Sample, Sip & Celebrate with the Nation’s Best Craft Distillers

Winner of Best Gin Event, The Gin To My Tonic Festival is visiting Bury St Edmunds for the first time on Saturday 9th September. Branded as the ultimate journey of gin discovery the festival offers a rare opportunity for gin and spirits enthusiasts to meet craft distillers in person, sample their creations as part of their ticket, and celebrate with like-minded fanatics.

Distillers joining us include Copper in The Clouds, Locksley Distilling, Sweet Potato Spirit Company, Meadow Oak Distillery, Heart of Suffolk Distillery, Matopus Gin, Contractors Dry Gin, Bruni Collins, Mother’s Ruin 1751 Distilling and Green Room Distilling.

Enriching the festival is also bars stocking hundreds of craft spirits with everything from gin, rum, vodka, tequila, cocktails, prosecco and even beer. There’s also fabulous LIVE entertainment to enable you to truly get into the party spirit.

No other Gin Festival brings together the wonderful world of craft distilling in quite the same way, so for those looking to celebrate with the UK’s very best craft spirit producers, then this is most certainly the Festival for you.


The Gin To My Tonic Festival will be taking place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1LS

Tickets £16.50

Explorer Guide
New-Look Glass & Tote Bag
Stainless-Steel Straw & Stainless-Steel Sampling Cup
Extensively Stocked Spirit Bars with 35ml Measures (as opposed to the standard 25ml)
NEW! Prosecco & Beer
NEW! Cocktails
Exclusive Gin & Rum Releases
Free Sampling From Onsite Craft Distillers
Access to Hot & Cold Food
Live Entertainment


Saturday 9th September 2023 12.00pm – 4.00pm

Saturday 9th September 2023 6.00pm – 10.00pm

Tickets available at

Bury Free Press BID Column August 2023

The annual Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink is almost upon us – showcasing why the town is the foodie capital of Suffolk. I’m delighted that this year we have more stalls than ever including more than 20 that haven’t been part of this event before. It promises to be great free family event over the Sunday and Monday of this Bank Holiday weekend.

The ’foodie’ reputation isn’t something that ‘just happens’. It’s the result of the hard work and high standards of so many restaurants, cafes, bars and other food and drink related businesses in the town. The plethora of awards that are bestowed on our businesses is testament to that. Pea Porridge has recently retained its Michelin Star and Lark has been recognised by The Good Food Guide.

This summer, regional magazine Velvet held its first ever Food & Drink Awards. The team at Vino Gusto picked up the Food & Drink Hero award. The judges were impressed with the way this business has grown from an online venture during the pandemic into a fully rounded business. I remember this initiative starting during that very difficult time for hospitality and initially opening as a wine shop within the One Bull. Congratulations to all involved with the venture for making it such a success. And in the Tearoom/Coffee Shop of the Year category at the same awards the innovative Procopio’s Pantry in Langton Place was a runner up. A great achievement for such a young business, that at the time of the awards had been established for less than two years.

The national Muddy Stiletto Awards have been established 10 years and celebrate independent businesses across a wide range of categories. A number of Bury St Edmunds based businesses made it through to the regional finals in this case from across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The Angel was the regional winner in the Hotel/Inn section and The Theatre Royal topped the Theatre/Arts Venue category. However, The Wine Cellar in the Buttermarket took the national award for Best New Lifestyle Start Up. Again, and as the award suggests, this is another young business in the town – having recently celebrated its first anniversary. The team will be taking part in the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival – see them on the stage in the Stoves Cookery Theatre on Monday and The Angel will also be on stage on the Sunday.

Others showcasing in the theatre kitchen over the two days include: The Bay Tree, Rustico, 1921, The Olive Grove and Baskervilles to name but a few. And of course the event has all the other much-loved elements for a family day out including fairground rides, big games and of course the urban beach which will remain at arc Shopping Centre for another week. We hope it’s a great weekend for our member businesses and for all who come along to visit.

By Mark Cordell, CEO of Our Bury St Edmunds BID.

arc Shopping Centre raises £1,200 for charity

arc Shopping Centre’s Summer Show returned to Charter Square on Wednesday the 16th August as part of One Great Day, a nationwide fundraising event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and arc’s charity of the year, Gatehouse.

The allure of good weather and the pup from down under brought hundreds of Bury St Edmunds families to the outdoor shopping centre for a day of fun and excitement. A total of 20 adorable pups entered into the dog show, with categories including ‘Most Pawsome Pup’ and ‘Golden Oldie’! As a dog-friendly shopping centre, the team were on hand with a dog cooling station featuring cooling mats, shade and lots of water to ensure all dogs were kept well cared for throughout the event. Jon Kay from Camp Tails Doggy Day Care was also on hand to help Allan and Sam with the judging, plus offer dog care advice too – Jon was instrumental in setting up #DogFriendlyBSE.

Queues formed early, with children and parents alike hoping to grab a quick pic with Bluey, with over 100 people eagerly waiting their turn throughout the day.
Allan Hassell the Centre Manager at the arc said “An absolutely amazing ‘fun-raising’ day in support of Gatehouse Food Bank in Bury St Edmunds and GOSH charities.

“Last year was special when we raised £700, but we smashed that this year and raised £1,200! We can’t thank everyone enough who worked hard on the day, plus with all the preparation to make the day what it was – absolutely marvellous!”

The day consisted of face painting, cornhole, mini golf, balloon modelling and more, so there was plenty for people to enjoy and all for two great causes. Allan added “The biggest thank you must go to the lovely people of Bury St Edmunds and beyond, as they gave so generously on the day – especially given how hard it is for so many people right now.”

Amanda, CEO of Gatehouse was thrilled with the positive response of the day saying: “As you can imagine demand has increased over the summer holidays and I am sure winter will soon be upon us creating even more issues, so the support will be very much appreciated.”

Allan, echoed Amanda’s comments: “This money will really help those that need Gatehouses support. Sadly, food banks have never been so needed, but right now they have seen a big reduction in donations – please support your local food bank if you are able to. Thank you.”

Our Bury St Edmunds promises mouth-watering Festival

Whether you’re looking for deep-fried Oreos, edible flowers, a doggy deli for your canine chum or just a cup of coffee and a burger – you’ll find these and much more at the two-day Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival this August Bank Holiday weekend.

The popular free-admission event which has helped put the town on the map as the foodie capital of Suffolk returns bigger and better than ever with more stalls than before the pandemic and a range of family fun activities to help you work up an appetite.

Taking to the stage in the Stoves Cookery Theatre will be chefs and drinks specialists from some of the area’s favourite establishments including 1921, The Angel, Lillian’s Kitchen, ICE, Three Kings, Forage Kitchen, Still Good Food and Baskervilles.  New to the theatre kitchen this year are Rustico, Primal 8, The Wine Cellar, The Olive Grove, Giggling Squid and Bay Tree Café.

The event is organised by the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds.  Chief Executive Mark Cordell said: “This has become such a key event in the foodie calendar now that we have stall holders from as far as London and Cambridge booking their places as well as many well-loved traders from Suffolk and nearby market towns.  I’m delighted that so many of our member businesses are using this opportunity to showcase what they do.  Relative newcomers including Cookie Barista, The Wine Cellar, Peck and Primal 8 are all involved with the event as well as Papakis Deli and Beautiful Beers who are long standing features of the Festival.

“As well as food and drink stalls from around the world there’ll be the Farmers’ Market on Angel Hill and the urban beach at arc Shopping Centre, which will remain there until the following weekend.”

A recent addition to the list of stalls taking part is competition winner Morsi’s.  Owner Jess Pratt has just been crowned Eastern Region Young Market Trader of the Year at a special event held on the town’s twice weekly provisions market, with her mobile coffee shop in a converted horsebox selling gluten-free and vegan treats.

The range of family attractions at the Festival also include Big Games, face painting, street entertainment and fairground rides. The Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival is in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care, supported by Stoves UK, Shop Safe and Haart.

The entry to the Food and Drink Festival is free and the event runs from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August.

Find out why Bury St Edmunds is Suffolk’s Foodie Capital

Whether you love fine dining, great coffee or dishes from around the globe you’ll find it all in Bury St Edmunds town centre.  It’s certainly not hard to see – with a fantastic two-day Food & Drink Festival over the August Bank Holiday Sunday 27th and Monday 28th – why it’s the foodie capital of Suffolk and why the awards just keep on being bestowed on many of these brilliant places to eat and drink.

From somewhere for a café chat with friends to that much-coveted table for a special occasion – Bury St Edmunds has it all and everything in between. Looking for somewhere intimate and boutique? Lark on Angel Hill seats around 20 people and you’ll find seasonal, local ingredients across a selection of small plates which might include sherry cured chalk stream trout or Suffolk lamb sweetbread.  It’s no wonder that award-winning Chef Patron James Carn caught the eye of top food critic Jay Rayner within months of opening – having previously worked at Suffolk’s only Michelin-starred restaurant Pea Porridge in nearby Cannon Street.

Justin Sharp who owns Pea Porridge with his wife Jurga has retained his Michelin star since winning it for the first time in 2021.  Moorish influences from North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey will delight you with dishes such as Cabrito kid goat tagine or for a special treat the Cornish lobster cooked over the coals in ‘Grizzly’ charcoal oven (which needs to be booked in advance).

The Angel Hotel may be known for its Dickensian links but the food in The Eaterie is very much modern British – with a nod to its heritage with the steak and ale ‘Pickwick Pie.’ There’s certainly nothing Dickensian about the Sweet potato, coriander and ginger soup with Thai corn fritters – although you may find yourself saying ‘Please sir, may I have some more!’

The exterior of The Angel Hotel

As a near neighbour of both The Angel and Lark, multi-award winning 1921 is another establishment championing local produce with Chef Patron Zack Deakins at the helm. Mersea crab, Sutton Hoo chicken breast or Baron Bigod (from Bungay) and blueberry toastie might tempt you from the a la carte menu or choose the five or seven course tasting menu.

Maison Bleue has been wowing national names in restaurant reviewing and loved for its understated elegance, since almost before some of Bury St Edmunds’ top chefs had even picked up their first saucepan. Restaurateurs Pascal and Karine Canevet consistently achieve the highest accolades for their French modern fine dining and rounding off your meal with the Mont Blanc tartlet or Le Plateau de Fromages Francais is a real treat.

In Langton Place, you’ll find Procopio’s Pantry, a charming tea room that puts a delightful twist on tradition. Here, instead of jacket potatoes, you’ll be served with mouth-watering loaded wedges, and sweet treats for breakfast. This tea room aims to be a relaxing spot where customers can enjoy good company and even better food.

The exterior of Procopios Pantry

While three courses of fine dining often heralds a special occasion – there’s rarely an excuse needed for coffee, a quick light lunch or even afternoon tea and here again you’re spoilt for choice in Suffolk’s foodie capital.  Love Insta? You’ll be hard pushed to find a more gram worthy afternoon tea than behind the pink front door of Lotties Artisan Waffles and Coffee on Angel Hill. Don’t miss their beautiful pink hot chocolate.

Head to St Johns Street, famed for the number of independent businesses contributing to Bury’s eclectic mix, and you’ll find the family run and dog friendly Midgar Coffee where it’s all about strong coffee, tasty toasties and scrumptious home-baked treats.  Their miniature dachshund is called Otto!

Just a few doors away is Bay Tree Café where the freshly baked cheese scones are among the best in town.  Supporting local businesses is at the heart of what they do – sip a Butterworth’s artisan espresso while browsing a book from the ‘local author shelf’ upstairs.

Looking for something a little different and unique? Step into a realm of pure enchantment and embark on an unforgettable flavour voyage with Cookie Barista and their very popular Bubble Tea. As pioneers in bringing this delightful beverage to our town, they offer an extensive menu boasting classic milk teas, captivating taro, and invigorating matcha, all adorned with the decadent allure of brown sugar syrup and luscious tapioca pearls.

Round the corner in Risbygate Street pop in to Primal 8 health and wellbeing café – grab a chilled can of Hip Pop Kombucha with probiotic fermented cultures, no sweeteners and no added sugar to wash down one of their artisan bakes, which are gluten free and have no refined sugar – offering all the taste and guilt-free!

The exterior of Primal 8

Think Brunch, cocktails posh cheese toasties and a delicious salad selection and you’re probably thinking of Wright’s on Cornhill.  For a special evening look out for their occasional three course supper club too, but do make sure you book early.

Dreaming of a wine bar? Prepare to be enchanted by an extensive and diverse collection of the finest wines sourced from every corner of the globe at The Wine Cellar and to elevate your indulgence, you can pair these with small delectable plates, which will enhance the flavour of the wine even more.

Just a few doors away from the Wine Cellar, you can enjoy a variety of authentic Greek food at Papaki’s Deli. Crafted by the creators of Cafe Kottani, this restaurant offers an enticing menu featuring Greek phyllo pies, meze plates, Greek salad, and delectable desserts like baklava, almond cookies, and kataifi. Whether you wish to dine in or bring Greece to your home table, the choice is yours. 

Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea you’ll find it at Really Rather Good on Abbeygate Street, overlooking Angel Hill. Fully licensed, dog friendly and with all cakes made on site (including gluten free and vegan choices) as well as scones baked daily – do look out for the award-winning Chocolate Guinness Cake.

Exterior of Really Rather Good

Directly opposite on the other corner of Abbeygate Street is No. 5 Angel Hill.  Described as a wine and coffee house you’ll find them listed in the 2023 Good Food Guide as a local gem.  Try the homemade sausage rolls or No. 5 bagels and they’re another of the many in Bury who also welcome dogs.

If you love Eastern and Asian cuisine then you won’t be disappointed by all that Bury St Edmunds has to offer.  Sakura is a Japanese restaurant in the 17th century, Grade 1 listed Cupola House in The Traverse. Wash your meal down with a sake or a bubble tea.

Mings Oriental on Abbeygate Street is a contemporary and high class Chinese fusion restaurant.  With light bites and Dim Sum served all day, the five spiced squid or minced prawn steamed dumplings will wow those who love seafood and the full main menu has Thai, Cantonese and Malaysian influences.

Just across the way is Giggling Squid with its vibrant décor, celebrating Thailand’s rich landscape and natural ingredients. With vegan and vegetarian options too, look out for dishes such One Bite Salmon or specialities like Chubby Cheek Pork.

Not quite as historic as the Cupola House but iconic to many in Bury St Edmunds is the former Andy’s Records building in St Johns Street – now home to The Olive Grove serving traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes.  Try the Spanakopita – a delicious vegetarian pie or perhaps the Kotsi Kleftico (slow cooked lamb shank).

The beautiful timber-framed and family run Rustico on Risbygate Street is stunning both visually and gastronomically for lovers of Italian food.  Enjoy traditional Italian hospitality with homemade pasta and wood fired pizza and don’t miss their special wine tasting evenings too.

If you love a curry then head down to Valley Connection on Churchgate Street.  As well as the many traditional favourites such as Korma, Bhuna or Madras look out for some tempting special dishes including the green Haryali Chicken Masala or the impressive selection of fresh fish dishes including Trout Bhuna or Salmon Tikka.

A short distance away you’ll find Queens Bar and Grill mixing smokehouse flavours with their farm to fork philosophy from the owner’s smallholding.  Enjoy the seasonal produce or test your appetite against the Big Eats Challenge – where if you clear the plate in 30 minutes you may not have to pay.

When you’re looking for a quintessential pub that offers everything from great food, fabulous hospitality and own-brewed beer, you’ll find it at The One Bull on Angel Hill. It may be Bury St Edmunds’ oldest pub but you’ll be bang up to date with the changing seasonal menu and award-winning wines.

The One Bull

Located on St Andrew’s Street, you will spot Vespers, a Belgian beer bar serving a selection of beers ranging from easy-drinking blonde beers to historic Trappist ales and even complex Lambic Gueuze beers. There’s a beer for everyone! With 15 draught taps and over 50 bottled beers, Vespers is a great beer experience. Perhaps for a quick, refreshing drink or an evening with friends and family to sample some of the best beers in the world.

Nestled on the ground floor at The Apex, The Coffee House boasts both indoor and outdoor seating, inviting you to relish daily delights prepared fresh from their on-site kitchen. Indulge in the finest locally roasted coffee, Fairtrade teas, and delectable treats like freshly baked pastries, seasonal salads, and artisan sandwiches crafted by Suffolk’s top independent makers.

Tempted?  Why not visit the Our Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August. It’s a free-admission two-day event, promising a weekend of foodie treats and chef displays as well as a host of family fun.  There’s a farmers’ market, fairground rides and everything from gins to granolas and beers to burgers in Suffolk’s foodie capital.

So, when it comes to food in Bury St Edmunds, we are spoiled for choice – don’t forget to check out our Food & Drink section for more delicious food recommendations.

East Anglian Beer & Cider Festival – Just Three Weeks To Go!

In just three weeks the 31st East Anglian Beer & Cider Festival, opens its doors once more, by kind permission of the Dean & Chapter at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.
This year’s event will run for six days from Wednesday 23rd – Monday 28th August 2023.

All proceeds will support local charities and good causes. Last year’s event raised over £20,000. This year’s festival is the 31st, having run annually since 1991. The organisers are planning another great event, with a full entertainment programme and a wide range of beers, ciders and other drinks. To make the Festival accessible for all, admission to the weekday daytime, Sunday and Monday sessions will be FREE. The festival also repeats the popular Anytimer and Weekender tickets allowing access to multiple sessions.

All Early Bird Tickets have now been sold and reduced price ‘Value’ tickets can be obtained up until the week before the festival at

The entertainment programme features a 60s/70s themed night on Friday and 80s themed night on Saturday headlined by the Kopy Katz. Folk music will be featured on Thursday and Wednesday is our Armed Forces / Blue Light evening.

This year’s festival is dedicated to Mike Shave, a festival volunteer and CAMRA committee member, who passed away in November 2022. Mike was a beekeeper and the festival has commissioned a commemorative ‘Honey Gold Festivale’ brewed using honey from Mike’s beehives. The new ale will be on sale in local pubs in the lead up to the festival and, of course, on site at the festival.
The festival will feature over 250 real and craft ales plus over 50 ciders, a World Beer bar and a range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Martin Bate, Beer Festival Organiser said “This year’s festival is dedicated to a dear colleague who sadly passed away last year. Mike was our festival beer order supremo

and webmaster for the CAMRA branch website. He is sorely missed. We are looking forward to a great festival and hope that everyone will join us and raise a glass to Mike.”
The Very Rev’d Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury, said, “We’re thrilled to host the East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival once again this year. The festival is a wonderful way to pay homage to the Benedictine hospitality of our roots at the Abbey and also to welcome new people to our Cathedral.”

The festival opens to the general public on Wednesday 23rd August at 5.30pm and runs for 6 days until Bank Holiday Monday.