Review: Celebrate Halloween with Fright Night Fridays at the Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds

The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds

The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

This autumn The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds is introducing a Fright Night Fridays package, combining dinner and an overnight stay at the boutique hotel with a guided walk around the town’s most haunted spots. Natalie Sadler wrapped up warm for a creepy night out.

View from one of the Signature suites

View from one of the Signature suites - Credit: Archant

On a cold, damp autumn night, our guide lead us by torchlight into the Abbey Ruins and revealed we were standing atop a pile of bones, relocated from the nearby grave yard.

A sudden chill came over me, probably just the cold setting in. I’m sure that is all it was.

This was the climax of an hour-long tour around the spooky hangouts of Bury St Edmunds town centre, where our knowledgeable guide Daphne had regaled us with stories of unexplained happenings.

The Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich

The Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Daphne, dressed for the occasion in a floor-length black velvet cape, took us to some of Bury’s best-known stores where staff had reported seeing apparitions or hearing unusual activity.

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We dropped by the Nutshell, famous for being the smallest pub in England and for having a mummified cat hanging from the ceiling which is said to have been returned by many a trophy hunter because it brings the miscreant bad luck.

And we learnt about the history of the Corn Exchange and other landmark buildings in the town, with Daphne dropping in a few gruesome tales about some of the town’s less scrupulous residents to give us a real flavour of Bury’s past.

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Saving the best til last, Daphne shone her torch onto the padlock securing the gate to the Abbey Ruins, and let us into this macabre setting to deliver her final tale before we returned to the relative safety of The Angel.

She assured us nothing untoward had ever happened here, instead offered us just a few snippets about the history of the site and the deep vaults beneath, now home to the Wingspan bar.

In the name of research, we dropped into the bar and saw for ourselves the access out onto the street, an escape route for those being pursued in days gone by.

Before setting out on the ghost walk, we sampled the bruschetta of beetroot and the mackerel starters, as well as enjoying main courses of chicken, served with layered potatoes and seasonal vegetable, and hake served on a bed of chorizo and chick peas with tender stem broccoli.

The meals were beautifully presented, the chicken was moist and tender, and the chorizo and chick pea added a new depth to the fish dish.

But the real delight was the desserts, which we savoured after our spooky stroll.

I chose the passionfruit curd served with an oat and pine nut crumble, yoghurt sorbet and white chocolate and lime cookie dough, the delicate sorbet off set the sharpness of the passionfruit and the crumble added texture while the cookie dough cleansed the palette.

My husband’s vivid-coloured blackberry macaroon came with blackberry coulis, vanilla yoghurt, raspberry sorbet and fresh blackberries, again all working together to create a flavoursome, smooth dessert.

We were given the Romantic Signature suite for the evening, a riot of traditional French inspired furniture mixed with modern accessories to create a boutique feel.

A long soak in the copper bath helped warm me up after the tour and there was also a rain head shower for morning wake ups.

If you are looking for a grown up way to mark Halloween, this could be the perfect treat.

The Fright Night Fridays package costs from £140 for bed and breakfast, with dinner available at a supplement. Similar packages are offered at the Salthouse Harbour Hotel on Ipswich’s Waterfront, with tours around the county town.

For more information, visit The Angel’s website

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