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A Gin Lover's Guide to Bury St Edmunds

Love gin? You're spoilt for choice when it comes to places to enjoy the tipple - take a look at our 'Gin Lover's Guide' for inspiration!

With Gin sales climbing to an all-time high in recent years, one can be certain that we are well and truly in the midst of a gin revival. There is a refined simplicity in a basic G&T with a slice of lemon or lime. But this complex and delicious beverage can also be blended in so many different ways - many gins also have undertones and aromas which can be as multi-layered as whiskey or fine wine.

With an annual food and drink festival, Bury St Edmunds has its finger on the pulse of fashions and what is coming and going, from tourism – clothing - culinary and beverage trends, you will find that Bury St Edmunds and its surrounding areas showcases most of them. So, it should come as no surprise to find that this charming Suffolk town is home to some of the best G&Ts in the country as well as some uber stylish Gin bars - from bustling city-style hotspots to relaxed bars where you can enjoy the drink along with some social time with friends. 

So, check out this fantastic guide to Bury St. Edmunds for Gin lovers. Whether you are taking your first foray into Gin, trying to overcome a dislike for the drink, broaden your Gin hinterland beyond a basic G&T, sample new creations, want to craft your own Gin cocktails or simply have a good old “session”, read on as we’ve put together this ginspirational (see what we did) hand-picked itinerary of places in Bury St Edmunds to enjoy your Gin journey.   

The Bear Inn, Beyton

The Bear Inn is a traditional freehouse pub located in the picturesque village of Beyton with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that ensures it is always popular with locals and visitors from further afield.

The Bear is open seven days a week with a restaurant serving food every day of the week, specialising in British food with a contemporary twist using quality locally sourced ingredients and during the Easter weekend, will host their second annual Gin Festival – ‘Gin & Bear It’ following a very popular festival from last year. 

Running from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st April, the festival will showcase a mixture of well-known tipples and lesser known varieties and will offer a great way for beginners to sample the iconic drink in different ways and to take advice on how to be a little more adventurous than drinking a standard G&T or finding a signature drink that may become a staple for you. 

For more information about the pub or the festival, visit https://www.thebearinnbeyton.co.uk or call 01359 270249.

The Stillery, Bury St Edmunds

The Stillery is an ultra stylish and decadent ‘Speak-easy’ style cocktail bar based within the heart of Bury St Edmunds. Passionate about not just serving a range of top-quality drinks but also making their own thanks to their own on-site distillery!

The perfect place to drop in for drinks to start your evening out in Bury St Edmunds, The Stillery has table service in their private bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. They also have a range of gin themed courses and events that you can book on or treat a loved one to – starting from just £10. All courses start with a ‘Meet and Greet’ gin cocktail, samples and tasters and a little sustenance to pick on as you go…

Courses include: 

‘Gin, A Journey’ - where you will learn about the history of gin - what is it, where it came from and how it became the Great British institution it is today. Your host will teach you lots more about different styles and processes that go in to making the perfect Gin. You will then finish by identifying what is and creating your own perfect G&T. 

‘Ginspiration’ - You will be assisted in creating your own bottle of Gin to take home and also record your unique recipe in their database for any future repeat purchases.

‘Hump Day Gin tasting’ – You’ll be given free reign to try the latest Gins that The Stillery has in their bar from around the world and possibly even a sneaky taste of any new gins that they have produce and a heads-up into what’s hot in the world of gin.  

‘Make A Classic’ – Your Ginslinger will teach you how to make the perfect classic Gin. This course differs each month with a different classic drink to choose from as well as information about the origins of the cocktail and how it came about.

‘The Cocktilian’ - Your instructor will give you detailed instructions of four of the greatest cocktails. This fully interactive course will see you learn the techniques and trade secrets which may well see you learn the ultimate party trick to impress your friends and family.

For more information or to book onto a Gin course, visit https://www.stillery.co.uk/ or call 01284 700577.

The Weeping Willow, Barrow

The Weeping Willow had been a loved establishment for over 500 years in Barrow until its closure for three years and since its refurbishment by the current owners, this looks set to continue for the foreseeable. 

With a team at the helm made up of an architect, an award-winning florist and a fantastic chef, one might only expect faultless decoration and impeccable interiors, beautiful flower beds and sublime food but the Willow can also back up the look with countless 5 star reviews by critics and public alike who all seem to want to return due to not just the food and drink the atmosphere, which welcomes everybody, including the family dog. 

If you are heading there to see what all the fuss is about, try and take a cab so that you can take advantage of their cocktail Gin menu, which includes all the classics you might expect but also some unique and exciting blends which include their signature cocktail – the Weeping Willow, comprising champagne, gin, ginger wine, orange juice, Curaçao and elderflower – we promise you won’t regret it!

For more information, visit https://www.theweepingwillow.c... or call 01284 771881.

The Swan at Lavenham 

The Swan at Lavenham is one of the finest hotels in Suffolk. Dating back to the 15th century, the hotel is steeped in history but perfectly combines a deep sense of heritage and occasion with contemporary sophistication. 

Whether you are staying at the hotel, dining with friend in the restaurant or just want to enjoy drinks at the Swan, check out the snug Airmen’s Bar – it is like very little else one could wish to visit. The bar takes its name (and is a tribute to) the many servicemen from RAF Lavenham and beyond who visited to relax, drink and socialise – indeed mementoes and signatures adorn the walls in the bar and increase the sense of stepping back in time to the 1940s assisted by the decoration and interior.

Get comfortable at the long bar and raise a toast to with any number of gin cocktails available from the creative and extensive menu. From brands and classics such as Adnams, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, Gordons and Hendricks to foreign and niche brewers such as Monkey 47, Sipsmith, Tanqueray and Tarquin’s Cornish dry, there’ll be something to suit any inclination. 

For more information or to book a table, visit https://theswanatlavenham.co.u... or call 01787 247477.

Adnams Bury St Edmunds

You can learn how to make your own gin using mini-copper pot stills at the Bury St Edmunds Adnams store.

Learn about gin from one of their Gin Makers, and choose your own special blend of botanicals  to create your own bottle! 

Sessions last for 2 hours and cost £95 per person. You'll be able to take your bottle home with you at the end of the day! 

Book your experience online, pop into the store, or call 01502 727225.

The LP, Bury St Edmunds

The LP in Bury St Edmunds is a versatile venue which has restaurant, bar and nightclub spaces. Renowned for pairing popular events with delicious food and live DJs and bands. 

For those who prefer their gin to a backdrop of a bustling environment and party atmosphere, the LP offer Shaker Parties – where you can learn how to make your favourite cocktails guided and assisted by trained mixologists. The courses include a two-course meal and VIP club access and cost £49.

For more information or to book, visit http://lp-bar.co.uk/shaker-par... or call 01284 719617.

The Gin Lounge at The Boosh Bar

Boosh Bar in Bury St Edmunds has just opened ‘The Gin Lounge’ set on the first floor of their early 17th Century building. 

With a vast selection of over 40 gins from all over the world and a unique choice of tonics & mixers the lounge is a cosy and curiously characterful setting to enjoy a G&T. 

Open Friday & Saturday evenings from 7pm. Find out more here: https://www.booshbar.com/

Oakes Barn, Bury St Edmunds

Oakes Barn in Bury St Edmunds have over 15 gins available at any one time including ⁦‪locally produced Betty's Gin made in nearby Bacton from The Heart of Suffolk Distillery, all available with a wide range of mixers from ⁦‪FeverTree‬⁩.

Oakes Barn was a part of a long building that was to the rear of 80-82 Guildhall Street, and was probably used by James Oakes as wool sheds. As the yarn industry declined, Oakes became a local banker and held senior positions in the town throughout his life.