The tradition of high tea at Cornwall Park Restaurant by the historic Huia Lodge is over for the moment, after the establishment closed.

But the property's owner says the closure is because of a lease change and plans for a big refurbishment about to begin which will bring the property back up to scratch.

Tony Larsen, Cornwall Park Trust Board finance and administration manager, said the former operator's lease had ended and the restaurant needed upgrading.

"It's long overdue. We're paying for the refurbishment," he said, although the scope of the works and precise timing were yet to be finalised.


The board's website says the restaurant might reopen this year around spring and apologised to patrons.

The eatery stands in the middle of Cornwall Park between Greenlane and One Tree Hill and has been voted one of Auckland's best lunch venues, partly for its setting in the vast park.

But Larsen said the work was necessary. "It will bring the interior and the bathrooms back up. It was pretty old and tired."

The board is seeking a new operator.