn’t a location to visit if you are looking for a social night out. However, it’s an ideal location for date night.
Cosy, red leather booths, quant cocktail-themed decorations and low volume music make this my number one choice for the best bar in Norwich for date night.
The menu is very simplified, choosing to focus on staple off the shelf drinks. Inviting you to ask the staff if you would like a cocktail. This makes it very easy to choose what you want to order and saves you from having to flip through an instruction manual of a menu.
Where Chambers Cocktail Company really shines is as a private venue. It’s a destination bar with a historic feel and the location is ideal for someone looking to have a roaring 20s, Peaky Blinders or unconventional themed party.
As a private venue, it really comes alive. The whole air of the room full of electricity and excitement for what the night might hold, between these four curiously decorated walls
What did I have at Chambers Cocktail Company?
Mulled Cider at Chambers Cocktail Company
Fresh from filming some mind-reading and hypnosis on the streets of Norwich, we stopped by to re-warm ourselves and plan the rest of our shoot.
Being deep in the winter, warming up in this cosy destination bar I was drawn to their newly introduced Mulled Cider, fortified with a shot of rum this was the ideal drink for warming up my frozen bones and fingers.
The Best Bar for Gin Lovers
A completely different experience is hidden away above a gin distillery next to Strangers Hall. Gyre and Gimble might feel like it’s new on the scene if you are familiar with Norwich’s local bars.
Formerly Door 18, Gyre and Gimble is doing something unusual in the heart of Norwich.
They are making their own Gin, which you can buy online. Not only, that but you can also learn how to distil gin with their curated Gin Academy Experience.
I’ve not gone through the experience myself, but a few of our Wedding Couples have spoken highly of it and the reviews speak for themselves.
If all of that wasn’t enough extra. Gyre and Gimble make zero waste cocktails. They do all kinds of crazy things with their ingredients to ensure they get reused. Whether it’s using coffee beans to make sweet vermouth or making oil sugar from banana peel. The guys and girls at Gyre and Gimble, are pulling out all the stops to ensure their creations don’t impact our planet.
What did I have at Gyre and Gimble?
“Clear as Blood” at Gyre and Gimble
After some discussion our Bartender Ash, highly recommended an Expresso Martini. Explaining how the coffee beans get recycled into some excellent sweet vermouth, not only that but the Expresso Martini is the best in Norwich.
A bold claim, but I had to pass as I’m not the biggest fan. Instead, we opted for a “Clear as Blood”; Jalapeno infused Finlandia Vodka, Montenegro Amaro and bloody mary consommé. Boozy and spicy, with enough spice to be a decent hangover cure if you ever need that sort of thing.
The Best Bar for Experimental Cocktails
You won’t find much information about this bar online. Situated above The Makers House, Hawthorns Bar is well known for its “Experimental” Cocktails and its creation of interesting menus.
The Makers House is an all-day venue, to catch up and have a coffee or glass of wine. Highlighted by its delicious café bistro menu. Makers House is ideal for any kind of meeting.
What knocks this bistro café off the scale is the fantastic hidden jewel of a bar that waits for you upstairs. Open, late Thursday, Friday & Saturday this award-winning 30 seater bar is ambient.
The items on the menu you simply won’t find anywhere else. Whether you fancy a “smoke and mirrors” or “An apple a day”. Whatever curious creation you may find on the menu. I guarantee it will be unique and gorgeously delicious.
What did I have at Hawthorns?
“Silver Bullet” at Hawthorns
We asked our mysterious bartender one question before we ordered. “If you could choose one drink, that summed up the entire atmosphere of this bar, what would it be?”
Our Bartender suggested his favourite cocktail of all time; “The Silver Bullet” Gin, German Liqueur, Caraway Seed, fresh lemon juice and a small amount of aged whiskey. This drink came together perfectly and was overall the best of the five drinks we had during the creation of this article.
I’ll let Hawthorns keep the rest of its secrets until you visit. However, I highly recommend biting the bullet and giving it a try it’s simply picturesque.
The Best bar for a girls night out is now closed!
It was very pink!
Slight Biased at play here, having performed at plenty of Hen Parties and the odd engagement party at Cecilia’s Norwich in the past.
Designed to make it very Instagram focused. It’s was also the biggest venue on this list, by far. The multi-storied bar was the ideal location for a girl’s night out. It has unfortunately closed down and will not be resuming service as Cecelia’s Norwich.
It will be missed…
Best Exclusive Members Club
The new kid on the block, with the arrival of the Rabbit hole on Norwich’s nightlife scene I had to update this article.
Sitting right where Cecelia’s Norwich use to be on 9-11 Upper King Street. The Rabbit Hole Members Club wants you to forget all about the Pink Photo opportunistic bar that used to live here. Instead, it wants you to refill those memories with snapshots from this creative and fun hidden party.
Designed to be the place where Norwich’s most creative fun and ambitious people gather together. Its decore is a hybridization of 221B Baker Street and a modern Alice in Wonderland Tale. The ground floor is open to the public serving a shortlist of wonderful cocktails which just scream LONDON!
The upper floors are something else, however, open only to members and hosting exclusive events. The Rabbit Hole is playing its cards close to its chest at the moment, but I guarantee it’s a space to watch.
What did we have at The Rabbit Hole Members Club?
“Shake it Like A Polaroid” at the Rabbit Hole
A redux version of a Paloma crafted with Rooster Rojo Blanco tequila, agave, pink grapefruit and lime. It’s served alongside a polaroid picture, so smile!
Good twist on a classic and the memento is always a nice touch. The drinks menu has a few more interesting quirky drinks on there that are well worth exploring if tequila isn’t to your taste. For example Bramble Mess, Life’s a Peach and Ferris Wheel Dreams all have something interesting to draw you in.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole and give some of these recipes a try. Thursdays and Sundays are happy hour and you can get 2 for £12 cocktails all night long.
The best bars in Norwich from the desk of a mind reader
When I first started reading minds and hypnotizing people, I spent a long time at various venues across Norwich and Norfolk honing my craft. Mainly in bars like these, as a Norwich Magician, the night scene is very important to me.
All of the locations included in this article are fantastic gems, that stand apart from the rest of Norwich’s bars with the services that they offer and with the dedicated teams that run them. I highly recommend giving each of them a try the next time you find yourself out in Norwich City Centre.
Especially if you are looking to have a private party in Norwich, any one of these venues would be a pleasure to work alongside. The brilliant teams behind them, I’m sure they would go the extra mile into making sure your night is exactly what you imagined.
If you’ve got a night out planned and think magician, mind reader might be the finishing touch you need The Saint, performs at a wide range of events from corporate product launches and trade shows to weddings, stag and hen dos, as a motivational speaker or live on stage.
Many of these events could be hosted perfectly at any of the five venues we have discussed within this article. feel free to reach out to me or to the teams involved if you are seeking advice on the creation of such an event.