Top Places to Feast this Festive Season!

Dine in style this festive season in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond...

Famously, Christmas is a time for decadence and indulgent dining, a chance to treat yourself and your family to new culinary experiences as well as traditional festive fayre. If one of the things you love best about this season is the food then look no further than the fantastic Christmas menus on offer at some of the best eateries in the region.

The Bear Inn, Beyton

Christmas at The Bear Inn offers up a choice of fresh and vibrant courses. The ‘home cured gin and lime gravadlax’ is particularly intriguing, as is the ‘halloumi, carrot, orange and watercress salad’- both starters. For your main course choose from delights such as a take on the traditional turkey; ‘poached turkey supreme stuffed with pork, oranges and cranberries’ and a hearty ‘handcrafted game pie and mash’. Desserts include the classic ‘Christmas pudding and custard’ as well as a rich ‘Baileys and white chocolate cheesecake’.

The Weeping Willow

For a wonderfully detailed Christmas menu, visit The Weeping Willow where elegance and fun collide. Choose from an exciting menu including ‘fig and brie tart with a pickled walnut and red onion salad’ or ‘chicken liver parfait with chutney and milk bread toast’ to start, as well as a range of delicious options for your main meal including turkey with all the trimmings, braised ox cheek and cod as well as the very grand ‘duo of Horringer pheasant with apricot suffing and wild mushroom ragout’. And why not end your meal with a delicious ‘tart tatin with mascarpone ice cream’, guaranteed to leave you licking your lips with delight.

ICE Cafe

The modern industrial chic of the brand new ICE Café makes it a unique and quirky setting for a Christmas meal. Headed up by John Jackaman who owns the renowned ICE cookery school, ICE café promises to serve up a Christmas feast with added magic. The Christmas menu really is mouth-watering and includes dishes such as ‘Smoked duck and pistachio terrine served on a sourdough croute with red wine jelly’, ‘Turkey breast stuffed with the ICE stuffing and served with sausage, bacon and cranberry sauce, sprout rémoulade and Dauphinoise potatoes’ and ‘Chocolate and orange fudge brownie with Baileys ice cream’. At £30 for three courses its is well worth booking now before the inevitable waiting list. 

There’s even an adorable menu for kids which offers a diminutive version of the regular menu complete with ‘babychino and a mini mince pie’ to end the meal.

The Black Lion, Long Melford

The Christmas menu at The Black Lion is endlessly thoughtful, detailed and classy. Each dish has been carefully balanced with tastes and textures to delight the palate and satisfy the appetite. The starters fuse festive flavours such as ‘honey roasted parsnip soup, parsnip crisps and chives’ and ‘smoked ham hock terrine, celeriac and apple’, and the main dishes deliver traditional fayre such as ‘roast turkey, pigs in blankets, sage stuffing, roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables’ with lighter options such as ‘fillet of sea bream, cauliflower, potato cake and lemon sauce’. Go all out with a delicious ‘dark chocolate tart, pistachio ice cream and crumb’ to finish.

Maison Bleue

For a festive fine dining experience look no further than the award winning Maison Bleue, named 6th best fine dining restaurant in the UK. Not only does the Christmas menu offer stunning, quality ingredients, artfully combined, but there is such great range of dishes that diners will find it almost impossible to choose. 

Amongst the many starters are highlights such as ‘roasted breast and slow cooked leg of free range Norfolk quail, chicken liver, fig, chicken bonbon, fig jus’ and the Maison Bleue’s famous ‘Paté en Croûte with duck magret, duck liver, pork and pistachio, pear truffle jelly’. The main courses are equally complex; ‘Denham Estate venison haunch, celeriac and chestnut, thyme sauce, shiitake mushroom, Ratte du Touquet potato’ and ‘layered beetroot, Granny Smith and potato gateau, carrot, vanilla and cacao pepper sauce, black olive crumble, caramelised brussels sprouts’. To end the meal why not try the thoroughly festive ‘Valrhona Ivory chocolate and chestnut crèmeux, black currant sorbet, chestnut and Baileys coulis’.

Ben's Restaurant

Ben’s are famous for their locally sourced ingredients and innovative rustic cuisine, and their special Christmas menu is no exception. For a refreshing change to the traditional flavours of the season try the ‘Gressingham Duck & Hoisin Spring Rolls, Asian Salad and a Chilli & Lime Dip’ to start, followed by the ‘slow Braised Blade of Beef, Horseradish Mashed Potato, Braised Red Cabbage, roasted baby Carrot & Red Wine Jus’ or ‘Pan Roasted Fillet of Coley, on a beetroot & Thyme risotto’ for main. If you can make room, it is well worth digging into a dessert, such as the ‘Milk Chocolate Pannacotta, Hazelnuts, Orange Poached Pears and Vanilla Shortbread’ or the ‘White Chocolate & Honeycomb Cheesecake, Peanut Brittle’- you won’t regret it!

Alternatively, why not treat yourselves to festive afternoon tea! Available Saturdays 12-4pm until 28th December, indulge with a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones & sweet treats plus refillable loose leaf tea.

All Saints Hotel

The stunning All Saints Hotel, spa and restaurant is the perfect backdrop for this most special time of year and they offer a great many opportunities to celebrate the festive season with friends and family. Visitors can book for Christmas and Boxing day, as well as any time in the run up the big day. There is also a special Christmas Party Night on 14th December, which includes entertainment and a photo booth as well as a delicious three-course meal and bucks fizz. Choose from the tempting ‘cauliflower soup’ or ‘beetroot cured salmon’ to start, followed by ‘celeriac risotto’ and of course the roasted ‘Norfolk bronze turkey breast’ with all the trimmings for main. Round the meal off with a choice of deserts, tea, coffee and warm mince pies.

The Angel Hotel

The Angel Hotel’s atmospheric eatery has glorious views of the Abbey; a beautiful setting for festive relaxation and indulgence. Choose from starters such as the ‘parma ham bruschetta with Binham Blue, fig and port wine syrup’ or the ‘smoked mackerel rillette’. Along with the traditional Norfolk turkey for the main course, there is the ‘Suffolk port belly with dauphinoise potatoes, apple sauce and glazed carrots’ or the ‘roasted hake fillet with Romesco sauce’. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dessert, with ‘poached pear’, ‘ginger tart’ and ‘chocolate torte with boozy cherries and honeycomb’ among the sweet delights.

Alternatively, why not book the hotel's Christmas Afternoon Tea! Available between 23rd December to 1st January (excluding 24th, 25th & 31st December), you can enjoy a choice of teas from around the world, a selection of savoury delights, scones with jam and Jersey cream, sumptuous homemade cakes & a glass of fizz with a festive twist!

The Ickworth Hotel

The festive season at Ickworth has a great many opportunities for all the family to come together and celebrate this special season, with a variety of menus to suit everyone’s tastes, including the very youngest diners. 

As well as their full selection of lunchtime, dinner and Sunday lunch menus, a special mention should be made of Ickworth’s magical ‘Winter wonderland festive afternoon tea’. This extravagant tea includes a selection of finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones as well as an array of handmade delicacies such as the ‘Siberian chocolate and raspberry bomb’,  ‘frosty vanilla macarons’, ‘aerated chocolate snowflakes’,  ‘marshmallow snow cubes’ and ‘blueberry ice mountain cupcakes with lemon butter cream’. Children and adults alike will be entranced by this very special festive treat for the senses.

The Northgate

The Northgate pride themselves on creating a detailed and special Christmas event for families, friends and work parties. Their Christmas party menu is a celebration of local ingredients and lavish favour combinations. 

Start the meal with intriguing canapés such as ‘Baron Bigod tart, preserved lemon and Norfolk turnip’ and ‘Norfolk dapple, gougère and parsley purée’. A starter such as ‘local game & date terrine, carrot salad and preserved plum’ is bound to impress, and with ‘turkey wellington, pigs in blankets, potato & parsnip press, roast carrot purée and sage gravy’ alongside ‘Homemade vegan black pudding, roast artichokes and pickled pear’ all diners will be spoilt for choice when it comes to mains. For the sweet toothed among you, the dessert menu is outstanding with the ‘duck egg custard and Christmas pudding tart’, ‘dark chocolate mousse, espresso meringue and milk ice cream’ and ‘caramelised apple & roast fig leaf set cream’ to choose from. The mulled wine jelly petit fours are a thoughtful touch at the end of the meal.

The Swan at Lavenham

For a December to remember, The Swan at Lavenham is the destination for a wide choice of festive dining experiences. Choose from lunch, dinner and even a special festive afternoon tea menu. Highlights include the ‘goose ham with wild blackberry and verbena’ to start and ‘braised cheek of beef, alliums, blue cheese pomme puree’ or ‘roast breast and leg of turkey, roast potatoes, red cabbage, sprout tops, parsnip, pigs in blankets’ for your main meal. The ‘passion fruit parfait with lemon and white chocolate’ is a pleasing way to end the meal.


For a refreshingly different approach to Christmas dining head to CASA, where diners will be amazed by the choice and range of flavours on their special seasonal menu.  Forget courses- this menu offers a veritable banquet of treats including ‘sausages in honey and mustard’, ‘baked Camembert with balsamic onions’,  ‘feta and pomegranate salad’ and ‘chicken tagine with be-jewelled rice’. The small plates and platters just keep coming so pass them around and sample all the delights on offer. What’s more, CASA are renowned for their ability to cater for even the most specialised diets and are happy to accommodate the needs of anyone who gets in touch with them.

Giggling Squid

Top continue the theme of unconventional Christmas meals, why not depart entirely from the turkey and sprouts and try the delicious and subtle Thai cuisine at the Giggling Squid. Choose from ‘juicy beef skewers with papaya salad’, ‘succulent mussels in a delicate green curry sauce’ and ‘garlic butterfly prawns’. On the main menu the ‘festive sticky chicken’ includes chestnuts, red dates and lotus seeds and the ‘butternut boat’ is a spicy, crunchy vegan dish.

Edmundo Lounge 

The Edmundo lounge is the perfect option for all budgets with two course, three course and a tapas menu to choose from. If you dine Monday to Thursday you’ll even receive a free glass of prosecco. The Christmas tapas menu is a fantastic idea, with ‘popcorn brie bites’, ‘pigs in blankets’ and ‘paprika pulled chicken’ among the highlights. A ‘Norfolk turkey and smoked bacon pie’ tops the main menu, alongside the ‘pan fried sea bass fillet’ and ‘slow roasted pork belly’. It’s unusual to see fresh ‘churros with caramel dipping sauce’ on a desert menu, and there’s also a generous cheese plate for those who prefer a savory end to the meal.

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