Suffolk hotel is first private firm to open restaurant at US air base

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A family owned hotel in Suffolk has become the first private company to secure a contract to run a restaurant at the US air base at RAF Lakenheath.

The award-winning Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa, in Leavenheath, has opened the Medana Mediterranean Kitchen restaurant.

About 150 Lakenheath residents and staff enjoyed a buffet lunch following speeches and the cutting of the ribbon to open the venture by Susanna Rendall, the managing director of Stoke by Nayland Hotel, and Colonel David Eaglin, 48th Fighter Wing Vice-Commander.

Susanna Rendall said: “We are looking forward to working with the team at RAF Lakenheath.

“We are pleased that the excellent menu, which has been created and prepared by our skilful executive head chef, Alan Paton, and enthusiastic and professional team from Stoke by Nayland, has been so well received on the base.

“We really appreciated the initial introduction to this opportunity by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and we were delighted to win the contract in the face of some very tough competition.”

The restaurant seeks to builds on the reputation created at the two AA Rosette Lakes Restaurant at Stoke by Nayland.

It will be accessible to up to 16,000 staff and residents at the RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall bases.

Major Sean Brazel, 48 Force Support Commander, said: “The Medana Restaurant offers our airmen a unique dining experience and gives the 48 Fighter Wing an opportunity to enjoy the very best in Mediterranean cuisine prepared by the excellent team from Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf &Spa.”

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore, said: “This is a great win for a fantastic local company. Obviously, Stoke by Nayland Hotel won this contract entirely on its own merits, but we are delighted to have been a facilitator in getting them and our colleagues at RAF Lakenheath together.”