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.