The National Railway Museum is well provided with seats and tables for visitors to sit and eat their own food. We usually go well prepared but after several hours on my feet I was ready for a fizzy drink. I headed to the Mallard Cafe in the Great Hall. Cafe is a bit of a misnomer as it is more snack bar than cafe.
There are chiller cabinets for you to help yourselves to sandwiches and cool drinks. Then begins the long wait (and I do mean long even when queues aren’t that long) for hot food, cakes and hot drinks (served in paper cups) or to pay. At busy times they do have two serveries. I hope they provide additional staff to man them.
The choice isn’t exactly inspiring and is very expensive for what is on offer. A small sausage roll will set you back £2.95. A small pizza slice is £3 and the cheese and tomato turnover is a whopping £3.50. All of these are cooked in a huge oven behind the servery and kept warm. A simple sandwich with no trimmings is reasonably priced at £2.50+ or sandwich and soup for £7.
My small bottle (330ml) of Diet Coke set me back £2.10, which I really did feel was over the top. I then had to collect a plastic cup from elsewhere….
Usually I treat myself to a cake when I am out. I looked at the small slices of flapjack, fruit cake or decidedly uninspiring scone for about £2.75 and decided to pass. The ‘cake of the day’ at £3.50 did look better value except it looked extremely sweet and may be a bit sickly…
Even when not very busy, tables were slow to be cleared and weren’t wiped down.
All in all an expensive experience. I will go prepared with a bottle of fizz next time. The National Railway Museum deserves better than this.
Menu available “here.”:http://www.nrm.org.uk/planavisit/visityork/eatinganddrinking#mallard