The night a Prince called in at Woodhall - for No. 22!

Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon

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A long list of happy customers is headed by the future King of England but Woodhall Spa restaurant owner Tim Lai has cooked his last curry.

The Lai family has run the the Golden Dragon Cantonese restaurant and takeaway in Woodhall Spa for the last 43 years.

Tim’s dad, David, launched the business in 1974 before handing over control.

Supported by his wife Jennifer, the pair served their final customer last Sunday night and hung up their woks .

Tim explained: “It is the end of a long era. We have mixed feelings. We will miss all our customers - many of whom have become good friends - but we won’t miss the long hours.

“We are both in our fifties. It is time to put our feet up and relax.

“My children are too young to take on the business and, anyway, they don’t want the long hours.”

Tim says it was a big gamble when his dad first opened .

He admitted: “I think we were the first restaurant and takeaway to open in Woodhall - apart from the hotels.

“People were still getting used to Chinese food and Woodhall is a very unique place. But it proved to be the right decision. We were still very busy after all those years.

“But last Sunday was the final day. There is no going back.”

Tim says back in the 70s many people thought a straightforward curry or a sweet and sour was adventurous but, in recent years, he has served some more unusual dishes with a modern-day twist.

And what about that royal connection?

Tim explained Prince William called in while stationed at nearby RAF Coningsby.

Tim added; “He came in a party of about 40 people and ordered a set meal. He was very friendly, nice to talk to and he must have enjoyed it - he paid cash!”

While Prince William was the famous customer, Tim says he will miss his many regulars and thanked everyone for their support.

The family have no plans to leave their home in Woodhall, which Tim says is a ‘wonderful, beautiful’ place.