The Northgate, is a stylish new ‘house’ in the heart of Bury St Edmunds, which offers an informal, relaxed space to eat, drink and stay. Editor, Rachel Ducker, was kindly invited along to see what the Northgate had to offer…
“The Northgate’s ‘house’ concept is a first for East Anglia and follows an extensive yet sympathetic renovation of a classic grand Victorian building.
It is the fourth addition to The Chestnut Group’s rapidly expanding portfolio of stylish eateries across East Anglia. Open all day, throughout the week, it includes a dining area, bar, heated terrace and parking.
Ten individually styled bedrooms provide the perfect hub from which to explore the thriving town of Bury St Edmunds and further afield.
Bedrooms are named after 18th and 19th century Suffolk politicians. We stayed in Fitzroy, a deep mushroom-shaded, soft-carpeted suite, complete with its own centrepiece of a freestanding bath.
The French inspired furniture gave the room a relaxing ambience, perfect for a break away, and the additional touches of homemade shortbread (that my partner managed to get his hands on before I even got a look in!) along with a Krups coffee machine, made the stay feel personal. Not forgetting one of my favourite features of the room, an oversized bed that enabled me to have one of the comfiest nights sleep I’ve had in a while.
One of the stand out experiences of our visit had to be the slick, amatory bar, complete with jazzy soundtrack. In fact, for just a moment, you could almost imagine yourself in an exclusive members club in London, not a bar in Bury St Edmunds!
I could hardly wait to try one of the Northgate’s famous cocktails, so we tore ourselves away from our room and headed to the bar. As we sipped on a Foraged Martini devised by mixologist Ash, inspired by the Abbey Gardens, we also browsed the evening food menu, which offered more refined dishes with modern European and Oriental flavours.
As the bar started to fill up very quickly, which was surprising for a Tuesday evening, a warm and inviting restaurant awaited us.
Soft hues, traditional furnishings and country style décor mixed with modern touches added to the overall effect of the dinning room.
If you are looking for something a little more unique, the ‘Chef’s Table’ in the heart of the kitchen offers a special dinning experience, which will make the perfect setting to enjoy The Northgate’s eight-course evening tasting menu.
Shortly after taking our seats in the dining room, to our surprise, a selection of four canapés arrived along with a mini loaf of bread, (as if we needed our appetite wetting any further after reading the menu)!
The serving staff were friendly and eager to please, and offered us informative recommendations from the menu, making it very easy to choose our dishes.
To start, I opted for the ‘Mushroom Parfait with Sautéed Mushrooms and Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes’. It was incredibly flavoursome with notes of rich mushroom running through the parfait, almost mousse like in consistency.
My partner chose the ‘Sticky, Pig’s Cheek with Smashed Salt-baked Celeriac, Celeriac puree, Granny Smith Apple Shards, Pork Skin Puffs and Black Pudding Bon Bons’. It was served on an amazing oversized white plate, like a piece of artwork you didn’t want to see destroyed. The cheek melted in your mouth and the celeriac was the perfect balance to work with the pork flavours.
Following the starter, I selected the ‘Cauliflower Risotto with White Balsamic, Truffle Honey and Candied Walnuts’. Risotto is one of my ultimate comfort foods, (and with my side order of naughty fat chips), I was in foodie heaven.
My partner selected the succulent 8oz Rib Eye steak. He commented it was unlike other steaks he’d eaten and kept asking what was different about this dish? Eager to find out we were welcomed into the kitchen to meet the Sous Chef Phil, who informed us that the steak was cooked in a water bath and then grilled on the 500oc indoor grill. That would explain it!
With just enough room left it was onto the final course… dessert.
As a big pistachio lover the ‘Pistachio Sponge with Salted Chocolate and Apricot Sorbet’ clinched it for me. The best part, of this dish was the fruity sorbet, which cleansed the palette and gave my mouth a sweet hit at the same time.
My chocoholic partner could only have selected the ‘Textures of chocolate – aerated, pulled, powdered’. Doesn’t that sound impressive! The aerated chocolate collapsed in the mouth, I know this because I stole a taste! If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love this dessert.
Overall, we had a really enjoyable stay, in fact we enjoyed it so much we are looking forward visiting again very soon with our friends”.
FOR MORE DETAILS:
For more information call 01284 339604 or visit the website www.thenorthgate.com.