Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
A member of the audience summed it all up in one sentence when he shouted out “Elkie, you are sheer class!”
The Elkie Brooks concert at the Corn Exchange on Friday was absolute magic. At the age of 68 she has obviously been taking good care of her voice, which is just as husky and powerful as ever. Some of the notes she held seemed to last an eternity, and would put many of today’s younger singers to shame.
During the first half she eased her way through some of her classics: Warm and Tender Love, an upbeat version of Fool If You Think its Over, Sunshine After The Rain and Lilac Wine. The performance was interspersed with a few new songs from her latest album, Powerless, which has been re-released to coincide with her autobiography.
Each song ended in rapturous applause from a very appreciative, mainly middle-aged audience, who obviously adored her to bits. I thought her rendition of the Sixties anthem Nights in White Satin sounded even better than her original recording.
Credit must be given to Elkie’s “world class” backing band. They alone would have been worth paying tickets for. Rufus Ruffell picked out some raunchy guitar riffs, while Andrew Murray created some magical sounds on the keyboard and Steve Jones moody solos on sax were just out of this world.
During the second half, Elkie and her band stepped up a gear and went into blatant Rock and Blues mode with hand clapping versions of Pearls A Singer and Road House Blues. Elkie rounded up with three tracks from her latest album, I Can’t Make You Love Me, the title track Powerless and Purple Rain. Trhe last song of the evening was an emotional rendering of Bob Seger’s We’ve Got Tonight.
Reviewed by John Beck
We love exploring the beautiful Norfolk countryside and discovering exciting new places to eat out. So we were delighted to come across The Anchor Inn, a quaint olde-worlde pub situated in the little seaside village of Morston along the North Norfolk coast. Apparently, it was once a haven for 19th century smugglers and fishermen.
The pub and restaurant are now run by old school friends Harry Farrow and Rowan Glennie, who have carried out a complete refurbishment since taking over the pub in June 2011. Their hard work and effort paid off as they have built up a local reputation for serving fresh locally sourced food, and The Anchor was voted the EDP Readers Restaurant of 2012.
When we arrived we were given a really friendly welcome by owner Rowan Glennie, who seems to take great pleasure chatting with the customers and serving them too!
There was a lovely family atmosphere, with customers of all ages including a mixture of tourists and hikers as well as those out to celebrate a special occasion.
We were shown to a table near the window where we could watch the hikers and birdwatchers as they strolled back from their walks along the nearby marshes and beaches.
We were given a delicious appetizer of Celeriac Soup and Crispy Chicken, with the compliments of the chef. We knew if this was a sample of what was to come, we would be in for a treat! A nice touch was the jug of iced water with lemon, which helped to clean our palettes between courses.
For starters, Jane went for the Homemade Smoked Mackerel Paté, Pub Pickles and Toast, which she said was delicious and had lots of mackerel in the pate. I went for the ‘Soup of the Day,’ Sweet Potato and Coconut, served with a home made crusty roll and bread. You could really taste the flavours in the soup, and you could tell the bread was freshly home made.
The service was excellent, with very friendly staff, who always found time for a quick chat.
The Winter’s Golden Beer Battered ‘fish of the day’ was plaice and just melted in the mouth. The Homemade Tartar Sauce, Triple Cooked Hand Cut Chips and Crispy Salad all complemented each other perfectly. It was far superior to your average High Street fish and chips!
Jane went for the Roast Rare Breed Pork Loin with Duck Fat Roast Potatoes, Creamed Leeks, Smoked Bacon, Roast Celeriac, Piccolo Parsnips with a side dish of Cauliflower Puree which was rich and creamy, in fact the creamiest she’d ever tasted. It was beautifully presented, and part of the pleasure was in discovering hidden layers of food, each one as good if not better than the previous.
I finished off with the Anchor Vanilla Crème Brulee and honeycomb ice cream, which having a very sweet tooth, was absolutely to die for. Unfortunately for Jane, she was only able to manage a cappuccino and mints. We both agreed that the food far outstretched any meal we had eaten for a very long time.
On the way out, we noticed there were people eating in the beer garden adjacent to the pub. It was too chilly out there for us, but would have been lovely on a warm summer’s day.
Tickets can be purchased at the pub for a spectacular seal trip from the Quay and out to Blakeney Harbour to view the seals and the migrant birds. To combine one of these trips with a meal at The Anchor would indeed be the perfect day out.
To sum up, we really enjoyed our experience at The Anchor and will definitely return again.
You can check out The Anchor website at www.morstonanchor.co.uk
Reviewed by John Beck and Jane Beaumont.
In scenes reminiscent of Beatlemania back in the sixties, crowds of screaming young girls flocked into King’s Lynn on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of their boy band heros District 3.
The X Factor finalists, who lost the battle of the boy bands against Union J, were here in King’s Lynn to perform live and switch on the Christmas Lights.
Word soon got around that the boys would be ‘meeting and greeting’ at the bandstand in the Vancouver Quarter, and long queue of eager young fans started to form early in the evening.
Some were lucky enough to meet the boys, and even collect a hug from them. Others had to drift back home with dissapointed faces, having had to wait for over 2 hours in the cold.
14-year-old Autumn Franceschi, who came all the way from Norwich, said: “They couldn’t meet everyone so I’m over the moon that I got their autographs and a big hug too. I only spent a minute with them but it was the best time ever!”
All photos courtesy of West Norfolk Photography.
We decided to join the “Royal Treasure Quest” that took place in King’s Lynn over the Queen’s Jubilee weekend and were not disappointed!
The Quest promised to be ‘a voyage of discovery bound only by the imagination.’ Along the way we were transported to far away lands of royal myths and legends, stories of riches, jewels, treasures, kings and queens, magic and mishap, sieges and sages.
We were given a sheet of clues and joined a small group of adults and excited children at King’s Lynn Arts Centre. Our first stop was the atmospheric Guildhall, where we met William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I. Mr Shakespeare told us the story of how he had invited the Queen to see the first performance of his ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in this very theatre!
Our next stop was the Fermoy Gallery, where storyteller Paul Jackson brought to life the story of King John’s Treasure, and how it got lost in The Wash.
Paul played us a tune on his West African Kora instrument, and demonstrated his Tibetan singing bowls, which the children were fascinated by.
After having some colourful paper crowns fitted, we carried on to the bandstand in the Vancouver Quarter where puppeteer, Josh Neal, entertained us with a Royal story about the nasty Princess Miranda who was forced to marry beggar and live in a drain.
But the story had a happy ending and Princess Miranda turned into a nice princess and lived happily ever after.
Josh invited some of the children on stage to help with the puppets.
This was followed by another story by traditional storyteller Liam Carrol in the Town Hall Assembly Room. Liam told the story of a King and his Queen and the magical Silver Casket.
Liam has performed at various children’s centres and arts festivals, country fayres, school fetes and the Cambridge Folk Festival. He has also performed for the Fairyland Trust.
More recently he has started regularly telling stories for adults at the Tales From The Undercroft club at Jurnet’s Bar in Norwich, at weddings and in pubs.
Down at the Green Quay Visitor Centre we were treated to a story by Laurie Steel who describes himself as “a story teller, jewellery maker, Grecophile, and general bodger and fixer.”
Laurie told the story of the Russian Dolls who were given to a King, and only the King’s storyteller could tell the difference between the dolls.
Finally we ended up at Hanse House, where we joined in to “knees up Mother Brown” with a couple of colourful cockney characters. The children sat down to enjoy some yummy jubilee cakes, and good a time was had by all!
We must congratulate The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, The King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust and the Vancouver Quarter for organizing a truly enjoyable “Royal Treasure Quest”.
By Alan T Shearer
Ali’s is a place I had walked past many many times before yesterday when I finally went in. Along with my wife Didi I sat down to what was a fantastic meal.
Ok So right off the top of this review you know its going to be good. But what was not to like? A bright airy interior, a clean fresh display of food, a pleasant smile from the very nice helpful lady who served us and good company!
So lets get to the point, the food. We ordered the Meze Platter which for £20 came with a bottle, A full sized bottle mind, of wine. This accompanied a selection of plates bearing humus, olives, roasted peppers, Tzatziki, Halloumi, and veritable doorsteps of fresh crusty hot bread to dip and enjoy.
We also ordered a single skewer of chicken and lamb which was grilled to perfection over the open grill and presented on a bed of salad drizzled in olive oil. A healthy alternative to chips with everything or a mayonnaise laden sandwich at lunchtime and I’m sure a not too heavy meal later in the day.
We found the whole Ali’s experience relaxing and pleasant. We had the place to ourselves which was disappointing, not for us but for those who chose to do as I used to and simply wandered past glancing in and continuing on with the task of shopping. When they could have taken a very restful break and watched the others wandering past …
So to sum up, for £29 Didi and I had a pleasant relaxing lunch and start to our afternoon.
The other options on the menu were great value so lunch at Ali’s doesn’t have to cost the earth, we simply made our choice from the great menu and relaxed with glasses of wine, which by the way is offered in red, white and rosé, amazing freshly prepared and cooked food, good company and a heightened sense of well being as we watched everyone else rushing past.
* Ali’s Meze bar can be found at 120 Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn. Telephone 01553 69228
Find more places to eat in our Eat section!
We went along to preview an interesting new exhibition at Greyfriars Art Space, the fascinating little gallery just opposite Greyfriars Tower, where we met the artists and enjoyed a glass of wine.
Kit Price Moss, chairperson of the West Norfolk Artists Association, told us “This year we are holding an exhibition with an unusual format, and we’ve called it ‘Tall & Thin’. It’s been an opportunity for our members to think outside their normal comfort zone and produce work that must not be wider than 11 inches.
“We’ve had a terrific response here at Greyfriars Art Space, and we’ve been quite astounded by the creativity you can see here. We have works suspended from the ceiling, ceramics and sculptures besides the usual paintings. Everyone will know Helena Anderson from King’s Lynn, and one of her pretty silk paintings is hanging in the window.
“It’s well worth coming along, there’s something for everyone.”
Kit has one of her own works on display ‘Kittywake Castle’:
“It’s from a drawing of some seabirds I drew whilst visiting North Berwick and Dunbar last summer, depicting nesting kittiwakes on a pinnacle.”
The ‘Tall & Thin” exhibtion continues at Greyfriars Art Space, (opposite Greyfriars Tower), at 43 St. James Street, King’s Lynn until 1st of June.
We thoroughly recommend you take a trip to the exhibition to see these extraordinary works by the talented artists of West Norfolk!
Full list of Artists exhibiting at Greyfriars Artspace
Helena Anderson, Tony Bellars, Helen Breach, Brenda Brown, Alan Castleton, Barbara Cichocka, Simon and Fran Crawford, Alison Dunhill, Peter Edwards, Joan Evans, Tod Evans, Ann Froshaug, Lydia Haines, John Hughes, Jill Ilett, Jane Ironside, Jo Halpin Jones, Giselle Keeble, John Lawson, Neil Leggett, Steve Martyn, Kit Price Moss, Tom Sharp, Michael Smith, Julie Spriggs, Will Strong, Tom Thompson, John and Helen Walker, Andrew Williams, Julie Witt, Joan Wooll and Pauline Wrighton.
We didn’t want to leave anyone out!
Local author Claire Upton, 36, has been getting 5-star reviews online for her first novel Twisted Fate.
She said: “I uploaded my book to Amazon on a whim because I’d spent years sending it to publishers and agents with no luck. A friend of mine had uploaded their books and I just thought why not? At least people would get to read it this way.”
After just a few weeks online, the novel is enjoying major success, receiving glowing reviews:
“My book has now made it to number 2 on the Amazon chart for Romance and Contemporary reviews over the last 30 days. I’m now only one good review from the top space!”
The romantic novel, set in Norfolk, tells the story of successful career woman Natalie and her fateful meeting with farm manager Matt, which subsequently changes the course of her entire life.
Among the glowing reviews received on book-store Amazon was this: “Many thanks to C. Upton for tantalizing imagination and pure colorfulness of characters. Inspiring read with great purpose and emotions. Bound to be a best seller. Can only recommend to those who enjoy nothing more than a well written story (which is everyone). ENJOY.”
Claire enthuses, “I hope readers enjoy reading my book just as much as I loved writing it. At the moment it’s only available as a download for the Kindle, but I’m hoping a publisher will soon be able to put it into book form.”
Claire was born in King’s Lynn. She spent the first few years, and many school holidays in Richmond, Surrey. Her family moved back to Norfolk when she was five, and she later attended Springwood High School. She currently lives on the outskirts of King’s Lynn.
Claire qualified as an Interior Designer in the mid 90′s and has worked as everything from Dogwalker to PA to Company Director. She has recently returned to education and is currently embarking on a psychosocial degree.
Claire has four children & a stepson who she says are “her world”. Her Partner works in Healthcare & supports all her crazy dreams… such as publishing her novel!
Twisted Fate was written while her third child was tiny. While he refused to sleep at night she made the most of the time & wrote this novel, mostly with him resting on her shoulder.
A brief synopsis of the book Twisted Fate
It is 2001 and Natalie Walsh is successful in her career, has great friends and subsequent social agenda. She is not looking for love but serendipity takes a hand and leads her towards Matt Samson, a down-to-earth Farm Manager.
Fate however steps in and twists her life into an unrecognisable form. How will she put her life back together or more’s the case, does she want her old life back? If she does, is it possible after her course has changed?
A heart-warming story of love, loss and acceptance.
You will laugh and cry your way through Natalie’s trials and tribulations. And at points wish you could just reach into the book and give her a supportive hug.
A cleverly written script and an enthusiastic performance by a talented group of young actors, combined to produce a hugely enjoyable experience on Friday evening.
Not really knowing what to expect, we waited patiently for the curtains to open along with a considerably sized audience at King’s Lynn Academy’s North Hall, in Gaywood – It turned out to be a real treat.
The King’s Lynn Youth Theatre’s production of ‘A Classic Experience’, written and directed by Luke Goold, entertained us from start to finish with it’s story of a disastrous Norfolk school trip to ancient Italy.
There were less Ancient Wonders and more Catastrophic Blunders, as the group of sixth formers got involved with bank-robbers, inept secret agents and the world’s most deadly assassin.
Some amusingly played characters, original stage effects, lighting and music, all combined for a very entertaining evening out.
So, ‘Well Done’ to the King’s Lynn Youth Theatre!
If you ever get the chance to see one of their productions, we would highly recommend that you go along.
A local windmill featured this week on the BBC-2 documentary “The Fixer”. Alex Polizzi was called to the family firm who run Denver Mills, near Downham Market, finding they were in dire need of help.
Just before Alex arrived, a tragedy had struck. Three of the sails had crashed off the windmill, leaving the Abel family absolutely bereft. A business already in trouble had just hit rock bottom.
Alex found a business that didn’t know what it was, with the site comprising of the windmill itself, a tea shop, gift shop, function room and rental cottages. She also found a family that, although passionate about milling flour, were clueless about how to run a business.
Relationships had started to implode, with mother Lindsay not knowing anything about their finances and son-in-law Duncan angry that the family cared more about milling than money. Alex had a huge challenge on her hands. She needed to get the family focussed, and fast.
Identifying that the shop and the cafe were profitable ventures, she got the family to concentrate on those areas. Realising that they were underselling their high-quality produce, she took them to hamper producers Forman and Field to learn how to package and sell their local produce properly.
She also took them to historical site branding experts Imagemakers, to help give Denver Mill a new cohesive brand identity. Most of all though, Alex needed to give the family their confidence back so they could continue after she had gone. She helped them set up a farmers market at the Mill to showcase the new improved Denver Mills and its produce.
During the programme, the family were seen going to the studios of local radio station KLFM, to produce a commercial to promote the farmers market.
When we opened this beautiful-looking carrot cake, we knew we were in for a treat.
The knife sliced easily into the cake, revealing a rich and fluffy texture, and an enticing, spicy aroma.
The cake was very moist and just melted in the mouth. The pecan nuts added some crunch, and the ginger a bit of bite to the flavour. The cream cheese icing, was smooth, zesty and delicious.
To sum up: A delicious, indulgent carrot cake from Heaven, we can highly recommend!
Mrs B is based in Downham Market, and has been passionately baking cakes for the last 25 years. She does some local delivery, or people can collect orders directly from her.. You can find more details on her website at cakesplease.co.uk
You can also find her on Twitter at twitter.com/MrsBs_Cakes
Six artists from the King’s Lynn Arts Centre have each created two responses to a domestic object they have chosen from the Lynn Museum collection.
It’s all part of Aspire, a 3 year project funded by the Arts Council and conceived by Liz Falconbridge, Director of the King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust in partnership with Lynn Museum and Freebridge Community Housing.
The large Triffid-like sculpture by David Keffort [left] mimics the form of an early 20th Century egg stand, using simple materials and low-tech processes in an imaginative way.
The structure is precariously balanced on a 3-legged stand wedged over an egg-like central form consisting of multiple layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Threads of taught red twine hold it all together.
Richard Layzell’s “Silver Service” [below] was inspired by knife or carver rests c1900.
“When I was in China a few months ago, and thinking about the Re-Home project, I found some ceramic ‘rests’ for artists’ brushes. These can be seen as part of my display at the Lynn Museum” said Richard.
There are three exhibitions, at the Arts Centre in King Street, King’s Lynn Museum and 149 Hillington Square.
King’s Lynn Arts Centre & Lynn Museum
Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 5 Closed Sundays & Mondays
149 Hillington Square
Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 11- 3
See also: Back to the 60′s at Hillington Square – a flat restored in the style of the 60′s when they first opened.
The Munchbox is a Burger Bar situated near Wickes in a corner of the car park at St Nicholas Retail Park, King’s Lynn. Now this small establishment is not particularly visible from the road and we have often been surprised of late to see how many people seem to frequent it so thought it was time to investigate.
When we arrived we were greeted with smiles and asked if we would like drinks, these were prepared as we dithered over what to order. Having settled for two cheeseburgers, one with onions and one with mushrooms we then had to make another decision of whether or not to have butter in the baps (never been asked that at a Burger Bar before).
Service was very quick, from placing our order to sitting at a nearby table with our food was only a matter of minutes. Our burgers were delicious, everything was fresh and well presented, really melt in your mouth, hot enough to be enjoyable right to the last mouthful. Coffee was served in proper mugs and not the polystyrene variety, although these were available for take away drinks.
Whilst eating we were impressed to see a variety of customers come and go, trades people, office workers, a family and a couple of obviously retired gentlemen and a smartly dressed young lady.
Having polished off every crumb like food was about to be rationed we went to have a chat with Charlotte and Jamie who took over managing The Munchbox a few months ago. They have made quite a few changes, including some interesting additions to the menu like Peri Peri Chicken. The recent rebranding makes everywhere look very smart and extremely clean, both inside and out.
Whilst chatting, Charlotte was busy cleaning the table and chairs and Jamie was cleaning the cooking surfaces ready for the next lucky customer. It was pointed out to us that they now have a delivery service and have also introduced a loyalty card (buy 10 get 1 free).
When you are next in the area of St Nicholas Retail Park, if you don’t have time to go into a cafe but want something quick and of good quality to eat or drink we would definitely say give The Munchbox a go, you won’t be disappointed.
Sara Allerton, a 41-year-old mother of three from East Anglia, has received rave reviews for her very first novel Making Shore
Based on the memories of a Lancashire born Merchant Navy radio operator, Brian Clarke, the novel is a heart wrenching tale of survival, sacrifice, love and lies, set against the backdrop of the Battle of the Atlantic, during World War II.
Making Shore has been shortlisted for two national book awards this summer: The 2011 Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award and the annual People’s Book Prize.
Voting for the People’s Book Prize runs until 15 July and winners will be announced on 20 July. You can vote for the book by logging on to peoplesbookprize.com
Making Shore is set in the aftermath of a torpedo strike by a U-boat on a Merchant Navy vessel in 1942. The fictional drama has been brought to life through the reminiscences of 87-year-old merchant seaman Brian Clarke, a survivor from the sinking of the British merchant ship SS Sithonia.
“Brian’s experience and what he and his fellow survivors had to endure almost beggars belief,” explains Sara Allerton. “In writing the novel, I wanted people to dare to imagine how they might fare if exposed to such extreme hardship. We’re both thrilled that it’s fast becoming a favourite with so many readers.”
Andrew Wheatcroft, author of ‘The Enemy at the Gate’, said: “I don’t cry much over books, but this one brought a great lump to my throat. It is an extraordinary story – the grim face of war, chirpy unassuming courage, and running through, the need to keep faith whatever the cost.”
The People’s Book Prize is decided by readers rather than a panel of judges, and works with independent publishers and libraries. Dame Beryl Bainbridge was the founding patron of the award and during an illustrious career, several of her novels were made into films.