Tuesday 12 January 2016

Woolf & Social - Norwich

21-23 Nelson Street

No longer serving breakfasts

Woolf & Social can be found almost opposite The Fat Cat on Nelson Street.

Brunch is available here from Friday to Sunday till 3pm so no need to get up at silly o'clock for a much needed fry up after a late night out.

The handcrafted bar here is unique and really impressive.

The wolf keeps a careful eye on everything going on.

I loved the chairs here, they took me right back to my school days.

The painted tables, church pews and artwork on the walls come together beautifully in this stunning restaurant interior.

There's even a small table and chairs to be found inside the toilet!

The brunch menu will please both meat eaters and vegetarians. I hear the chicken strips here are amazing, I didn't try them on this visit though.

Vintage cutlery arrived just before the food. 

Salt, pepper and ketchup are available on request.

Filter coffee cost £2, it wasn't very hot though.

The full English breakfasts include toast served with real butter. My wife didn't want her toast as she isn't eating bread at the moment so I got to eat it all, bonus!

The double English breakfast with black pudding cost £9. I wondered why it didn't come with mushrooms like the vegetarian breakfast does, I tried one of my wife's mushrooms and they were excellent.

The highlight of this breakfast were the meats, so delicious!

The sausages had a nice firm and meaty texture.

I usually like my fried eggs lightly cooked on top, these were ok though and I enjoyed them on top of the toast.

 This was a seriously tasty tomato.

The final item was beans, hot but quite juicy.

My wife ordered the small vegetarian breakfast which cost £5, she swapped the egg for an extra sausage.

Late last year I discovered that the The Reading Rooms on Nelson Street had closed it's doors for the final time. This once great breakfast spot had since opened again as Woolf & Social and the good news was they were serving cooked breakfasts too. With a quiet weekend in Norwich planned my wife and I decided to head along there to try it out. I'd heard the fried chicken here was amazing but that would have to wait till another time as I had sausages and bacon on my mind...

Upon entering - The restaurant consists of two dining rooms, the first one is by the entrance and is where the impressive hand crafted bar can be found. The other dining room at the front has much more natural light flooding in through the large windows, this is where we chose to sit. The bare wooden floorboards, church pew, and tables painted in striking patterns make for a very stylish interior. The colours used here work beautifully together to create a modern and very clean looking environment which compliments the artwork on the walls and the music being played. Once seated there's full table service, simply settle your bill on your way out at the bar. A menu is brought over when you arrive followed by vintage cutlery and serviettes. Condiments and sauces are offered once the food has arrived. Certainly a beautifully designed restaurant and a nice relaxing place to enjoy a breakfast. 9/10

Service - We were greeted with a smile and told we could sit wherever we wanted, once seated, menus were brought over to us. My wife's currently not eating eggs so asked if she could swap the egg for something else, she also asked what type of vegetarian sausages were used here. The lady serving us was more than happy to find out and returned with good news, swapping items would be ok and Linda McCartney sausages are currently being served here. There wasn't a hot drinks menu but we were told that tea and filter coffee were available. My coffee wasn't piping hot so it was gone in a few gulps, my wife was happy with her tea though and was later offered more hot water and another tea bag (I should have gone for tea too!) Next the toast arrived, there wasn't much butter but we were told we could always ask for more if we needed it, my waistline was grateful for this as I always end up eating whatever is there usually! The cooked breakfasts arrived piping hot which was perfect as we had to then wait for the salt, pepper and ketchup to arrive. During the meal we were asked if everything was ok and the plates were cleared after we had finished. My only slight concerns were the coffee not being hot enough and I think it's always better to have condiments on the table before the food arrives so you can start eating straight away. Considering they've only recently opened these were only minor glitches and I was really impressed with the friendly and helpful service here. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 3 bacon, 1 slice of black pudding, 2 fried eggs, tomatoes, beans and 2 slices of toast served with real butter. 8/10

Presentation - The meat sat proudly stacked on one side of the plate, the fried eggs covered most of the other side with beans and tomatoes surrounding them. The toast was served on one side plate with a knob of butter served on another. 8/10

The food - I'm going to start by mentioning the bacon, possibly the nicest bacon I've ever been served! These nicely browned bacon rashers tasted amazing, I popped all 3 slices between some buttered toast, covered them in ketchup and was in bacon heaven. The sausages were excellent too, really long and nicely cooked with a firm meaty texture, superb! The black pudding was a standard slice and the beans were in a fairly thin sauce. When it comes to fried eggs I always panic slightly at the sight of any uncooked egg white but despite initial concerns my mind was put at rest as I cut through the yolks. A pair of nice runny yolks seeped out without a trace of uncooked egg white, they were delicious eaten on top of the buttered toast. The tomatoes were nicely cooked and packed full of flavour, if only all tomatoes tasted this good. The toast was a fairly standard sliced white, evenly toasted and served with real butter. A very enjoyable breakfast with the bacon and sausages really standing out as being the highlight. 8/10

Value for money - The double English breakfast with black pudding cost £9. The price seemed fairly reasonable considering those amazing meats and the stunning environment you get to enjoy the food in. 7/10

Veggie option - Egg your way, tomato, beans, chestnut mushrooms and toast costs £5, double veggie costs £8. 

Overall - This is certainly a place that's well worth visiting for breakfast, the stunning bacon and sausages served here will ensure I return again. It seemed a bit strange to not have mushrooms on the Full English breakfast but I'm sure if you wanted some they could be added as an extra. The restaurant interior is stunning and the service is friendly, a great place to meet friends and enjoy the surroundings over a full English breakfast. 8/10


  1. I just had the Full English, and very nicely cooked mushrooms *were* included. Meat supplier is Harvey's of Norwich - excellent quality, good provenance for their produce. I had the Black Pudding as an extra, and would agree with you about the general splendiferousness of it all - and also - yes - why not ask us before the food comes if we might want salt/pepper/ketchup/brown sauce - once our plates came, THEN we asked for some sauces, and these were a few minutes arriving which I couldn't understand as the place is (a) small and (b) was quiet on this pelting down January 11am morning - but - she was clearly decanting them into two small espresso cups, with their own spoons. I'd have been happy with the bottle but hey. Other than that - all very good, and I will be visiting for more brekkies, AND their evening meals which sound astonishingly interesting/varied and increasingly popular!

  2. Just back from a brekky session with friends; all veggie. Delicious, (especially the triple-cooked chips as an extra) but a few niggles: the 'large' veggie breakfast had four sausages and two eggs, but the same mushrooms as the smaller breakfast. Toast was a bit stingy, we got six half pieces between four of us and eventually ordered more. But these were minor niggles, it's a great environment and the food's very good!

  3. go to norwich ant try everything delicious