A restaurant in a location which overlooks railway lines, featuring several tables set within disused railway carriages is surely a paradise for any train lover. Welcome to The Sidings Mediterranean Bar and Restaurant in Shipton, just outside York.
This is strictly speaking not a place aimed at children - they don't even have a children's menu as far as we could make out. In many ways, though, that was a plus. It was a treat to eat tasty Mediterranean fare in a restaurant with real fabric tablecloths but which didn't feel too formal or stuffy for a young child but which at the same time wasn't too noisy or full of Other People's Children running about.
We were made to feel welcome, and the chef was able to rustle up a special pizza for our little boy with all his favourite toppings (mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms). Although it was adult sized, and carried a corresponding price tag, he managed about three quarters of it, and we really didn't feel too hard done by having to finish off the rest.
We were the only diners in our carriage, which meant that we could relax a little about the amount of noise we made (after all, not everyone enjoys a rendition Mr Bump over lunch). The atmosphere generally was great, though. Very relaxed and friendly and the waiters looked after us really well. All you need to fit in here is an enthusiasm for trains, and noone does that as well as a three year old boy.
The meal set us back in the region of £30 for three of us, including drinks. The cuisine was Greek/Italian and really good. Most of all, In fact between the Mr Man books, the trains and the Christmas crackers he hardly had time to fidget at all. And even if he had, noone would have minded much.
Which is why we'll definitely be back.
For more information, please have a look at The Sidings' website here.