Located in South Walsham, about 10 miles from the centre of Norwich, The Ship is a restaurant/pub run by the same company that runs The Recruiting Sergeant in Coltishall. As such, I was expecting a certain standard of food and I certainly wasn’t let down.
The atmosphere in this village pub is warm and cosy, with low lighting and an open fire, which is perfect when the temperature is the wrong side of freezing. We were shown to our table immediately, before being presented with a wide menu of local produce.
A range of meat dishes and vegetarian options were available, from beef and lamb to pheasant and pigeon, along with smoked haddock, salmon, wild bass and risottos. As a confessed-foodie, I found making a decision difficult!
Try something new
After umming and ahhing, I opted to try the pigeon with mushrooms and puff pastry to start because I had never tried it before, followed by smoked haddock on a bed of mashed potato and leeks. I have to say, that the pigeon was delicious – well cooked, slightly rare and very lean. It had a faintly gamey taste, but it was so well-cooked that it melted in the mouth – and the mushrooms were amazing. I’m not sure what they were flavoured with, but I could eat them every day of the week.
The smoked haddock was cooked well and remained moist, with a perfectly cooked poached egg on top. It was the perfect amount off feel-good food – not too much to feel daunted, but enough to know that you aren’t going to feel hungry an hour later.
I did have a small amount of envy when I saw the pan-fried duck with triple-cooked chips, but I don’t think I could have eaten so much meat! I was very happy with my choice.
The service, as with The Red Lion, was very good with a cheerful smile and the perfect pace. It was a very relaxing way to spend a Saturday evening.
And I do have a top tip: I would recommend booking at The Ship. It’s not a big restaurant and it does seem to be busy at weekends, so it’s probably for the best. For contact details, visit the website.