Bookings in the Salon and Restaurant Carriages
This information is intended to provide guidance to customers to ensure that their visits are enjoyable, safe and comfortable for all our guests.
The Restaurant carriage has 12 tables which can be reserved for dining. The duration of normal table bookings is 90 minutes with a 15-minute turnaround between reservations whenever this is feasible. Afternoon tea tables are 1 hour 55 minutes duration. Guests are requested to ensure that they arrive on time and understand that the table should be vacated at the appropriate time to facilitate the next reservation. We will do our best to accommodate early arrivals however please be aware that there are no formal waiting areas at the station and it often rains so waiting outside may not be possible either!
Guests should be aware that dogs are welcome in all areas and that there are no dog-free areas. However, dogs and their owners must observe our Doggie Etiquette guidance. If a dog is disturbing guests in any way, including barking, they will be asked to leave. Please do not bring reactive or aggressive dogs onto the premises.
We are very fortunate to have a special Salon carriage which we can use for afternoon teas, private bookings and larger groups. The Restaurant carriage is not normally available for private hire. Because we are a daytime facility only, opening the train for private functions in the evenings or out of our normal opening hours is not usually feasible. If you wish to request an exception to this there are additional facility hire costs associated with that. Please see guidance below.
Tables in our Waiting Room and Bar carriage are not bookable and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
Please request tables using our online Request a Table form or by telephone. We cannot take booking requests on email, Messenger or any other means. Please await confirmation that you have been allocated a table before arriving (check junk mail in case any notifications have gone into there) We will allocate tables to suit your group size, time and meal requirements. We do not serve meals in the Salon carriage and cannot guarantee any specific table though we will try and accommodate any special requests.
For table bookings over 4 people, we request a £10 per person deposit at the time of booking. Please telephone once you have been allocated a table to arrange this. Similarly, there is a deposit payable for all Afternoon Teas to finalise those bookings in advance of your teas being made. We will take any dietary information at that time too. All deposits are non-returnable, including if guest numbers reduce or someone is poorly. We are very happy to pack up afternoon teas as a takeaway should any guests be unable to attend. If you have a voucher, a deposit may not be necessary depending on the number of vouchers and size of your group.
For tables of six people and over, a 10% service charge will be added to all final bills.
Capacity and Table Sizes
The Salon carriage can accommodate 36 seated guests on small tables plus additional seating for up to 2 people on the settee. Capacity for meals or buffets is 36. This carriage is usually used for serving Afternoon Teas rather than the main café menu. The Bar can accommodate around 14 additional guests in an informal setting.
The Restaurant carriage, also known as the Buffet Car, has 36 seats arranged on tables of two and four either side of the main train corridor. Because the tables are fixed in both size and location, they cannot accommodate more than the designated numbers so larger parties may need to be accommodated on adjacent tables, when available. The Main café menu, Breakfasts and Afternoon Teas are served in this carriage.
Wheelchair access is usually possible to all areas of the train though certain seats are more suited to this than others and this should be discussed with us prior to booking. Some larger wheelchairs are too wide to pass through the train doorways however we have a wheelchair which can access all areas that guests are welcome to request.
The largest table seats 6 though additional chairs can be provided to accommodate 2 additional guests on the same table. This is in the Salon and is not available for lunchtime food. We cannot guarantee this table for any bookings as it may be required to accommodate larger groups or for improved access for wheelchair users however we will do our best!
There is a false cocktail bar in the Salon carriage on which welcome drinks can be served. Buffets are usually served in the Bar carriage. Guests should be aware of this potential ‘bottleneck’ caused due to the width of the train.
The main bar for the train is in the middle carriage, known as the Bar Carriage. This is normally unmanned though it can be staffed at additional cost should customers require it. There is some informal seating in this carriage.
There is a small carpark for customer use. Two spaces are reserved for Blue Badge holders. Please ensure you park considerately if using these spaces so that the second space remains accessible for others.
We would like to request that customers who are mobile and able to walk short distances park on the roadside spaces which are free and plentiful and leave the remaining carpark spaces for those who are less mobile or need to be closer to the door. We are happy for guests to make this judgment for themselves and thank them in advance for their kind cooperation.
If the carpark spaces are all full, you are welcome to drop less mobile guests at the door and park elsewhere. Please be aware that there are pedestrians walking through the carpark to the entrance and therefore care is required when manoeuvring around the carpark.
We love our young guests and have plenty of toys and highchairs to help make their visit more special. However, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times both inside and outside as there are deep ponds and other hazards where unaccompanied children must not go. Children must not stand on furniture, even with shoes off, and must not be allowed to disturb other guests.
Private Hire Costs
Daytime hire costs for the Salon are usually dependent on the number of people and type of food and drink that will be purchased. As a rough guide, bookings with fewer than 20 people will not usually secure private use of the whole carriage. A deposit of £10 per person or 50% of the total food cost is taken to finalise larger group reservations. For exclusive-use bookings, the relevant room hire cost will also be taken. Should the numbers drop below the agreed numbers, this will result in an increase in the charge for ‘unused’ seats. Any unused seats for daytime private hire will be charged at £10 per seat. If a private event booking straddles lunchtime and afternoon services (preventing any other bookings that day) an additional charge of £10 per seat x 36 for the second sitting will also be charged.
We do not offer purely a ‘Venue for Hire’ facility – guests must purchase from one of our agreed menus in order to use the facilities. Guests are not permitted to bring and serve their own cakes or drinks and will be charged a corkage or ‘cakeage’ charge should this be requested. This MUST be agreed with us in advance of arrival and preferably at the time of booking.
The deposit is not refundable if a cancellation is received within 4 weeks of the booking. Reduced guest numbers will also result in their deposit being forfeit and may increase the ‘unused seat’ charge.
There will be a charge for all Exclusive-hire daytime bookings in the Salon plus an additional £10 for each person fewer than 36. These events must have concluded by 5pm, when we close. If, by prior agreement only, the event is to finish after our normal closing time of 5pm, there is an additional charge of £100 for each additional hour or part hour. The duration for standard exclusive-use hire is 3 hours however longer duration can be arranged and will be subject to additional costs as indicated above.
The Restaurant carriage is not available for daytime private hire.
Because we are a café and sell a wide range of cakes and drinks to suit all guests, the consumption of guests own food or drinks is not permitted at any time including in all indoor and outdoor areas. The picnic benches are not for the consumption of own food and drink. If a birthday cake, or similar, is to be provided by the guests, there will be a once-off minimum charge of £25 to facilitate this. Because we sell cakes and desserts, provision of your own cake must be agreed in advance at the time of placing the reservation. We can arrange for a special cake or specific beverages to be available if notified well in advance. If a customer is bringing their own cake, this should not be used as a dessert substitute without prior agreement. A ‘cakeage’ charge of £3 per person in the party will be payable. Using a cake as a centrepiece for the event will not attract any payment unless it is served.
Should an evening or out of hours hire be required, consideration will be given to availability of staff, existing bookings that day and the following morning, the date and our opening times, in addition to the numbers and food required. There is an additional evening hire cost of £500 for the Salon carriage and £1000 if the whole train and station facilities are required. Hire costs for events that fall outside our normal opening hours reflect the need to re-open the whole station, staff both kitchen and café, open the bar, additional heating, lighting and cleaning costs. Kitchen capacity will also dictate the feasibility of all private bookings. Each booking request will consider all these factors. Evening bookings can be accommodated from 5pm and must always finish by 9.30pm with all guests departing by 10pm.
An event plan will be prepared for all private events for approval and a non-returnable deposit is required to secure and agree the booking arrangements.
Additional staff can be provided at a cost of £25 per person, per hour.
A 10% service charge is added to the total bill for all bookings of 6 or more people and for all exclusive hire bookings regardless of numbers.
A few rules …
Please do not allow children to climb on our furniture or remove the cushions. The train is a really exciting playground but it is not as sturdy as it looks.
Please do not climb on the train or steps.
We welcome dogs and children in all areas of our site including on the train however we request that they are clean, well-behaved, are not allowed to block corridors and must not annoy or disturb other guests. There is a Dog Etiquette which dog owners are required to familiarise themselves with and adhere to.
Please accompany children who wish to go to look at the footplate of the train as it can be slippery and there are some high steps, railings and fittings which can easily become damaged and must not be climbed on.
Dogs should be kept on a lead unless you have exclusive use of the Salon where they may be let off the lead in the Salon only but must remain under close control. Dogs must remain on the floor at all times and not be allowed to sit on knees, furniture or at table height even on a blanket. All dog mess must be picked up and placed in our outdoor bins.
You are very welcome to decorate the Salon carriage and we can sometimes facilitate this the day before, subject to bookings. Please speak to us to arrange access for this. Any decorating in advance of a private booking are at your own risk as the carriages are heavily booked and will be used by other customers prior to your booking. Any decorations must be removed before departure. Any that remain will be disposed of. We do not have the facility to store any decorations for future collection.
We request that no small foil ‘sprinkles’, crackers, party poppers, confetti or balloons filled with bits are used to decorate the train as these get everywhere and cause damage to our vacuum cleaners and are not good for the environment either – thankyou for your cooperation with this.
The window blinds are very delicate indeed and are mounted on a spring which rolls the blind back behind the wooden panelling if released too quickly. Please do not adjust the blinds or allow your guests to play with them.
The heaters are air-conditioning units and set to ensure a constant temperature throughout the carriages. Please avoid adjusting them or switching them on or off. If you are uncomfortable, we have blankets and staff will be happy to adjust the air flow to help you feel more comfortable. It can get warm in the train when the sun is shining directly onto it.
We can be exceptionally busy at times and staff are likely to be working at full capacity in both the front of house areas and the kitchen. We try our best so please be patient and kind to us if there are delays, minor errors or concerns. We invite constructive but respectful comments that will help us enhance our customer experience – we really want to learn from our mistakes and let you have the best possible time!