Set within the iconic mill where Colman’s Mustard began life, Stoke Mill is a piece of Norfolk history which is now home to award-winning cuisine in beautiful surroundings.
There has been a mill at Stoke Holy Cross for 700 years, and it was here that Jeremiah and James Colman began making their world-famous mustard over 200 years ago. The mill was bought by the Iaccarino family in 1969 and was run as a successful high-class restaurant for over 40 years.
In September 2013, Ludovico Iaccarino took over the family business in partnership with chef Andrew Rudd. They decided to invest in the historic premises to reinvent the restaurant for modern diners. An impressive refurbishment took place. Sympathetic to the character of the mill, they restored and revealed original features and complemented the stunning space with solid oak tables and soft pastel hues.
Since it reopened, Ludo and Andy haven’t had much time to reflect on the experience as they have been fully booked night after night, but they are thrilled to have been supported so strongly by the local community and have welcomed many visitors who used to frequent the restaurant many decades ago.
Thanks to social media and excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, the restaurant quickly earned a reputation as one of the top places in the county for contemporary fine dining.
Chef patron Andy Rudd uses local produce whenever he can. They love to work with organic farmers and local producers to bring the best of the region’s bounty into the kitchen. A creative chef, Andy changes the menu often as he takes inspiration from the seasonal ingredients on his doorstep.
A lovely spot for Sunday lunch, Stoke Mill tends to get booked up in advance for its high-quality two- or three-course menus. Afternoon tea is also a popular – even more so when accompanied by a glass of Champagne.
It is perhaps the à la carte and taster menus that have really set Stoke Mill apart as a premier fine dining destination. From wild Norfolk seabass and hand-dived scallops to Dingley Dell pork and Paddocks beef – beautiful ingredients are cooked with skill, imagination and creativity.
Recipe: Paella With Norfolk Sea Bass
100g Norfolk Marsh Pig chorizo, sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 litres organic chicken stock, hot
2 large pinches of saffron
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
500g paella rice
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 red peppers, roasted
10 king prawns
2 small squid
2 fillets of Norfolk wild seabass
1 small bunch flat-leafed parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Lemon wedges, to serve
Put the pan on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and fry until browned and crispy. Add the onion, fennel and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time.
After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, chopped tomatoes, peppers, prawns, mussels and squid. Pan fry the seabass on both sides for 2 minutes. Finally, serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon, with the seabass on top.