What a fantastic year
A year of accolades, awards – and happy customers who return again and again. We catch up with the Socius restaurant team almost a year after it opened
It has been better than we ever could have imagined,” say Natalie Stuhler and Dan Lawrence, the couple behind the restaurant which has swiftly carved a name for itself.
An open plan restaurant set in a fresh and contemporary Burnham Market space full of north Norfolk character, Socius has been busy since it opened its doors at the end of last February.
Along with the appreciated accolade of customers who return, often weekly, Socius has been given some prestigious awards.
It was included in The Good Food Guide shortly after opening, invited into the Michelin Guide and awarded two AA rosettes in the autumn.
A delighted Dan says: “We don’t set out to chase awards and accolades but we are very proud of what we’ve achieved in such little time.
“We just want to be the best we can. We want people to come through the door, have a nice time and come back, that’s the real show of success for us,” he adds.
Socius dining is relaxed with small tapas plates and masses of flavour. Diners usually choose two or three plates, either each or to share. Every dish is created from fresh, in season, top quality local produce with chef Dan changing the menu every day depending on the best ingredients available.
The only dish that is a regular feature on the Socius menus is sticky king prawns, a firm favourite of regular diners.
“People do rave about them, I don’t dare take them off,” laughs Dan. With an open kitchen where guests are able to watch the chefs every move, there’s no wonder Socius always gets rave reviews about the atmosphere.
“Guests absolutely love being able to watch Dan and the team and go up to the pass and quiz him on the dishes they’ve eaten!” says Natalie.
The food focuses on top quality produce and simple dishes meaning that flavour is the star of the show. The vegetarian dishes are extremely popular too, say the couple, with dishes such as local carrots with beetroot and goats cheese and burrata with heritage tomatoes and a wild garlic pesto.
Socius, which raised almost £3500 for Nelson’s Journey in its first six months and is now raising money for the Wells Community Hospital Foundation, is entirely owned and run by Natalie and Dan.
“It’s our independent business. A lot of people are surprised that it’s just us and there’s no silent investor behind us” said Natalie.
The hardworking couple have a busy catering side to Socius too, taking the Socius relaxed fine dining style to intimate dinner parties, weddings and other celebrations – big and small.
Along with the regular Wednesday to Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch, tables for events – such as the popular monthly supper club on the first Thursday of every month - at the restaurant are always snapped up.
Sign up for the Socius newsletter on the website to discover what’s on the way, and don’t miss the current February offer of two plates for £14.50 and three plates for £19.50 each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunch and dinner.