Simon Turner is a man with a passion – to make the very pretty Boars pub a real destination eaterie and also a vital part of village life in bustling Spooner Row, which lies between Wymondham and Attleborough.
Now in charge, many local foodies will remember Simon as the chef patron of the Elm Hill Brasserie – a truly charming, authentic restaurant (with steaks to die for) which was a popular place in Norwich back in the day.
With his partner Jenny Hay, the pair are firing on all four cylinders in South Norfolk as they prepare for a busy summer, with lockdown restrictions easing – and hopefully remaining eased!
The pub, right in the middle of the village, is now open daily, with food available both lunch times and evenings, with breakfasts also served at weekends.
There is a tasty but straightforward menu, packed with both local and seasonal flavours plus a little bit of Simon magic – in the form of exciting Mediterranean influences.
From a precise menu of four starters, mains and puds, which changes every six weeks, you can enjoy two courses for £25 and three courses for £30. Expect options such as gazpacho chilled soup, gin cured salmon, fillet of sea bream, summer risotto (that would have been my choice), chocolate fondant and Tunisian orange almond cake. Mouth watering yet?
You can mix and match with offerings from the bar menu where the ‘build your own’ sharing platters are a big hit, while other firm favourites such as burgers, steak, and battered fish feature alongside a very decent sounding cheese selection, including everyone’s current favourite: Baron Bigod from just over the border in Suffolk.
Simon, who credits his mother with his passion for cooking and is completely self taught, is seeking out local suppliers and lists some well known ones such as Lowestoft Shellfish, and coffee from Norwich supplier Green Farm
‘And I am talking to a local farmer about meat and eggs – someone just a couple of fields away,’ he says.
Simon is always to be found at stove, and has three others in the kitchen: Aaron, Tom and Sue. ‘We are a tight-knit team; Tom came to us from City College – their catering course – and I would like to work more with the college, we are very lucky to have it near us.’
Wine is another major part of Simon’s offering and he enjoys seeking out unusual ones to try by the glass as a wine of the month – a present ‘find’ is a Hacienda Grimon Rioja Sauvignon. ‘We work with Norwich-based Peter Graham, Bijou Bottles and CH Wine Merchants in North Norfolk and we’re hoping to restart our wine evenings when we are allowed,’ he says.
Four real ales are available on the pumps including Wolf Brewery from Besthorpe, near Attleborough, Humpty Dumpty from Reedham and Tindall Brewery from Seething, near Bungay.
The pub, which dates back to the 17th century, has a very pretty garden, packed with fragrant flowers and mature trees, lots of seating and just perfect at this time of year. There are a few different areas to seek out so there is sure to be somewhere that suits.
For anyone currently a little cautious about heading out to eat or indeed just for a drink, perhaps in the lovely garden, they need not worry. Simon and his team have created a very welcoming, calm atmosphere, with all necessary checks and measures in place.
His and his family, which includes four-year-old Isabelle, live on site and this family feeling continues throughout.
- Diary Date
The pub is taking part in the government scheme Eat Out To Help Out his month. Watch this space for Christmas bookings!