Walsingham Cafe – Paul and Nisa Stretton
The team behind Walsingham Cafe’s success
The creative team of Paul Stretton and Nisa Copeman were the driving force behind the opening of the Walsingham Cafe in spring, 2011.
Paul Stretton, a Norfolk born and trained chef, has a passion for local Norfolk ingredients. Already well-known for his locally supplied ‘pies, puds and tarts’ it’s no accident that a good many locals refer to him as ‘the pie man of Norfolk’ – and of course the combined talents of both he and his wife Nisa create much more than pies alone – their repertoire is as wide as all the varied produce Norfolk farmers can provide. After all Norfolk is still to a large extent a farming community, in touch with traditions and qualities that to a large extent remain timeless.
An unassuming and patient man by nature Paul would rather his food did the talking – and the countless reviews, the personal tributes that ‘say it all’. His approach is one of consistency and care, of telling details, of the integrity of the ingredients –
and even the teas and coffee, of course impossible to grow in Norfolk, but chosen with the same dedication.
Great Walsingham Cafe –
the history and background
When the Post Office and cafe in Great Walsingham village closed in 2009 it marked the end one era, but of course the beginning of another one! Established over 20 years ago, Great Walsinghan Barns had become a popular destination, perched on the hill overlooking the village on the Hindringham Road, with both Post Office and cafe providing a valuable amenity. However, its demise proved to be an ideal opportunity for one local chef to fulfil his dream of running his own cafe.
Paul Stretton, 48, and partner Nisa, had been producing pies for local butchers and delis from their home when they heard the premises were available.
Trained in Great Yarmouth and with 30 years experience – even on one occassion preparing a meal Pierre Marco White – Paul has rapidly gained a reputation for his renowned baking skills – and once the cafe opened in spring 2011 there was no holding back.
Producing quality pies and tarts from the kitchens for the very best of retail outlets and farmers’ markets, Paul’s high standards are reflected in the volume loyal and returning customers. Pies with fillings, such as venison and sloe gin source, tarts including goat cheese and sundried tomato, and the zestiest lemon meringues you’ve ever tasted proving so popular that demand can on occasions outstrip supply. Such success is hard work, and Paul standards are such that there can be no compromise on quality. It’s hard work, but the rewards are evident – one only has to read the visitors’ book.
Walsingham Cafe is open all week in the season from 10.00 am to 4 pm for morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea. Scones, cakes and sweet tarts are all baked in-house, and an inventive lunch menu includes soups, salads, fish cakes and tarts – or visitors can simply stop off for a hot pie complete with a jug of delicious gravy. Alternatively purchases can be taken away for picnics or supper.