The Angel Hotel is a beautiful four-star ivy-clad Georgian building that is steeped in history, located in the historic town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
The former coaching inn sports a blue plaque, marking Charles Dickens’ visits to the former coaching inn, celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth. His visits to the town and the hotel are immortalized in his novel, The Pickwick Papers, and more recently when the hotel appeared in the Dickens movie in January 2020, 185 years after Charles Dickens first stayed there.
“And this,” said Mr. Pickwick, looking up, “is the Angel! We alight here, Sam.”
What a beautiful piece of literary history to commemorate a hotel that is still successful today!
The Angel Hotel is one of the most prestigious in the area, located on Angel Hill and overlooking the Abbey Gardens with a view of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. It has recently undergone an refurbishment where you will find urban chic eclectic décor and vintage furniture. In the Angel Lounge there’s plenty of comfortable sofas to relax on, it’s the perfect space for spending time with friends and family enjoying afternoon tea or having business meetings.
The Angel Bar has an air of grandeur with its large wooden bar and oak herringbone flooring. The bar has seven different cask ales and beers and a cocktail list inspired by the fables and tales surrounding the hotel and Bury St Edmunds. Bury is home to Greene King Brewery and their IPA beers are worth a try. The dining room is spacious and well laid out with beautiful furniture and references to Charles Dickens.
After a quick and easy check-in, the porter carried our bags to our luxurious suite that was located on the third (top) floor of the hotel, giving us a wonderful view overlooking Bury’s Georgian Square and the cathedral.
The bedroom was quiet, light, spacious and beautifully decorated with a comfortable king-sized bed. There was a work desk, ample wardrobe space, tea and coffee making facilities and an old fashioned gold dial tone telephone by the bed.
The ensuite had a large walk-in shower, Anyah eco-toiletries and fluffy bath robes, however, the beautiful shiny copper bath took centre stage, set off by the black and white tiled floor.
The Angel ‘Eaterie’ restaurant is lively and stylishly designed with many tables offering good views overlooking The Abbey.
The Angel has always had an exceptional reputation for excellent food, and this remains today. The head chef Arron Jackson prides his menu on using local produce which changes regularly. Combined with excellent service, the friendly team pulls out all the stops to ensure everyone has a great time while enjoying delicious food.
We tried the garlic prawns and crispy whitebait (both £5) with our pre-dinner drinks and were spoilt for choice on the starter’s menu. The lower priced options were parsnip soup and homemade bread (£7), and chicken and ham hock terrine with pickled vegetables (£8). More expensive starters included pan fried scallops, cauliflower, black pudding and apple (£15), and monkfish cheeks, braised puy lentils, salsa verde and crispy Parma ham (£12).
For my main course, I chose Suffolk’s famous Blythburgh pork fillet accompanied by a potato rosti, fennel puree, cabbage, bacon and cider sauce, which was delicious (£19). A nod to Dickens was ‘Pickwick Pie’ wild venison, garlic and rosemary with new potatoes and root vegetables (£17). Slow roasted chicken with fondant potatoes and chargrilled leek (£16); aged 10oz sirloin steak, shallot with triple cooked chips (£28); monkfish fillet, pickled mushrooms, baby spinach and parsnip puree with clam butter sauce (£22); and beer battered haddock and chips (£15) were also fabulous offerings on the varied menu.
The pudding choices consisted of a mixture of traditional options with one ‘wildcard’ of cheese on toast, consisting of Malt loaf, Compté, honey and fig (£9). The pudding was unusual, a totally unique combination of flavours which worked superbly well. For more traditional puddings, there was chocolate orange torte (£8), steamed ginger sponge (£7), and baked white chocolate ice cream with salted caramel popcorn, (£5.50).
For those who love cheese, an extensive cheese selection is offered including Tunworth, Pitchfork Cheddar, Driftwood, Dorset Blue Vinny and Baronet. All five cheeses are priced at £19 or three cheeses for £13 served with lavosh crackers, membrillo quince, chutney and Eccles cake. As you would expect from a four-star hotel, there was an extensive cocktail, wine, port and pudding wine list.
Book a table between 5pm and 6pm Monday to Friday and take advantage of their early bird menu for just £29pp.
To round off your luxurious stay, enjoy a tremendous English Breakfast, served with a smile.
Things to do
Bury St Edmunds offers a mixture of cultural heritage with the Abbey Gardens and ruins, St Edmundsbury Cathedral and cobbled streets. Wandering around this part of the Georgian town mixed with lots of independent shops, just five seconds’ walk from the hotel, is perfect. Visit The Nutshell Pub, Britain’s smallest pub, measuring 15ft by 7ft, which has been serving since 1867!
In a nutshell
The Angel Hotel doesn’t disappoint in terms of an amazing team pulling out all the stops to ensure a memorable stay, whether it’s for one night or longer.
Rooms can be booked from £99 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast. Parking is available at the back of The Angel Hotel and a porter service is offered to all guests.
Read more about Kate’s travels at LoveToEatToTravel.com