Rob Simonds's Norfolk
Robert Simonds, known as Rob the Pigman and owner of Scott's Field Pork, near Oxburgh Hall in the Brecks, tells us about his favourite Norfolk things.
SEE ROB IN OUR FOOD & DRINK FILM
Where is your favourite place to eat, and why? I actually have three and, if you visit all of them (in no particular order), you will enjoy a day of very fine dining in here in The Brecks. The Elveden Estate is one of the gateways into Norfolk and here you will find head chef Scott Taylor. Scott sources everything in the estate restaurant either from Elveden itself or from within a fifteen mile radius. Drive a little further into The Brecks and you will find the best roadside cafe in the country. Owner Mark of Browns Kitchen at Mundford is also bonkers about provenance and completely committed to serving local food at a reasonable price, as are Les and Vanessa Scott – owners of my final Brecks eatery – Strattons Hotel & Restaurant in Swaffham.
Your favourite pub, and why? Without a doubt The Crown at Mundford as it is still a proper pub.
What do you long for if you've been away? Nothing – I don’t leave!
What's your favourite Norfolk place and why? I love The Brecks which is the part of Norfolk where I live and work – and in particular the village of Oxborough. The whole area is steeped in history, full of wildlife and of course as it is slightly off the beaten track it has the benefit of being incredibly peaceful. This area is one of the county's best kept secrets – and long may visitors still believe that Norfolk starts at Burnham Market!
Where would you have a picnic and what Norfolk food would you have? As a family we are struggling to agree on this one. My vote goes to The River Wissey, for my wife Sarah it is Cromer every time, my son Paddy loves The Nar Valley and our daughter George would be on a bench in The Norwich Lanes. We do however all agree on one thing, and that is what to eat – The Brecks Sausage Roll described by comedian Al Murray as 'the best ever'.
Your favourite Norfolk view? Wherever you are in Norfolk and at whatever time of the day just look up. There you will see one of the most amazing views you could ever wish for. Our skies are famously large but nothing prepares you for the constant change in their landscape. From our huge harvest moons to piercing blue summer skies or wild winter storms – all are magnificent in their own right.
Where would you send a visitor to really appreciate Norfolk? London. When you come back you will realise what you missed.
What piece of advice would you give to a visitor of the county? Stay.
What's your idea of Norfolk Big Sky Thinking? Thass a load of ol' squit.