Sussex creators of Banoffee Pie serve last slice as Eastbourne restaurant closes

For years it has been a staple of the dessert menu giving diners a sweet treat to round off a meal with friends or family.

But the humble Banoffee Pie has lost a little slice of its past as the kitchen where it was created locked its swinging doors for the last time.

The Hungry Monk in Jevington, near Eastbourne, where the banana, toffee and cream dessert was invented 30 years, closed earlier this week.

The owners, who blamed increased running costs for the decision, plans to turn the building into three holiday cottages before the summer.

Nigel Mackenzie, who bought the restaurant with his wife when they were 23 in 1968, said: “Things have just changed so much over the years and it is so diffi- cult to run restaurants out in the country now.

“We used to have people driving down from London to eat in the Hungry Monk but now people won’t take a drive in to the country because they can’t afford the petrol.

“I think people’s habits have changed over the years too, with many people favouring gastro pubs.”

Mr McKenzie and his wife spent six months renovating the 16th century building before it opened, and in 1972 the Banoffee Pie was invented.

A recipe book called Secrets of the Hungry Monk sold 100,000 copies around the world on the back of the creation and a blue plaque was fixed on the building recognising the achievement.

In 2002 he gave his blessing to a new Häagen-Dazs ice-cream flavour based on his Banoffee Pie recipe.

Mr Mackenzie, who retired from the restaurant business about seven-and-a-half years ago, was given planning permission for two cottages in 2008.

Comments (16)

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6:25pm Sat 14 Jan 12

NickBrt says...

MMMM Banoffee Pie. Love it, shame about what it does to my waistline.
MMMM Banoffee Pie. Love it, shame about what it does to my waistline. NickBrt

6:32pm Sat 14 Jan 12

pebble counter says...

What a shame, I think the owners of the hungry monk deserve an OBE for their contribution to society. It's places like theirs rich tourists come here for, and we need rich tourists in Sussex.
What a shame, I think the owners of the hungry monk deserve an OBE for their contribution to society. It's places like theirs rich tourists come here for, and we need rich tourists in Sussex. pebble counter

9:15pm Sat 14 Jan 12

Hector66 says...

Hear hear!
Hear hear! Hector66

9:29pm Sat 14 Jan 12

John Steed says...

wouldnt want the planning permission to lapse would we now.
wouldnt want the planning permission to lapse would we now. John Steed

6:10am Sun 15 Jan 12

Hotbeans says...

Banoffee pie, amazing, one of my favourite desserts ever.
Banoffee pie, amazing, one of my favourite desserts ever. Hotbeans

12:38pm Sun 15 Jan 12

sussexram40 says...

The restaurant isnt in Eastbourne.
The restaurant isnt in Eastbourne. sussexram40

2:47pm Sun 15 Jan 12

commentisfree says...

1972 was 30 years ago???

So we are now in 2002?

Wow.
1972 was 30 years ago??? So we are now in 2002? Wow. commentisfree

2:53pm Sun 15 Jan 12

TonyWorthing says...

Dozens of different versions (some awful) of Banoffee Pie, but none quite the same as that served at the Hungry Monk.
I'm sure many think it is an American dish.
Dozens of different versions (some awful) of Banoffee Pie, but none quite the same as that served at the Hungry Monk. I'm sure many think it is an American dish. TonyWorthing

4:38pm Sun 15 Jan 12

leobrighton says...

One portion will give you 100% of your daily requirement of saturated fat so it must be lovely.
One portion will give you 100% of your daily requirement of saturated fat so it must be lovely. leobrighton

6:00pm Sun 15 Jan 12

maynardsg says...

I've been going there for 30 years and the truth is the standard dropped..end of
I've been going there for 30 years and the truth is the standard dropped..end of maynardsg

6:30pm Sun 15 Jan 12

Jeff Leppard says...

Noooooo! I was going to have a pilgrimage there one day. Sad sad news :-(
Noooooo! I was going to have a pilgrimage there one day. Sad sad news :-( Jeff Leppard

8:25pm Sun 15 Jan 12

GRUMPAH says...

I'm sorry to disillusion everyone, but my late mother insisted that she and her family made a dessert from bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk before the war in Ireland. The Hungry Monk deserves the credit for marketing the product but not for inventing it.
I'm sorry to disillusion everyone, but my late mother insisted that she and her family made a dessert from bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk before the war in Ireland. The Hungry Monk deserves the credit for marketing the product but not for inventing it. GRUMPAH

10:23am Mon 16 Jan 12

Hove Actually says...

Making it Potoffee pie
Making it Potoffee pie Hove Actually

10:36am Mon 16 Jan 12

Pitviper says...

I'm not surprised they're closing, their prices are enough to put anyone off!
I'm not surprised they're closing, their prices are enough to put anyone off! Pitviper

4:47pm Mon 16 Jan 12

GRUMPAH says...

Hove Actually wrote:
GRUMPAH wrote:
I'm sorry to disillusion everyone, but my late mother insisted that she and her family made a dessert from bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk before the war in Ireland. The Hungry Monk deserves the credit for marketing the product but not for inventing it.
Surely being Irish they would have used Potatos not Bananas....
Surely your life isn't that boring that you have to take the pee out of a sensible comment. If you can't say anything worthwhile don't say anything. Get a life!
[quote][p][bold]Hove Actually[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GRUMPAH[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry to disillusion everyone, but my late mother insisted that she and her family made a dessert from bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk before the war in Ireland. The Hungry Monk deserves the credit for marketing the product but not for inventing it.[/p][/quote]Surely being Irish they would have used Potatos not Bananas....[/p][/quote]Surely your life isn't that boring that you have to take the pee out of a sensible comment. If you can't say anything worthwhile don't say anything. Get a life! GRUMPAH

5:05pm Mon 16 Jan 12

Cyril Bolleaux says...

I've always had a great time and meal at the Monk. Sad they are closing.
I don't know if they invented Banoffee Pie but my family invented Guinness long before the Irish did. Instead of a pint of Guinness you should ask for a pint of Bolleaux.
I've always had a great time and meal at the Monk. Sad they are closing. I don't know if they invented Banoffee Pie but my family invented Guinness long before the Irish did. Instead of a pint of Guinness you should ask for a pint of Bolleaux. Cyril Bolleaux

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