Croydon is steeped in a rich history of aviation but nothing compares to Airport House, writes Matthew Knowles.

Opened officially in May 1928, it served as London’s first international airport and was the first purpose-built airport in the world.

Given its history, it’s unsurprising its restaurant Rayon d’Or is named after the world’s first deluxe dining service which was on board flights between Paris and London in the late 1920s.

The Rayon d’Or describes itself as a stylish, classic restaurant with a slight French flair in its cuisine.

It certainly oozes class as you drive up to its elegant art deco buildings, complete with a full-size aeroplane in its courtyard.

The restuarant is situated at the rear of the bar area and is small and cosy.

Waiter Christophe was attentive and guided us through the menu.

To start, I chose the sautéed king scallops with ribbons of vegetables and Pernod sauce (£7.95) which was cooked perfectly, and my companion had the selection of cured meats with a black olive and caper salsa (£7.95).

My main course of venison steak, mustard mash, vegetable and red wine gravy (£18.95) was beautifully tender.

My guest’s choice was pan fried duck breast with sweet potato cake and an orange sauce (£15.95).

I was seriously tempted by the chateaubriand with seasonal vegetables and pan deglazed Madeira sauce for two (£45.95), and the lobster thermidor served with roasted sweet potato and a cherry tomato salad (£21.95) which both conjured up images of first-class travel.

For dessert, I headed straight for the classic vanilla crème brûlée (£6.95) with amaretto biscuit, and my companion was torn between the chocolate fudge cake and sticky toffee pudding, but opted for the cake (£6.95)..

The restaurant has undergone a relaunch this year, but its experienced staff are all still there, eager to welcome you on board.

Rayon D’Or Airport House Purley Way Croydon CR0 0XZ Tel: 020 8781 1933