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The Northgate

by Hayley Sparkes

In the heart of the beautiful and historic town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk lies the charming boutique hotel – The Northgate. Originally a Victorian family house, The Northgate has recently been converted into a 5 star hotel. Located just a few moments walk from Bury’s iconic ancient Abbey. The Northgate has undergone extensive renovation resulting in the creation of a restaurant and a chef’s table, a bar and lounge area, 10 stunning bedrooms and a large south facing terrace. The Northgate’s Club Room can also be used for dinner parties, business meetings and cocktail parties. The restaurant, bar and terrace provides residents and guests with an all day dining experience- leaving the chef’s table in the heart of the kitchen for that unique experience on special occasions.

When I first arrived for my stay at The Northgate I was pleased to find the hotel conveniently located near both the main A14 and Bury Town centre. Surrounded by countryside with 1,000 years of history to explore, Bury St Edmunds offers visitors a shopper’s paradise, a select of award winning restaurants, stunning parks and fantastic entertainment. This quintessentially market town is also known for brewing and malting and is home to the Greene King brewery and British Sugar factory. If you decide to venture further afield the medieval wool towns of Lavenham and Long Melford are just on the doorstep and Cambridge is just a 30 minute drive away. Less than 10 minutes walk from The Northgate you will find the famous Abbey Gardens. Home to the Abbey ruins, the site is one of the most important medieval monasteries in Europe, it really is worth taking a stroll around.As you arrive at The Northgate you drive into a gravel car park at the back of the hotel which is provided for guests. As you head towards the hotel entrance you walk past the beautiful 300 sqm south facing terrace area which I can only imagine to be delightful during the warmer summer months. The terrace is open all day for an ‘al fresco’ breakfast, lunch or morning coffee, afternoon tea or evening drinks. The terrace provides heated parasols so it does offer a tempting eating space whatever the weather.

When I walked into the spacious room that would be mine for the night, I fell in love with the gorgeous décor and huge bed. It is the type of hotel room that is so beautiful and comfortable, you don’t want to leave. I stayed in the Davers room which boosts a double king bed, French washed furniture and 3 large sash windows which let in a lot of natural light. There is a large sofa situated in the bay window which overlooks the leafy garden, the perfect spot to relax. The generously sized ensuite bathroom is complete with a traditional style bath, shower and wash basin and a range of miniature bath products to enjoy during your stay.
Prior to dinner I enjoyed the most gorgeously presented cocktails I had ever seen in the lovely bar lounge area. The Northgate’s contemporary bar and lounge provides guests with a full range of the world’s leading spirits, wines, ales and organic soft drinks. The carefully curated cocktail menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients, a theatrical element and classic cocktails with a modern twist. Cocktails are available 7 days a week from 11 am until late. The Times and the Telegraph have previously raved about the quality of The Northgate’s cocktail menu, so no need to just take my word for it. The cocktail I chose came decorated with tiny flowers in a bamboo style tumbler and was almost too pretty to drink. It is worth a visit to The Northgate for the cocktails alone and for gin lovers, they also have an incredible selection.

The elegant restaurant with central fireplace served delicious food and I struggled to choose from the selection of mouth-watering options on the menu. In the end I opted for a smoked haddock fishcake to start and baked sea trout with wild mushroom, mashed potato and watercress for my main. After a really comfortable and luxurious night’s sleep I awoke to more wonderful food. I went back down to the restaurant for a breakfast of poached eggs, avocados and smoked salmon. I then spent the remainder of my morning enjoying the comfortable surroundings of my room. It was so lovely to spend some time by myself relaxing and reading in the room. By the end of my stay I felt completely refreshed and revitalised.If you are looking for an elegant luxury overnight stay in an intimate setting then I would thoroughly recommend The Northgate Hotel. The place was immaculate, tastefully decorated and the staff were super friendly and attentive.

The Northgate
Northgate Street
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1HP

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