How can you make mealtimes fun for all the family – deliver all of the meals and drinks on a rollercoaster of course.
It’s a brilliant idea! The arrival of every meal, drink and dessert is celebrated with cheers and excitement, we never tired of the experience.
The UK’s first rollercoaster restaurant opens at Staffordshire’s Alton Towers today – and my children and I were treated to a sneak preview.
And what an experience – this really is fast food with a difference.
There are even loop-the-loops along part of the 400m of track which the meals and drinks whizz around before dropping 8m down a ‘tornado spiral’ to your table.
Hot drinks, you may be relieved to know, do not come via the white-knuckle ride! Neither does the alcohol so there is no risk of a bottle of beer accidentally falling into the hands of one of the little ones.
The restaurant is situated in the Forbidden Valley, next to the brand new Galactica virtual reality rollercoaster. In the evenings, when the main park closes, it can be accessed from the Enchanted Village and hotel accommodation.
When you arrive to enjoy this unique experience, diners are allocated to a seat at the foot of one of the tornado spiral tracks.There are 12 seats to each one.
Each seat is numbered and named after one of the theme park’s past and present rides. Mine was the Black Hole, and old favourite of mine and strangely appropriate given my appetite after perusing the menu.
You are given a touch tablet to order your food directly through to the kitchen. As a techno-phobe the idea of relying on wi-fi working seems a little ambitious but each table has a helpful waiter/waitress to hand.
When your order is ready, the chef in the kitchen upstairs straps the dish or drink into a little ‘carriage’ which is then put on the right track and sent trundling down to your table. There is a number attached to it indicating which seat the order is for.
Lunch is served until 4pm and includes burgers, chicken and salads. There is a separate evening menu, from 5pm, which includes lobster tail cocktail starters, ribeye steak, and pulled ham hock salad. This is, of course, more expensive than typical fast food but it is good quality and the menu varied.
There are a good choice of children’s meals and some excellent desserts – the Ultimate Twister Ice-cream Bowl is quite a challenge. Basically everything sweet and yummy thrown in a bowl.
Top tip – don’t order all of your three courses at once because they arrive as soon as they have been prepared. You may well end up with your chocolate brownie before your chicken salad!
The restaurant seats 150 but Alton Towers is recommending pre-booking as it is bound to prove popular – well it is the UK’s first rollercoaster restaurant.
This unique experience could prove as popular as any of the other rollercoasters and attractions – mealtimes will never be the same again.
By Diane Davies