New for 2016: Rollercoaster Restaurant

The UK's first Rollercoaster Restaurant has opened at Alton Towers, set below a vast network of rollercoaster tracks that diners watch their food orders tackle, before dropping 8 metres down a tornado spiral to their table.

We visited the new Rollercoaster Restaurant during the opening weekend and were very impressed by not only the entertaining experience but the food quality and service.

Upon arriving at the restaurant you are greeted and shown to your table, a member of the team then explains how everything works including the tablet that you use to order your food and drinks. A simple touchscreen system allows you to order starters, mains, desserts and drinks which are then prepared in the kitchen above and sent down the rails to your table.

Your food and any bottled drinks arrive in special pots that are securely strapped in for the ride, you simply take them out of their carriages and transfer them to the plates, bowls and glasses that are stored on a cleverly designed rotating shelf, where cutlery and sauces are also available.

The modern restaurant features 11 tables seating up to 12 people between 3 mini sections and 2 long tables for larger groups. This arrangement works well, so even if you are sharing the table with other diners you have still got your own space.

We opted for the Bombay Butter Chicken Curry served with pilaf rice, poppadoms and lime and mango chutney, and the Spicy Chicken Burger in a brioche bun with mature cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and seasoned fries. Both arrived soon after ordering, and we enjoyed watching them navigate the course to our table which included a full loop along on the way! The dishes were well cooked and full of flavour.

Afterwards we treated ourselves to a Chocolate Fondue to share, with a yummy selection of marshmallows, strawberries, grapes and banana to dip in the delicious melted chocolate pot.

Our total meal for 2 including drinks came to £40, more than you would usually pay for lunch at the theme park but for the special experience you get we thought it was money well spent.

There are some lovely touches, including various artwork and plans for rides both past and present adorning the walls, and every half hour a video montage is projected onto the walls with a lively soundtrack of themed music and lighting effects.

The new Rollercoaster Restaurant is open 10am-10pm during the main season with lunch and dinner menus. A limited lunch menu is served until 5pm with reservations recommended, but some walk in spaces are available, and reservations are required from 5pm when a more comprehensive menu is available, and the restaurant is accessible after the theme park has closed via a new pathway from the hotels.

It is located above the Galactica station in the Forbidden Valley section of the theme park, the previous Air shop has been moved to a new extension on one side of the building, and another extension on the other side of the building has been added to accommodate the kitchens and toilets.

There are another 8 of these restaurants in the world, one of which is called Food Loop and is located at Europa Park, the largest theme park in Germany.