Recently, Jay Rayner’s put Bury St Edmunds on the foodie map with his review of Lark on Angel Hill: a restaurant that he describes as “clever, relaxed and hugely enjoyable”. Even back in 2013, the Suffolk market town was named by The Telegraph as one of Britain’s top 20 foodie hotspots…and recent visits have allowed us to experience the Bury St Edmunds food scene for ourselves.
On our most recent day trip, it was Damson & Wilde where we stopped for lunch: a bar & restaurant opened in the summer of 2022 by The City Pub Group who are also behind Bristol’s King Street Brew House, among many others. “A stunning social space” is how the Abbeygate Street venue is described on its website, and I won’t disagree. It’s a beautifully decorated venue with a modern, luxurious feel – and features a cosy private dining room which seats up to 20.
There’s also a courtyard garden which seats up to 80 people – and which even features a retractable roof that can cover 3/4 of the space in bad weather.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Damson & Wilde offers a variety of menus that include small plates, large plates and sharing dishes, with a range of sides and desserts. As we were there for lunch, it was the daytime menu on offer, starring everything from brunch dishes to sharing boards to plant-based dishes like roasted miso aubergine on an Israeli couscous salad.
The American pancakes (£9.50) were a big hit: a stack of three light, fluffy pancakes sandwiched with sweet apple, stewed winter berries, banana and maple syrup…which makes it a healthy option, right?
Certainly not healthy was my Pig Bun (£8.50): a soft brioche bun packed with creamy slaw, tender roasted pork belly slices and a flavourful apricot & sage stuffing that melted in the mouth, the whole thing drenched in lashings of sweet apple sauce and gravy. It was a messy eat that definitely required a knife and fork, but the flavours were incredible…I probably didn’t need the side of thick-cut chips (£4.25) that I ordered, but my excuse was that I was sharing with the child…
The only real downside was that our table in the garden was incredibly close to the table next to us – it feels like they’ve crammed as many tables in as possible to take advantage of the outdoor space during the warmer months. Apart from that, though, the food was great and the service was fantastic – including plenty of attention paid to the five-year-old, which he always appreciates. A great lunch out in Bury St Edmunds…and we’re looking forward to exploring more of what the town has to offer!