Reviewed in Feast issue 38 – July/August 2019
It may be almost in the city centre, but The Eagle, on Newmarket Road, has a simply huge garden, sheltered by mature trees, which is just the spot to while away an hour or two at lunch – or any other time, to be honest.
I invited deputy editor, Emma, to lunch for her birthday, which is nearly always a lovely warm day – the sun shines on the righteous, I know!
We selected The Eagle as the menu is good, there’s the aforementioned garden, and the landlord James, is a very hospitable chap.
It’s an attractive red-brick Georgian building, with a decent car park, and not hard to find on one of Norwich’s most prestigious roads.
Children and dogs are very welcome – there’s a nice little play area out back and an ‘Eaglets’ menu – but we were without ours (kids or hounds) so it was time to chat and relax over a glass of rosé- Chemin de Pelerins, to be precise.
The menu has a good cross section of dishes on offer, from a selection of wraps, doorstep sandwiches and salads, to a decent amount of favourites and then a handful of daily specials, chalked up on blackboards inside.
Swannington Farm to Fork meat features strongly with steaks, burgers and sausages, and, as is now the norm, there’s a goodly amount of vegetarian dishes available – and a vegan gnocchi.
I went for the fisherman’s pie, with a cheesy mash topping, salad and peas, for £13 which was very good – packed with all manner of fish including salmon, cod and shrimps, all in a creamy, herby sauce.
Emma had a pesto, roast pepper and halloumi salad (£7) with a side order of sweet potato fries which was super colourful and just about summed up summer! And yes, we both pretty much polished off everything – and the portions are generous!
Other options included cajun salmon on sticky rice and rocket, Hunter’s chicken lasagne with salad and chargrilled lamb leg steak, with parsley mash and green beans. Also look out for your classic fish and chips, ham, egg and chips and a pie of the week.
There are some yummy puds, including a spiced apple crumble and a triple chocolate brownie, but I went for a blueberry panna cotta which was as delicious as it was pretty, and Emma had the fruit jelly trifle which was an old school classic, served in a hi-ball glass for a modern twist.
While the garden is a perfect spot for al fresco dining, the pub is lovely inside, too. There is a sheltered terrace area for those ‘can’t make up its mind’ weather days and then three different indoor areas, plus a long bar. It is decorated in what is surely a Farrow and Ball blue, and there are some great pieces of artwork on display and, in the cooler weather, my favourite spot is right by the woodburner!
The bar offers a good choice of gins, plus there are Adnams, Woodforde’s, Wolf and Humpty Dumpty ales on tap. I guess the local beers do swap in and out. Pilsner is also on tap, which was popular on the hot day we visited.
Interestingly, so welcome are our four-legged friends, that they have their own menu, with lots of tempting treats. There is also a barbecue that you can hire for your private event and up to 250 people can be catered for. Brunch on Saturdays is becoming quite the thing, with plenty on offer from Eggs Benedict to The Eagle Full English, and Sunday roasts are recommended, too!
The Eagle has a loyal following, from locals, to those stopping off for a drink on the way home, to mums on the school run and foodies who like home cooked food in friendly surroundings!