The dining table that doubles up as a train track (does that mean dinner will always be late)
12:50 GMT, 17 August 2012
Parents are frequently telling children not to play with their food – but now it looks as though they will have to eat their words, as a range of dining tables that actively encourages fun at meal times goes on sale.
Created by ThreeFootThree design, the tables are fitted with reversible tiles bearing lengths of Brio wooden railway track.
ThreeFootThree founder Paul Mottram (who named the business after his first client – his four-year-old son) said he
came up with the idea at a dinner party when he decided he wanted to
send chocolates to his guests using his son's motorised trains.
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Meals on wheels: The table comes with Brio trains, but buyers can also use the same sized trains made by Tesco, Ike and the Early Learning Centre
Pass the chocs! Trains can transport treats around the table to dinner guests – choose Brio's motorised engines to keep the food flowing
He asked a joiner friend make him a
table using inlaid Brio train tracks. Then, the tracks were fixed in, meaning they couldn't be
easily removed for cleaning.
In ThreeFootThree's version, the tiles are not only
reversible – meaning the table can be turned into a plain beech dining
table for more serious affairs – but all of the track comes out to allow for thorough cleaning.
The firm uses beech veneer tables (solid wood warps, they say) with solid beech Brio track that is laquered and polished.
With a four-seater table costing 2,340 and a six-seater priced at 2,670, the tables are not mere child's play. But there's no doubt they hold huge appeal – not least to the child within.
A video of the train track table in
action has drawn over 50,000 hits on YouTube, while at a recent design
fair, TrackTiles became the star attraction.
According to Mottram though, business is yet
to boom. He muses, perhaps correctly, that in a recession people might
see such a product as a frivolous indulgence.
Nevertheless, he says the tables go
down a storm with people who see them. 'People love them,' he says.
'They are very popular at design shows and always bring a smile to
If a dining table size is too much of
a commitment, Mottram can make a bespoke one-tiled bistro size for solo
train spotting or a two-tiled coffee
table for around 400.
He can even make a boardroom size that could seat more than a
dozen – now that's one way jollying up a boring meeting.
Here comes the truffle express! The tables, which cost 2,340 for a four-seater, come with a motorised engine and set of train carriages
Top table: TrackTiles tables bring new meaning to playing with your food
Versatile: The tiles can be flipped and moved around to create hundreds of different railway scenarios
Grown-up version: The tiles can be flipped over to create a plain table for more sophisticated dining
VIDEO: The awesome train table! Make sure you Choo Choo your food!