Turtle Bay Norwich

 

For those of you who haven’t walked by Turtle Bay’s new little corner of the city, allow me to introduce you to our latest hot spot! Turtle Bay is all about celebrating the lively, colourful, soulful experiences of the Caribbean – and it’s set to open its doors to Norwich on the 30th August, bringing a new, vibrant and delicious Caribbean dining experience to the city. Think jerk chicken, spicy, slow cooked curries, rice and peas, dreamy desserts and blissful rum cocktails!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

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On Thursday evening, I was lucky enough to attend a VIP Press Launch before the opening of our very own Turtle Bay here in Norwich. My partner Dan and I, were fortunate to be some of the first in the city to try this new Caribbean experience, and we could not be more excited!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

At 7pm we made our way to Swan Lane, right in the heart of Norwich’s historic lanes, one of my favourite parts of the city! On arrival we were in awe over just how stunning the restaurant was, both inside and out. It really captured the true essence of the Caribbean. Everywhere you looked there were reggae-inspired interiors, and new things to be discovered. With it’s salvaged VW Camper seating area – Norwich definitely hasn’t seen anything like this before! The whole place was vibrant, relaxed and colourful, and it instantly put us in a good mood.

As we entered we were greeted by some of the friendly folks at Turtle Bay, and we were immediately given a rum punch to start the evening. Not being a big drinker, I gave my cocktail to Dan, who was more than happy to nurse a drink in each hand. Being a big rum lover, Dan definitely thought the rum packed a great punch, and he loved the mix of flavours.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Passing on the rum, I opted for a soft drink, and was made very happy by the choices on offer! As well as an impressive Caribbean Cocktail menu, they also had a whole Caribbean Softs menu, with a huge amount of delicious sounding options! In the end, I landed on the Watermelon Crush (pictured above) – which was so beautifully refreshing!

As we waited for the night of entertainment and dining to begin, I met a few representatives from Turtle Bay who already knew my name, and remembered my blog. We chatted, about the buzz of the new restaurant, and they asked me about Heart + Bowl. It was so lovely of them to take some time to get to know me, and all of the bloggers and press at the event. It gave the evening a really friendly atmosphere, and a personal touch.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Once everyone had arrived, we were given some nibbles to snack on, including some Curried Chickpeas which were beyond addictive!!! Then we were asked to assemble around the bar for a rum demonstration.

We were talked through the history and inspiration behind Turtle Bay. Their mission? To bring the fun and relaxed Caribbean dining and drinking experience to the UK. With their famous rum, reggae and jerk – they’ve got this down.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

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After the entertaining rum demonstration we were asked to find a table for the evening of food to begin! Me and Dan picked a nice table by the window near the open street-style kitchen, so we could watch the chefs at work!

Before we got stuck in, one of the managers introduced to us to the ethos behind Turtle Bay’s food. The menu offers a vast choice of bold flavours and rustic dishes, all inspired by the laid back, social outlook of the Caribbean. Dishes are brimming with zesty flavours and spicy hues.

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

After the introduction, waiters started to bring out surprise dishes to the guests. The dining area was buzzing with anticipation, excited to see what we were going to try. Reggae music played softly, to get everyone in the mood for the night ahead.

Dan and I were prepared for a night of food, but we could not be prepared for just how much amazing food we would get to try that evening!

 

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Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Firstly we were given a Beach Food Platter, followed by Turtle Bay’s famous Our Curry Goat, followed by Jerk Chicken, and all topped-off with a mixed platter of Puddings! Being a gluten-free eater, there were lots of gluten-free options for me to try, which really put me at ease. All of the food was so hearty and delicious, and was packed full with so much bold flavour. They’re not afraid to add a real spice kick – and I admired them for it!

My personal favourite was the Our Curry Goat (pictured below), served with rice n’ peas! Dan fell in love with the Sweet Corn Fritters on the Beach Food Platter, claiming they were incredibly moorish!

 

Turtle Bay Norwich

Turtle Bay Norwich

 

Overall the whole evening was a completely refreshing, relaxed and memorable dining experience. Turtle Bay brings the heart and soul of the Caribbean – and there’s definitely nothing like it in Norwich. If ever I get the summer, holiday blues, I’ll be sure to head right here to soak up some fun and sun of the Caribbean. I would definitely recommend all Norwich locals and visitors to check it out when it opens from 30th August!

You can book here, OR if you’re feeling lucky – Enter in my free giveaway below!!!

 

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Turtle Bay Norwich

 

WIN DINNER FOR 4 AT NORFOLK’S FIRST TURTLE BAY IN NORWICH!

 

Yes, the kind folks at Turtle Bay have given me this incredible prize to giveaway. We’re offering one lucky winner a

3-course-dinner for 4 with drinks.

Please enter in the rafflecopter below for a chance of winning!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Apologies, but I will be accepting entries from UK residence only.

 

The Big C

 

Afternoon all! I have something a bit different and personal on the blog today. I’ve teamed up with my local cancer charity, The Big C, to talk to you all about the importance of #CancerConversations.

It’s no secret that talking about cancer can be hard for anyone. Whether you’re male or female, young or old, it can be a struggle for people to open up about what they’re going through. It’s also no secret that cancer is possibly the biggest struggle a person will face in life, so it’s absolutely crucial that anyone affected by it can feel comfortable enough to seek help.

When The Big C first got in contact about their #CancerConversations campaign, one of the first things I thought about was the impact of not having these conversations. Whether you’re fearing for the wellbeing of a love one, or you’re worried about your own health, I feel like the long-term effects of not opening up to someone could lead to further struggles. Enter, anxiety and depression. This is where the cancer becomes not only a physical, but also a mental battle.

Being a long term sufferer of anxiety, I know that it can become all-consuming. It can strip you of all you are, and all of your hopes, dreams and ambition. You no longer love the things you once enjoyed, and you’re stuck in a vicious cycle, worrying about the past or future. You never live in the moment, and that’s the problem. Anxiety can be the loneliness place in the whole world, and you’re often left thinking that nobody understands the way you’re feeling.

My anxiety was triggered by a long-stint of chronic health problems and a cancer scare myself. I would live each day in fear of what was wrong with me, and how sick I really could be. I would ask myself a tonne of questions. What implications will this have on my daily life? Will I have to leave work? How will this affect my relationship with others?

After 12 months of struggling with mental illness, I decided it was time I got professional help. At this point, I just felt like a shell of a person. A body just, breathing. But not really living. I was stuck in a constant state of worry, stuck in the same thought cycle every single day.

I only broke that cycle by getting help. I’m lucky to be able to say that after seeking help and talking to a therapist, I was able to get my anxiety under control. The therapy I recieved helped me to regain my life and myself. Opening up and talking about my worries and my problems felt, cathartic. It was a sense of relief just to get things off my chest to somebody who wouldn’t judge me, and was actually there to help me. We would set tasks, homework and challenges that taught me how to manage my fears. Most importantly though, it gave me stability, a true constant, and a person to always be there for me in the darkest times. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my bad days – but who doesn’t? I’ve also learned to accept that that’s ok too.

Getting help was the best thing I ever did for myself. It taught me to live in the here and now, and live each day to the full. I learned to accept that while we sometimes can’t change our physical wellbeing, we can always change the way we think. Mind over matter. 

For a long time I was ashamed to even accept my anxiety. I’ve always considered myself a strong person, and admitting my anxiety was like showing weakness. I never wanted to be seen as that weak, worrying girl. But after battling long-term anxiety, and working through some of the hardest times, I’ve realised that you have to be incredibly strong to seek help. Never think that starting conversations about cancer, mental health, or anything in-fact, is a sign of weakness. It is the complete opposite. It takes strength to talk when you don’t feel strong.

Cancer and anxiety often come hand-in-hand, but both are becoming easier to talk about these days, and that’s good. Many years ago, most sufferers wouldn’t even dream of venting their experiences, but over the years, cancer and mental health problems are becoming less taboo. The stigma is slowly being lifted, and that in itself is a relief.

It’s ok to talk.

Despite this, there’s still a long way to go. All generations, young and old, need to know just what support is out there. Luckily, that’s where The Big C comes in!

We’re so lucky to have this incredible charity in the Norfolk & Waveney area. The Big C offer free cancer support for those living in the county.  They’ve identified that in particular, men in the region aren’t seeking the vital support and information they need to help them. Which is why they’ve launched #CancerConversations – to engage with men and offer a number of free services and advice available to them across the county.

The Big C offer a range of free services to anyone effected by cancer in the region. They can offer, counselling services, men’s cancer groups, complementary therapies, pharmacy support, nutritional workshops, financial support and welfare advice. To find out more visit their website.

Talking about cancer might be challenging, but getting the right support can be life-changing. Take matters into your own hands, get talking, and start living.

 

Contact your local centre today:

Norwich – 01603 286112 or cancer.information@nnuh.nhs.uk

Great Yarmouth – 01493 855297 or yarmouthcentre@big-c.co.uk

King’s Lynn – 01553 818737 or kingslynncentre@big-c.co.uk

The Louise Hamilton Centre, Gorleston – 01493 453100

All services are free of charge thanks to Big C supporters.

 

Want to get involved?

Donating £3, less than the cost of a pint, can make a difference to #CancerConversations campaign @BigCTweets – Text BIGC1 to 70660 to donate!

 

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HH Turtle Bay Walthamstow041

 

Guys and girls! I could not be more thrilled to share the news that Turtle Bay are coming to Norwich!! Eeeeeeeeeee! Yes, on the 30th August the restaurant opens its doors, bringing a new, vibrant and delicious Caribbean dining and drinking experience to the city.  I could not be more ready to try it out, just browsing the menu gets me all kinds of excited, as we really don’t have anything like it currently in the city.

Here are some exclusive photos (below) of what the restaurant is going to look like. How incredible does it look?! The restaurant is set over 2 floors, occupying a beautiful, Grade II listed former fabric warehouse on Swan Lane – right in the heart of Norwich’s famous Lanes area.

 

Turtle Bay

 

The interior decor and furnishings captures the lively, colourful, soulful spirit of the Caribbean. Just the restaurant design alone has got me itching to go – you just have to look at how funky it is inside!!!

As well as the stunning ‘island hut’ bar, there’ll be special veranda dining areas, plus an open ‘street kitchen’. Norwich guests can also expect to see Turtle Bay’s first salvaged VW Campervan, which has been reinvented as a unique seating area!! This is surely a must to try sit at on your visit!!

 

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There’ll be repurposed shipping containers, oil drum lampshades, reclaimed wood and chequer-plate and disused speakers… all making up one very vibrant, quirky restaurant.

Oh and we haven’t even mentioned the food yet…

 

HH Turtle Bay Food Shoot Beach platter 001

 

Turtle Bay offers up food that celebrates the Caribbean with every mouthful, from its rich and explosive flavours, to laid back ‘liming’. This is fuss-free, joyous food, from the soul. Dishes are brimming with zesty flavours and spicy hues – there’s plenty to share or dig into alone.

An eclectic cuisine that is influenced by a rich tapestry of ethnicities, the food at Turtle Bay offers a vast choice of bold flavours and rustic dishes, all inspired by the laid back, social outlook of the Caribbean. Signature dishes include their famous Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat.

Turtle Bay have also confirmed that there will be a number of gluten and dairy free options to enjoy on their menu. Typical foods include curries/stews/jerk chicken, and because a lot of Caribbean cooking calls for coconut milk instead of dairy – there will be plenty to choose from! Happy days!

 

As well as hearty dishes, Turtle Bay also boasts an amazing cocktail and rum list – with a menu of more than 40 Caribbean rums to choose from!! Happy hour lasts from 11.30am – 7pm and then starts up again at 10pm! With ALL of their cocktails available at 2-4-1 during that time – it’s a must for cocktail lovers and rum enthusiasts all week long.

So Norwich folks, make sure you mark your calendars for the 30th August – because this is one you’re not going to want to miss!!!

I will be reviewing the food at Turtle Bay at a VIP preview dinner on the 25th August – so be sure to check back soon for my verdict!

You can read more about Turtle Bay or find a menu here.