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Introduce yourself and your family

We are the Davies family. I’m Andrew, my wife is Nikki and we have 2 pre-school children Isabelle (3) and Jacob (1).

How long have you lived in Norwich?

Nikki & I have lived in Norwich since coming here to study at the UEA, which is now almost 25 years ago!

What do you love most about the City?

One of the great things about Norwich is its size. As the main admin centre for a large area it supports a good range of cultural and entertainment options, while being compact enough that nowhere is a great distance to walk or cycle (or get to with a pushchair). Also, the city’s proximity to the coast and countryside means we’re spoiled for days out close by.

What’s your favourite park/open space?

We spend a lot of time at Heigham Park and Eaton Park, as they’re both great well-maintained parks within easy reach of our home and are great burn off some toddler energy. On Sundays Eaton Park also has an enthusiast-run miniature railway which runs around the bottom end of the park and never fails to spark excitement with the little ones. Also, when the kids were younger I expended plenty of shoe leather round Earlham Cemetery, which is a huge, peaceful green space perfect for sleepy walks.

What is your favourite family place to eat?

When we go out to eat sometimes the ubiquitous child friendly chains win out for the sake of convenience. Outside of this, The Waffle House is a bit of a Norwich institution, it’s well set up for families and waffles & toppings always go down well with the little ones. Also, the Alexandra Tavern (The Alex) is everything a street corner local should be. It serves a good ever-changing selection of no-nonsense food, it’s fantastically friendly and has a great balance of being accommodating to children, while being a ‘proper’ pub.

Where is your favourite place to spend time with your kids?

The Sanctuary is a re-purposed church with good coffee, snacks and plenty of indoor rampaging space for the little ones. Norwich Castle is always a winner, and is well thought out with plenty to interest and engage children. Isabelle also loves going to catch the kids club at Cinema City when we have a free Saturday morning, in addition to a film everybody gets to do some colouring and badge making.

Where do you go to unwind and why?

Given the ages of the children, child-free time is rare, but when it does happen we like to get out to Cinema City which as well as being a very pleasant place to enjoy (often slightly less mainstream) films, it is home to a great restaurant & bar in a beautiful historic building. Alternatively, The Workshop on Earlham Road is a great place to nip out for a drink and tapas (or some of the best pizza in Norwich).

Tell us your top ‘hidden gem’ in Norwich – a place that you like to visit, a shop you love – which you think everyone else should know about.

Our hidden gem would probably be The Marriott’s Way, it’s a fantastic walking/cycling trail from the city centre along which it’s easy to quickly forget you’re anywhere near the city.