Temporary caterer set for well-known Highcliffe café following winter closure

Highcliffe Castle <i>(Image: BCP Council)</i>
Highcliffe Castle (Image: BCP Council)

A TEMPORARY caterer has been appointed for the spring and summer at Highcliffe Castle Tea Rooms.

The owners of the Cliffhanger Restaurant have been awarded a contract to run a catering service at the castle from next week until September 3.

The company is set to offer a takeaway service from a separate pitch located just outside the tea rooms and will make use of the outdoor seating available at the castle.

In the meantime, BCP Council will continue to seek a long-term operator for Highcliffe Castle Tea Rooms, which have been closed since November last year.

Martin Horsfield, operations director at Cliffhanger Cafe Ltd, said: “The team at Cliffhanger is looking forward to working alongside Highcliffe Castle and BCP Council in the coming months.

“We will be offering a wide range of hot and cold drinks, snacks and fresh produce to suit all tastes and requirements.

“It’s an exciting venture which will provide welcome refreshments for visitors to the Castle and walkers alike.”

BCP Council made the decision to close Highcliffe Castle Tea Rooms in November 2022, having taken it over earlier that year.

In January, the local authority revealed it was searching for a temporary caterer to run the café while they secured something more "long-term".

Councillor Beverley Dunlop, cabinet member for tourism and culture, said: “Highcliffe Castle is a treasured piece of history that we are lucky to be the custodians of. Its unique setting and heritage should be reflected in the cafe.

"In the coming months we will be exploring opportunities to deliver a restaurant facility that is fitting for this grand location and one that will enhance the visitor experience.

“In the meantime, it was really important that we get a welcoming and quality caterer on site ahead of what promises to be a fantastic season in 2023 and the team are rightly very excited to have the Cliffhanger Cafe ready to start serving as a temporary offer from next week.”