EAT WELL, Be Entertained

Amy Moore provides a selection of unique dining experiences that are bound to delight and entertain your group.

RESTAURANT, ALTON TOWERS RESORT
Alton Towers Resort’s new Rollercoaster Restaurant is an eight-metre minirollercoaster track serving hungry diners down a gravity-defying route direct to their table. The 360-degree dining experience uses cutting-edge technology to take diners’ orders and serves a delicious range of themed meals, including the Rollercoaster Burger, the Super Looper Dish and the Ultimate Rollercoaster Ice Cream Bowl. The Rollercoaster Restaurant is open to the general public for evening dining, with ticket holders to Alton Towers Resort admitted during Theme Park opening hours. The restaurant can seat 150-plus guests at any one time. Reservations can be made online for up to eight people for lunch and dinner. Prebooking is strongly recommended. The Rollercoaster Restaurant is open until November 6, 2016.
www.altontowers.com/activities/placesto- eat/rollercoaster-restaurant

Have a dining experience with a difference at Alton Towers.

Have a dining experience with
a difference at Alton Towers.

THE TEA COSY, BRIGHTON
The Tea Cosy is a themed tea room located in the bohemian district of Kemptown in Brighton, with a vast collection of memorabilia dedicated to the British Royal family. It serves a selection of delicious homemade cakes, Sussex Cream Teas, High Teas, and has an extensive loose-leaf and herbal tea menu. Visitors can choose from a menu themed around members of the Royal Family including Prince Harry’s, which consists of a boiled egg with toast soldiers. The Tea Cosy can seat up to 28 people, and is available for private hire for parties of 15-plus for a small fee. Set group menus are available. www.theteacosy.co.uk

DANS LE NOIR, LONDON

Dine in the dark at Dans Le Noir which offers a sensory-defined dining experience which has visitors eating and drinking in pitch darkness. Diners can tuck into four surprise menus inspired by French cuisine, each consisting of fresh, natural and organic ingredients, with recipes that are refreshed each season. The concept aims to encourage diners to re-evaluate their perception of sight and taste – the darkness, they say, kills shyness and leads to a more open atmosphere. Dishes are served by blind waiters (guides). The restaurant can accommodate around 60 people, with lunch bookings available for groups of 20-plus, Monday to Friday. A separate dining area is available for larger groups. There is a lit bar and private lounge serving fine wines and speciality cocktails before and after the meal. The whole experience lasts around an hour and 30 minutes. www.london.danslenoir.com

At Dans le Noir diners eat in the dark waited on by blind guides.

At Dans le Noir diners eat in the dark waited on by blind guides.

THE RAINFOREST CAFÉ, LONDON
Welcome to the jungle! The Rainforest Café has an exceptional location in the heart of London’s West End and serves a range of American-style jungle-themed cuisine with international influences. Relax in the Mushroom Bar, explore the Forest Floor and browse the Rainforest Café’s Retail Village which is stocked with bizarre gifts and souvenirs. Appetisers include Forest Floor Flatbread, Lava Nachos and Carnival Crab Salad. Choose from Rasta Pasta, Paradise Pulled Pork and Julius Squeezer’s Caesar Salad, for example, for the main course. Desserts include Melting Marshmallow Spears, Tuki’s Toffee Trail Pudding and Sparkling Volcano. Booking for up to six guests is available online. Suitable for large group bookings, The Rainforest Café offers a selection of two-course and three-course menus for parties of 15-plus, Monday to Friday and at weekends upon request. For further details or to make a booking, call the reservations team on 020 7434 3111. www.therainforestcafe.co.uk

JIMMY’S RESTAURANTS, VARIOUS LOCATIONS
Jimmy’s Restaurants offers a unique culinary experience that journey through a diverse range of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Mexican and Italian, with more than 10 buffet restaurants across the UK, including Peterborough and Brighton. Established in 2003, Jimmy’s Restaurants serves over 100 dishes that have been inspired by flavours from around the world. Visitors can enjoy live kitchen demonstrations at each station, including Chinese Wok Stir Fry and a Southern Indian Dosa Station. There’s also a Tandoori Bread Station, Aloo Tikki, Dim Sum, Italian (Pasta) Station, Sushi, Fried Chicken and a Pizza Station. Jimmy’s Restaurants can cater for small groups, as well as parties of 100-plus. Prices are dependent on location and whether you’re booking for lunch or dinner. Allow two hours for your visit. www.jimmysrestaurants.com

Enjoy a choice of cocktails at Jimmy’s at Wembley.

Enjoy a choice of cocktails at Jimmy’s at Wembley.

HARD ROCK CAFÉ, LONDON
Hard Rock Café London is located on Old Park Lane, close to Hyde Park Corner. Hard Rock Café London combines food, entertainment and culture with American diner-style cuisine, including the Twisted Mac, Chicken and Cheese, Smokehouse Sandwiches and the Original Legendary Burger. Unwind with one of Hard Rock’s tasty cocktails, before visiting The Vault, home to an intriguing collection of music memorabilia from across the globe. It was once used to protect the Queen’s coffers and now houses around 200 artefacts, including Eric Clapton’s red Fender guitar, Madonna’s Chemical Bank card and a red coat and a fur cape worn by Elvis Presley. Hard Rock Café London can accommodate parties of up to 220 people, with colour-coded group menus available, including Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum options. www.hardrock.com/cafes/london

SOLENT FORTS, PORTSMOUTH
Solent Forts consists of three coastal venues: Spitbank Fort, Horse Sand Fort and No Man’s Fort, which were initially built as a line of defence against enemy attacks on the Solent and Portsmouth. Spitbank Fort is a distinct, circular-shaped private island that dates back to the 19th century, with magnificent views out to Portsmouth and surrounding areas. Here, groups can enjoy a bespoke Sunday Lunch Experience, which consists of a delicious four-course meal and champagne on arrival. The Sunday Lunch Experience is priced at £135 per person. For the ultimate fine dining experience, visitors can order from the new Deck to Dining menu which is served in the Officer’s Mess – an allocated dining space complete with vaulted ceiling and stunning sea views. Similarly, at No Man’s Fort, groups can tuck into a Rule Britannia Sunday Lunch, which consists of a four-course meal and a glass of Prosecco. The Rule Britannia Sunday Lunch is priced at £115 per person. www.solentforts.com

PLANET HOLLYWOOD, LONDON
Go for a taste of glamour at Planet Hollywood in the Haymarket, which serves classic American-style meals including hearty burgers and meaty wings combined with Asian and Italian flavours for lunch, dinner and pre/post-theatre dining. After your meal you can enjoy a speciality cocktail while admiring the vast amount of movie memorabilia on display. For Your Eyes Only is one example of a two-course set menu for groups, with the choice of an entrée and dessert, including the Classic PH Burger and Homemade Strawberry Cheesecake. Continue the James Bond theme in the Bond Room, which is stocked with collectables from Golden Eye and Live and Let Die, displayed alongside the bikini worn by Ursula Andress in Dr No. Other themed rooms include the British Room and The Cabanas. Planet Hollywood has the capacity to accommodate groups from 10 to 200. Bookings for parties of up to six people can be made online. www.planethollywoodlondon.com

MEDIEVAL BANQUET, LONDON
The Medieval Banquet is located in Ivory House at the picturesque St Katherine Docks in London, and offers a traditional four-course banquet served alongside a two-hour interactive dinner show that combines sword fighting and contortionism. From Henry VIII to knights, minstrels and magicians, the atmosphere is created with music drawn from the Medieval and Renaissance courts of Europe, with renditions spanning five centuries. The menu fits the theme, with the choice of Vegetable Soup, a Platter of Meat and Cheddar Cheese (with salad and pickled vegetables) alongside Roasted Chicken in a Traditional Medieval Sauce (served with roast potatoes and roasted vegetables). A vegetarian option is available on request. For a small additional fee, visitors can make their experience even more authentic by hiring a medieval costume. The Medieval Banquet can accommodate up to 450 people at one time in The Ivory Vaults. There are also nine individual vaulted private dining areas for large groups, with bespoke theming and a variety of shows available. Pre-booking is essential. www.medievalbanquet.com 45

GIN SCHOOL
Hailed as the ultimate experience for gin lovers, at 45 Gin School groups can learn the art of distilling, each person creating their own bottle of gin under the expert guidance of world-renowned master distiller, Jamie Baxter. Set in picturesque Leicestershire countryside not far from the M1, the 45 Gin School experience includes: a tour of the craft distillery; learning the history of gin and distilling; choosing and blending botanicals to create a unique recipe; distilling gin using a traditional copper pot mini still, bottling and sealing the personalised gin ready to take home. Call 0116 278 8492 or email info@45ginschool.com for more information. www.45ginschool.com

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS
For those who would like a trip back in time, the Memories Are Made of This Tea Room in Rochester, Kent, can provide the menu and the ambience. Taking pride in serving traditional food, whether it be breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, there’s something for everyone here. They even use ‘rediscovered’ menus from the past including delicious homemade cakes, scones and biscuits. Situated in historic Rochester High Street, the 1940’s style tea room plays music from the era and uses vintage crockery. Even the waitresses look ‘nippy’. Traditional cooking methods and wild fruits from Kent are used whenever possible along with fresh produce from local suppliers. There are three spacious rooms, one of which has a dance floor if required. Small to medium-sized groups are welcomed, as are larger parties of 20 to 50 people. Call 01634 400 075 or email info@ memoriesaremadeofthis.co.uk www.memoriesaremadeof this.co.uk

YORK’S CHOCOLATE STORY
Chocolate lovers will be in their element on a tour of York’s Chocolate Story in the heart of the iconic Yorkshire city. Your group will discover how chocolate made history and learn about the working practices of days gone by. Bang up to date are the interactive exhibits that bring chocolate manufacture to life. You’ll discover how to taste it like an expert and learn all sorts of fascinating facts about your favourite chocolate products. There’s a dedicated Groups Reservations Team with discounted admissions for groups, a free fam visit for the organisers, and free admission for them and the coach driver. There are even group retail offers! For more information, call 01904 261262 or email groups@ contnuumattractons.com Groups are offered discounted admissions rates ■

sweet treat awaits for these visitors to York’s Chocolate Story.

sweet treat awaits for these visitors to York’s Chocolate Story.