It’s been a long winter, and while a freshly baked banana loaf made by your own fair hands is delicious, there’s nothing quite like leaving it to the professionals and dining out.
Now you can book a table at a variety of restaurants and cafés in and around Bury St Edmunds, which have social distancing measures in place and are offering alfresco dining.
Here are some for you to consider:
Welcoming guests in their outdoor marquee CASA in Bury St Edmunds offers a mouth-watering menu of tapas and sharing dishes so you can imagine you’re sat on a terrace in the Mediterranean, without having to travel. Popular dishes on the menu include garlic king prawns; lamb koftas with tzatziki; Spanish meatballs; feta and pomegranate salad; creamy garlic mushrooms and Moroccan potatoes. Complete your meal with indulgent desserts such as chocolate delice; raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake or profiteroles, all served with a selection of wines, beers and soft drinks. To book visit www.casabse.co.uk
Re-opening their Spring Garden Tipi from April 14, you can enjoy some of the finest dining Bury St Edmunds has to offer at The Northgate hotel. The menus use local, seasonal content and typically include dishes such as white onion and new potato soup; grilled butterflied mackerel; roast partridge with pickled summer squash and pumpkin seed for starter. Main courses to choose from include grilled cod; celeriac and parmesan risotto; roast duck breast or local venison. Followed by desserts of dark chocolate mousse with espresso caramel and coconut sorbet; creme caramel; chilled vanilla rice pudding and the chef’s choice of cheese. Booking is now open at www.thenorthgate.com
Lounge and Garden Cafe
With 10 socially distanced tables in the courtyard garden and two tables on the pavement of Bury’s historic Hatter Street, the Lounge&Garden café is perfect for a bite to eat in the open air. Serving a breakfast and lunch menu, there’s plenty to choose from to suit all tastes, together with a selection of pastries, cakes, savoury snacks, etc and a full range of hot and cold drinks. For more information visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/LoungeGarden-109507654156529
A traditional pub in the heart of Bury St Edmunds the Masons Arms serves a fabulous selection of real and guest ales alongside hearty pub grub. The terrace is the ideal place to enjoy a pint of one of Greene King’s cast ales alongside your meal. Choose from Masons fish and chips; mushroom and spinach lasagne; pulled beef chilli con carne; a classic beef burger and sweet potato or chick pea and spinach curry. www.masonspub.co.uk
The Priory Hotel
The Garden Restaurant at the Priory Hotel is now open for outside eating. Diners can enjoy menus featuring fresh, local produce with dishes including homemade seasonal soup; cumin spiced whitebait with lemon mayo and crispy spiced chicken salad for starter. Main courses typically include battered haddock with hand cut chips; Chef’s homemade vegetable curry and Hunter’s chicken. With desserts such as homemade rich chocolate brownie; homemade sticky toffee pudding and fresh fruit salad to enjoy. Book a table at www.cameronventuresgroup.co.uk/facilities-ih1/priory-dining
Arc Shopping Centre
There are a number of eateries at the town centre arc shopping centre offering outdoor dining including Byron Burgers, Costa, Muffin Break, Nando’s, Wagamama and Hotel Chocolat. They offer the perfect place to stop and relax for coffee or lunch while shopping at the centre. The shops have also now opened their doors, with heightened safety measures to give you peace of mind.
Home cooked, locally sourced fayre, the signature food of the chef, still tops the menu at St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s Pilgrim’s Kitchen. Open for breakfast/brunch and lunch, the café offers Suffolk-based Paddy and Scott’s coffee as well as Fairtrade tea, James White apple juice and a choice of Fairtrade wine or the iconic Greene King St Edmund’s ale. The café offers locally sourced ingredients – sauces from Stokes of Woodbridge, jams and chutneys from Elveden Estates plus cakes baked on the premises as well as their famous cheese scones. Get there early for the scones as these are a favourite of the Cathedral staff. www.stedscathedral.org/visit/pilgrims-kitchen
Weeping Willow (pictured above)
Sit amongst the twinkling lights in the charming garden tipi at the Weeping Willow in Barrow. You can enjoy a glass of wine or two along with dishes made using locally and seasonally sourced produce; from nibbles and small plates to Willow classics and desserts. The menu features dishes such as soup of the day; devilled vegetarian Scotch egg; salmon and cod fishcake; duck breast and smoked mackerel for starter. For your main course there’s Dingley Dell pork belly; Willow burger; seafood risotto; rump of lamb; Adnams beer battered cod and chips and 10oz sirloin steak. Leave room for dessert and choose from lemon and lime curd meringues with raspberry sorbet; sticky toffee pudding; chocolate tarte; eggnog brulée and British cheeses. Booking is now open at www.theweepingwillow.co.uk
Black Lion, Long Melford
The spring garden terrace will be reopening at the Black Lion in Long Melford on April 30. The 15th century inn serves a traditional menu with a modern twist, plus an accompanying wine list, selection of beers, cocktails and mocktails – so you can sip on a glass of bubbly while watching the sun go down. Starters on the lunch menu include celery and apple soup; grilled mackerel; poached chicken terrine and ham hock Scotch egg. For mains, choose from sea bream fillet, pork schnitzel; pappardelle with peas, broad beans, courgettes and white wine sauce and rare-breed ribeye steak. Complete your meal with desserts including lemon posset; chocolate tarte; warm rice pudding and a selection of cheeses. Booking is now open at www.theblacklionlongmelford.com/food-and-drink
Bessie at Ice Café
The team at ICE will be offering outdoor seating from April 16 for delicious meals served from their airstream, Bessie. Incredible woodfired sourdough pizzas, awesome burgers and street food including hot dogs, flatbreads and mac ‘n’ cheese along with a new kid’s menu, side orders and desserts can all be washed down with a vast array of soft and alcoholic drinks. ICE will also be offering takeaways as usual, which can be ordered for a specific collection time at www.ice.cafe Tables for the outdoor seating area will be allocated on a first come first served basis, and will be open from 5pm to 9pm Friday and Saturday evenings initially.
All Saints Hotel
The Terrace Restaurant at the All Saints Hotel, Fornham St Genevieve, will be re-opening with an exciting new menu on Friday, April 16. Take in the spectacular views of the golf course from the terrace as you dine. If the street food takeaway menu is anything to go by, you’re in for a treat. Choose from loaded chips; Suffolk fish and chips; mac ‘n’ cheese; a selection of filled wraps and brioche buns with home-smoked BBQ pulled pork or beef brisket. To view the menus and book a table visit www.allsaintshotel.com/great-food-and-views
Ravenwood Hall Hotel
From Friday, April 16, Ravenwood Hall at Rougham will be opening their Edible Emporium with covered and heated seating, marquees and ’snugs’. They will be serving a range of dishes from the Smokehouse Shack as well as wood-fired pizzas and speciality al fresco Sunday roasts. For more information and to book a table visit www.ravenwoodhall.co.uk
Queen’s Head at Hawkedon
Welcoming customers back, the Queen’s Head at Hawkedon will be serving drinks and food in their garden. The menu includes hearty pub grub classics such as mustard and mushroom stroganoff; dressed Cromer crab with salad and new potatoes; Rafi’s chicken curry; a selection of homemade pizzas and a range of steak platters served with hand-cut chips, mixed salad, chargrilled flat mushrooms and coleslaw. For more information and to book a table visit www.hawkedonqueen.co.uk