You might be forgiven for thinking Peterborough had a new top end, fine dining establishment, going from the photographs alone.
The truth is Parcs, the highly decorated training restaurant based at Peterborough Regional College, has been delighting diners for years.
And, after the summer break, it is business as usual, with lunch service (three courses for £9) resuming last week and the first fine dining dinner tonight (Oct 5) - a French evening which is sold out.
It is £17.50 and the menu reads like this: Starters- Potage aux Legumes - Green Vegetable Soup; - Salmon Rilette with Griddled Baguette; Chicken Pâté en Croute with Rocket and Dijon Mustard; Mains- Tuna Brochette with Tomato Bouillabaisse and Basil Rouille; Navarin of Lamb, Pomme Puree and Peas a la Francais; Provençale Vegetable Tarte, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms; and Desserts - Chocolate Bavarois; Pear Bordaloue; Crêpes Normande.
The 90-seater restaurant is staffed - kitchen and front of house - by staff and students from the college’s hospitality and catering department, providing them invaluable experience they need to successfully complete their courses.
“A lot of customers refer to us as Peterborough’s best kept secret,” said restaurant supervisor Francesca DeFalco.
“People who have lived in the city all their lives tell us they didn’t even know we are here.
“We don’t want to be seen as competition for other food establishment in the city, or put anyone out of business, but this is a brilliant place to eat. When people come once, they come again.”
And, it isn’t just the public who like the place. Parcs was recently awarded Gold accreditation from the Hospitality Guild and has held a prestigious AA College Rosette for a number of years, the latest rating being upgraded to ‘Highly Commended’.
“These awards are a big deal and something we are really proud of,” added Francesca. “They recognise the standards of our hospitality, service and cuisine, but also what we do as regards getting students ready for the workplace. We have great connections which enables students to get work experience in restaurants all over the country - we can open doors that would not necessarily be there, which is fantastic.
Go to www.peterborough.ac.uk/public/parcs-restaurant