Tucked into a peninsula in Auckland New Zealand among factories and a race course is the private fantasy of one man a Mr Ryder.
There is no web site just an address but people in the know are fortunate to be able to share one man's personal dream. It was my turn last night when I was taken for a 'night out' at Ryders.
I did not know what to expect but it turned out to be a night to remember. I had been told that Mr Ryder, I have no idea of his Christian name, had been a stevedore on the Auckland docks when this was a cushy occupation with lots of spare time. Evidently Mr Ryder went around collecting the paraphernalia of life that nobody wanted.
Steam engines, petrol pumps, telephone boxes all arrived at his home in Rosebank and gradually Ryder collected enough for a private museum. He even had a short working railway although sadly this is now a car park for the visitors who partake of a great roast beef meal and a special showing of a film in his private cinema.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was a folly of splendid proportions and I eagerly set about taking pictures in the sunset. I loved the old red fire engine and put out tabby cat who finished off the left overs.
I was most impressed. The small restaurant felt like a typical working New Zealand farm, with wood stove and warmth. The bola beef, pumpkin,roast potatoes and peas had a delicious home cooked flavour followed by an ice cream cone and film.
As this was a ladies night 'My life in Ruins' a romantic comedy of a coach tour around Greece was the happy choice. Not great art but a good evenings entertainment and fun. The small audience even clapped.
Ryders do not advertise, have no web page just word of mouth. I loved it and would happily repeat the experience.