The original 1865 bookings hall for the Victorian railway station in Clare Castle Country Park has been transformed into a café.
Platform One Café opened today (Friday) right in the centre of the park.
It is open seven days a week from 8.30 to 5pm and has been sensitively refurbished within the Grade 2 listed building to provide seating for about 25 customers as well as a take away facility from the north platform.
Richard Palmer owner of Number One Deli and Café in High Street and the new owner of Platform One Café has worked in partnership with Clare Castle Country Park Trustees on this new venture.
Local builders ‘Cutts and Cousins’ completed the renovation.
Richard said: “We are very excited to have the opportunity to create a new café in our beautiful park and know that local families and visitors to Clare will enjoy the new facilities.
“We aim to meet the needs of all our diners and will offer a range of vegetarian dishes alongside light lunches and snacks, including home-made soups, quiches and tarts.”
The new building is easily accessible with a ramp entrance at the front and outdoor seating available under the original glass veranda.
Customers looking to buy takeaway food will be encouraged to access the café via the north platform doorway or make an order at the ‘takeaway window’.
The history of the building is reflected in the new furnishings and art work and it is hoped that over time, further railway artefacts can be collected or donated and displayed to ensure that the building’s heritage is not forgotten.
The Park has thousands of visitors each year and these include walkers, families with children, history enthusiasts, schools and day-trippers of all ages who can now benefit from the café.
The café will also welcome well-behaved dogs so that dog walkers using the park are also able to enjoy the facilities while cyclists will welcome the addition of racks to secure their bikes while they rest and refuel.
Platform One Café can be accessed via a two-minute walk from the main car park along a wide tarmac path and is in easy reach of the play facilities of the Park which will be receiving further improvements over the next few months.