'Ticks all the boxes' - Why The Crown in Reepham has the perfect pub vibe

The Crown, based in Reepham, has the perfect 'pub vibe'

The Crown, based in Reepham, has the perfect 'pub vibe' - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Delicious pub grub, friendly staff, and a cracking community vibe is a winning combination for any restaurant – and that is exactly what we found during a visit to The Crown in Reepham. 

Nestled on the edge of the beautiful market town, between Aylsham and Bawdeswell, The Crown is a gorgeous little suntrap boasting a comfortable interior as well as a relaxing pub garden. 

With that in mind, it is no surprise that its customers have nominated it to be included in the finalist list for the Eat Out Norwich 2021 Best Pub and Best Family Friendly Eatery Awards. 

This was a last-minute booking for us, but the staff were accommodating and were able to squeeze us in. There is plentiful seating here and we opted to sit in the back snug room, decorated in pictures showing off Norfolk’s rich pub heritage. 

Whitebait at The Crown, Reepham

Whitebait at The Crown, Reepham - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Soon we had our drinks in front of us as we perused the menu. There is a good selection of classic dishes and specials, as well as burgers and lighter lunchtime options including jacket potatoes and toasted ciabattas. 


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Diving straight into starters, I opted for whitebait served with a side salad, tartare sauce, and bread and butter (£5.50) while my partner had creamy garlic mushrooms served on toasted ciabatta and a side salad (£5.50). 

Garlic mushrooms at The Crown, Reepham

Garlic mushrooms at The Crown, Reepham - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Both were simple dishes that packed a punch. The whitebait was covered in a light dusting of breadcrumbs and the salad was crisp and fresh. There was also an incident where I managed to launch a wedge of lemon across the room, but thankfully it was quickly replaced by the friendly staff. The garlic mushrooms were a decent portion size and had a pleasant taste to them. 

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After a short wait, our mains arrived: homemade barbecue ribs (£12) for me, and my partner had the dirty burger (£13). 

Barbecue ribs at The Crown, Reepham

Barbecue ribs at The Crown, Reepham - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

The ribs were coated in a sticky sauce and the succulent meat fell away from the bone. There was plenty of it too, with barely any fat. The meal was served with skinny fries and corn on the cob, with a delicious and creamy side of homemade coleslaw. I also had the option of adding spicy chicken wings (£3.50) and they lived up to their description of bringing the heat to my tastebuds. 

The dirty burger was topped with spicy chilli, cheese, bacon, jalapenos and onion rings on top of a 4oz H. V. Graves burger, based in nearby Briston. The burger itself was the highlight of this dish, as it was juicy and deliciously seasoned. 

The dirty burger at The Crown, Reepham

The dirty burger at The Crown, Reepham - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Although my partner could not manage another bite (the portions are satisfyingly generous), I refused to be beaten, especially with Bailey’s cheesecake on the menu. The eatery offers a cheesecake of the day choice, and that day’s offering of flavour did not disappoint. It was smooth and creamy, and surprisingly not to rich or heavy. I opted to have it with cream, and it was presented beautifully on the plate. 

Bailey's cheesecake at The Crown, Reepham

Bailey's cheesecake at The Crown, Reepham - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

The Crown is such a relaxed place to eat and enjoy a meal, without the service being compromised. The staff are friendly, efficient, and had a great sense of humour too. We were made to feel very welcomed and have even made a return visit since this trip. 

If you enjoy a local pub-feel, with some tasty and traditional grub, then The Crown is the place for you. 

Setting 

The Crown is situated on the outskirts of the beautiful and historic market town of Reepham. It was refurbished by the current owners and looks fresh, tidy, and welcoming. The beer garden is a gorgeous haven for families, drinkers, and those wanting to enjoy a nice meal. The front of the building is also a perfect little suntrap for enjoying a pint or two. 

Value 

Both food and drink are great value for money. Many of the main meals are around the £10 mark and are brimming with fresh ingredients which are cooked well. Meals on the children’s menu are £6. This would be a good place to take the kids to enjoy a homecooked dinner. 

Theme nights have also recently been introduced where diners can collect stamps and receive a ninth theme night free. 

Drinks 

There is a decent selection of drinks. The bar is succinct but has something for everyone’s taste, including real ales and a number of gins. 

Toilets 

Clean, functional, and as expected. 

Accessibility 

There is a small, gravelled car park at the front of the pub, and the beer garden is easily accessible, with ample seating. There are food options for vegetarians and diners wanting gluten-free meals. 

Service 

If you want service with a smile, then this is the place for you. The staff are down to Earth, helpful, and friendly. 

Highlight 

As well as the pleasant vibe, the pub puts on entertainment from around the county. Recently it has welcomed Nelson’s Shantymen and will be celebrating Oktoberfest next month. It also welcomes food vendors, such as the East Coast Pizza Company and The Bucket List. 

In summary 

The perfect places to enjoy a chilled drink and a decent meal, with or without the kids in tow. 

If you like that, try these 

The Three Horseshoes, Briston, near Holt - This county pub boasts a stunning garden, with delicious food, and an extensive wine list. Worth a drive out there if you have not visited already. 

The Village Maid, Lound, near Gorleston - A beautiful pub in the middle of nowhere serves up a simple menu with lots of choices. 

The Rose Tavern, Rupert Street, Norwich - This no-frills Norwich pub offers top-notch food and every dish is under £8 

‘People fought to save this pub’ - Owners of The Crown on its bright future 

Campaigners rejoiced when this historic mid-Norfolk pub was saved from closure three years ago, when an application to turn The Crown in Reepham into a family home was refused by a planning inspector. 

Fears for the pub resurfaced when it closed in April 2017, but the current owners' Glen and Lisa Mallett continue to celebrate its success since re-opening in August of the same year. 

The couple is well-known in the Fakenham area after running Fakenham Community Centre for many years and organising the town's popular annual beer festival, as well as many other local events and services. 

At the time, The Crown was been given a major refurbishment, inside and out, and had a new pool table has been installed. 

On opening, Mr Mallett said: “People in Reepham fought to save this pub and it shows how much it means to them."

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.

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