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Traditional English food in a relaxed, family-oriented atmosphere.

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      23.11.2013 15:28
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      Bolstering up the reputation of all Tobys

      Carvery food 'Home of the Roast'

      Toby visually is a British simulacrum of a Texan Ranch, excluding the array of cowboy hats on a stand, and aborted horse saddle hanging from a wooden beam. For three decades Toby Carvery has unflappably emerged with 150 Toby Ranches (sorry Branches) across Britain. You may have come across a few, while coming off a junction - you see they rise from the dashboard as if a mirage. I've known fully grown adults waking up on a Sunday morn, smacking their lips, wistfully saying: "Hmmm, I dreamt of a Toby" - Strained relationships may have misunderstood and pondered if Toby was indeed a work colleague or an Adonis on a reality TV Show. You then check the TV Planner, or seek for any none recognised mobile phone numbers, perhaps check the calendar for ambiguous statements such as: 'Gone fishing!' err; she hates fish - A questionable glance would greet the eye if you're a heterosexual male - "No, I just fancy a change; I want a choice of a variation of meats" - the glance changes to an alarming one. While referring to Toby like this, it is always best to add his surname; 'Carvery.' Who do you know has a surname of 'Carvery?' - Toby is graphically attired for the era of Dick Turpin, infinitely clasping cutlery - Hardly dalliance material for those living in the twenty first century, unless you have a serious fetish for Toby pub signage; not just religiously enter a Toby on a Sunday.

      Their boastful fact of serving half a million beef joints a year is reassuring; they're surely connoisseurs on beef joint prep and service, on par with Michel Roux at 'Le Gavroche' - if you hold dear to the idiom; 'practice makes perfect.' One hunch, staff turn-over is high, even though expertise in delivering the perfect roast may reside in a Toby, it is hit or miss - dependent on whether the team can 'cut the mustard' or not. Please note; each day stroke team differs greatly. A Sunday, hereby ousts in the 'Toby Carvery maitre d's' - breathing urgency into the staff to incessantly fill up the carvery vegetable troughs, as and when - the allocated 'meat carver' has a job to adopt portion control at a ferocious pace - noticeably, they only give out Yorkshires when asked for. A selection of: Beef, turkey, chicken and Ham are the mainstays. I usually observe the Toby carver with interest, on the premise that if 'Toby Carvery' was a theatrical performance on at the 'Lyric Hammersmith' London - he would be the headline act - Bona fide carver of joints, the Johnny Depp 'Edward Scissorhands' of the establishment.

      The single floor spatial design is worked to its capacity. There is an airy-flow from entrance to the bar without any higgledy-piggledy manoeuvrings. From bar to seating area is a painless task; organised as if run by the famous 'Argos cattle-market procedure'. The mandatory fifteen minute wait for a tidy table was enough time to get two thirds of the way through a pint of draught BecksVier. Suddenly a table is always available when you're close to finishing your pint regardless of frequency of gulp and secondly, right on cue of sitting; it's a "ah, can I get you a refill Sir?" I respond amiably; "Yes please, you're right on cue." A 'tenner' liquidises to a two pound coin and some shrapnel.

      Being a Sunday Toby carver is a proud moment for any young man

      Queuing, was a sight to behold, before me was a blooded apron-wearing, frenetic -Toby-carver. I heard one comment in front of me exclaiming; "is he high!" He sure was a rapid cutter for one so young. Being a Sunday Toby carver, well he has trained for this moment - no wonder he was high on life. I chose a beef and ham combo, with a Yorkshire - done in jiffy. "You're quick!" I said - "I'm buzzin..!" was the reply. "Buzzin at being a Sunday Toby carver, well done." A knowing smile was shared, cut off abruptly by a spontaneous clash of knife sharpening. Eight vegetables greeted me including goose fat roasted potatoes; I found the sludgy vegetables were overdone, the result of bathing too long under the light sun-lamp, in the hot tray troughs. Drabs of the cabbage leaves were limp and transparent; yet the sprouts and carrots had a satisfying crunch to them. Of course this occurrence depends on the vegetable preferences of those eating, therefore, I observed Swindon appeared to have a disinterest towards cauliflower cheese and cabbage - too many must've experienced the cabbage diet in these parts and it has left a negative impression.

      Archaic film stills on the wall depicts jovial banter, this is a stark contrast to the pitiful Toby table clearers who wobble about as if ball-bearing toys, wiping and circling tables. Toby is a child favourite you see, and due to its voucher orientated culture 'every man and his voucher-cradling-flock' can pay a pittance for a sizable roast dinner. Check-out Martin Lewis's site 'MoneySavingExpert.' Now, we're in the fiscal era of post-capitalism I see Toby as a beefy sign of hope - a master at serving the masses, masses of mediocre joints. What I admire is the consumer has the choice of having fat and gristle as well as the actual meat they asked for, a quest to bulk out the meal. Notably, the amount of fat and gristle content on the meat is pot luck - for me, the ham was a safer bet than the beef. Call it healthy eating negligence if you like, but Toby's unique selling point is it is a valid eatery to forget the dietary chores of noting calorific content, or itemising the health factors of each dish. Human-kind has survived far longer on the Toby ethic than the over-inflated stroke bloated Jamie Oliver ethic. I'm a fan of being equipped with a greater insulation for the winter months - considering I live in my body all the time, and the abode part of the time, I know where greater insulation is required. Thanks to Toby, I know where to go for less than a twenty pound note!

      Toby uses nuts in food preparation, if you're allergic to all types of nuts this is not a place for you.

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        23.04.2013 15:00
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        Very nice meal.

        On Good Friday this year we decided to go out for a family meal. Like many other families it can be so awkward choosing what to have and where to go as everyone has different ideas and preferences.
        My "children" are now in their twenties, so I am pleased to say that the days are gone where to go out for a meal automatically means a Burger or a Pizza - these are tasty and nice, but when you want to sit down together and not eat junk food, but eat something sensible, filling and tasty - quite an easy criteria to fill, but when you want to take the price into account too and have something that is within a budget that will not break the bank then my personal opinion is that you cannot beat a carvery meal.


        We have been to Toby Carveries in the past, but unfortunately where we live we do not have one nice and local to us, in fact I didn't have a clue as to where one was, so we went online and looked it up.


        The website is www.tobycarvery.co.uk/ and when you go onto their web site you can click on the location finder, where you put your own postcode in and it tells you where your nearest Toby Carvery is, it also has a link to a map where you can get directions to the restaurant.


        Our nearest one was The George in West Worthing. The web site showed us exactly where the restaurant was and that there was parking available.


        I don't know about you, but when I go out for a meal I like to try to plan what time I get there and how busy it is likely to be. We aimed to arrive at about 2pm, thinking that as it was a bank holiday the lunch time would probably be very busy, but to go when the lunchtime rush had died down a bit we hoped that there would still be plenty of fresh, hot food being put onto the carvery.


        When we arrived, we first thought that the parking area was very small and we would not be able to park, but fortunately as well as parking at the front of the restaurant, if you turn to the side of the building there is also parking at the rear. Perfect, no problem, we were able to park. I did notice that the car park was nearly full and when I looked around the area you could see that the restaurant was situated in the middle of a large local shopping area, (Not high street shops but plenty of local shops) and the roads alongside had plenty of cars parked all round - now bearing in mind that the day we visited was a bank holiday - this meant that most of the local shops were closed. I would imagine that on a normal week day, if the car park was full up then it could be a problem trying to park near the restaurant.


        The car park is flat and there are two different doors to get into the restaurant, I did notice that there were not any steps, so it would be safe to say that you wouldn't have any problems in getting a wheelchair or pushchair in and out of the building.


        The George obviously used to be a large, local pub that has been converted into a public bar and a restaurant, when you arrive you stand at the entrance to the restaurant to wait to be seated. At the area where you wait there were menu's, so we had a quick glimpse to see what was on offer, (not sure why really though, as we were all thoroughly looking forward to our Roast dinner - I have to admit though that I do like to read a menu - just in case I think I am missing something!)


        We didn't have to wait more than a minute or two when a nice young lady came and took up to our table, we were guided up a few stairs to a raised seating area, although there were only a few steps, this would not be suitable for disabled guests, although to be fair there was plenty of seating available that was not up the steps.


        We were shown to a table for four people by the window. My impression of the restaurant at that point was that it was clean and pleasant, although the decor was looking somewhat tired and a little shabby, I would say that The George could probably do with a bit of a makeover/refurbishment.


        The waitress left us with the menus and took our orders for drinks. My hubby and I each ordered fresh orange juice and our "children" ordered Cokes.


        We toyed with the idea of having a starter, the prices were very reasonable and ranged from £1.89 to £3.59 - the choices being Cheesy Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, BBQ Chicken Wings, Prawn Cocktail, Soup of the Day or Caramelised Red Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart. I have to say I was very tempted, particularly as someone on a nearby table was eating the Goats Cheese Tart, but we all decided not to - as we wanted to do justice to the roast.


        Of course, if you did not fancy the carvery, there were other options to chose from, "handmade" Toby Pies - Turkey and Gammon in white wine sauce pie, Beef and Theakstons Ale Pie or Pork and Honeymustard sauce Pie. (I do find the "handmade" title misleading though, as I am happy to stand corrected, but do not think that the chef in the kitchen of The George has made these pies!


        The standard price for the Carvery is £5.99, which gives you a choice of Honey and Mustard Glazed Gammon, British or Irish Beef, Turkey of Apple, Honey and Cider glazed Pork. For £5.99 this is a perfect price, the menu tells us that for an extra £1.50 you can upgrade to "king size" and have extra meat, extra Yorkshire pud and two chipolata sausages - I did wonder if my hubby and son would be tempted to upgrade, but they didn't! For vegetarians you can order a met free carvery, an Aubergine Lasagne, Broccoli and Brie parcel, Nut roast, Sage Roasted Squash bake - also available on the menu was a Chicken Caesar Salad or a Salmon fillet.


        We ordered the Carvery from the waitress and was told that we could go up to the serving counter as soon as we were ready. It was a little busy there at that time, and as we were sat in a spot where we could see the server perfectly we sat back for a little while.


        It was whilst waiting for the queue to go down that we became more aware of the seating arrangements. Around the edge of this area were the larger tables and in the middle were the smaller tables, suitable for two people.


        Because this restaurant chain is "family friendly" there were quite a few young families taking up the tables around the edge - now this isn't a criticism of the restaurant, although obviously the seating plan could be a bit more sympathetic, but young children are not always known to be the most careful or considerate... the family sat next to us had two young boys who were up and down from the table constantly for one reason or another, they were not badly behaved, just excited really I think - but I did feel very sorry for the two couples sat at the smaller tables in the middle, as everytime these young lads went past they knocked into their chairs. One of these tables was right by the top of the stairs and as the boys went up and down the poor lady sat there had to move her self to sit at the side of the table. Yes, the parents of these children should have taken a little more control most certainly - but also there is defiantly a problem here in that squeezing in that extra couple tables, to make maximum amount of money is detrimental to the comfort of the guests. I would certainly say that there are about five more tables that should be taken away to give space for people moving around.


        We joined the queue for our carvery and noted that all the meat looked very fresh, if timing is everything then we had done ourselves proud here! The joints all looked large and hardly cut into, they cannot have been out of the oven for long. I chose Beef, I had Yorkshire Pudding, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Cauliflour Cheese and some dish that consisted of cooked onions. My husband had the Pork, My son and daughter both chose the Gammon. After helping yourself to all the vegetables you then move over to the other area where there are various sauces, Horseraddish, Mint and Cranberry - and also Gravy, with one of the gravies marked suitable for vegetarians.


        We had one grumble, and that was the amount of meat that each one of us was served with - it was tiny frankly - and the same sized portions for each of us, so it wasn't relative as to what meat you chose. A gentlemen in the queue ahead of me asked if that was the standard size portion, as he was obviously disappointed too, and he was politely told yes. I can only assume that since the King Size meal has been introduced then the regular size amount of meat has gone down considerably - which is a shame. Other than that I cannot find any fault in the meal whatsoever, everything was piping hot and obviously fresh. The roast was the nicest roast I have eaten out in a very long time, the rest of my family agreed with me too.


        The pork had nice crackling, the beef was slightly rare and the gammon had a beautiful sticky caramelised edge to it - all were cooked to perfection.


        The waitress was perfectly charming, the service was great. She offered us the dessert menu and coffee or tea, but to be honest we were full to capacity, which is a shame!


        The dessert menu looked wonderful, Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream sensation, Honeycomb Sundae, Mint Choc-Chip Sundae, Berry Yoghurt Sundae, just Ice Cream and sharing puddings, apparently enough for four to share, of Chocolate Sponge or Fruit and Lemon Sponge Pudding, the sharing puddings were £7.99 and the Sundaes ranged from £3.79 - I have promised myself one of these next time!


        We left the waitress a tip, as she was very charming and helpful.


        In summary - would I go again? Yes I would, but I would always be very aware of where I was to be sat - As long as we can be sat, tucked away in the corner, then we will be happy. The food was lovely - even if a little stingy with the meat.



        We paid our bill and practically "rolled" our way to the car!

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          04.04.2013 13:30

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          Food could be better, but for the price you can't really expect more!

          I go to the Toby Carvery in Mitcham quite regularly, but not because the food is great - it isn't. My family and I go for a low cost meal and some family time together. I take a little jar of mixed seasonings to give my food some flavour so I can enjoy it better.

          The staff know us well and most of them contribute to making our time out together a good one although with the volume of customers the staff are often harassed looking and not very smiley, although that's not all of them, the carvers are generally very pleasant, one might even say jolly.

          My youngest (14) doesn't really eat much food as she likes to go for the chocolate fudge sundae so we get her a child's plate. My mum's vegetarian and there isn't much on the menu for her but then it is a carvery after all.

          I always feel that I should roast some potatoes and bring them with me as I have not been once in almost 2 years and had good roast potatoes. The beef is really fatty so is not a good cut and the Yorkshire puddings taste a bit papery.

          With what I've written one might wonder why we keep going back but as I said, it's just to have a cheap family night out without having to cook and do the washing up!

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          16.02.2013 17:34

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          A real treat!

          I aways go the Toby Carvery in Lower Earley, Reading. Service is always excellent, food piping hot and a very good selection of meat - beef, turkey, gammon, pork, and fresh vegetables - usually roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips, carrrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower cheese as well as an enormous yorkshire pudding. I have eaten other 'value' meals at other pubs but Toby carvery meals, in my opinion, beat them hands down in terms of what you actually get for your money. This is because you help yourself to as much veg as you like from the carvery counter instead of being served just a couple of potatoes and a few peas/carrots, and you can even go back for seconds! Taking advantage of their two for £10 meal vouchers in the week makes it an even better deal. I have read someone's review about the meals being tasteless and unseasoned. I totally disagree with that. It is really good to be able to eat meals that have not been overdosed with salt which ruins the flavour....and, if you do want to up the amount of seasoning, just add it yourself. Just can't see the problem there! All in all, a real fortnightly treat and I'm already looking forward to my next meal!

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          08.02.2013 17:44
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          Not my idea of a nice restaurant.

          Toby Carvery. Gravesend.

          My daughter and son in law asked us to go out for dinner one evening just before Christmas as I was not going to be around over the Christmas period. As a new restaurant had opened near them that they said they would like to try it out. We did not have to book apparently and were told to just turn up.
          We arranged to meet at 19:30 with absolutely nasty raining weather beating down so we did not expect to find the restaurant as busy as it was. In fact it was packed to capacity.

          We had been delayed and arrived shortly after 19:30 but my daughter, son in law and granddaughter were already sitting in a booth waiting for us to arrive. We joined them at the table immediately a waitress came and asked if we would like a drink. My wife and I ordered a drink and we were then handed the menus.

          This was the first time that my wife and I had been to such a place and we were not sure of what we were expected to do. The waitress told us that if we were to have the Carvery then we just went up to the serving counter where one of the chefs would carve the meat and we would then have to help ourselves to the vegetables. I knew straight away that my wife would not eat any of the Carvery meat as so she picked salmon with a lemon and herb dressing from the menu and was told just to help herself to whatever vegetables she liked once her meal arrived.

          The restaurant.

          Being newly built it is a very large building on a corner plot with a large well lit car park. Entering through the double doors we were greeted into the restaurant by a member of the waiting staff. Being brand new it was still in a very good condition. The toilets were very clean. There must have been seating for at least hundred diners. There was a bar to the right hand side. There were some nice tasty paintings on the walls obviously massed produced but they helped to create an ambiance to the restaurant.
          I was quite impressed by the look of the building but my main criticism was the noise levels. It was incredibly noisy and felt akin to a school canteen. This is certainly not a place to have a quiet or romantic meal. If that is what you want then I suggest you go elsewhere.

          The Carvery

          We waited about 20 minutes for her salmon to arrive and she and my daughter went to get their vegetables and a small meal for my granddaughter. Once they had returned and my granddaughter was tucking into her dinner we went to the Carvery for ours.

          The Carvery was manned by a guy in a chef's outfit he carves the meat according to whatever meat you wish to have. The meat being served was beef, gammon, pork and turkey you could choose either one type of meat or have a combination of all the meats or whichever meat takes your fancy. He was very adept at slicing the meat as it was practically transparent. He asked me if I wished to have a large meal which you could pay a little extra for. I told him no thanks but my daughter and son in law both chose to go extra-large. When I say extra-large their plate was like a salver it was absolutely and grossly massive.

          I had a slice of beef and a slice of turkey and my daughter and her husband had a combination of all four.
          Moving along the counter you are able to help yourself to any vegetable you want. There was cauliflower and cauliflower cheese, Broccoli, sprouts, peas, carrots, parsnips, roast and boiled potato and giant sized Yorkshire puddings. There was also gravy to the side and various accompaniments you could help yourself to including apple sauce, cranberry, sauce mint sauce although there was no lamb on the menu, there was also mustard and other condiments.

          I had a couple of sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and some peas with roast potato and a Yorkshire pudding. The sprouts were very hard and I was only able to cut through about two layers before it was impossible to cut any deeper into it. The cauliflower was quite hard too and so were the carrots. I found the food lacking in taste of flavour and to be honest I thought it rather bland. It seems that the vegetables had not been seasoned at all in any way. It really was not that nice at all. Ok if you do not like to eat anything with no taste but for normal people it was seasoned totally inadequately.

          The waitress kept popping back to see if we wished to order further drinks and then came back to take the order for desserts. The family all ordered desserts which were overly sweet. Apple crumble and custard which they all agreed was very nice but very very sweet. While they were tucking into this I was enjoying a large espresso coffee which was absolutely perfect and probably the only thing that I really enjoyed out of the whole meal.

          All in all it was a cheap meal despite the fact that it was tasteless. I for one certainly won't be going back there in any kind of hurry and if I were to be taking people out for dinner it certainly would not be in a place like this. I guess it's a case of you pay for what you get. Mass produced food that was bland and tasteless with a little bit more thought the meal could really have been quite nice. My wife was also of the same opinion but the kids thought that it was good and will be going back! For four meals including drinks it only came to £52 which I thought was reasonable for the amount of food we had and how well we were looked after by the waitress.

          I understand that the Toby carvery make various offers at different times of the month for example two for one etc and they are also open for breakfast from 09:00.

          Summary: Its ok but certainly not special or anything you could really write home about. I would only rate it at 2 Stars to be honest.

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            12.08.2012 01:03
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            A full five stars here, i'll be back.

            I have been to the Toby Carvery many times before now but i went at lunch time today and realised that you can actually go back for veg as many times as you like, which made me think very highly of these guys since most other carveries don't do that, so thought i'd write this review. Upon arriving at the carvery you do need to be seated by staff, it's one of those places yes, but if you request to say, sit at a window, they will happily let you do so.

            The carvery is always ready for you to just go up and get the food so you can go when you're ready, and the staff bring the drinks over to you while you get your food. I was asked which meats i would like (there was pork, turkey and beef) and i chose Turkey. if you choose all three you get a small bit of each but i personally would like just 1 large bit of turkey. you get the same amount of meat no matter how many you choose but you just get a bigger piece the fewer you choose.

            There is currently an offer on that if the staff don't ask you for desert you get it free, and thee are plenty of other offers on if they do like you get £1 off when buying a carvery and £10 for two carveries (normally £5.95 each). The atmosphere is generally very good, its set like a pub with a large bar you can sit at if you just want to drop in for a drink and that's it, or you can go for a drink after your carver. You can order straight from the bar and have it sent over to you if you prefer but i find it's nice to sit and chat to friends after a meal too.

            The staff are quite friendly, they aren't moody or act like they hate their job, you are met with a smile and they immediately begin asking for drinks or offer you a little more time, it's up to you. The waiting times for desert were a little long today (about 8 minutes for me) but they normally take around 5, today was the only exception.

            Overall a great british feel restaurant with great food (the yorkshire puddings are COLOSSAL by the way, they must use self raising flour?) and the atmosphere is superb, everything is very british like, and that's what i'd expect so a great job from the Toby Carvery, i'll be back)

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              20.07.2012 18:50

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              19.7.12 2.45pm T Carvery Astley Bridge Bolton. A party of three , one a veggie,had a wait for his option but liked it.Drinks I think too dear, pork dry and gammon dryand. The very salty. Some of veg not looking good,plates not hot enough to keep food hot until you had eaten it all, gravy luke warm. I was disappointed. The staff were nice and helpful. I will not be making a return visit, £ 23.50 for three meals and three drinks one a pepsi

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              25.03.2012 22:33
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              Staff have ruined this restaurant!

              We have always been a fan of our local Toby Carvery. Our local Toby is the Norton Canes restaurant and this review is based on this restaurant in particular.

              The Toby Carvery Brand is aimed at offering quality food, cooked well and reasonable prices. For a daytime carvery - up to 6pm the price is £5.95, sunday carvery is £9.49. The daytime carvery is set at a reasonable price and we feel the quality of the food is worth this price. However, the Sunday carvery price has slowly crept higher and higher the last year. It was priced at around £7 around a year ago and all of a sudden it is £2.50 more! I know this is still quite cheap but the huge jump in price in a matter of a year is ridiculous! We have now stopped going on a Sunday as if it was all the family the bill was becoming higher and higher!

              The food itself is lovely no matter whether you go there in the day time, evening or Sunday. During the week they offer a choice of 4 meats:- Turkey, Gammon, Beef or Pork. Along with these you can pick from a wide range of vegetables including:- Peas, Carrots, Cabbage, Roast Parsnips, Cauliflower Cheese, Onions, Broccoli, Mashed, Boiled, New or Roast Potatoes and a choice of gravy. The vegetable and gravy is unlimited. All the food is cooked to perfection and always is hot and tastes great! You'll never go away hungry and are bound to pile up your plates.

              Along with your carvery you can also choose a starter, or other meal options such as Lasagne, Pies etc
              For drinks you have a full choice from the Bar and if you choose soft drinks such as Pepsi, Fanta and Lemonade with free refills.

              The prices of the drinks and other meals are reasonable and are pretty standard pub prices.

              The food and choice is really good, the amount of choice and quality is great to the £5.95. However this all becomes tainted with the customer service. As you enter the Norton Canes restaurant someone takes you to a table and takes your drink order...normally. A number of occasions when we have gone there in the daytime the bar man has simply shouted to us to go to a table and yelled what drinks we would like across the whole room. On 3 of these occasions we put up with this and sat down. Each of these times the same barman has forgotton our drinks and never sent them over. Furthermore he never tell the waiting staff to see us so we are left trying to catch the attention of someone to order and chase our drinks. When we eventually manage to get someone the drinks order still gets forgotten and even when we went to the bar to chase them up we were still kept waiting while the staff seem to chat among themselves. On one such occasion we had eaten our whole meal before the drinks arrived, on which occasion we refused to pay full price for them!

              The staff at this restaurant seem to be on the most part quite young, and are helpful and attentive when the pub is full, but if its quiet they don't seem bothered! They stand around talking, often with foul language - which doesn't bother me, but when there are children around i think this is highly inappropriate. They get worse the quieter it is and when we were their last our waitress decided she was going into town and left!!!!! Another time when it was practically empty we were left for 20 minutes before we walked out with no-one coming to take our order!

              Our last visit was much the same and again we walked out after being left standing for someone to seat us for 10 minutes (the restaurant was empty near enough) while 8 members of staff stood chatting. We did ask them and was told they would be with us in a minute - 5 minutes later after listening to their conversation we walked out.

              We have given this restaurant the benefit of the doubt as we love the food so much, but finally the lack of customer service - or any service has become too much and we will not be returning!

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              18.03.2012 10:25
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              Not my usual choice of restaurant, but it suited us that day.

              he Toby Carvery would not normally be my first choice of restaurant, but I was having lunch with two friends and the Hilsea restaurant is situated about halfway between their homes. Added to that, there is a good-sized car park there, and the prices for the carvery are very reasonable. I had to agree it was worth trying.

              We arrived just before 1pm on a Saturday. The place seemed pretty busy, but we were lucky enough to be able to get a table straight away. If the restaurant area is full, you can have a drink in the adjacent pub area. A waitress took our drinks order; one of my friends ordered a diet Coke and was told she could have unlimited refills. We then had a look at the menu.

              Starters feature cheesy garlic bread (£1.75), melon jumble (£2.50) and garlic mushrooms (£3.50) among others. The carvery offers beef, gammon, turkey and a vegetarian option accompanied by Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, roast potatoes and mash with a choice of vegetables and gravies. The lunchtime price is £5.75, and in the evening it is £7.95. You can choose more than one type of meat if you wish, and you can go back for second helpings of vegetables. On Sunday roast pork is served too, and the carvery price is £9.49. If the carvery is not what you're after, there are other mains to choose from. These include salmon or hake fillet, and lemon and pepper chicken or chicken tikka salad. In the evening curries are served on Mondays to Thursdays, rib of beef and beef stroganoff on Fridays, and roast lamb or chicken and tarragon cobbler on Saturdays.

              We decided to go for the carvery. We did have to queue for it, but not for very long. I chose to have turkey but refused the offer of a Yorkshire pudding as they looked a bit flat. I helped myself to stuffing, carrots, peas, cabbage, cauliflower and a crisp roast potato. Over to one side were several sauces and a choice of gravies; I decided that the vegetarian gravy would be the best choice, even though I was having turkey. The food was actually very good except for the cauliflower, which could have done with cooking a little longer. We were hardly able to finish what we had helped ourselves to the first time, let alone go back for seconds.

              Desserts range from dairy ice cream at £2.70 to chocolate cheesecake at £3.95. Others include fruit crumble, lemon meringue pie, treacle sponge and Eton mess. On the day we were there they were offering £1 off all puddings, but we were too full to take advantage of this. Tea and hot liqueur chocolate are available as well as a range of coffees.

              There is a mini carvery for children under ten that includes a vegetarian version and also chicken breast with mash and peas. Children's puddings range from raspberry jelly at 55p to Belgian waffle at £2. Fruit Shoots are among the drinks on offer.

              The place was so busy that it wouldn't have been fair to stay in the restaurant area, so we asked for the bill, which came to just under £21. I did notice that the diet Coke cost about 80p more than my fruit juice, so you do in fact pay extra for those unlimited refills. We walked through to the pub area and found a table with a comfortable sofa and armchair in the far corner. I wouldn't like to tell you how long we sat there chatting undisturbed. Background music is mostly pop, but the volume isn't loud enough to make conversation at all difficult. The pub section of the building resembles a huge barn; one of my friends used to live in the area and said there had originally been a farm there, so they may have reconstructed what was actually a barn.

              Food is served in the pub area too, but the menu is a little different. You can have a carvery sandwich, a cold sandwich or a hot baguette for £3.95. There are also salads, light bites and several hot dishes including a vegetarian lasagne at £5.75.

              The Toby Carvery serves breakfast from 8am, probably because it gets plenty of clients from the Travelodge that is situated right next door. There is a full English breakfast, including a vegetarian version, as well as various savoury muffins, toast and jam. Tea and coffee are unlimited.

              A takeaway service includes cooked breakfasts, the carvery menu and puddings. A quiz night is held in the pub on Fridays.

              The combination of the restaurant and the pub suited us as we don't often get together and wanted to be able to sit and chat without being made to feel that we had outstayed our welcome. The carvery was certainly very good considering the price. With the number of independent restaurants close to where I live in Southsea, I wouldn't go out of my way to return to the Toby Carvery, but it was a very good location for that particular occasion. I'm sure it is a popular place for families, and I noticed on the menu that toddlers can have a plate and share their parents' carvery at no extra cost. If you enjoy a roast dinner, have a good appetite and don't want to pay the earth for a meal out, then the Toby Carvery might be for you.

              Carvery opening hours: 8am - 11am (for breakfast) and noon - 10pm, Monday to Saturday; 8am - 10.30am (breakfast) and 11am - 10pm on Sunday.

              Pub opening hours: 11am - 11pm Monday to Saturday; 11am - 10.30pm on Sunday.

              The Toby Carvery
              Copnor Road
              Hilsea
              Portsmouth
              PO3 5HS

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                21.02.2012 23:47

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                We visited the Toby Carvery at Cardiff recently and three of us thoroughly enjoyed our carvery meals. The fourth person however who prefers a salad meal was horrified to learn from the waitress that mayonnaise is not available at any Toby Carvery .. what? surely this cannot be true!? Our son had to cross a very busy main road to Tesco Express to buy his own jar. Salad is not a salad to most people without mayonnaise. If salad is on the menu then the most favourite British dressing - Mayonnaise - should be available. You would never serve roast beef without yorkshire puddings!!

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                14.02.2012 14:33

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                All in all - great place for good food that will leave you wanting to come back again for more.

                I went to the Toby Carvery in Slough - having never been to one before, it was my sister's idea at the time - the idea that they offer you a selection of fresh roast beef, turkey or gammon and as much vegetables and roast potatoes as you like was appealing.

                So we get to Toby Carvery - with little effort find a parking spot and went inside.

                First impressions - nice, relaxed pleasant environment - clean, tidy and very courteous and friendly staff - and found a nice table to sit at with a Carvery Assistant on hand to help us with any extra orders we wished to make.

                I picked the honey glazed and mustard roast gammon - and piled plenty of fresh potatoes, carrots, peas onto my plate and then walked over to the gravy selection. I went for the country gravy and I'm glad I did as It was really nice.

                The food was hot, fresh and delicious - especialy my honey glazed and mustard gammon which was very tender and tasty.

                My sister ordered a strawberry trifle desert and I had hastily pre-ordered a pint of lager with my meal - wish I'd left the drink out, as it didn't allow any more room for more of that tasty Carvery food.

                Defo reccomend it to anybody who wants to enjoy a delicious roast dinner meal with family or friends - beats a lot of pub grub too imo as its more reasonably priced (£5.75 day time carvery) and £7 something during evenings , can't remember the exact price for evening carvery but you can find out yourselves on their website lol

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                10.02.2012 12:12
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                Generally speaking they are spot on

                Since having my first child, Tobys Carvery in Morecambe has become one of my favourite places to dine. With it's laid back, bustling atmosphere, I love dining there.

                As with most people, I'm always on the look-out for a bargain. Tobys carvery is no exception to this, as they are always offering discounts if you print off the vouchers online. We do have the normal carvery sometimes, but the breakfast is where they stand out the most for me.

                We tend to dine off the 2 for £6 vouchers (when paying they do actually give you another voucher for the next time you eat there). I have been there when other people have had a 2-for-1 voucher, so look out for those as they are actually a better deal. If you don't have any vouchers, the price for a normal breakfast is £4.95 per person. A vegetarian breakfast is £3.95, and a child's breakfast is £2.95.

                For the daytime carvery (available Monday-Saturdays except bank holidays, providing you are seated at your table by 7pm) they charge £5.75 per person- the meats on offer are always beef, turkey and gammon. Tobys carvery always offer a vegetarian alternative- but don't be put off by the ones which they have on display! Certainly in our local Tobys carvery, they use these only for display purposes.

                Evening carvery prices are a lot higher (£7.95 per person), although they offer a larger selection of foods. Although the nights may alter slightly from carvery to carvery, the foods on offer are basically the same. As well as the succulent roasts and vegetarian option, my local carvery (Morecambe) have curry nights Monday-Thursday, Steak nights on a Friday and Lamb nights on a Saturday.

                Sunday carvery is £9.49 per person. This gives you the choice of beef, pork, turkey and gammon-but as with most places they charge more on a Sunday!

                Tobys carvery offer a wide choice of drinks. For a breakfast carvery they offer unlimited filter coffee or tea for £1.95 per person per pot. You can also get a bottomless pepsi or tango for about £2.50 (you just go and fill it up as many times as you want).

                I'm not going to lie and tell you that everytime I've had a meal there it's been perfect, as it hasn't. The first time I ate breakfast there the service was awful. Basically we were told that we could go and get as much as we wanted-but were only allowed to go once.....except when my husband went they had no eggs or bread, and then when I Went they had run out of sausages and beans. You serve yourself at breakfast time and cook your own toast. It was an absolute shambles, with people complaining left, right and centre. I have however been a number of times since ( the first time being completely against my will), but I can say I have been pleasantly surprised each time. The food has been absolutely delicious every time and they have accommodated my children every time, providing high chairs and extra plates for my daughter without even being asked. What I especially love about this place is that the menus even state that any child under three can be provided with an extra plate to share their parents meal-and at no extra cost. Unlike most places they also ask you when you come in how many eggs you would like, this does sometimes mean waiting a little longer, but It also means your eggs are cooked fresh for you. Nobody looks at you funny for piling your plate extra high to accommodate your child-and the atmosphere is always so warm and child friendly.

                Daytime and evening carvery has an even better atmosphere-although due to it normally being really busy, you can queue for quite long periods. They have a lot more staff on and they still have time to see to your needs. For the daytime/evening carvery a chef carves your meat for you, and then you help yourself to as much potatoes and vegetables as you like. There is normally an additional table with all you sauces and gravy on. The only faults I have with daytime/evening carvery is that sometimes the beef and roast potatoes have been overcooked (although you can see all this for yourselves and pick what you do/don't want). On a plus, the yorkshire puddings are absolutely massive!

                I would recommend this place to anyone....I'm actually going there tomorrow for my breakfast!!!

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                  09.08.2011 20:19
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                  Going here for a steak would be a big mistake

                  Whilst on a short break to Washington...not the DC one, but the original near Sunderland, we were staying at the Holiday Inn and thought it convenient that there was a Toby Carvery just a few hundred metres away where, after a long...make that very l o n g day shopping at the Metro Centre, we could just check into the hotel, have a quick freshen up, and toddle off to the Toby for a bite to eat and a bucket of beer.
                  So we did.


                  On arriving at 6.55 we were informed that we were too late for the fiver special deals which ended at 7. We were then told that there was a 20 minute wait for a table. Oh well, things could only get better.
                  Striding purposefully towards the bar, drooling with anticipation at the thought of a foaming mug of the local ale, I searched the fonts in vain for anything 'real'. Unpetting my lip, I ordered a pint of John Smith smooth - not my first choice normally, but better than anything else on offer. At least it could't get worse.
                  On my third pint forty-five minutes later, I was seriously contemplating telling the staff exactly where to serve their carvery and head for the chippy when we were summoned to a table. " At least", I mused rather naively to mrs p, "the grub must be good if they're this busy, and it surely can't go downhill from here."

                  Our server quickly appeared and asked if we'd seen the menu. Considering we'd had enough time to set up a printing business and run off a few thousand copies ourselves, I assured her we had.
                  Ah, the menu.

                  You can check online for the exact details of the menu...but I wouldn't bother as the online version doesn't bear much resemblance to reality.
                  Basically, there are starters.
                  From the carvery: ham, beef or turkey with all the trimmings.
                  A salad dish, a fish dish, a veggie dish, roast fillet of beef and paella.
                  Various desserts.
                  I asked about the fish dish...like this: " What's the fish dish?"
                  "Um," replied our server "It's sole...or tuna...um, it's definitely got fins."
                  "Hmmm," says I, "Is the paella cooked to order?"
                  Apparently, it wasn't. You just help yourself to a portion at the carvery.

                  Having decided on the beef carvery for mrs p and the paella para mi, our server told us to help ourselves. The term server seemed a bit of a misnomer here.
                  The food on display certainly looked good and plates suitably filled we returned to our table.

                  This is when things took a turn for the worse.
                  Some of the beef was ok, but a lot was rather tough. The roast potatoes were tasty enough, but they were on the cool side although warmer than the veggies. All in all, the carvery meal, had it been hot, would have been, not exactly delicious, but bland.

                  As for the paella...oh dear.
                  True, the dish consisted of yellow rice, spicy sausage, chicken, prawns and veg, but that's where the similarity ended. Long grain rice? That's a new one. Prawns that were the tiniest shrimps I've ever struggled to taste; chicken that made McD's nuggets seem like corn-fed, free-range guinea fowl; and as for the chorizo...what chorizo?
                  A few peas and peppers completed the dish. I couldn't taste garlic and I doubt very much if saffron was used - more like E102, and the oil used was less virgin olive oil and more slutty corn oil.
                  We ate what we could, slurped the last of our drinks, paid our bill (sans tip) and skedaddled out of there pronto. Looking around, I got the impression that we were far from alone in our disappointment with the food.

                  To be fair, it's not an expensive meal but at £7.95 for a main course, that's still about £8 more than it's worth.
                  I can only assume that because there are 4-5 hotels in the close vicinty, that it's hotel guests who make up the majority of the clientele here - the poor schmucks not knowing any better. With poor service, long waiting times and food that's struggling to be edible, I can't see there being a long line of repeat customers.

                  Would I eat here again?
                  Well that depends on the weather...only if hell freezes over.

                  ©proxam2011

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                    29.06.2011 12:37
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                    generally not asgood as before and on the decline, will be shopping elsewhere

                    These carveries are on the decline, recently (in the past 4 years). prices have escalated, staff are no longer as attentive (may be salary or pressure or recruitment) as in the past, the whole experience is now becomming increasingly unpleasant, rude or inattentive staff is more often than before and food quality is suffering.

                    false advertising will have you believe that carvery is £5.49 however at weekends and bank holidays this is over a tenner, also our local is now charging £1.00 (refundable on purchase) parking fees.

                    So a basic weekend carvery for 2 and a couple of drinks is now over £30

                    You decide for yourself, but if you want pile it high sell it cheap "IT Ain't" myself and my wife have decided that if they want to charge fancy prices then they need to offer a fancy experience to the punter.

                    So hard times ahead and no wonder toby are suffering from Austerity, just wait for interest rates to kick in and they will finally feel more than a pinch.

                    Please be aware we eat out regular we assume a spend to toby of £500 per annum not a lot maybee, but in our book enough for pleasantries and civility, no noisy gossiping staff, no shortage of staff, and order makers not order takers.... Be advised Toby listen to "nothern rock, carpet right, focus, moben, etc.." they have lost the plot and the customer base, a route you are destined to follow me thinks......

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                    24.05.2011 22:56
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                    Well worth eating at mostToby's!

                    I have only been to two Toby Carveries; the one in Barnet and the one in Borehamwood. My experiences at both have varied.

                    When I went to the Barnet Carvery I was not impressed. The décor was awful and outdated and the place generally looked a bit dirty. Most of the food I ate there was fine, but my roast potatoes were rock hard. Now I love Roast potatoes, they are my favourite type of potatoes ; so I was really disappointed about this. It seems to me that it was probably the case that the potatoes I had must have been sitting there for hours!

                    However, ,my experiences at Borehamwood Carvery were much better. I went last Sunday with my partner. You wouldn't think you were actually in Borehamwood as the location is really nice. Its sort of countrified and is right next to a Travelodge. The inside of the restaurant is nicely decorated; relaxing and pleasant. There is also a large bar area with plenty of seating and an outside area with benches and seats.

                    The Sunday lunch Toby Experience
                    ******************************

                    Toby Carveries do a traditional Roast dinner with all the trimmings you can eat! You will get a choice of 4 different roast meats; Beef, Pork, Gammon and Turkey. If you only choose to have say 2 meats, then you can ask for large portions. You can then have a large Yorkshire pudding if you wish. Next you come to the vegetable selection; There is a choice of Roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, mashed Swede, Cauliflower cheese, Broccoli, Stuffing, Peas, and Carrots. You can go up as many times as you like to get vegetables but only the once for the meat. However, you really do get enough meat. Lastly, you get a different choice of gravies plus a choice of sauces including mint and apple.

                    When we arrived at the Toby in Borehamwood, we first went up to the reception part; you then give your name and the amount of people in your party. I went there with my partner. Despite the fact that The Toby was really busy we were told we would only have to wait about 20 minutes. We sat in the bar area; well to be exact just outside the bar area in 2 comfy armchairs with a drink. In the end we did only have to wait about 20 minutes which was fine by us. When the Toby is extremely busy you may have to wait longer. We were then led to our table. We looked up at the queue to the Carvery itself and it looked pretty busy, so we waited a few minutes before venturing up. By this time we were both really hungry. It was slightly annoying waiting as what happened was that they had run out of Yorkshire pudding so some people were waiting for the next batch of Yorkshire pudding to come out. This took about 5 minutes and I would estimate that altogether we had to wait about 15 minutes in the queue. We were fortunate in that, just as we were going up to get all of our vegetables, fresh bowls of roast potatoes and carrots arrived! I was particularly pleased in regard to the roast potatoes after my last experience at the Toby Carvery in Barnet! I piled my plate very high, too high in fact! I have a tendancy to do this and the saying 'your eyes are bigger than your belly ' springs to mind! I have realised that this is a mistake because psychologically I found myself sitting at the table in front of a mountain of food thinking to myself 'how on earth am I going to eat all of this' ! What I should have done was have a reasonable sized plate of food as my partner did; that way I would have been far more likely to eat the majority of it. You see quite a lot people piling their plates up high but others who have an average amount. In the end I ate about 2/3 rds and my partner ate about 3/4 of his. We were both really pleased with our meal ; the meat was tender and juicy too. I have decided that from now on I will take less vegetables; and if I want more, I will go back for more. I don't think that many people return for seconds as most are probably full up or are having a smaller roast dinner followed by a pudding.

                    I must admit their puddings looked delicious, but I was way to full up to attempt eating one!

                    Prices
                    *******

                    During weekdays and Saturdays (up until 7pm) the daytime carvery will only cost £5.95 per person; you will get the usual roast carvery (with only 3 choices of roast meats rather than the 4 you get on Sundays) and all the vegetables you can eat etc. If you don't feel like the carvery meal you can also choose a Beef & Ale pie or a Turkey & Gammon pie (with as much vegetables as you can eat also). They also have a daily vegetarian choice.

                    Toby Carveries also have more choices on weekdays & Saturdays including a 2 course selection, although this costs a little more than the daytime Carvery prices.

                    After 7pm weekdays and Saturdays fro £7.75 you get some great choices; the traditional carvery meal, Monday to Thursday unlimited curry! Also unlimited Beef stroganoff & Chicken & Tarragon Cobbler. Friday is steak night and Saturday is Classic lamb night (http://www.tobycarvery.co.uk/pdf/tobycarvery-carvery-daytime.PDF)

                    Toby Carveries also have a choice of foods for children aged under 10 years.

                    On Sundays the cost of your Carvery meal will be £9.25 per person. Admittedly this is a lot more than what it costs during the week; however, in my view this is still a great bargain price. It is however essential that you can locate a good Toby Restaurant; so it's a bit like trial and error or looking up reviews or recommendations from friends and family.

                    I would certainly recommend their carvery in Borehamwood. Its also something that everyone can enjoy; couples; groups and families.

                    I would have awarded Toby Carveries the full 5 stars, but for the negative experience at their Barnet Restaurant; therefore I give them 4 Dooyoo stars..

                    For further information see Toby's website ; http://www.tobycarvery.co.uk/

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