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We dined at the recently-opened Bunbury Arms in Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds, and this is what we thought

With a popular pub celebrating its relaunch last month, it only felt right to give it a crack of the whip.

The Bunbury Arms, in Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds, reopened on September 14 under Keven Swales and his wife Rebecca.

A former pot washer who went on to enjoy a catering career and run his own construction firm, Mr Swales wished to reopen the pub where his career began.

The Bunbury Arms reopened last month.
The Bunbury Arms reopened last month.

Since I moved to Bury, I’ve been looking for a new carvery fixture – something the Bunbury Arms was famous for before it shut. Would this be it?

And last Saturday, I found myself craving one – and decided to finally check it out.

Having just been refurbished The Bunbury Arms does have a very ‘new house’ feel. While it does lack that ‘lived in’ vibe that many pubs have, it still feels welcoming, and the inside is beautiful.

Portion sizes fit for a king!
Portion sizes fit for a king!

Staff were friendly, and as it wasn’t a Sunday, there wasn’t a massive wait to get served.

The meat selection was exactly what you’d expect from a carvery – beef, pork and turkey – but they were slightly different cuts than I was used to, with beef brisket on the menu. A welcome change.

Right away, the carvers give a healthy – note: very large, which is a good thing – portion of meat.

In fact, you get a lot of meat. I actually struggled to eat it all (although I did manage). If I had to guess I’d say it was at least twice as big as what you’d get in a chain like Toby.

And it came with a giant Yorkshire pudding and an optional side of crackling.

While I did enjoy it, the Yorkie was a little too crunchy for my tastes. It lacked the ‘pudding’, although this was not a sentiment my family shared, so perhaps I got unlucky.

One complaint my dad raised was that the lack of variety with vegetables was disappointing – lamenting there were too many types of cabbage. I thought this too at first glance, but once I sat down to eat, I thought the veggies were perfectly cooked and complemented the meal well.

In particular, the roast potatoes were excellent, as were what I could only assume were creamed leeks.

If I had one complaint, it was that the gravy was too runny. I’m a simple man, I like it thick.

The rest of the trimmings, including swede, carrots, new potatoes and stuffing, were all tasty.

So, back to the question I raised at the beginning of the review: can it replace my old haunts?

I’ll go with a resounding yes on that one.

Overall, I’d say The Bunbury Arms lives up to the hype. While some of the choices may not be to everyone’s taste, there is a lot here to write home about.

Be sure to check it out for yourself.