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48 hours in Bury St Edmunds for Foodies

Enjoy a gastronomic getaway with this 48 hour itinerary for foodies in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond...

Known as ‘Suffolk’s foodie town’, Bury St Edmunds is renowned for its vast array of locally sourced produce, and the wide range of restaurants, cafes and eateries that showcase food prepared with flair and innovation.

The wide choice of independent eateries, comprising fresh and rustic fare as well as indulgent fine dining options make Bury St Edmunds a destination for foodies and connoisseurs who seek to delight their senses. Over just one weekend it is possible to experience the best of what Bury has to offer, flitting from place to place and tasting the best Suffolk flavours- providing your appetite is big enough!

Friday Evening

Arrive at The Northgate and settle into your luxurious room with its stunning décor and original Victorian features, before starting the weekend off in style with a special dinner at the chef’s table. The vibrant restaurant at the Northgate delights in the tastes of East Anglia and presents diners with thoughtfully crafted dishes using the best seasonal ingredients. 

Their ‘chef’s table’ is the only one in Bury St Edmunds and offers the chance to soak up the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the kitchen, observing the experts as they work their culinary magic. The ‘Taste of East Anglia’ menu comprises multiple small plates, curated by the chef to give diners a chance to sample the best seasonal produce available during their visit. This might include partridge breast, pickled walnut sauce, parsley root and fried bread, or Plaice fillet, crispy crab, leeks, grelot onion, new potato and cornichon sauce, as well as delicious sweets such as whipped Tosier chocolate, creme de cacao ice cream, sour espresso and cacao wafer to end the meal. 

Afterwards you can enjoy a digestif in the Northgate’s bar, with its fine range of imaginative cocktails, created by the expert mixologists, before taking the short journey back to your sumptuous room.

Saturday

The next day rise and shine and venture out for a delicious breakfast to set you up for the day. At The Bay Tree you’ll find great quality coffee- they are so sure you’ll love it that they even sell the beans so you can take the roast home with you. The breakfast menu is cooked fresh to order and includes a full English made up of local sausages and bacon, mushrooms, free-range eggs and toast. You can also opt for the popular avocado and egg on toast or the deliciously extravagant waffles with warm cherry compote and ice cream.

If you decide to make the most of a cosy lie in then instead you can head for a luxurious brunch at Gastrono-me, a relaxed and uplifting location to really immerse yourself in all day and night café culture.  The menu is extensive and offers flavorsome and unusual options to suit all tastes, such as breakfast burrito, wild mushrooms on toast, granola, pancakes and other dishes you might not have seen before such as ‘pain perdu’ which is a fruity bread, dipped in custard, fried until golden and served with crispy bacon and fresh berries. Wash it all down with a high quality coffee or maybe something from the Mimosa menu, which includes quirky delights such as ‘mermaid’ or ‘candyfloss’ mimosas as well as the traditional citrus version.

Make lunch a sharing affair at CASA, a relaxed and authentic tapas restaurant offering a taste of the Mediterranean, via Suffolk. CASA caters brilliantly for all tastes and diets, offering delicious meat options for carnivores, such as Lamb Kleftiko, pork belly with aioli and crispy Serrano ham, and delicious chorizo slow cooked in red wine.  Alongside this are extensive vegetarian and vegan menus which include delights such as feta and pomegranate salad, stuffed vine leaves with tzatziki and smoked tofu with roasted root veg, tamarind and applesauce. There really is so much to try that you’ll want to come back and taste it all.

After a gentle stroll, taking in some of the sights of the city, treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea at the elegant Milly Tyler's Tearooms. As well as offering hot and cold drinks, a range of cakes and pastries and homemade soup, the tearoom is renowned for its stunning afternoon tea, piled high with delicious sweet and savory morsels, including delicate crust less sandwiches, scones with cream and jam and petite cakes and patisserie.

After an afternoon of shopping and exploring, enjoy a very special fine dining experience at Maison Bleue, an establishment with a firm reputation for gastronomic excellence. The menu is constantly changing, inspired by the seasonal produce that is lovingly crafted into superb displays of food artistry. 

Every item on the al a carte menu offers an intriguing combination of flavours to tempt the palate, such as Devon crab meat, Granny Smith apple, Avruga caviar, lemon grass, ginger and soya gel, melba toast  to start, followed by Fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef, reared in Norfolk, St Agur blue cheese, pine kernel, braised chicory, port sauce, fig  for the main course. The desserts are equally as nuanced; choose from Yorkshire rhubarb poached and as a mousse, blackcurrant gel, rhubarb sorbet and the indulgent Valrhona chocolate ganache, beetroot, meringue, honey and thyme ice cream, basil.

For a different, more rustic and equally as delicious dining experience, head to Ben’s Restaurant, which boasts the unique ‘farm to fork’ dining experience. Chef and restaurant namesake Ben Hutton’s own family smallholding raise and supply much of the pork and some of the lamb on the menu. Almost everything you consume is locally sourced, from the Halesworth guinea fowl to the Rattlesden eggs and even local wines and ales. 

Enjoy starters such as Suffolk Venison and Norfolk black pudding Scotch egg with celeriac and apple remoulade followed by pulled lamb suet pudding, mashed potato, seasonal root vegetables, savoy cabbage and redcurrant jus or Sutton Hoo chicken Ballotine, butternut squash puree, potato fondant, savoy cabbage and bacon fricassee and red wine jus. End the meal with a delicious dessert such as Chai tea pannacotta with fennel and orange shortbread or treacle tart, orange compote and crème fraiche.

Sunday

Make your way to the intimate and stylish café ‘Guat's up!’ to enjoy a quiet Sunday morning brunch while you peruse the papers and sip an excellent coffee. Guat's Up are famous for their coffee and offer a ‘build your brunch menu’ where you can choose the elements that combine to make your own personalized and perfect start to the day. First choose a sourdough toast base and a ‘body’ of smashed avocado, chilli flakes and lemon oil, tomato and mozzarella, banana peanut butter and cinnamon or scrambled eggs with chopped chives. Then get creative with a variety of toppings such as crispy chickpeas, halloumi, salmon, bacon, walnuts, honey, pesto or berries- the combinations are seemingly endless.

For many people the weekend wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Sunday lunch and diners certainly won’t be disappointed by the great roasts on offer at The One Bull - a stylish and contemporary pub with attached restaurant.

The Sunday Lunch menu is both classic and creative with a range of starters including curried sweet potato soup, coley goujons with crushed peas and tartare sauce and beetroot cured salmon. The Roast sirloin of Suffolk beef is served pink and with seasonal vegetables. You can also opt for roast loin and belly of Blythburgh free-range pork or slow roast Gressingham duck. Vegetarians can enjoy goats cheese and red onion tart served with salsa verde and new potatoes or the impressive roast cauliflower steak. There are a range of desserts too, with chocolate brownie with honeycomb ice cream, lemon meringue pie and berry sorbet topping the list.

There are several options to spark your taste buds for dinner. Fans of Mediterranean flavours will enjoy the menu at Francela, which includes an array of authentic grill and meze options. Dig into Sucuk – a spicy Turkish sausage or some delicately spiced creamy hummus to start, and follow this with chicken or lamb guvec – a rich casserole with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onion.

If you are a connoisseur of curries, look no further than Voujon, which combines a vast knowledge of Indian cooking with a range of contemporary cooking styles to create mouth-watering dishes. You’ll find it difficult to choose from the starters on offer, such as the well known onion bhaji and samosa to the more unusual chicken chut puri –spiced chicken cooked in a sweet and sour sauce, rolled into a fine bread. You’ll be sure to find your favourite curry and level of spice on the main menu with Tandoori chicken, lamb rajdani, chicken passanda and prawn biriyani amongst the dishes on offer. There are of course all the side dishes could need to complete your meal, including puffy fresh naan breads from the tandoor and poppadum and chutneys.

If you fancy hopping in the car and heading to the surrounding towns and villages to sample Suffolk's fine fayre, check out our guide to the 'Best Country Pubs' and where to get a great Sunday lunch!

And so ends a weekend of adventuring for food fans, return home with tummies full of food and heads full of inspiration for your next meal.

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