Northampton abbey set to open doors of new conservatory cafÃ©
A Northampton landmark undergoing a multi-million pound renovation will see a cafe return to its grounds from next week.
Restoration work on the grade II* listed Delapre Abbey is now complete and the rooms are being fitted out ready for tourists to start visiting in early summer.
However a new café set in the conservatory is due to open from Monday, April 3, the borough council has confirmed.
Rachael Boyd, director of the Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust, said: “We are delighted to open phase one of the abbey after so much hard work by so many.
“It’s an exciting stage in the history of the abbey and we look forward to welcoming our first visitors.”
The Conservatory Café will be available for walk-in customers while the Billiard Room will be reserved for those wishing to book afternoon tea.
Catering firm Amadeus will run the venue, which will feature a seasonal menu with a "local twist", the council says.
Food and beverage director of the venue, Marc Frankl, said: “We have extensive experience of working with historic attractions and understand the importance of reflecting a venue’s history and personality through its food and beverage.
"For Delapré Abbey we have designed a restaurant setting and menu that reflects its rich heritage, whilst also offering quality and value for money. As a company we also are committed to supporting the regional economy through our choice of suppliers.
“We hope The Conservatory Café will become a destination in its own right for both the local community and visitors to Northamptonshire.”
Visitors have also been asked to bring along their locally-inspired ideas for a chance to have their suggestions featured on the café menu.
The Abbey’s restoration has been delivered through a £3.65 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, with the remainder made up by Northampton Borough Council.
When the Friends of Delapre Abbey run tea room shut at the abbey in 2015, it sparked a 1,200 name petition.