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Sicklesmere : Bury St Edmunds : Suffolk
TELEPHONE : 01284388242. A restaurant on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds, serving British Fayre and ideal for families

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      23.11.2003 04:29
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      br>The Rushbrooke Arms is a place that we visit for a meal often, whether it be on our own, with family, or friends. The Rushbrooke is situated in Sicklesmere, which is on the main route from Sudbury in Suffolk and Bury St. Edmunds, the A134. Unless you know the road well, it is easy to drive past the restaurant, as the entrance follows a bend in the road. For years The Rushbrooke was simply a public house, but in recent times, the pub has undergone massive refurbishments to make it the place it is today. On entering the forecourt, you will notice a large car park to the front of the restaurant, and also a larger one on another level, which can be accessed via a slope. Because of the large number of people now using the restaurant, this overflow car park has recently been constructed. Beer tables are a plenty to the front, and are a lovely place for eating when the weather is as summery as it is right now. There is also a large children?s play area beside the top car park, which is more of an adventure playground, and is ideal for children to play in, whilst waiting for their meal, or after they have eaten, leaving Mum and Dad in peace for half an hour or so. The Rushbrooke is a wonderful timber framed building, to which there are two entrances. The left hand side will take you through to the main bar, at which is served Abbot Ale, as well as a range of Greene King Cask ales, draught and premium bottle lagers, spirits and soft drinks. If you haven?t tried Abbot Ale before, go carefully, it is potent! The right hand side entrance will take you into the restaurant area, which is set out on two levels, the left hand section closer to the bar area. This weekend, we visited on a Sunday afternoon, and the restaurant was reasonably busy. We find it is best to go later on a Sunday, as lunchtimes are packed. We had pre-booked our table, which we always do, announced our arrival at the restaurant counter. There had been so
      me mix up over the booking and we were shown to a table set for four, to which they added a chair at the end of the table. Not ideal, but Amber sat there, and was not in the least concerned. On the lower level of the restaurant, there is a large soft play area for children, up to the age of 12, which is to the rear of the restaurant and sectioned off. Children are supposed to be supervised at all times in this area, and tables are available adjacent it, for that purpose. However, as our two are older, and our table was just the other side of the partition, we allowed them to play in the area while we ordered the meal. The tables are not massive, but there is enough room for meals, drinks and any accompaniments. There is a mixture of bench seats and chairs, depending on where you sit. The Rushbrooke has an extensive menu, but if it is spicy, foreign food you are looking for, this is not the place to eat. If a light meal is the order of the day, there is a choice of sandwiches. There is a choice, of white or brown bread or a freshly cooked baguette, and six different fillings, as well as a sandwich of the day, which is displayed on the blackboard in the restaurant. These range in price from £3.25 for a cheese and onion to £4.95 for steak and onion. The starters range in price from £1.65 for a portion of garlic bread, to £6.25 to a combo starter, which consists of southern fried chicken goujons, cheese and bacon topped potato wedges, breaded sliced mushrooms, battered onion rings and garlic bread, served with garlic mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. As we are regular visitors to the restaurant, we either opt for a starter and a main course, or a main course and a dessert, as we find it difficult to manage a full three courses. However, the menu does have a light meal section, which consists of a variety of burgers, tagliatelle, or chicken and bacon on a garlic crouton. The most expensive item on this part of the menu is the tagliatelle
      at £5.35. The children normally select the burgers, which are served with a variety of dressings, and French fries. The salad part of the menu is a bit lacking, as there are only three options, and all have meat in, so will not be suitable for vegetarians! The classic section of the menu lists different varieties of steak, but it must be noted that the restaurant does not serve T-bone steak. There is a selection of pies, which are all around the £7 mark, and the steak and kidney pudding in this section is a massive 16oz suet pudding, filled with the most tender steak and kidney. On our last visit, Steve had the half roast chicken, which is £7.45 and is served with a selection of garden vegetables, and a choice of baked potato, potato of the day (which is displayed on the board) or chips. I would recommend the Hunter Chicken from this section. This consists of two chicken breasts covered in melted cheese and bacon, and served with a barbecue sauce. Wonderful. The Something Different section is where the rest of us ordered from yesterday. Both children had steak and scampi costing £7.95, which was served on a skillet, with a selection of vegetables and a choice of potatoes. Of course they opted for fries. The portions are large! Amber struggled but Jack chomped his way through and still had room for dessert. I had the mixed grill priced at £9.75 yesterday, which consists of rump steak, gammon, one pork and leek sausage and a chicken fillet, served with mushrooms and chips. This was also served on a skillet, but was presented on a bed of onions and peppers, of which the peppers outnumbered the onions by about four to one. However, all of our meals were tasty, and served piping hot. We only waited about fifteen minutes for our meals yesterday, which is about the normal. The longest we have ever had to wait is half an hour. Of course there are extras that can be ordered very cheaply, the most expensive being £1.85, such as dips, salads
      , spiral fries, wedges and mushrooms. The onion rings are wonderful, and are proper onion rings, and not the manufactured one available from supermarkets. Wines can be ordered with the meal, and are listed on the menu, together with sparkling wines and champagne. Vegetarian options on the menu are indicated by a black V. However, as in so many restaurants, there is not a huge variety, and more in the starters section than any other. There is also a childrens? menu, and all meals are named after something in space. Main courses range in price from £1.25 to £2.50 but there are only two desserts, both ice cream so it would probably be better to order a dessert from the normal menu and share it between children. The normal dessert menu is mainly ice cream based, but there are a wonderful variety of sundaes, and I would heartily recommend the Toffee Teaser, a concoction of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, squirty cream and toffee sauce. There are a selection of gateaux, as well as some old fashioned puddings also. Once you have selected your meal, it has to be ordered from the counter in the main restaurant. There is the choice to either order the whole meal, or starters and main courses, leaving it open as to whether you will require desserts. Soft drinks can be ordered from the food counter, but alcohol has to be purchased from the bar. There is the normal, almost obligatory piped music throughout the restaurant, but it is very low in volume and can hardly be detected. It certainly doesn?t spoil the enjoyment of the surroundings. The service in the restaurant is always good, and the waiter or waitress will ask if everything is acceptable, once during the meal. We have never had to complain about anything, apart from yesterday! However, it had nothing to do with the food ? one of the knives was red hot and we had to ask for another! I would recommend the restaurant without reservation for those people with
      children, as the facilities for keeping children occupied are great. The food is good, always hot, and the service too is great. If you decide to visit, let me know and you can call round to ours for a cup of tea! The Rushbrooke Arms Sicklesmere Bury St Edmunds Suffolk 01284 388242

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