Famous coffee house is put up for sale

ONE of Felixstowe's oldest and best-known restaurants and coffee houses is today up for sale for more than £250,000.

ONE of Felixstowe's oldest and best-known restaurants and coffee houses is today up for sale for more than £250,000.

The art deco Bonnet Coffee Shop and Cornelian Restaurant at the southern end of Hamilton Road has existed since 1926 when Swiss businessman Louis Bonnet set up the shop.

Its current owners - Thierry Aubugeau and his wife Penelope Miller-Williams - took over in 2001 but the couple have now decided to sell up to spend more time with their family.

Before taking over the restaurant, Mr Aubugeau, 46, was chef de cuisine at Le Boudin Blanc in London's Mayfair, and before that worked in prestigious restaurants in his native France and gained Michelin stars.

He brought capital style to the seaside restaurant, while keeping the famous Bonnet's chocolates as part of the premises, with the traditional recipes for the sweets unchanged.

The couple are seeking offers of more than £249,000 for the premises or offers for a new lease for a minimum term of ten years with annual rent starting at £20,000.

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John Grace, of Christie and Co, who is handing the sale, said: “This is only the third time in over 80 years of trading that this business has been offered for sale.

“Its reputation has continued to grow during our clients' ownership, with trade and profits increasing steadily.

“This is an excellent opportunity for new owners to acquire a long-established business which has become something of an institution in Felixstowe.

“The premises may be suitable for alterative use, subject to the necessary planning permission.”

The Bonnet Coffee Shop seats eight customers and trades from the ground floor of the premises, while the Cornelian Restaurant seats up to 40 and occupies the first floor.

The shop sells handmade chocolates, many varieties of coffees and blended tea, preserves and gifts, snacks, light meals, and a full a la carte menu for lunch and dinner.

Should the premises stay as a restaurant? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk