The Aviator catering for A-listers and plane spotters

The Aviator catering for A-listers and plane spotters

Patricia Martin, landlady of The Aviator at Gloucestershire Airport.It has won the approval of celebrities such as Prince Harry and Lord Alan Sugar.

The pub has also proved popular among seasoned pilots and plane-spotters alike.

So it is no wonder why Patricia Martin, landlady of The Aviator at Gloucestershire Airport, is in high spirits ahead of the summer.

Few pubs in Gloucestershire can boast views similar to what customers enjoy at the Aviator. Where else can you enjoy a drink while looking out over a runway (apart from an airport lobby)? Sunsets are also a spectacular site from its garden.

Patricia has been educated about planes by her well-informed aircraft spotters since she landed at The Aviator 11 years ago.

Prince Harry arrived at the airport in his Apache helicopter in 2013 and visited the pub for a bacon and egg sandwich.

The Aviator has also been visited by celebrities such as tycoon Lord Sugar, musician Julian Lloyd Webber and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme whose autograph is above the bar.

The aeronautical buzz of the place even convinced Patricia to complete a wing-walk two years ago to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support.

She said: “There isn’t another pub that I can think of which is on a runway. It’s so quirky and unique.

“Prince Harry was just lovely. He took his plate back to the bar and told us he had a good meal. He was just a down-to-earth, ordinary person.

“You never know who will come through the doors – you could come in and see a celebrity here.”

It is hard to predict which days will be busiest at the pub, but The Aviator draws in crowds from the Forest of Dean and Bristol and motorcycle clubs.

But the Aviator offers its visitors far more than its stunning panoramic views of the airport.

Inside, the pub is a den for plane enthusiasts with RAF-themed posters from the Second World War and a model plane hangs from the ceiling.

She said: “You get a wealth of knowledge working at this place. The plane spotters always know what’s going on.

“I love it because it’s so unpredictable. We can have children and teenagers in who love planes and ex-pilots who were in the war.”

The personality of The Aviator is split between a pub with its bar and real ales, and a cafe and restaurant with its gourmet burgers and homemade pies, chillis and steaks.

It was a long journey to the Aviator for Patricia, who previously worked as a gamekeeper at Prinknash Abbey. She also had her own jewellery business.

But it was the buzz and quirkiness of The Aviator which meant Patricia was there to stay.

She said: “I just wanted to do the washing up when I started. When Richard asked me to pull a pint I had never done that in my life.

“But I loved the buzz of the place, it’s really friendly.

“There’s something for everybody and it’s so hard to say when our busiest day is.”

The Aviator was opened by Richard Morris 14 years ago and he gradually built up the pub’s loyal following.

Before, the hut hosted offices before the building’s original incarnation as The Red Baron pub.

It will host a real ale and cider festival on the Father’s Day weekend on June 19 to 21, which will feature a barbecue, live music, and a menu with a variety cheeses.

Children are also entertained by the planes which soar past but they may soon have a new play area if Patricia and Richard get their way. Patricia said: “The place is fun. I want every customer to go out feeling better than when they came in.

“I want them to leave smiling, and not because of the alcohol.”