The Artichoke is the pub that I visit most in Norwich, although I’ve never made the effort to write a post about it on here. Since pubs have re-opened now, or at the least the outside of them have, I thought I’d go to my favourite Norwich licensed premises, and it’s where I stayed nearly the entire day. Thanks to Brian, Gordon, Nathan, Megan and James for keeping me company during the day…….
Anyway, the background to this pub is that it was quite generic in its offerings in previous years and perhaps in danger of being closed down permanently and for it to become another casualty of the pub trade. It was taken over by an independent operator, Kevin Tweedy of the Golden Triangle Brewery, and the pub has been transformed over the last few years into a venue that is busy, well managed and has an excellent beer range.
Ordering at the moment is via either the Artichoke app or by asking a staff member directly, with payment being by card only with no cash accepted. The app perhaps needs some work as there were some technical issues with it, but if nothing else it was a useful way of seeing the beer list. The pub wasn’t as busy as I thought it’d be during the day, although it was often nearly at capacity, but never quite reached it for very long. The weather was tolerable throughout the day, but got rather colder later on and my feet started to feel just a little chilly. What did remain for the day though was the welcoming atmosphere, this is a very non-threatening location.
The beer selection in the Artichoke is what I’d consider to be the best in Norwich, not reliant on a few generic and dull options, but instead offering an ever changing selection of beers. The outstanding ones from my visit yesterday were:
Big Idjit from Dugges Bryggeri
Trium Faba from Three Hills Brewing
Must Kuld Chilli & Chocolate from Pohjala
Yuzu Juniper G&T Raw from Three Hills Brewing
As an assortment of beers to have available, I think that’s pretty impressive. The staff here are very knowledgeable about the beers, some of the best drinks knowledge that I’ve seen in a pub. That’s some enthusiasm and good training there, with the staff being able to make suitable recommendations when someone just asks for a lager. As for downsides, I’m not sure that there really are any, not least anything which is sufficiently annoying to comment on. Perhaps the only minor problem at the moment is that the beer garden seems to allow smoking throughout the entire area, which isn’t ideal at all for non-smokers. But, it’s not long until the inside of pubs can open again.
These photos are from pre-lockdown, a reminder of what it was like to sit inside pubs.
These are a random selection of the cask and keg lists that the pub has had over recent years, but there’s also a long list of cans and bottles in addition to this. Food isn’t always offered in the pub, beyond Pipers Crisps (although these are very moreish) and nuts, but on some weeknights and on Sunday afternoons there is the XO Kitchen which offers a range of small plate options.
Anyway, as a pub, I very much recommend the Artichoke and I think it’s lifted the entire area. And, it’s also listed in the Good Beer Guide.