Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Two Julians

We straddle the Waveney so you don't have to.

The Two Julians
Two Julians

Aylsham Pub Day – Stamp Pizza & Bar

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This was an unexpected addition to our adventure around Aylsham, a venue spotted by Julian (you can see him looking at it with excitement in this photo) which was formerly the town’s Post Office. It’s not clear whether it’s named after the stamps that the Post Office once sold here or Ian Stamp, the chair of Norwich CAMRA, but I’m going with the latter as he’s becoming ever more important in the area.

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This is the drinks menu and I’m genuinely moderately annoyed by this. Not in a negative way about the venue, but this is the best beer offering that I found in Aylsham, with a number of local craft options. I accept there’s no real ale and the other pubs provided that, but I’m from the craft beer wing of proceedings and I like to see these options. The venue presents them with clarity, clearly and although they’ve not cheap, the options are there.

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The draft keg options, entirely agreeable to me. Nicely done I thought with the venue being clean and well presented.

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And they’ve made clear that they’re sourcing ingredients locally. Presentationally, this was all quite marvellous, I like to know when local suppliers are used as it’s better than knowing it came from the back of a Brake’s van.

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The wood fired pizza oven in the open kitchen. I liked the transparency here, there’s something reassuring about being able to see into where the food is being prepared. We were seated in the downstairs bar area where we could look into the kitchen, but the venue has another large dining room available. It’s possible to book a table in advance, but we were visiting on a Wednesday afternoon and it was relatively quiet.

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The cheese on this pizza doesn’t perhaps look quite right in terms of Italian authenticity, but I’m pleased to note that it tasted absolutely delicious. The pepperoni was of a decent quality and not little thin pieces, with the blackening from the wood fired oven adding some extra flavour and texture. This was a very good pizza, I was suitably surprised and delighted. Julian ordered the charcuterie place and was pleased with the quality.

The beer is Transatlanticism from Duration Brewing of West Acre in Norfolk. It’s a punchy 6.4% IPA with a citrus edge and a refreshing flavour. I can confirm that it complements pizza just beautifully.

The service was attentive, polite and engaging. They forgot to bring cutlery, but they found me black pepper to cover my pizza in, a seasoning I believe essential to be dumped on in large measure with many Italian foods. I very much liked this venue, it was on-trend, welcoming and avoided being overly formulaic. If I wanted to get beer in Aylsham, my first port of call would be here and not one of the pubs in the town, something which is perhaps not entirely ideal in terms of supporting more traditional pubs. The food was excellent, the atmosphere was inviting and I do hope they succeed.