Introduce yourself and your family
Hello, I’m Kate, I’m a single mum living in Norwich with my five year old daughter, Ariana.
How long have you lived in Norwich?
I have lived in Norfolk my whole life, apart from a few years away at university, and Ariana has lived in the city for her lifetime.
What do you love most about the City?
I love Norwich for its community spirit and vibrancy. It’s a friendly place to live and bring up a child. We rally around each other when needed and it feels like there is a sense of harmony and unity. I often walk through the city and get distracted by the many talented buskers and bands playing in the paved areas and Ariana loves to stop and dance.
Norwich is full of creative people and I think this is why we have so many independent stores, artistic spaces, and innovative businesses. It is also a beautiful place to live because of the number of historic buildings dotted around. I have a definite love of Norwich and I am eager to show my daughter all of the wonderful things about it.
Favourite park/open space
My favourite park is a close call between Whitlingham Country Park and The Rose Gardens, very different from one another but both equally fantastic. Whitlingham for its nature walks and wildlife spotting. A long(ish) but comfortable walk around the lake, great for scooting and bikes. There’s a few play areas which provide entertainment for children of all ages, and the woodland too, with its winding pathways and hidden fairy doors.
The Rose Gardens (Heigham Park) is another favourite, a hidden gem in amongst rows of gorgeous houses in the Golden Triangle. The children’s play area is large and offers fun for all children (and adults!) and there are large grassy areas to run around.
Both parks offer fairs and family fun during the school holidays too.
Top place to eat, with children
My favourite place to eat is Zaks! They do THE best burgers in the city. They started off as a burger van and now have three restaurants throughout Norwich and more further afield. They are fantastic with the children, offering colouring and a varied menu with natural ingredients. And the puddings are huge! The staff are always friendly and helpful and are chatty with the children too.
Favourite place to spend time with your kid/s
I love spending time with Ariana in the Forum and it’s always our go to place if we have a few minutes or hours spare and we’re in the city. We will go to the library and sit in the children’s area and read books for ages, there is no hurry to choose a book and move on. Or we will go for a cuppa and cake in Café Marzano, and sit on the sofas and watch the world go by.
Where you go to unwind and why
If I have any child-free time I like to go to Centre Parcs spa to unwind. I know it’s not technically in Norwich but it’s only a short car journey away (especially now they’ve dueled the A11!!)
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.
My ‘hidden gem’ in Norwich is a relatively new bar offering the weirdest but most delicious cocktails I’ve had. It’s called Hawthorn Bar and it’s only one small room with a scattering of tables hidden above Lust and Liquor on St Benedicts Street. It’s not child friendly, so it’s one to save for when you have a babysitter.
A ‘hidden gem’ for when the little ones are with you is the Urban Jungle, a little café set in a garden centre in Costessey. It offers a huge range of cakes and teas and coffees which you can enjoy whilst surrounded by tropical plants.
I think Norwich itself is a gem which I don’t really want to rave about too much as everyone will want to come and live here!