Posts Tagged ‘carvery’

Toby Carvery Aldershot

March 28, 2013

I walked in and the first thing that hit was the noise, the loud music, I nearly turned on my heals and walked out. I regret I did not.

People want to relax when having a meal, not have to shout above loud music.

I was escorted to a table by a window. Normally that would be be my preference, but it was cold. Those who arrived a little later and were sat further in, closer to the food, complained it was cold and were moved elsewhere. Another couple, sat down, who I assumed to be the head chef, came across and spoke to them. They got up and walked out.

The portions were meagre if not mean, poor quality meat. The person serving surly. The vegetables looked tired, as though sitting there for hours. I also noticed, but only later when I saw someone had peas on their plate, that only half the vegetables that should have been there were there. I also noticed from the menu that if you paid extra, you got larger portions. This is like the cowboy charter airlines. Reduce your luggage allowance from the standard 20 kg, then charge for extra luggage allowance, or worse no luggage allowance at all.

Toby carvery in Aldershot has been open at most three months, and yet it is already looking shabby, paint peeling off the walls, toilet door jams. As I walked in to the Toby Carvery, there was a sign warning the door was broken.

Outside it said breakfast served. No mention what. No mention on the menu either.

It was fairly empty. The staff out numbered those eating. Each time I have passed by and looked in, it has looked empty. I asked was it always like this, and was told yes, the novelty on opening had already passed.

Apart from one charming young waitress, the vibes given off by the staff was one of glum resignation, rather be some place else.

Totally lacking in atmosphere.

Not a place I would recommend if you want a decent carvery. I wonder how long it will be before it closes?

There is a Toby Carvery on the way out of Frimley. It is far better, or was, maybe it too has dropped its standards. Or is this because it is Aldershot, standards low, nowehere decent to eat?

For an excellent carvery try The Foresters on the way to Fleet.

The Toby Carvery is part of a group of tacky chain eateries in Westgate, or Waste Gate as local retailers are calling it.

Westgate is an ugly retail development on the edge of Aldershot town centre, that is killing the town centre. If all the eateries are as bad as the Toby Carvery, then they have nothing to worry about, or at least would not if there were any decent restaurants in Aldershot, which there are not.

For every meal eaten in one of these chain eateries that is a meal not eaten in a local restaurant. For every pound spent, it is a pound drained out of the local economy, compared with a pound recycled in the local economy.

When I have eaten in the Toby outside Frimley, I have felt too full to move. I left the Aldershot Toby Carvery feeling hungry.

I wandered through the town. There were few people about even though it was market day (and Easter school holidays). I noticed big gaps where there would have been stalls. As predicted, Westgate is causing the collapse of the street market. The quality fruit and vegetable stall near The Arcade, which has always been busy, had not a single customer. And yet the council claim Westgate is good for Aldershot, though this is not the view of either retailers, shoppers or residents, who see Westgate as an unmitigated disaster for Aldershot.

The only place I saw was busy as I walked past was McDonald’s. Says it all really, this is Aldershot.

Lunch at Debenhams

October 19, 2012
roast pork with the full trimmings

roast pork with the full trimmings

Debenhams is not somewhere one would think of for lunch, and yet the restaurant in Debenhams in Guildford is quite popular.

I was on my way to eat at the Guildford Institute, which is always good on a Friday, but thought I would take a look in Debenhams.

It was roast pork, with all the trimmings.

The pork was slightly overdone, which meant it was slightly dry, but the crackling was lovely and crisp, the carrots slightly underdone, the roast potatoes a little over done. Nevertheless it was a good meal and they are not stingy with the portions. At a little over £7, reasonable value for money.

The restaurant overlooks the River Wey.

view of River Wey from restaurant

view of River Wey from restaurant

It was a miserable day, raining all day. Whilst in Debenhams it poured, and so I was stuck there for a while.

When it eased off, I decided to walk up to the Guildford Institute. They have lovely desserts. I was though too late, the lady serving was leaving early as she was catching a train to Bristol. I did though manage to get a cake a pot of tea, which at £1-70 very good value.

It was a miserable cold wet day and I would not have been out at all, but that evening I was at the E-debate at the Electric Theatre, one of the events of the Guildford Book Festival, therefore it was hang around Guildford all afternoon. I did though manage to pick up 2001: A Space Odyssey from Ben’s Records. It was then dinner at The Keystone, where the food is always good, then to the Electric Theatre a few minutes walk away.

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