This restaurant is set in the one remaining RAF building from the days when the whole park was RAF Defford. It is somewhat disconcerting to realise that you are eating in what was the old hospital. On the other hand, the building is authentically 1940s, all cream and green, with some period furnishings dotted around the outside containing a smattering of forties paraphernalia. When we went there were remnants of forties style Christmas decorations in the form of crepe paper twists and paper chains.
All this, of course, makes it very chic and retro in these days of austerity and keeping calm and carrying on. Rest assured, where the food is concerned, they have taken the sensible decision that austerity can bugger the sod off. The menu is full of wholesome stuff, rich, thick soups with rough hunks of bread, roast dinners with plenty of juicy meats and gravies and Yorkshire puds, available between midday and 2pm. Since we are currently undergoing our own austerity measures we opted for sandwiches. Mine was cold roast beef with horseradish sauce, Drew had ham and mustard. We shared to avoid unseemly public squabbling over who had what. Good, thick slices quite tender meat. Mind the condiments at this place, though. The horseradish and mustard were short-barking-cough-on-the-first-bite hot. Coffee was fine, we opted for the filter stuff though, disappointingly, not served in forties style Woods Ware utility cups.
The menu fare reflects the venue which is very 'outdoorsy'. The park is huge and rather gorgeous, especially since that nice Mr Brown did for the gardens. Expect to be surrounded by lots of Hunter's wellies, North Face jackets and kids called Barnaby.