Lucy & The Chap pop along to Artel in Norwich to sample their new winter menu.
A discount was provided in return for a review.
I’ve been a fan of Artel on London Street in Norwich for a while. I like the chilled vibe, gorgeous interiors and excellent coffee.
So when we arrived for lunch last Friday, I was surprised to find that it was quiet. At 11.55, there were just a few coffee drinkers dotted about upstairs, with plenty of space. The ambience was calm and welcoming, with gentle background music floating in the air. By the time we left, an hour later, it was buzzing and every table was filled. I’m clearly not the only person who likes Artel!
The room upstairs, above the coffee bar, is unique. I’m a big fan of the plants hanging from the ceiling and unique furniture. There are also newspapers and books to read if you come empty-handed, which is a nice touch.
Artel’s winter menu has a great selection of options available, especially for vegetarians. There were even several gluten-free options. It took me a while to choose because I’m not used to seeing so many vegetarian options!
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Coffee at Artel
I ordered an americano at the counter, which arrived in a cute, bright yellow cup that matched the decor. I’m quite particular about coffee and this was perfect. Dark and rich. Not too much water, not burnt, with a light crema on the surface.
Coffee can detract from food, however, so I paired it with a glass of water. I do like the fact that you can help yourself to a jug of tap water from the sideboard upstairs. It’s great that you don’t have to ask.
I was intrigued by this sandwich. I wanted to see what could be done to jazz up beetroot and I was very glad I did.
The salted beetroot was accompanied by goats cheese and walnut, on fresh white sourdough, with a side of homemade vegetable crisps.
And it was delicious.
The beetroot was thickly sliced and the texture almost meaty. The goat’s cheese was rich and salty, complimenting the moist, earthy beetroot. It was a great combination.
The vegetable crisps were a delicious accompaniment. Crisp and crunchy, they combined the sweetness of root veg with moreish salt.
The Chap opted for the Cubana. Featuring Cubana ham, smoked ham, Swiss cheese and dill pickle on tiger bread, it was nearly enough to make me a meat-eater again! Again, it was accompanied by homemade root vegetable crisps.
It looked amazing.
Like the beet toastie, it was nicely presented.
The Chap liked his sandwich, but he would have liked the bread to have been more toasted so that the cheese melted. He also said that it needed a few more pickles to mix up the flavours.
Cake at Artel
There was a good cake selection to finish our lunch. I picked a banana-oat bundt cake, and an apricot bundt cake.
Both were tasty, but it was the banana-oat that stood out for me. The flavour of the banana was very subtle, but kept the light sponge moist.
The apricot cake was damp, with a texture like polenta cake, was scrummy. However, it tasted more like a burnt butter cake to me, with a hint of apricot from the decorations. It was great, but not what I was expecting.
All in all, it was a very pleasant way to spend a lazy lunchtime. I’d like to go back for breakfast or brunch and try the breakfast muffin with another, equally delicious coffee!