The reopening of Queen Elizabeth Park's central cafe is a family affair for Solway Primary School principal Gail Marshall, who will open it as The Lakehouse Masterton in May.

Mrs Marshall, who has "always loved the place", has worked closely with husband Keith, their son Cody and daughter-in-law Suzie since securing the lease on the former Cecille in the Park in November.

"It was kind of a bit of a dream, or fantasy of mine to take over the place.

"I always thought, I'd just love to have a place like this in Masterton, so when Cecille came up for lease, I said we should try to get a hold of it."


Mrs Marshall said she planned to continue as principal of Solway Primary School while she built up the cafe business.

"We will operate as a family cafe-restaurant," she said.

"We'd be open Wednesdays right through to Sunday evening, but we've really got such a wide range of things we can potentially do.

"Small weddings, birthday parties, high teas, and what I'd like to do in the summer is make up picnic baskets for people to have picnics in the park."

Mrs Marshall said The Lakehouse would be "the sort of place mums with prams could stop to have a coffee and a muffin", or for kids to come and have an ice cream.

"The theme for the whole place is about the lake so my grandchildren have written the children's menu which is called the ducklings' menu," she said.

"The idea is to highlight the lake and focus on the people that use the park."

Mrs Marshall said they had originally planned to open this month but were now looking at opening in the first or second week of May.

The cafe building was built in 1912 as a tearooms and was known as Coronation Hall to commemorate the coronation of King George V.