PIZZA Express in Ilkley recently reopened with a stylish new look.

The revamped restaurant, which draws heavy inspiration from the neighbouring train station and nearby beautiful countryside, has a new colour scheme, smart new banquette and settle seating, pendant lighting and oak flooring.

Artwork throughout the restaurant celebrates Ilkley train station’s past, with vintage railway posters and giant train tickets featuring cut-out silhouettes of carriages and people.

There are also photographs and contemporary illustrations portraying Ilkley’s magnificent moorland scenery.

And to complete the restaurant’s transformation, just in time for the summer, the outside has new seating, planters and windbreaks.

And the changes don't stop there, with an array of wonderful new culinary creations adorning the mouthwatering menu.

It would have been rude to not sample some of them on a sizzling hot Saturday, so we plumped for many of the seasonal specials to really soak up the atmosphere.

It was also nice to see the little ones haven't been overlooked, with an inventive and, dare I say it, healthy-looking children's menu.

A round of drinks was the first business of the day, and we ordered a seriously refreshing Hugo St Germain – Prosecco over ice, with St Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon and mint – plus the non-alcoholic alternative, Belvoir Cucumber and Mint Pressé. Cawston Press Kids Blend provided a 'no added sugar' hit for our daughter.

Then it was on to the starters.

Classic Italian Antipasto included Italian meats Finnochiona, Coppa, Milano salami and Calabrese sausage D.O.P, with olives, artichoke, roasted tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, sweet Peppadew peppers and dough baked with Gran Milano cheese thrown in for good measure, accompanied by garlic butter and pestorissa – a harissa spiced tomato dip. And it was Baked Dough Balls from the kids menu.

Frankly, I could have stopped there. Even the single portion was a packed plateful. But we bravely soldiered on!

My main was Zapparoli Romana pizza. A super special, it was topped with chicken, hot soft 'nduja sausage, mozzarella, garlic oil and Gran Milano cheese on smoky, creamed corn finished with red Roquito pearls and parsley. What was weird was just how sweet it tasted. It shouldn't work, but on a hot summer's day, it really hit the spot.

My wife selected Pollo ad Astra Romana, with chicken, sweet Peppadew peppers, red onion, mozzarella, tomato, Cajun spices and garlic oil. Much more of an Italian classic – beautifully light and crispy.

Our daughter devoured her Margherita pizza in record-quick time, and it was full steam ahead for the desserts.

Summer Tiramisu, with luxurious layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone cream, soaked in Vin Santo wine and sweet strawberry puree, topped off with strawberries and cream, knocked Wimbledon's strawberries and cream out of the court.

Our daughter chose the Piccolo Sundae, with one scoop of vanilla gelato, finished with chocolate sauce and all topped with a baby cone.

By the time we finished, we could have done with a train to carry us home!

It has been a while since we last visited a Pizza Express, but on this showing, we could be on track for a season ticket!

Richard Parker