Food review: Heavenly food at The Angel in Sudbury

Kasia Bailey, the owner of the Angel in Sudbury.

Kasia Bailey, the owner of the Angel in Sudbury.

Claire Holmes spends a relaxing evening at The Angel in Sudbury

Setting

Sudbury is an attractive market town located in south-west Suffolk.

With its fine ancient architecture and beautiful surrounding countryside, the area is popular among tourists in the summer – many of whom want to know more about the town’s famous son, Thomas Gainsborough.

The Angel is situated just a few minutes walk from both the main shopping area and The Quay Theatre, making it an ideal destination for shoppers and theatre-goers in need of some refreshment.


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Interior

Inside, The Angel is really charming.

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Owners Kasia and Paul Bailey – who also run Graze in Bury St Edmunds – have been at the pub for the past four years and have worked hard to create an informal and relaxed dining space that appeals to a range of customers.

Exposed beams and an open fire give hints at the building’s long history and add heaps of character to the place.

I also loved the décor which was simple yet swish, with tongue and groove panelling and funky wallpaper.

When we were there on a busy Friday night, there was a real buzz and I spotted couples, groups of friends, families and theatre-goers all enjoying themselves.

Food

Head chef Garry Farthing has come up with a really appealing menu at The Angel, with an exciting range of different dishes. Pub classics such as fish and chips appear with a sophisticated twist and there are other more unusual plates available to try too.

All the food is freshly prepared on site and ingredients are locally sourced when possible.

We were tempted by many options on the main menu and on the evening we visited there were also Oriental-inspired specials to mark the Chinese New Year celebrations.

My partner opted for one of these specials to start – big and juicy prawns which were served with chilli mayonnaise.

These prawns looked and tasted delicious, with the mayo adding real zing to the plate. We really liked the simplicity of the dish, which allowed the flavours of the prawns to speak for themselves.

My warm salad of pan fried duck livers, chorizo, croutons and balsamic vinegar was equally tasty, with a good balance of flavours and textures.

Other starters available included seared scallops with cauliflower puree, crispy pancetta and garlic chives and wild mushroom risotto cake glazed with goats cheese and served with red onion jam.

It’s worth noting that both our starters were ample in size and we weregiven very generous portions.

For the mains, my partner again chose something off the specials menu and ordered the fillet steak.

Medium-rare, the fillet was plump and juicy (and locally sourced from Earls Colne), and came complete with onion rings, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and chips.

This traditional dish was executed beautifully and was happily enjoyed by my partner who had a big smile on his face for the duration of the meal.

I went for the whole roasted seabass which was served on a bed of olive oil mash, with tomato and saffron sauce and a good helping of spring greens and sweet carrots.

My seabass was cooked to perfection, with crispy skin and a gloriously soft flesh.

Other tempting main courses included pork fillet coated in sesame seeds with a medley of creamed cabbage, rosti potato and red wine sauce, fresh haddock fillet with beer batter, chips, minted crushed peas and tartare sauce, and crispy parmesan polenta and pepperonata stack with mixed dressed leaves.

Nearly all of the starters were available as a main dish too, which I thought was a nice touch.

Both of us were tempted to undo a couple of buttons on our trousers by this point, but we pushed on and ordered dessert.

Options on the menu included rich chocolate and pecan brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, blood orange crème brulee with a chocolate pretzel biscuit, and vanilla rice pudding with blueberries poached in red wine.

We decided to go for the frozen rhubarb and custard parfait with caramelised rhubarb, and the poached pear in white wine, star anise and saffron which came with mascarpone cheese and shortbread.

My partner’s rhubarb dish was just the thing to round off a large meal, being fresh and light. The plate packed a lot of punch, especially with the zingy caramelised rhubarb, and slipped down a treat.

My pear was just as nice – and the shortbread was a real winner.

All our dishes were plated beautifully and a great deal of attention had obviously been paid to making sure they looked as good as they tasted.

Drink

There’s a selection of white, red, rose and sparkling wines available at The Angel, with varieties from across the world.

I enjoyed a glass of Italian pinot grigio with my meal, which was the perfect accompaniment to my fish.

Cocktails are also available at the bar as is beer from Greene King.

Price

Food at The Angel is suitably priced, with most main meals coming in at between £11 and £17.

Starters range from around £5 to £8 and desserts are about £5 each.

The set menu (available until 7pm and pitched mainly at theatre-goers) is only £10 for one course, £13 for two courses and £16 for three courses.

Summary

We really enjoyed our evening at The Angel in Sudbury. With its relaxed atmosphere, delicious dishes and friendly staff, it’s just the place to round off a busy week at work or catch up with friends. I just wish I lived a little closer so I could enjoy a trip there more often.

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