The year 1962 has proved the inspiration for a new diner.
The Beatles were on the cusp of super-stardom, John F Kennedy was immersed in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Andy Warhol premiered his Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition, the first Bond film Dr No was released and Marilyn Monroe was found dead in a hotel room.
‘62 Love Me Do, in the heart of Oundle, was opened last year by Phil and Karen Gilbert, the local couple behind the hugely-succesful Beans coffee shop which has six branches in towns including Higham Ferrers, Oundle, Olney and Uppingham.
Time, money and a great deal of attention have been lavished on the stunning interior of the retro diner, which has its own ‘Beatles’ drumkit, a 1960s juke box and stacks of memorabilia on sumptuously curved shelves lining the walls.
It is clear that thought has gone into every detail. The drinks menu is on mock Parlophone records, the dishes are named after 1960s icons and there is even a retro theme running through to the toilets.
I went along with my husband and our two children, aged three and one, on a Saturday tea time.
The place was relatively quiet and it was nice to see children with their grown-ups at every table.
We chose strawberry, banana and vanilla milkshakes which were superb – an adult’s milkshake is £4 but if you ask for a child’s version, it’s almost as big and half the price. I also had an orange juice which came in a cute little bottle but was a bit small for the £2.50 price tag.
The children’s menu has two courses for £7 or three for £8 which is very reasonable. Portions are generous and include a side-salad. My eldest had a hot dog and fries and the youngest had a classic 4oz burger and fries. Both were delicious and great quality. Meat comes from the butcher just two doors down and is reared at Stoke Doyle a mile away.
I chose the Marilyn Monroe – a grilled chicken breast burger with garlic and lemon dressing.
My husband had a To Kill a Mockingbird – a grilled chicken breast burger in BBQ sauce.
We shared an ample portion of fries and onion rings.
The food was not too fussy and was as tasty as I’ve had anywhere else recently. The chicken was nicely cooked and the salad was lively and very fresh.
There’s nothing like a limp lettuce leaf to ruin a perfectly good meal.
There is also a range of non-burger or hot dog mains including pie and chips, lasagne and scampi and chips.
The vegetarian offering also seemed quite good although I’m no expert.
The service was a little slow, but our waitress more than made up for it with her enthusiasm.
It’s worth saving space for the desserts which really are the best bit.
My eldest had an ice cream sundae which was a mixture of cream, strawberry sauce and chocolate and strawberry ice cream.
My husband had a delicious sticky toffee pudding with custard.
My dessert – the Tutti Fruiti Sundae - was absolutely magnifient. There was mango, strawberry and peach coulis mixed with ice cream, cream and marshmallows.
Everyone had a bit, and we still couldn’t eat it all.
It isn’t a cheap dinner out, but it’s well worth the money to eat in a unique restaurant that is clearly a labour of love for its owners and staff.
VALUE: Very good
FOOD: Hearty and good quality
SERVICE: Could be quicker
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: Free on street
FINAL TOTAL: £50.50 inc drinks
KATE’S STAR RATING: 9/10