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Is Jarrold’s Food Hall Norfolk’s Fortnum and Mason?

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There are people whose work you really envy – and Judith Finney is one of them.

She is the buyer at Jarrold in Norwich with responsibility for curating the Food Hall, filling it with the most delicious food and drink made in Norfolk and beyond.

And as it recently underwent an expansion – including the addition of a refrigerated cheese room – it can support more local producers than ever before.

Judith joined Jarrold from Marks and Spencer, where she worked on her Food to Go range – and she obviously found a winning recipe at Jarrold as this is the second time the Food Hall has expanded in recent years.

Incorporating the kitchen utensil department, two delicatessens, a specialty café and the Italian-inspired restaurant The Exchange, in addition to a wide range of products, the entire basement is now entirely dedicated to everything that is food.

Eastern Daily Press:

A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, there are tables laden with beautifully wrapped Christmas panettones and boxes of brightly colored chocolates, and deli counters are brimming with mouth-watering baked goods, cheeses and charcuterie. , as well as an extensive selection of wines, spirits and beers.

You could call it Norfolk’s answer to Fortnum and Mason.

As Judith explains, they were keen to make the Food Hall a higher shopping experience.

Eastern Daily Press:

So at deli wine bars you can take a break from your shopping and sit down and enjoy a platter of local cheeses, a platter of Marsh Pig charcuterie or signature dishes prepared by award-winning Norfolk chef, Richard Bainbridge.

The Exchange serves wood-fired pizzas and a range of pastas.

Eastern Daily Press:

Or you can stop for a cup of tea and a mini-artwork at the Coffee Bar, where your latte can be decorated with teddy bears, cats or more.

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Judith is in her element and takes the EDP to visit the Food Hall, which opens until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays in the run up to Christmas.

We start with the deli counters, where you can take home or eat produce from Intwood Farm, Archer’s, George Morris, Black Dog Deli in Southwold (their Scotch eggs are already legendary), arancini from Pasta Fresca in Norwich, pies from Tarts, Cakes and Bakes, Rocky Road from Heidi’s Delight, macaroons from Tim Kinnaird and egg tart from Richard Bainbridge – and that’s just the start.

You’ll also find Kinder blondies and pumpkin blondies made in Great Yarmouth – and, of course, Jarrold’s famous cheese scones.

“I support local very strongly, I’m passionate about it,” says Judith.

“We also have lots of local cheeses, like Norton’s, Mrs Temple’s, St Helena’s and Baron Bigod from Fen Farm.”

Eastern Daily Press:

Plus, there’s a lot more to the cheese room, which is like walking into an old-fashioned grocery store.

Judith says it has already proven to be a hugely popular addition, with staff happy to organize cheese platters, which will no doubt be in high demand for people’s party table.

“They know their cheese very well,” she says, adding that she looks forward to the upcoming arrival of a huge parmesan from Italy.

Eastern Daily Press:

There’s a freezer stocked with hand-prepared meals from Farmyard Frozen – and a huge range of Italian, Greek, Spanish and Mexican dishes, including pasta of all shapes, olive oils in collectible bottles and cheese. canned fish in bright packaging in retro style.

Even in the international section, Judith supports local producers where she can, so you’ll find olives from the Suffolk-based Greek Olive Company and artisan pasta from Truly Unique in Woodbridge.

Eastern Daily Press:

Then we enter Christmas, with large sections dedicated to local chocolatiers Booja-Booja and Gnaw, amid marzipan fruits, chocolate liqueurs, stollen, Charbonnel and Walker truffles, panettones, cookies and more .

Eastern Daily Press:

An extensive gluten-free section means those on a gluten-free, wheat-free or dairy-free diet should not miss out.

And there’s also a range of Jarrold branded products that can be wrapped in gift baskets.

“It’s very special here at Christmas, it’s really magical,” says Judith.

Eastern Daily Press:

And then we move on to the closet section of the local store. What was just a few shelves when Judith joined Jarrold now looks more like a mini-supermarket.

There are infusions from Norfolk Tea Co, porridge from Norwich, Crush oils, R Bainbridge and Eric sauces, biscuits from Harris and James, preserves from Candi’s Cupboard and Garden Pantry and much more.

And that’s before you get to the drinks section, where there are local spirits by Archangel, Adnams, Black Shuck, St Giles and the English Whiskey Company to name a few. There are also beers from Wildcraft, Duration and Moon Gazer breweries among others and a good selection of wines from local Flint, Humbleyard, Chet Valley and Winbirri wineries.

Eastern Daily Press:

Judith also likes to stock something a little different, so they also have more unusual offerings like Cristal champagne – which comes in a real crystal bottle, magnums and a huge range of ports and dessert wines.

With such a choice of products, does Judith have any favourites?

“My favorite local produce is Tim’s Peanut Bar and Macaroons and then the Black Dog Deli Scotch Eggs are to die for,” she says.

The Food Hall, The Exchange and Jarrold’s wine bars are open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas. Entrance is through the Exchange Street gates. See jarrold.co.uk for more.

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