Bonjour lecteurs! Is it half-term in your county? Or are the children back to school like us? Stanley was off last week, and we stopped by Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. The beautiful market town has so much charm. We were eager to check out the area. Like many other families, we are guilty and want to hop on a plane abroad as quickly as possible. But once more, this mini trip proved that the UK has so much to offer. No need to travel far to have a great break. Regardez!
Staying At The Angel Hotel
So much it is actually considered a historic landmark in the area.
From the public car park in front of the hotel, you can drive under the arch, just like coached and horses would have done in the olden days. Et voilà! You get greeted by the concierge who then parks your car at the back.
What a great start! And the rest was as charmant!
Indeed, we got a luxury room with a view overlooking the Abbey Gate.
Our Ivy View Copper Room
Our chambre was beautifully decorated with modern bits such as the office space.
But it also conserved well its original features.
The modern touches blended well with the more traditional pieces such as this beautiful wardrobe.
We had so much space in our room, including a kingsize bed.
And Stanley has a little bed put up for him too, with welcome sweets and biscuits.
And to add up, you can find a spectacular copper bath in your bathroom.
It was so beautiful, but also so relaxing! I think it is the biggest bath I have ever been in!
The hotel is originally a Georgian building with an imposing front. You can imagine it in blooms in the spring and how beautiful it would be.
The decor inside is very modern with many touches of local history.
Indeed, Charles Dickens stayed there in 1835 as a journalist for the Morning Chronicle. So you have many references to his books and even a quote from his work on the mirror in the bar.
The Angel Hotel is a beautiful mix of urban chic blended well with original touches. Think comfy sofas, and dark colours for une atmosphère calme, yet modern.
Just my type of place! You can enjoy a drink in the lounge or at the bar. The service was excellent and the entire team made sure we were at ease at all times.
And more importantly, the perfect location as you are in the heart of the town.
St Bury Edmunds
So once unpacked, and after a refreshing drink, we decided to walk into town to see what it was all about.
Bury St Edmunds is the home of Saint Edmund, the original patron Saint of England. But more about this later on with our tour!
We enjoyed looking at traditional Georgian houses and we came across one of the town’s pride: the Greene King Brewery.
We even made it to the smallest pub in the UK, the Nutshell.
It was like going back in time and we obviously stopped by the Abbey Gardens to play with the squirrels.
Dinner At The Eaterie Restaurant
In the evening, we were back at the Angel Hotel where we had dinner.
The award-winning 2 rosette Eaterie is absolutely beautiful and you can enjoy some yummy food with some views of the Abbey.
The restaurant has been refurbished to match the stunning atmosphere of the hotel.
The Head Chef likes cooking inspirational dishes so that you can experience all the best produce Suffolk has to offer.
We started with a Ceviche and Carrots.
We got to chat with the couple next to us as they were celebrating her birthday. They told us all about how lovely Bury St Edmunds and the Angel hotel were. Once more it showed how proud the people were of their area.
On top of the lovely company that night, we got to enjoy some delicious food with cod for him and duck for me.
What do you think of the dishes? C’est beau non?
The service was great from start to finish. Stanley got some crayons and he spent the entire night colouring a picture of the hotel. Such a lovely memory!
En plus, the desert was un succés too.
Book A Guided Tour Visit
The next day, we enjoy a guided tour available via St Bury Edmunds. Our guide John was clearly passionate about the area and he was eager to share his large knowledge of the town.
He made it entertaining for Stanley to follow over a thousand years of history! With lots of détails and anecdotes.
Par exemple, did you know that Mary of France, Henry VIII’s favourite sister got buried at St. Mary’s Church right next to the Abbey?
A Medieval Town
We looked at original features still in shops nowadays on the High Street. But we also discovered more about the Abbey and its gardens.
And we learned about the Kind Edmund’s legend. After being killed by Danes as he refused to denounce his Christianity, he was shot full of arrows and was then beheaded. His body was found but his head was missing. Apparently, a mysterious wolf was guarding it…
Before finishing our tour of the beautiful Abbey Gardens. It started all with King Cnut in 1020. Nowadays, it’s mainly ruins but it’s such a beautiful space!
We also discovered the Cathedral. Like the Abbey, it all started in the 11th century, but the actual edifice was completed in 2007!
As we explored further the town, we also stopped by Saint John’s Street where you can find some really pretty independent boutiques as well as some antiques.
Everyone was happy. I came across a vintage glamour shop called Pocket Watch and Petticoats. If like moi, you like the 50s and 60s fashion, this is your spot!
As for the boys, they rather enjoyed Moyse’s Hall Museum with its gruesome bits from English history. Je préfère its collection of old watches on the top floor.
And to finish our second day en beauté, we had some sushi at Sakura. The local restaurant is so beautiful with flowers all over the place. The food was delicious too. Ask Stanley, he is un fan de sushi!
Beyond Bury St Edmunds
We don’t know much about Suffolk, but we explored un peu outside Bury St Edmunds before heading home on Friday.
C’est trop cool! You can rent an e-bike for only £40 a day. Imagine in the summer, exploring the Suffolk coast!
The owner Simon kindly helped us find a location that would be safe for Stanley to ride on the back seat and off we went into the woods!
It was so beautiful and lots of fun! I am a keen cyclist and those Radrunner bikes are so easy to drive and don’t need much effort really.
We also stopped by the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village. The local archaeological site is now a reconstitution of a settlement back in the old days. Kids can take on the West Stow Challenge.
And if you are a fan of Tolkien’s books, they even filmed some scenes there from the movie Born Of Hope.
Visiting Bury St Edmunds – Le Verdict
Et voilà! This was us visiting Bury St Edmunds over Half-Term! We had a fully-packed adventure. Once more, a lovely place in the UK. If you fancy a mini family break in Suffolk, I really recommend you stop by Bury St Edmunds.
The market town is very beautiful and full of history. And we came across so many lovely people who were proud of their area.
There is so much to do for children too. Stanley has not stopped, discovering the town, learning about its history, and having some outdoor adventures.
The ruins of the Abbey, once one of the richest and largest monasteries in Europe are only the tip of the iceberg!
Plan now a family break in St Bury Edmunds. Enjoy all the best England and its history has to offer.
Have you ever been to Suffolk? What was your favourite place?
Book a stay at The Angel Hotel now.
The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park has all sorts of family-friendly activities all year round.
To book a guided tour, check out www.burystedmundstourguides.org.
You can see all the collections at the Moyse’s Hall Museum.
And don’t forget to book an e-bike with Eezybike Electric Bikes.
Disclosure: This is a partnership in collaboration with Bury St Edmunds.
With a massive MERCI to their press team for organising such a beautiful trip!