An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
Back to the Garden
Tel: 01263 715996
Award winning meat, organic produce, home-cooked ready meals and treats galore – everything you expect from a deli and much more. Great restaurant and event location.
Where to find it
You’ll find Back to the Garden on the main road in Letheringsett near the picturesque town of Holt. This outstanding deli began life as a market trailer 11 years ago, and then operated from a caravan within the present barn whilst planning permission was being granted. A process that took several years but never deterred the owner, Veronica Astley, from her ultimate aspirations. Open for seven years now, she is constantly looking to extend and improve and never sits still. Three years ago the exceptional restaurant opened its doors. Since then a garden has been designed, endless events have been held and a marquee for further weddings and functions is almost complete. The barn itself, with its vaulted ceiling, is well worth a visit, not to mention the treats that wait within.
What to expect
Back to the Garden has at its core one aim: to produce delicious chemical-free food. Every plant is grown on their farm or comes from the Camphill Community at Thornage (a residential home for people with learning difficulties) who they support. Fruit and veg are picked daily because freshness counts. Their meat cattle roam on the meadows that run down to the river at Stiffkey and on wooded pastures adjacent to their National Trust Nature Reserve forest. Needless to say, it’s award winning – they’ve won Best Chicken in the UK, Gold for their Rump steak and Rib of Beef, plus highly recommended for the lamb, by the Soil Association organic food awards. Their ham is cooked on-site and everything in the deli counter is prepared fresh that day. You’ll also find endless local suppliers such as wood fired bread from Husk Bakers, eggs from Top Farm, and goat’s milk from Fielding Cottage. The variety of produce is impressive and the quality is evident as soon as you step in.
What can you buy here?
There’s a huge meat counter (with everything you’d expect plus treats such as chicken pumpkins and an all day breakfast stuffed tomato - a novel idea) and deli serving all manner of requirements from cheeses and pasta, to pies and quiches as well as mouth-watering desserts. Beverages are a plenty from Folkington’s juices to beers from local breweries and wine and spirits by Berry Bros & Rudd, an exclusive high-end London firm. Olive oil and vinegars covering every variation imaginable (strawberry, sweet apple and raspberry caught my eye) are lined up plus there’s a whole unit full of specialist chocolate catering for every dietary need. One end is packed to the brim with sauces, spices, jams and the like. For those on the go, they also do a good selection of ready meals both fresh and frozen, enabling healthy food even when you’re rushed for time.
Restaurant, event venue and function location
To say Back to the Garden is just a large deli is wrong, it continues to be more and more with every passing year. The restaurant is a great place to eat, by day or night, with an extensive menu and themed evenings regularly taking place. The garden is a delightful space to relax and unwind. They frequently host events such as food demonstrations from guest chefs, wine tasting and seasonal activities for adults and children alike. Keep an eye on our What’s On pages for their upcoming events. It’s also a wonderful venue for a wedding party (they can cater for 80 sitting down) or other function, particularly now they have their own marquee as well as a stage area for performance gatherings.
Back to the Garden is large, versatile and cemented on quality. It sells outstanding produce, listens to its customers and is forever growing to meet the needs for all. A Norfolk treasure not to be overlooked.
Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sundays 10am to 4pm. The barn restaurant is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 9am to 5pm and 6.30pm to 9pm, Sundays 10am to 3.30pm.