THE award-winning Barn Restaurant at Pidley is set to close on Sunday, a victim of recession, its owner says.

The restaurant, which was opened six years ago by farmers David and Jayne Newman, has won Restaurant of the Year and Best Home-Grown Menu in The Hunts Post Food and Drink Awards.

Mr Newman said yesterday (Tuesday) the principle of making everything from first principles - even down to the biscuit on the saucer - had proved too labour-intensive for the venture to survive in troubled times.

In spite of increasing numbers of visitors at the caravan park adjacent to the restaurant, the number of diners in August, usually one of the best months, was dramatically down, he told The Hunts Post.

"It's a sad state of affairs: there are too many cheap meals about. People seem to be spending the extra money on the fuel to get here rather than in the restaurant."

But he promised to review the decision when the economy improved.

"We are feeling the pinch, and we know of other establishments that have reduced the hours of their staff. We shall watch the economy and see what happens. Who knows what it will bring? Half of it is the media frightening people, who are hanging on to their money."