Unmissable Gastronomic Experiences

Suffolk's Foodie Town Bury St Edmunds is home to a range of gastronomic experiences - from wine and beer tasting to cooking and cocktail making lessons...

Bury St Edmunds is a prime destination for food and drink connoisseurs from the UK and beyond, fast gaining a reputation as a centre of culinary expertise.

A thriving conurbation since Saxon times, today it is well regarded for its fresh and abundant supply of locally reared and cultivated produce. Bury St Edmunds has a firm reputation as the county’s centre of foodie heaven, with a plethora of award winning restaurants, outstanding gastro pubs and even an annual food festival. It’s no wonder then that visitors flock to Bury St Edmunds to learn a thing or two about the food on offer and how to create culinary masterpieces of their own.

The Northgate

The Northgate has made a name for itself through its stylish bar and opulent restaurant hidden away inside a reinvigorated Victorian townhouse a stone’s throw from the Abbey. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in a world of luxury food and drink with a variety of experiences including cocktail making and an indulgent kitchen experience; this informal event invites you to relax with friends and be guided by head chef Greig Young as he cooks a special seasonal three-course menu, answering your questions and describing the ingredients and their preparation along the way. This feast for the eyes culminates in a feast for the taste buds as you settle down to enjoy the fruits of his labour. This experience is capped at just six people, ensuring an intimate and personalised event for groups of friends or family. 

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The Swan at Lavenham

The Swan at Lavenham offers a range of gastronomic experiences and cuisines to choose from, each allowing visitors to get a specialist insight into a chef’s craft. Upon arrival to the stunning 15th century historic building you will be treated to coffee and homemade biscuits before being introduced to head chef Justin Kett who will perform an inspirational cookery demonstration complete with recipe details and samplings for your delectation. This will be followed by a sumptuous two-course meal accompanied by a glass of wine, allowing you to digest all your newly accrued expertise. 

Upcoming experiences at The Swan include ‘Autumn spice’ inspired by the zing of oriental cuisine, ‘Game for it’ which explores the special preparation required when cooking game and ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas’’ a yuletide demonstration which aims to ease the preparation of festive fare and hone your Christmas creativity.

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ICE Cook School

For those seeking a more hands on learning experience, head to ICE Cook School for a comprehensive array of cookery classes and courses guaranteed to take you to the next level when it comes to making gourmet feasts at home. Choose from half day, full day, evening or weekend courses in almost any type of cuisine you can think of. Channel your inner Heston Blumenthal and take a class in ‘Modern cookery techniques’ where you can experiment with creating strawberry spaghetti, instantaneous ice cream and futuristic liquid spheres.

More traditional aspiring chefs can choose from courses in butchery for beginners, barbequing, breads of the world or Sous Vide.

Specialist diets are also catered for, with courses in vegetarian and vegan menus and gluten free cooking. There really is something for everyone and too much to list here, whether you want to focus on a certain national cuisine such as French or Spanish food or concentrate on a single aspect of the craft such as stocks and sauces, there is something for everyone. Young food lovers are not excluded either, with weekend courses for kids in doughnut making, pizza and fresh pasta.

Greene King Brewery

Perhaps you know a connoisseur of a different ilk, who is far more suited to sampling a libation than lunch! They too are catered for by Bury St Edmunds’ 1000 year long history of brewing traditional real ale. Pay a visit to Greene King Brewery for a guided tour of the Westgate Brewery and find out about the natural ingredients and brewing methods they employ. You can even pause to take in a panoramic view of the town from the roof of the brew house before making your way to the beer café to quaff a classic pint of Abbot Ale, or one of the more recent creations such as the punchy East Coast IPA.

Bury St Edmunds Ale Trail

Historic Bury St Edmunds is the perfect place to experience delicious real ale and unique craft beer! Real ale and craft beer enthusiasts can explore 20 of the town’s licensed premises with the Bury Ale Trail, giving visitors the chance to try ales brewed in the town itself or from further afield.

The special ale trail map can be found at pubs and bars throughout the town centre, the tourist information centre at The Apex and can be downloaded from the Our Bury St Edmunds website.

The licensed premises featured in the Bury Ale Trail include: Rose and CrownThe Masons ArmsBooshThe NutshellThe Corn ExchangeThe Constitutional ClubOakes BarnKaroozeThe GrapesEdmundo LoungeKings ArmsThe One BullThe Fox Inn, The Old Cannon Brewery, The Bushel, The Beerhouse, Greene King Beer Cafe and Casa - many of which also serve great pub grub, the perfect accompaniment to your liquid lunch!

Bury St Edibles

The regions of Suffolk and Norfolk boast some of the best produce in the UK, and with Bury St Edmunds known as Suffolk's Foodie Town, you can not only enjoy a gastronomic feast when dining out, you can also enjoy fine dining from the comfort of your own holiday cottage with Bury St Edibles. Using the best locally sourced ingredients, they provide restaurant quality home catering to private individuals throughout the region. 

With a range of menus on offer, including a vegan menu, there's something to suit all tastes. Dishes available include Mushroom and truffle scotched Pakenham egg, Antipasti platter of Suffolk salami’s, Hams and cheeses and Chilli and garlic squid salad with pickled vegetable for starter; Risotto of foraged and seasonal vegetables, vegetable crisps, farmers hand cheese, Day boat fish with a fine herb risotto and beurre blanc and Wild nettle tagliatelle, roast tomato sauce and Pangritatta for main and Beetroot chocolate brownie with raspberry sorbet, Coffee panna-cotta, hazelnut brandy snap and White chocolate mousse, dark chocolate “crunchie bar” raspberry sorbet for dessert.

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