I had the delight of taking my nieces out for lunch on Friday and opted for the nearest restaurant to their school (and not McDonalds) and chose the Lauriston Farm Toby Carvery
This opened in early April after changing hands again. I’ve eaten at one Toby Carvery before, which was many years ago.
The 3 of us were shown to our table and I explained that I hadn’t been there before, but they just showed me the menus and told me it was counter service. But then the waitress came and took or drinks orders and our meals !? I was confused. The kids got their menu with puzzles and colouring in to do on it, but no crayons or pens !?
The children’s menu was lacking in choice I thought
Is any child going to choose the ‘meat free carvery’ and fill their plate with nothing but vegetables ?
My nieces chose the chicken breast, mash and peas and I ordered the main adult carvery.
The only drink on the kids menu (which is pomegranate and raspberry fizz at 50p)was sold out, so I opted for them to have apple juice.
It wasn’t explained when the kids stuff would come, or when I should go up for mine (would I be given a plate to take up ?)
The kids’ meals came – a dollop of mash and a chicken breast on top, no peas to be seen anywhere (no explanation given either). The meal looked very depressing. The menu didn’t say they were allowed to add veg or gravy, so why any child would be expected to eat dry mash with chicken breast is beyond me. I wouldn’t have eaten it like that.
I took their plates up to the main carvery and asked for some veg as they were unable to do it themselves as the plate was scorching hot. Even I had to use my sleeve to hold the plate and I find this unacceptable considering they were being served to children.
Their meal was complete with some veg and some country gravy (whatever that is)
I wish I had taken a picture of the plate before the veg and gravy was added, it was rather pathetic for the non-cheap price of £4.29 !!
We asked for ketchup and it eventually came.
I then went up for my carvery lunch and chose the turkey and the beef with a bit of everything else.
I don’t think the photo does it justice for how much meat there was on the plate, it was a generous helping and filled even my stomach !! Everything was delicious and a good choice of veg and yorkshire pudding.
The apple sauce was the only sauce that was left, the bowls were empty of the cranberry etc and I pointed this out to the waitress but don’t know how quickly it was acted upon as I didn’t want to leave the children at the table on their own again.
This is exceptionally good value at lunchtime since it’s only £5 and explains why the restaurant was pretty much full whilst we were there.
Another reason that we chose Lauriston Farm is so that the kids could go outside and use the play ground that used to be there. It is no longer there. This was one of the prime reasons family took their kids to Lauriston Farm restaurant before and I don’t understand why Toby Carvery have taken it away.
I asked for the bill and it came to £20.00 or so with drinks etc, but instead of being charged 50p for the kids’ apple juice, we were charged £1.45. This is annoying because the juice that they would have had if it wasn’t sold out only cost 50p. This wasn’t explained to us at time of ordering. If you were completely watching your pennies, then it would have been frustrating.
I asked the waitress to speak to the manager to point out the hotness of the plates for the kids meals and lack of peas but was told ‘he’s too busy just now’ so left it at that !
OVERALL – this is a good place for adults as the food is good and helpings are generous. I don’t recommend it for children and it could be a little tricky if you are a single parent taking your child / children here since you will have to leave them to get your meal (can they not introduce a service to help adults on their own with children ?) My nieces are 9 and 8 and are fine to sit on their own for a while, but I was in the queue for over 5 minutes. The children’s menu is too unappealing – what about turkey, roast baby potatoes and peas ? And the offer of ketchup with children’s meals.
Suitable for disabled ? Yes, there are tables on the ground floor and bathrooms aswell