Bury St Edmunds: Hotel boss’ fury after hygiene ruling

ONE of the most luxurious hotels in Suffolk may mount a legal challenge after it was stripped off its four-star hygiene rating.

The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, which has wined and dined some of the UK’s most famous names, is now listed as a zero star establishment on the Food Standard Agency’s website.

Owners of the historic hotel described the score, which was published earlier this week, as a “misleading error” and called for an immediate re-inspection.

Robert Gough, managing director for Gough Hotels, said although the hotel was working with St Edmundsbury Borough Council to resolve the issue, he has also instructed lawyers to take the first steps in seeking a judicial review to quash the score.

He added: “The score proposed by the council is an inaccurate and misleading error on the part of the environmental health officials. We have sought independent advice from a specialist and highly regarded consultant who is adamant that the score does not reflect the quality and standards that the inspector observed and that the assessment is neither fair nor credible.”

Mr Gough, who said he wanted to “reassure” patrons and “defend the reputation of the hotel robustly” said the importance placed on hygiene by the organisation was demonstrated by a five-star rating at The Angel’s sister hotel, The Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich.

The Angel’s Eaterie restaurant, which is described on the hotel’s website as “a popular destination for Suffolk locals”, offers dishes including a seared scallop starter for �9.50 and a ribeye main for �23.

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A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “Officers are actively working with the management and staff at The Angel. Since the food hygiene visit on October 4 a further visit was carried out on November 12. At this point a significant number of improvements were observed ensuring higher standards of food safety and hygiene. We will continue to work with the business to offer support in ensuring standards are maintained.”

The hotel, which is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers after an 18th Century stay has more recently put up Russell Brand.

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