Bury St Edmunds: Historical theme for relaunch of restaurant as The Banleuca

A WEST Suffolk couple have delved into the history books for the inspiration behind the re-launch of a restaurant business with a new identity and a fresh menu.

The Banleuca Bar and Restaurant on Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds has been re-opened by proprietors Karen Gooding and Dean McGill, with Luke Foster newly promoted to the role of head chef.

The 65 cover restaurant was formerly known as The Decanter, with Karen and Dean having harboured plansfor a re-launch since taking over the business18 months ago.

Its new name has been taken from the area of land on which it stands. The Banleuca of Bury St Edmunds, created in the 10th century, was a site of approximately a one mile radius around the shrine of St Edmund, granted to the town’s monastery by the Crown as a place of pilgrimage.

In 1606, the area of land known as the Banleuca became the Borough of Bury St Edmunds when the town received its first charter.

Karen said: “The Decanter was such a long established and popular name in Bury St Edmunds that we didn’t want to rush in and change things straight away and we wanted to make sure when we did re-launch we’d got everything right.

“Dean came up with the name as we researched the history of the building and we’ve learned some remarkable things about the place in doing so. In fact, only the other week we had a 91-year-old customer visit us who had actually been born here. In those days this was a newsagent’s shop and an adjoining stable. It’s wonderful to have such history attached to the place.”

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The kitchen of The Banleuca is the domain of head chef Luke Foster and sous chef Kate Neale who have both worked together earlier in their careers at the nearby Fox Inn on Eastgate Street, where Luke first developed his love of working with seasonal local ingredients.

Karen added: “Together with Luke’s creativity we have put a lot of thought into the menu and wine list. In recent months we’ve chosen our suppliers carefully.”