he Angel in Bury St Edmunds boasts so many claims to fame it must have other hotels

you today: think deco velvet, clustered paintings and a spectacular installation of floating feathers along the spotlit, double-height ceiling. To the right, an ornate copper bar surrounded by jewel- toned seating and everywhere else, stacks of books, exposed brickwork, marble coffee tables and people – so many people! On the Friday evening we arrive, The Angel is buzzing and clearly the place to be in Bury, with friends and couples of all ages sinking cocktails and settling down to feasts around the hotel’s ground floor. The food The menu at the Angel’s restaurant is filled with crowd-pleasers, to the extent that we had a genuinely tricky time deciding what to eat. From the moules marinière to the rib-eye steaks and the chicken pie, these are comforting classics, but they’re served with a contemporary spin (and a knack for stylish presentation). But despite the overwhelming choice, we had to make a decision, so we kicked off with a trio of arancini:

melt-in-the-middle, deep-fried risotto balls on an artichoke and sundried tomato salad, along with a serving of plump scallops with caramelised roast cauliflower, a drizzle of apple sauce and satisfying bites of salty chorizo. So far, so good, and things got even tastier for the mains, which brought a wild mushroom and artichoke linguine: creamy and indulgent, with an enjoyably intense savoury hit of truffle and parmesan. Over on the other side of the table was a hymn to Suffolk’s finest produce, in a dish that put locally-reared Dingley Dell pork front and centre, utilising rump and cheek, and serving it with sticky-roast parsnips, crunchy kale and smoked garlic mash. We couldn’t manage dessert, probably because we’d ordered an entirely unnecessary side of the ‘posh chips’: a rustling mound of thick-cut, triple cooked chips blanketed with parmesan and truffle, and served with light-as-air whipped béarnaise sauce. I don’t know what the afterlife holds, but if these chips are on the menu in my eternity, I’ll be happy.

seething. It was here that a young Charles Dickens penned his debut novel, The Pickwick Papers , King Louis- Philippe used it as a bolthole while in exile during the French Revolution, the actual, blooming Magna Carta’s terms were agreed on the doorstep and – I think we can all agree most impressively of all – Angelina Jolie bedded down here after long days of filming Tomb Raider at a nearby Suffolk stately home. Yep, this place has definitely seen some sights in the more-than- six centuries it’s served as an inn on Angel Hill, right at the beating heart of Bury’s town centre. Majestically overlooking the Abbey gardens, the hotel’s towering, sometimes ivy-clad, Georgian frontage cuts a grand figure, but step through the doors and you’re greeted with something altogether more modern. The restaurant, to your left, was refurbished last year into the plush, modern beauty you see before

The Angel has definitely seen some sights in the

more-than-six centuries it’s served as an inn on Angel Hill, right at the beating heart of Bury’s town centre”

IMAGES From the majestic Georgian frontage (left) to the many cosy and inviting sitting rooms (right), there are treats around every corner at The Angel



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