Explore Bury St Edmunds
PUBLISHED: 13:05 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:05 18 April 2017
There’s more to Bury St Edmunds than history
It has links to the Magna Carta. At its heart stands one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the East of England. And it is surrounded by, and filled with fragrant, flower-filled parks. But Bury St Edmunds has more to it than meets the eye. Steeped in history, it’s also a buzzing, vibrant town for the 21st century that’s attracting leading employers, is home to some of Suffolk’s best restaurants, and has an exciting cultural scene.
The epicentre of Bury St Edmunds (Cornhill) is home twice a week to one of the country’s biggest markets (Wednesdays and Saturdays), now supplemented by a brand new farmers’ market on the second Sunday of every month, where around 20 local producers sell food and drink made within a 50 mile radius of the town.
Reaching out from the heart of the town are sprawling alleyways and thoroughfares filled with independent shops selling fashion, gift, home and food. And when it comes to entertainment, there’s the annual Bury Festival (May 19 to 28), leading shows at the historic Theatre Royal, and a line-up of great music and comedy at The Apex, said to have some of the best acoustics in England.
Where to start? The town has all areas covered. A visit to St John’s Street is a must. There are dozens of interesting shops to see here. Beautiful Beers is packed to the rafters with a carefully selected and changing range of beers from around the world, and staff are excellent at dishing out advice. A few doors down is artisan bakery and café Gastrono-Me for fantastic bread and cakes to take away. And then there’s Steamer Trading – a haven for keen cooks.
Whiting Street, Hatter Street and Abbeygate Street are all ripe for exploration too. Get a kick out of the shoe collection at Nicola Sexton. Seek advice on lingerie or invest in a new designer swimming costume for your holidays at Cabana. And make a pit-stop at Javelin – an independent fashion store that’s won numerous prestigious awards for its mixture of affordable and designer clothing.
For gifts there are delights to be found at Buy the Light, Loft and Spires (where there are lots of British-made pieces including beautiful jewellery), The Parsley Pot, and Quest.
From bites on the go to blow-out meals, it’s all here. There are some interesting street food stalls on the weekly market, including Japanese cuisine. Chill out to the latest sounds with a hand made burger or pizza at trendy LP bar. Or indulge in Mediterranean-inspired dishes at Casa Del Mar.
The Old Bull serves great pub food with a twist, and Ben’s Restaurant has been acclaimed for its field to fork ethos.
If you want to impress, try Maison Bleue, currently a finalist in a worldwide luxury dining competition. Fish especially, is excellent here. EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards Chef of the Year 2016 James Carn has left the brilliant Pea Porridge (another one to try) and is making waves at The Angel hotel. Or nip out of the town to elegant Restaurant of the Year 2016 Tuddenham Mill to sample Lee Bye’s hyper-local, seasonal and exceptional menus.
Look out for luxury lobster and grill house Bougee, set to open in the Cupola building in the near future too.
Fashion Fusion, The Apex, 7pm
Raising money for St Nicholas Hospice Care, this fashion show will showcase women’s clothing from both independent and high street stores and the ticket price includes a cocktail, interval refreshments and entry into a prize draw on the night.
Tickets are £18 from The Apex.
Fat Cat Comedy Club, The Apex, 8pm
One of the biggest hits on the Bury St Edmunds social scene, this is a brilliant night out, featuring high quality comedy acts. This one is a mystery show- so who knows who’s going to take to the stage.
Tickets are £14 from The Apex.