The Assembly House Norwich won the Small Serviced Accommodation of the Year award at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.  

This award recognises smaller serviced accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. 

The Assembly House has been transformed into a multi-faceted operation since being taken over in 2009.

The Grade I building in the heart of Norwich, Norfolk offers a range of facilities that cater for a wide audience, offering different experiences for those who visit.

It is famous for its popular themed afternoon teas, which in the past have included Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Narnia.

The Georgian building is also famous for its historical elegance. It has 15 character bedrooms, six with their own secret gardens, six with their own lounges, a bridal suite with its own garden, and opulent top-floor suites. There’s also a restaurant that is open daily from breakfast, right through until the evening.

Directors Richard Hughes and Iain Wilson took over The Assembly House in 2009, and it has since become a venue that can handle a number of different operations, including weddings and a function space.

Richard Hughes also has his Cookery School on site, which has previously won British Cookery School of the Year.

Aspiring cooks can get hands-on and cook a range of courses, from starters through to desserts.

The judges described the décor and interior as “stunning” and especially loved the bed frame in their room, saying it was “unique and added to the luxurious feel of the room”.

With 90 staff employed by The Assembly House, the judges added that the experience was “made all the more enjoyable by the friendly, engaging and attentive service”.

Kirsten Wilson, assistant manager at The Assembly House Norwich, said it was a shock to win the award.

“We might expect the unknown, but it’s great to win,” she commented. “It’s a testament to the team. We have a really hard-working team – kitchen, front of house, housekeeping, everything. People keep coming back, which is really good.”

The Assembly House is currently preparing its next themed afternoon tea, which Ms Wilson said is a “surprise”.

“It’s the little themes that keep bringing people back,” she said.

The other finalists in this category were Retreat East and The Victoria.

The winners of the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 were announced at Snape Maltings, Suffolk, on Thursday, February 15. To find out about all of the winners, click here.

For more information about the awards, please visit