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The Guinness Arms in Icklingham, between Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall, receives visit from SuffolkNews’ Secret Drinker





As I walked into the entrance of the Guinness Arms in Icklingham, I instantly knew I’d be a fan of the place.

I didn’t think I’d ever describe a bar as gorgeous but it certainly helped excite me for my pub experience leaving me feeling good and I’m not talking Nina Simone (or Michael Bublé).

The Guinness Arms in Icklingham sits between the towns of Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall
The Guinness Arms in Icklingham sits between the towns of Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall

Situated between Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall, the 16th century coaching inn, which is owned by the Elveden Estate, underwent a major refurbishment several years ago when it was called The Red Lion.

The pub is certainly very impressive inside and is brimming with character, class and comfort.

My delightful companions and I sat down on the far side of a large room next to some cute flower pots and photo frames on the wall, with lovely lighting also dotted around the inside of the building.

Feast your eyes on this beauty of a bar
Feast your eyes on this beauty of a bar

The menu provided a nice range of options and after hearing what the pie of the day (£18) was, it particularly piqued my interest.

That’s why 20 minutes later, I found myself gorging on a very good beef and dark chocolate pie with vegetables and a tasty creamy mash. If you’re wondering how the dark chocolate aspect comes into play, I will leave that as a pleasant surprise.

This was paired with my drink of choice - a Suffolk Pride amber ale (£4.40). With a full-bodied, strong bitter kind of taste and a dry finish - I rather enjoyed it, but should I have opted for a Guinness while in the Guinness Arms?

My main meal was a big hit with me
My main meal was a big hit with me

My meal seemed to really hit the spot and I think it was helped by the fact that there was a large tree on a wall on the other side of the room that somewhat reminded me of the White Tree of Gondor.

For you Lord of the Rings fans out there, give yourself a pat on the back for understanding the reference. For those of you who don’t like Lord of the Rings… I pity you.

To round off the meal, I revisited some old Secret Drinker scars. In my previous venture, I had a rather disappointing experience with one of my favourite desserts - a sticky toffee pudding.

The White Tree of Gondor vibes?
The White Tree of Gondor vibes?

That is exactly why I decided to bounce back by going for it again and it proved to be a very fruitful decision (I would like to clarify there was no fruit in it).

Hot, soft and really delicious, I knew I had made the right choice - albeit a little bit pricey for £8 I thought.

Even though it was an evening during the week, the pub was still fairly busy and I can imagine the atmosphere would be electric at the weekend, or even on a Monday when there is a quiz night.

The sticky toffee pudding was a good choice
The sticky toffee pudding was a good choice

I didn’t recognise the music that was playing quietly in the background but it was nice to have and I’d also like to show my appreciation for the variety of chairs which were about.

What food on here tickles your pickle?
What food on here tickles your pickle?

With large back gardens outside, I would bet this is a great spot to come in the summer and so this visit may not be my last to the Guinness Arms following a very nice evening all-round.

Lovely decorative bits on the wall next to my companions and I
Lovely decorative bits on the wall next to my companions and I

The scores out of five:

Decor: One of the best places I’ve come across for decor. A nice variety that all fitted the vibe of the building really well including some brilliant lighting. 4.5/5

Food and Drink: Only had one pint but it tasted good and I would be more than happy to have it again. The food was excellent, but wished the portion was bigger. 3.5/5

Price: I’d say it leaned more on the expensive side of things here even if the quality was there. I’d naturally say I wished the pudding was a couple pounds cheaper. 2.5/5

Atmosphere: Good. On a busier night, I have no doubt it would make for a great evening or during a fine summer day. 3/5

Staff: Ticked all the boxes for me and did their jobs well. 3/5