I had lunch yesterday with my good friend Mike Lovegrove at Donington Park’s café, and I thought that it was worth saying a few things about it, given that this is the opportunity to talk about two of my favourite events, Formula One and food. You may know from a previous blog that I have eaten some odd things, but Donington is not one of those places. If you have not been, you should pay it a visit. To give you an idea of the type of items on the menu, we both had all day breakfasts. Very pleasant. Not necessarily very healthy. We chose that over some of the other options like curry with rice and/or chips, or cheesy chips. Considering just how impressive the cars around you are, it is quite incredible that there is a cheap and convenient café there rather than an overpriced theme restaurant. It always amazes me that the café is not packed. I used to be a frequent visitor to the café when I worked in Castle Donington, but this was my first visit there for a few weeks.
The café is at the entrance to the Donington Collection, the world’s largest collection of Formula One cars. The Donington Collection is simply stunning, and I’m sure will be the subject of a future post. If you are in a rush, and perhaps an you only have time for a series of fried items and not a full tour of the museum, then it is still worth a look.
Even from the café, you can see Formula One cars. Have a look at this picture of Mike enjoying his sausage and bacon. That is David Coulthard’s Red Bull car behind him.
There are also some comfortable sofas just in case you are there just for a coffee.
Of course, staying in the theme of healthy eating, you may prefer something like this to a coffee:
Here is a closer picture of the car on the way in to the Donington Collection. Just in case you were not quite built up to go for a museum tour, then this might help you get in the mood.
The entrance to the museum – opposite the Red Bull car – makes reference to one of the great races that has been held at Donington, the 1993 European Grand Prix. It was an incredible drive by Ayrton Senna, and it saw the emergence of a rookie driver called Reubens Barrichello, who went on to big things too.
The Senna story is a running theme in the museum. There are a series of Senna items inside the museum, and that has been augmented with a statue in the grounds. The entrance to the museum has a series of historic fuel pumps, with one of the old gatehouses to Donington just visible in the background.
There is a statue showing two of the great racing drivers who have raced at Donington, Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio.
Here is closer picture of Senna. For many people, it would be worth a visit to Donington just to see this.
So, if you like a slice of Formula One served up with your comfort food, then it is hard to find a better location than Donington Park.