“ Address: Penny Lane / Totley / Sheffield S17 3AZ „
The Cricket Inn is a very traditional looking pub, located on Penny Lane, at Totley, Sheffield. S17 3AZ.
We were recently invited to join a friend there to celebrate his 30th birthday, so we were part of a large party with 7 children and 10 adults. We did try to book a table for our group before we went, but the pub does not allow groups to do this. This is a real shame, as it is not really the sort of venue that seems to be able to cater for larger groups like this, so when we arrived, we were not quite prepared for how long we did have to wait just to all get sat around tables.
The pub is located in Totley, which is on the edge of Sheffield, virtually approaching the Peak District. We all arrived by car, arriving between 1:30 and 2. When we got there at 1:30, we were greeted at the door to the pub by a waitress who asked us how many people were wanting to eat. As we were meeting friends there, we said we would just find our friends. My husband went in to find them, while I stayed near the door with the kids, because it is the sort of place with lots of little alcoves, where people were sat either eating or enjoying a drink, and then a bigger dining room for people who were in larger groups for more formal eating.
In the pub part, it was very traditionally decorated. We were sat near a fireplace, and there were items like packs of cards for people to amuse themselves with while they were there.
While they say children are welcome, it is not really the sort of place I would personally choose to take that many children to. While we were sat having a drink, they got very fidgety, so my husband took them outside to have a bit of a run round in the large field at the back, which was just a fenced off area with a few picnic benches.
Once all of the party had arrived, we were then all outside as it was really the only place we could all be together and also so the kids would not be annoying anyone else. While this would probably be ok on a nice summer day, the day we were there it was actually very cold and overcast, with spots of rain at times, so it was not pleasant really to wait out there, but we persevered thinking that it might not take too long to get a table inside.
While we were there we went in every now and again to check on progress, but we didn't actually manage to get in and seated till nearly 4 o clock in the afternoon. As we had gone out expecting to eat a pub lunch, we didn't take any snacks with us for the kids, and anyone who is a parent will know that kids get grumpy when they are not fed on time. I don't blame them as I was pretty cold and hungry myself.
The problem was we were not the only large group in that day, and the other group beat us in. Therefore, we could not get seated till they had finished there meal, and as they were also celebrating, they were not in any hurry to vacate their seats so we could get sat down.
When we managed to get a large-ish table inside, we got all the kids sat down in one place, and the waitress suggested that we order food for the kids while the other table was sorted. That way the kids would then be a bit happier.
The actual kids meals were around £4. My children both opted for Sausages with mash and green veg. They were brought out oval platters that would have been an adequate meal for an adult. 3 sausages each, a mound of mash, and a delicious selection of greens. They made pretty short work of it.
By this time, they were getting round to us adults ordering our food. Both myself and my husband opted for burgers and chips. We were told the food would take at least 20 minutes to get to us, which was fairly accurate, and by the time it arrived, I guess we couldn't have cared less what it looked like, as we were all beyond hungry by then.
The food was very interestingly served on small wooden boards. The burger was really fat and succulent, and I then could see why it had took 20 minutes to cook as it was so thick, and good quality meat. The chips were in a small metal dish, and were all thick hand cut wedges, served with what I think was freshly made ketchup as I have never seen ketchup out of a bottle like it. The burgers were around £9.
I personally didn't have a pudding as we were feeling full after drinking lots of coke and eating quickly, but some in the party ate portions of sponge pudding and custard, which was piping hot, and large enough for to share really. The children were all given portions of ice cream in little dishes with sweets.
My overall impression of the pub, is that I wouldn't mind going back, but certainly not with young children or with such a large party, as the long wait with restless kids really spoilt it for me. Nothing worse than when they start getting tired and whiny.
All homemade, an interesting menu with some veggie options and served in an interesting way. I think everyone would find something to eat, but apart from the burger, I was less tempted by the other items. Not so much a traditional menu as the venue would have you think. All food seemed to have a posh twist on it, whereas I probably prefer more basic cooking myself. The portions were good, it was all cooked well, and we all said the food was delicious. Average prices are £5 for a starter, £13 for a main dish, and £5 for a dessert.
I think this was probably the real reason why the pub was picked by our friend, as he is a real ale fan, and they serve a variety of real ales. Less great for those of us driving.
The pub has a lovely atmosphere. The place was clean and well kept. The toilets were very clean for how busy it was, and stocked with hand wash and moisturiser in the ladies. I also noticed there was a little potty tucked in on a shelf, and it is touches like this which shows they don't mind the children being there, and I have never really noticed elsewhere before.
-Beer garden and Terrace-
This area was approachable either through the pub, or by going round the back of the building and through the car park. It was a large area, and handy to have to keep the kids away from others who could have been annoyed. It would have really benefitted by having something to entertain the kids there though I feel. They spent their whole time walking along a wall, or blowing bubbles we had taken for our two. On a nice day, this would have been great and we would have sat here, with no problems, but not on a wet and windy day in the middle of nowhere.
The pub is open from 11- midnight every day. Food is served Monday to Friday from midday to 2:30pm, and from 5pm to 9pm. On a Saturday, it is midday to 9:30pm, and on a Sunday, midday till 8pm.
It is definitely worth a trip here for the food as it was so yummy, but I would say get there early to make sure you get to eat at a semi-reasonable time as it gets so busy. I guess smaller parties would manage to get served a lot quicker, but with kids, or for anyone who needs to eat on time, this is not really the place to go for a quick meal.
We were there for nearly 5 hours the day we were there, and the staff were pleasant, helpful, and we had a good meal out, but I wish I had filled my handbag with snacks to keep me going and stop me being so cranky.