Then and Now

Middle & Over, Nether Wallop and Mildmay restaurants

The building and naming of the restaurants at Glyndebourne has a long and complicated history.

Once the original theatre had been completed in 1934, John Christie realised a restaurant was needed for the audience, and so a barn-like building was erected, utilising the existing garden wall, to serve as the Christie Dining Hall. Later re-named the Mildmay restaurant, in honour of Audrey Mildmay – John Christie’s wife and Glyndebourne’s co-founder, this building was in use until its demolition as part of the theatre re-build in 1992, after which the name, and building style, were re-used for the new restaurant.

In 1935 plans were passed for another new dining room to be called the Mildmay Dining Hall, which is the restaurant now known as Nether Wallop. Two years later, in 1937, a further dining hall was added across the top of the then Mildmay Dining Hall, and named the Wallop Dining Hall.

John Christie was very keen on not felling the trees already on the site, and it therefore seemed quite sensible to
him to simply erect the building around the existing incumbents – an evergreen oak and a horse chestnut. By the end of the 1950s these restaurants were known as Middle & Over and Nether Wallop restaurants.

The use of these Hampshire village names for the restaurants at Glyndebourne comes via a family connection. John Christie’s mother was the third daughter to the fifth Earl of Portsmouth, and their family name is Wallop. The Hampshire villages of Middle, Over and Nether Wallop form part of the family estates.