The Northgate Pub with rooms in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Prices from:
£150 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Impressive Townhouse conversion
  • Informal throughout; stunning bar
  • Crowd-pleasing all-day menu
  • Chef’s tasting table seats 12
  • Cool cocktails and fab gin list
  • Stunning south-facing terrace
  • Rooms oozes style and comfort

Sticky FingersOutdoor PursuitsNo Car Needed15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

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Overview

The Northgate Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1HP

The personal touch

Philip Turner’s flourishing hospitality company, The Chestnut Group, snapped up Ounce House, a grand redbrick Victorian house on a smart street a stroll from the Abbey, in 2015 and promptly spent a year sprucing it up and reinventing the former guesthouse. The doors were pushed open in October 2016 and the result is very impressive, a beautifully designed and an immaculately presented Townhouse hotel. However, The Northgate is a cool, modern-day version, one that eschews all the pomp and formality once attributed to such urban places to stay. Yes, the rooms are stunning, very swish and super luxurious, but the atmosphere is relaxed and informal throughout, there’s no reception as such, just a computer on a conveniently placed table, and the staff are very friendly and informally dressed, and the dining rooms have simply laid-up tables – no tablecloths here. The chilled hub of the place is the cocktail bar-cum-lounge, which is open all day and has direct access to an amazing summer terrace. Add a cracking drinks menu and an inspired, modern British crowd-pleasing menu, one that evolves from breakfast through to dinner, then it is no wonder this vibrant newcomer to the town is thriving.

Sticky fingers

Kids are made very welcome, they have their own menu or smaller portions are available, and families can stay in the super family suite, which has a cute adjoining twin-bedded room. Extra beds are available for other rooms (£15)

Muddy paws

Dogs are only allowed on the terrace

Alfresco

Arrive early on sunny summer days to bag one of the posh teak tables on the stunning south facing rear terrace, which is open from breakfast through to evening drinks and nibbles. Huge heated parasols will keep the sun at bay and keep you warm on chilly evenings.

What’s on?

Magnificent 7 steak night on first Wednesday on month

What’s the Damage?
10 doubles/twin £150 – £280; 1 family room £225

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (Club Room & Chef’s Table)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Stars (Gold)

Sleep

The Northgate Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1HP

Do not disturb

Expect to be wowed, as no expense has been spared in creating the 10 individually styled bedrooms that are named after former Bury St Edmunds political figures and ramble across three floors. Fabulous design, contemporary and very stylish furnishings and great attention to detail have combined brilliantly with the building’s period features to create the elegant, super comfortable and very luxurious rooms. In a nutshell – soothing Farrow & Ball hues, thick carpets, rich fabrics and throws, upholstered chairs, French inspired furniture, huge gilt-framed mirrors, big, bold lamps and stunning wood-floored bathrooms. Fitzroy has a tub in the room and separate bathroom with walk-in rain shower; Davers overlooks the leafy garden; Felton up in the eaves has a feminine feel with its hints of grey, cream and sweet pea; and Templetown & Crofts features two linked double rooms with twin beds – perfect for families.

Creature comforts

Noble Isle toiletries; Jing Tea; magazines; under floor heating

Gadgets

Smart TVs; Roberts Bluetooth radio; Nespresso coffee machine

What’s for Breakfast?

Continental (croissants, porridge, cereals, toast); smoked salmon & scrambled egg, pancakes with pancetta & maple syrup; eggs Benedict; avocado, eggs & tomato on sourdough; full Suffolk breakfast

What’s the Damage?
10 doubles/twin £150 – £280; 1 family room £225

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (Club Room & Chef’s Table)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Stars (Gold)

Eat & Drink

The Northgate Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1HP

Mastering the menu

In keeping with the very relaxed feel of the Northgate (chilled bar-cum-lounge, informal dining rooms, open from breakfast until late ethos), the kitchen team has created an inventive all-day menu, a real crowd-pleaser that caters for all tastes throughout the day and makes sound use of fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. The doors open early for breakfast, so passers-by can kick start the day with a hearty breakfast, or croissants and a pot of tea on the terrace, the menu evolving from morning cake and coffee through to a casual lunch, champagne afternoon teas, late afternoon sandwiches, and rounding off with, perhaps, Chateaubriand for two at dinner. It’s clever, inspired and keeps the place busy and guests happy throughout the day. If you want to splash out and impress the family or a group of friends, then book the Chef’s Table for 12 in the kitchen for the ultimate dining experience – a 9-course tasting feast.

On the menu

(Starters: £6-£9; Main Courses: £12-£25; Desserts £7-£10; Tasting Menu £75)

Salmon fishcake, tartare sauce, dill cream; Cromer crab salad; Suffolk pork belly, crispy ham hock, Waldorf salad; tuna, wasabi mayonnaise, chicory jam

Crab pappardelle; scorched macaroni; Musk’s sausage & mash, caramelised red onion jam; The Northgate burger; rib-eye steak, fries, roasted shallot, watercress, tomato oil; blackened bream, soy braised lentils

Lemon tart & pine nut crumble, verbena; espresso Martini; cheesecake, Madagascan vanilla, strawberries

Lunch

(Set lunch Monday to Friday; 2-courses £16; 3-courses £19)

Sandwiches (£7-£12); The Northgate ‘Club’; sticky beef brisket; smoked salmon & dill crème fraiche

Afternoon Tea

Cream & savoury tea or champagne cream tea (£19.50) served daily 12 noon – 5pm

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7.30am – 11.30am (from 8am Saturday & Sunday)
All day menu: 12 noon – 2.30pm & 6.30pm – 9.30pm (8.30pm Sunday)

Sandwiches & Afternoon Tea: 12 noon – 5pm

Local, local, local

M&M Butchers, Stowmarket suppliers other locally reared farm meats
Game: regular supplies of mallard, partridge, pigeon, pheasant, munjac come from Box Tree Farm, near Wattisham, Suffolk
Venison: Denham Estate (www.denhamestate.co.uk)
Deben mussels; lobster from Aldeburgh, Mersea oysters
Vegetables from Elveden Estate (www.elveden.com)
Peter Graham Wines, Wymondham, Norfolk (www.petergrahamwines.com)
Aspall’s Cider, Debenham, Suffolk (www.aspall.co.uk)
Asparagus – Wyken Vineyard (www.wykenasparagus.co.uk)
Gin – Newmarket Gin & Bullards Gin (Norwich)
Coffee – Paddy & Scotts
Charcuterie – Suffolk Salami, Woodbridge (www.suffolksalami.co.uk)

Behind the bar

The chilled vibe and the amazing drinks selection in the cool bar draw discerning drinkers from across town, especially for the exciting, carefully curated and very stylish cocktail menu. Expect adventurous and classic cocktails with contemporary, even theatrical twists, and some unusual flavour combinations – anyone for Tonka Boulevardier, created with Wild Turkey 81 bourbon, Martini Rosso, Tonka bean infused Campari. The choice is mind-boggling and your Rye Manhattan is best enjoyed on the terrace on balmy summer evenings. What’s more, there are 30 boutique gins on the global list, alongside a raft of rums (20), vodkas, rye and whisky’s (27), sake and liqueurs. Beer drinkers are not forgotten, fonts dispense Adnams Ghost Ship & Southwold, there’s bottled Brewdog and Aspalls Cider, and mixers are top-drawer from Fentimans and Fever Tree, while juices are freshly squeezed and syrups are homemade. Not forgetting the excellent wine list – 28 by the glass or carafe.

Bar snacks

(£3)

Marinated olives; smoked haddock arancini; chicken satay; antipasti platter for two (£14)

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?
10 doubles/twin £150 – £280; 1 family room £225

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (Club Room & Chef’s Table)
  • Disabled access to bar & restaurant
  • Parking

Gongs
AA 5 Stars (Gold)

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Northgate

2

The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester CB3 9NQ

The second Chestnut Inns property and sister to The Packhorse shares the same values - locally sourced food, great service and a traditional role at the heart of this historic and literary community, reputed to house more Nobel Prize winners than anywhere else. Travel here on the river by punt from nearby Cambridge.

3

Elveden Estate, Elveden IP24 3TQ

Lord 'Ned' Iveagh and his family have created a delightful emporium at the heart of the family 'farm' (the largest ring-fenced arable land in the UK), full of delicious foodie, retail and leisure opportunities. The food hall and attached cafe-restaurant, full of estate produce are just part of the appeal. Elveden's Christmas experience is a worthy discovery.

4

Eat Cambridge Festival CB2 3QB

A fortnight of fantastic local food and drink, a jam-packed schedule of tasty fringe events and a huge food and drink fair at the Corn Exchange. Mid May.

5

La Hogue Farm Shop and Cafe, Chippenham CB7 5PZ

In a quiet rural setting, this is a real treat, not just the expected great range of produce and specialities, but a passionately-run shop and good lunchtime cafe, and also a butchery counter and delicious meals to go. Lovely alfresco setting too.

7

Cambridge Food Tour CB2 3QB

Walking food tours taking you off the beaten path through the eyes of local foodies around the city. Either join a public date or arrange a bespoke private one.

8

Coddenham Food Store IP6 9PR

At Coddenham, a village near Stowmarket, you'll find a well-stocked deli counter with plenty of locally sourced produce.

10

Wyken Vineyard, Shop & Restaurant Wyken Road, Stanton IP31 2DW

Shop first in a country store with wool throws and blankets from Scotland, design-led crafts and pottery from England, French grape-picking baskets, and timeless clothes in linens and wool; then head to the Leaping Hare restaurant in a 400-year-old barn and sip a glass of Wyken Bacchus while perusing the Michelin Bib Gourmand menu.

11

The Blackbirds Inn 36 Ditton Green, Woodditton CB8 9SQ

Quaint village location near Newmarket for this 17th-century thatched pub, recent spruced up by the Chestnut Group and sister venue to The Northgate and The Packhorse. Family and dog friendly, it offers classic pub food, pizzas from the wood-fired oven, and Sunday roast lunches, all freshly prepared from seasonal and regional produce.

12

The White Horse The Street, Easton IP13 0ED

Head east from Bury St Edmunds to locate this beautifully refurbished 16th-century pub tucked away in a sleepy village in the Deben Valley. A great lunch stop en route to the Suffolk coast for traditional pub food cooked well using fresh regional produce. Sister pub to The Packhorse and The Northgate.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Northgate

Activities

2

Assington Mill Courses, Assington CO10 5LZ

Fabulous rural crafts tuition centre in an old watermill with over 50 different subjects being tutored in. Learn about growing your own or harvesting wild foods. Lovely home-made lunches part of the appeal.

3

Mersea Island Cookery School, East Mersea CO5 8SX

Run by Amanda Woodcraft, this charming cookery school sits on the same Mersea Island location as Ben's Fish. Not only do you see the fish coming in from the day boats, you get to use them. Amanda attracts tops London chefs such as Chris Gillard (Head Chef of St John's Restaurant).

4

Boating on the Stour CO10 1BB

Enjoy a guided trip in a Canadian canoe along the navigable stretches of the River Stour, heading downstream from Sudbury through Dedham Vale and Constable Country. There’s plenty of wildlife to see en route, and you might even spot an otter. The trips run between April and September.

5

Racing at Newmarket, CB8 0TG

Dubbed the headquarters of the 'sport of kings' in Britain, Newmarket is an internationally renowned thoroughbred horse racing venue. The racecourse hosts two of the country's five 'classics' - the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas.

6

Golf, Mildenhall IP28 8SD

A number of golf clubs are dotted around the Suffolk countryside, but the one closest to Moulton is the Royal Worlington & Newmarket near Mildenhall. Founded in 1893, the club has been described as the best nine-hole course in England.

9

Great Classic Car Hire, Stowmarket IP14 1EZ

Based near Stowmarket, this is the place to seek an exhilarating alternative means of discovering the extensive countryside of East Anglia. The fleet of vehicles covers British, European and Far Eastern classic cars - a classy, ideal way to explore Suffolk on a perfect summer's day.

Shopping

18

Kersey Pottery, Kersey IP7 6DY

Located in a picturesque valley setting in Kersey, near Ipswich, Kersey Pottery has a comprehensive collection of handmade tableware, individually decorated bowls and plates and stoneware with distinctive glazes.

19

Dylan Pym Furniture, Polstead CO6 5AG

Based at Polstead, north of Colchester, Dylan Pym makes handcrafted high quality furniture from solid English hardwood. He takes commissions, too, and encourages customer input.

21

Martha V, 9-11 High Street, Newmarket CB8 8LX

Martha V is a high profile fashion boutique in Newmarket's High Street, stocking over 26 different labels, including Betty Barclay, Libra and Michaela Louisa. Browse the store and relax over a complementary cup of coffee.

22

Jessica Muir Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JR

Resident artists Jessica Brown and Jean Muir showcase an eclectic mix of work from established artists and new designers, specialising in textiles, ceramics, paintings and original prints.

23

The Hunter Gallery, Hall Street, Long Melford CO10 9JQ

The longest established gallery in Long Melford, established in 2001, exhibits local, well-known artists from Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and specializes in a wide range of styles and media to suit all tastes and budgets. Regular exhibitions.

24

Cambridge CB2 3BJ

Cambridge's excellent range of independent retailers offers something for everyone: an abundance of boutiques, scores of designer labels, a daily market and All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market every Saturday.

25

Long Melford Antiques Warehouse, Hall Street CO10 9JB

Four floors and more 250 dealers exhibiting a huge range of antiques, collectables, decorative items and 17th to 20th furniture – perfect for browsing and buying on a wet day.

26

Jim Lawrence, The Ironworks, Lady Lane, Hadleigh IP7 6BQ

Fallen in love with the light fittings, door handles and curtains rails in your room at the Crown, then buy them online or visit Jim Lawrence's treasure trove of a showroom and buy them for your own house; home and soft furnishings too.

34

Long Melford & Lavenham CO10 9RA

If you love browsing, then embark on a fascinating antiques and crafts tour of Suffolk. The village of Long Melford has at least 16 antique shops, along with many independent galleries and tearooms, while Lavenham has more of the same.

Places to visit

10

Lavenham Guildhall, Lavenham CO10 9QZ

With its ancient timbers and crooked lines, Lavenham Guildhall is one of many notable buildings in this picturesque medieval village. Inside, you'll find a museum devoted to the history of Lavenham, with fascinating displays depicting 500 years of farming and industry.

11

Melford Hall, Long Melford CO10 9AA

Devastated by fire in 1942, this Tudor mansion at Long Melford was later restored by the Hyde Parker family in whose possession it remains to this day. Their cousin, Beatrix Potter, was a regular visitor here.

12

The Manor, Hemingford Grey PE28 9BN

Take a stroll through the picturesque village of Hemingford Grey, near Huntingdon, walk along the towpath of the River Ouse and soon you reach the entrance to The Manor, a wonderfully atmospheric, continuously occupied, 900-year-old house that for many years was the home of the children's author, Lucy M. Boston. The garden is open all year; the house can be viewed by appointment only.

13

Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds IP29 5QE

Close to Bury St Edmounds, Ickworth's spectacular Rotunda was commissioned by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house his priceless artefacts collected on tours around Europe in the 18th century. The Italianate garden includes box hedges and Mediterranean planting.

14

Wicken Fen, Ely CB7 5XP

Discover a secluded world of flowering meadows and reedbeds described by the National Trust who manage the site as 'a window onto a lost fenland landscape'. Here, you'll find hen harriers and bitterns, dragonflies, moths and wildfowl. There are also herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

15

Gainsborough House, Sudbury CO10 2EU

This fascinating museum and art gallery stands in the centre of the market town of Sudbury and is probably most famous as the birthplace of the artist Thomas Gainsborough. Dating back to 1520, the house has many striking features as well as various Ginsborough paintings and portraits.

16

Denny Abbey and the Farmland Museum, Cambridge CB25 9PQ

Situated 6 miles to the north of Cambridge, this former Benedictine abbey has a fascinating history and an impressive array of family-friendly attractions. The site's Farmland Museum includes a fenman's hut, blacksmith's and wheelwright's workshops.

17

Moyse's Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1DX

Overlooking the market place in Bury St Edmunds, this ancient 12th-century building has been a jail, a workhouse and a police station over the years. In its role as a museum, Moyse’s Hall examines the town’s early history and provides a fascinating insight into superstition and witchcraft

27

Cambridge

One of Britain’s finest cities and a world famous seat of learning, Cambridge lies on the River Cam. University colleges include King’s, noted for its choir and splendid Gothic chapel, and Trinity, established by Henry VIII. If time allows, take in the museums with their exhibitions on polar exploration and the history of science and zoology – among other themes.

29

Dad’s Army Museum, Thetford IP24 2DS

Since it opened in 2007, the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford has proved to be one of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, celebrating a television institution much loved around the world. The classic series began almost 50 years ago.

30

Anglesey Abbey CB25 9EJ

North-east of Cambridge and formerly a priory, Anglesey Abbey is owned by the National Trust and open to the public. 98 acres of landscaped grounds are divided into a series of walks and gardens. In addition, there is a working water mill (Lode Mill) where visitors can buy flour.

31

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1QR

Grade I-listed theatre in Bury St Edmunds and the only surviving Regency playhouse in Britain, the Theatre Royal offers year-round tours and open door sessions. If you enjoy historic buildings and the atmosphere of the stage, don’t miss out on this wonderful visitor attraction in the town.

32

Pakenham Water Mill Mill Road, Pakenham IP31 2NB

For over 1000 years water from Pakenham Fen has collected in the beautiful millpond before being released to turn the water-wheel that drives the mill-stones which turn the wheat into flour. The current 18th-century building is the last working water mill in Suffolk and friendly guides will explain the whole fascinating process of milling that produces our favourite staple.

Walking

www.walkinginsuffolk.co.uk
www.discoversuffolk.org.uk
Between Bury St Edmunds and King’s Lynn lies some of East Anglia’s most isolated and evocative fen country, which (access permitting) is great for exploring on foot. This is a flat landscape characterised by rivers, channels and dykes and stretching to distant horizons beneath vast wide skies. Not far from Bury St Edmunds are the sprawling, shaded acres of Thetford Forest, another obvious destination for walking.

Cycling

www.sustrans.co.uk
In terms of cycling, Suffolk’s expansive landscape has something for everyone. Try a handy 8-mile cycle route linking Moulton, Gazeley and Barrow (villages on the inn’s doorstep); for something longer, head for south Suffolk and explore Lavenham’s woodlands and valleys (21 mile route) or embark on the 28-mile Jockey’s Trail, starting in Newmarket.

Events

www.visitcambridge.org
www.aldeburgh.co.uk
www.aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk
There’s plenty to choose from in this corner of East Anglia. Head for the coast in June and you’ll find the Aldeburgh Festival taking place. This world-famous festival is devoted to classical music, visual arts, master classes and films. Cambridge’s calendar is always packed with fairs, performing arts events and workshops. The Cambridge Folk Festival and the Cambridge Literary Festival are among the best known annual fixtures.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Exit the A14 from junction 43. Take the A1101 towards the town centre and take the first exit at the roundabout into Northgate Street. The Northgate is on the right hand side

By Rail: Bury St Edmunds station is just a mile from The Northgate and links Cambridge and Ipswich

Address:

Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1HP

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