As written by Samantha Mattocks for nourish magazine issue 02, out November 2021. For more information on my work, please click here. All photography © Chris Page
Meteorologist and Weather Presenter for ITV Anglia, Chris Page is a familiar figure on our television screens. Chris was brought up in Norwich, and after living in Exeter and then working for Channel 5, he returned to East Anglia and joined the ITV weather team in December 2017.
where I live
I grew up in the ‘Fine City’. It’s not just me that calls it that, the road sign as you enter Norwich proclaims it too. As a child, I spent many summer evenings learning to sail and kayak with my local scout group on the Norfolk Broads. I now live just north of the city meaning I have a nice short commute to get into the Norwich studio for work.
I studied Physical Geography at the University of Reading and graduated back in 2011. After a year of travelling, like most university graduates, I accepted a job as a trainee meteorologist for the Met Office, based in Exeter. Apart from 300 odd miles away from home, a slightly ‘ooh-arhh’ accent, a hillier landscape and a lot more rainfall, I soon settled into life in the southwest. After five years, a job opportunity came up as a weather presenter for ITV Anglia. I couldn’t let the opportunity to return home slide, so I applied and the rest is history!
what I love
Being a stone’s throw away from the coast is one of my favourite things about East Anglia. The picturesque Norfolk coastline looks stunning through the seasons, and you just can’t beat breathing in that fresh sea air on a Sunday morning walk to blow away the cobwebs from the night before. From the rhododendrons in Sheringham Park, the beach at Holkham, the Blakeney spit and saltmarsh – a geographer’s dream! – to seeing the seal pups at Winterton during the winter; what’s not to love?
One of my favourite places in the east to visit has to be Happisburgh – pronounced Haze-brugh for non-locals. When I was growing up my grandparents had a static caravan on the coast here overlooking the sea. Although the coastline has changed dramatically since I was little, the iconic red and white striped lighthouse still towers above the landscape overlooking the coastal village.
I’ve been lucky enough with work to visit some incredible places and meet some wonderful people across the region when broadcasting the weather. Some firm favourites have to be sledging down the ski slope at Milton Keynes snow dome; seeing the huge abundance of daffodils at the small village of Thriplow during the early spring; turning on the Christmas lights live on air in Aylsham; getting VIP access to the Clacton Air Show during the summer; and running round Ely Cathedral tossing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.
In September this year, we took the whole programme on location to Denver Sluice, dedicating an entire 30-minute show to climate change. This was somewhere I didn’t even know existed, but it has such an important role in regulating the water through the fenlands that are at threat from rising sea levels.
time to unwind
At the end of a busy week of weather forecasting, particularly true during the autumn and winter months, you can’t beat a large glass of red wine in a warm cosy pub with a large open fire. On the other hand, in the summer months, I love popping my kayak in the water at Horstead Mill and paddling to the Rising Sun pub in Coltishall for a nice cold G&T with a slice of lime, which I enjoy while overlooking the River Bure.
There is a dish I cook at home, a gnocchi tray bake, that I absolutely love, but I thought I’d share a Page family favourite – Granny P’s Boil and Bake Fruit Cake! This is a lovely fruit cake with glacé cherries and a drop of sherry and is best served with a cuppa. We always make two cakes – one for now, and one to freeze and have later! You can find the recipe here.
So many places… For dinner, my number one go-to restaurant in Norwich has to be Haggle on St Benedicts. A Middle Eastern restaurant with beautifully flavoured dishes, you need to book well in advance so as not to be disappointed.
For drinks, I enjoy the Rooftop Bar, also in Norwich. They do great cocktails, and the bar offers stunning views of the city
To walk, I love to park the car at Holkham and walk along the beach to Wells-next-the-Sea. Stop at one of the pubs for a pint or pop into the chippy before wandering back through the woods to the car.
Then there are the hidden gems, such as the Kings Arms in Fleggburgh. It’s a great country pub with fantastic food set in the idyllic Broads National Park.
2022 is already shaping up to be a busy year for us, with three weddings on the cards including my brother’s and one Down Under, so celebrating with friends and family will form a big part of it. I love the theatre too, so we’ve got some shows lined up including the Book of Mormon. I am also looking forward to getting back out in the East Anglian countryside walking the dogs, trying out some new restaurants, and finding some new hidden gems!