I love the Norwich Arcade.
Its stylish independent shops, eateries and interesting architecture has been enchanting Norwich residents since 1899. Just a short walk from the Arcade on bustling Exchange Street, Tom and I discovered a not-so-hidden gem – The Wallow – where wine is served via vending machine.
I know, I don’t know why this is the first we’ve heard of it either!
Hours could be spent wallowing amongst the bohemian cakes and cosy homemade soups.
But the real foodie favourites are savoury delights; rustic baguettes with no hold on the filling, sweet veggie crisps in little pots and artisan bread boards complete with dipping oils, charcuterie meat and irresistible salty cheeses.
It’s a wallowers dream – long lazy afternoons and never-ending grazing.
The coffee is pretty damn good too. Big and bold and made for conversation.
At night, The Wallow turns into an intimate wine bar.
Nibble boards, breads, hummus, dipping oils and wine in vending machines.
Yep, you heard that right. A ‘Wallow Card’ lets you collect credit for wine in much the same way as an old school top-up card. But instead of credit to text your BFF you get credit for wine, which is a better deal all round if you ask me.
Peruse the wines machines, each one named after a ‘Friends’ star, select the glass size you fancy, pop in your card and voila! Self serve wine to the rescue.
Will you be a Monica or a Rachel?
Seeing the word my parents always use for wine light up the upstairs seating area reminds me that my mum would really love it here!
On the ground floor, coffee-shop style window seats allow you to people watch whilst you wine. Below that, the basement floor offers a dimly-lit and cavernous setting, perfect for small groups. At the top, an open, inviting room boasts statement chandeliers and industrial style tables, perfect for quick trips to the vending machines.
If you manage to tear yourself away from the wallowing, a walk around Norwich Market is a must. If not for organic fruit and veg, flowers or fascinating local produce then for the rainbow-coloured stall covers or the piles of second hand books.
You’ll probably find me somewhere between wallowing and wining.