“ Address: Coleford Bridge Road / Mytchett / Surrey / GU16 6DS / Tel: 01252 372656 „
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This pub/restaurant is located in Mytchett near Camberley in Surrey. This is a beautiful pub/restaurant which backs onto a beautiful large lake where they regularly do activities on the lake during the summer months. I was actually introduced to this place by my boyfriend and his mother who have always been regular eaters here. There are speed humps on the way to the pub which you need to go over in order to get to the car park. As you go over the speed humps you can see the large open lake which the pub backs onto. The first impressions of the car park aren't particularly very good as the car park is just covered with loose gravel with dips and holes all over. This can be awkward during the winter/rainy season as there are quite a few large puddles around the car park. There are no proper markings for car parking spaces so it's just a case of parking where other cars have decided to park. This can also get a little muddy when it rains as well. There are some spaces for disabled people and these are marked by small posts near the front of the building. The car park isn't huge but can hold a fair amount of cars and we never have trouble parking here whenever we visit.
As you walk through the main doors the pub is quite bright and looks very clean and tidy. The toilets are on the left hand side and on the right hand side is a seating area with a television. The bar is located to the right of this seating area and this stretches right down to the far end of the pub. You can see which beers are available on tap and spirits are displayed in optics along the back of the bar. You can also see the range of soft drinks and Alco pops in the fridge behind the bar. There is plenty of seating in the pub and you can choose whether to sit in the bar area to eat and drink or you can sit in the dining area. There are a few tables in the bar area so this is more suited to people who just want to go here for a drink. The dining area is located down towards the back of the pub down a few steps (there is a small lift for disabled users) and there are many different sized tables and chairs for you to sit round. On each table is a holder with a menu, win list and other information such as current offers. The tables should also be laid with napkins and cutlery in place.
The seating area continues outside where there are more tables, chairs and picnic style tables suitable for families or small groups of people. This area is lovely as it looks out onto the lake and in the summer you can watch then do some water sports on the lake. There is how-ever a lack of shade in this area so it does get extremly hot during the summer. Some of the tables have umbrellas for shade but others don't and as the chairs and tables are made from a type of metal they can of course get rather warm when sitting in the sun. I have sat outside on a few occasions, how-ever more for drinking rather than eating. The view and atmosphere outside is lovely in the summer, how-ever this area does get very busy during the summer.
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The pub has a large range of food available and they also have a menu for kids. The menu's can be found on each table inside the restaurant. They have a lovely range of starts, sides and main meals which includes steaks, burgers, chicken dishes, vegetarian meals, pasta and other meals. I always find it hard to choose what to have on the menu due to the range of food on here as it all sounds lovely. Most of their meals are two for one which I think is brilliant offer. This does only apply to the main meals, how-ever this works out really cheap if me and my boyfriend go here to eat as we are only having to pay for one meal and our drinks which I think is good value. An example of some of their food can be found below:
* Starters - Duck Spring Rolls served with Hoisin Sauce, Garlic Mushrooms, Prawn Cocktail, Popcorn Prawns, Goats Cheese and more.
* Main Meals - Lasagne with garlic bread, Half roast chicken with vegetables and mash potato, Leg of Lamb with potatoes & and mint sauce, Ribs with chips and peas, A selection of different burgers, A range of different Curries and more.
* Sides - Garlic Bread, Cheesy Garlic Bread, Vegetables, Side Salad, Cheesy Chips and more.
* Desserts - Banoffee Pie, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Custard or Ice Cream, Spotted Dick. They also do a range of different cheesecakes, ice creams and sundaes too.
On Sunday's they have a carvery which you pay one price and fill your plate up with your chosen meat & vegetables. I have only had the carvery once and I wasn't that impressed with it as they only had chicken left as the other meats had all gone. The selection of vegetables and different gravy was good and the food tasted ok, how-ever I personally think my boyfriend cooks a better roast than what this one tasted. Sunday's get extremely busy here so we actually avoid going here on Sundays after visiting here and having to wait over 40 minutes just for our starter. They also do tend to run out of meat very quickly so I personally wouldn't recommend going here at all on Sunday's. To order food you need to go the bar area and tell them what you would like to order. You can choose to set up a tab to pay later or you can pay for all the items at once when ordering them. We normally set up a tab and pay at the end of our meal after we have had a few drinks. You will need to take note of your table number which can be found on the actual table. After ordering your food a staff member will bring it to you table along with any extra items such as sauces or condiments.
Tasting the Food
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I have had a starter a few times in here and can't really complain about the starters. I normally always go for the duck spring rolls with the hoisin sauce which I find delicious. They are always cooked really nicely and taste delicious. My boyfriend has had the popcorn prawns here and although they are nice, they are rather small and are more like shrimps rather than prawns. I have had various different meals here including a pasta dish that comes with garlic bread. I how-ever never received my garlic bread along with the pasta dish and when I finally did receive it I had actually finished my meal. The pasta dish was very hot and tasted ok, how-ever it was nothing special and I think I could have made something better at home myself. I have also had chicken dishes here which are nice and I always find that the chicken is quite juicy and never dry. On one occasion I really fancied a steak here which came with chips and some salad. The size of the steak was good and the salad that came with the steak was a good portion too. The steak was cooked to how I like it, how-ever the steak had so much gristle in it, and I couldn't even finish it. This was really disappointing and since then I haven't had another steak. It may have just been my bad luck to get a steak like this; how-ever my boyfriend's mum's steak was the same as well and also contained a lot of gristle. As there was a large group of us we didn't bother complaining as we didn't want to seem awkward when everyone else with us had already started their meals and were enjoying them. I have also had a dessert here and this was probably one of the best parts of the meal. Me and my boyfriend shared an Oreo Cheesecake and this was delicious. . Not to mention very sickly as well. The food is always presented very well and always comes out looking really nice and tasty. Some of the food, depending on what you have is very nice but other dishes don't taste as good as they sound which is disappointing. If there has been an issue with our food on some occasions we have called over a member of staff to complain, how-ever they don't seem very quick in bringing out a replacement or trying to come up with a solution so we have learnt not to complain now and just pick the meals we know are going to taste as good as they look.
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There are toilets located in 2 different places in the pub, some of which are located by the main entrance and the others are located in the dining area. I can't really fault the toilets as whenever I have visited here (which has been at least 4 times); they have always been very clean and well stocked with toilet tissue and soaps. There is no graffiti or broken locks on any of the toilets and they always smell fresh and clean. There are also disabled toilets located in the bar and the dining area as well.
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Depending on when you go here, depends on what the staff are like. I have noticed that they tend to have so many different members of staff and I don't really recognise any from previous visits. The staff are reasonable well dressed wearing black clothing including a branded shirt in which they all wear. I have found on a few occasions some of the staff aren't very well trained and have made mistakes when we have ordered food. This hasn't just been on one occasion but has been on a few occasions. This includes when ordering food and drink. On the other hand there are other members of staff that go the extra mile and are very helpful and polite and will help you with everything you need. If I knew the staff member's name on our previous visit I would have quite happily mentioned them in this review. Although most of the staff are very well presented on a few occasions I think the girls haven't look very presentable. Especially larger sized girls wearing short black skirts who when cleaning the table you can get a clear view of the bottom of their bum cheeks. I don't find this acceptable at all, especially when working in the dining area of the restaurant. In fact this was rather off putting to say the least.
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I really enjoy eating here with my boyfriend and friends when it's not too busy and I especially like going for a drink here during the summer where we can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake. Me and my boyfriend often cycle here as it only takes us about 15 minutes from North Camp in Farnborough. There are posts and fences where you can chain your bike to. The restaurant always looks very clean and tidy and the table and always very clean with no mess on the floor or around the tables. You can book tables here if you are planning a party and they can move some tables around to cater for your needs. The food is reasonable value, especially as it's two for one on all the main meals. In terms of the quality of the food, I wouldn't say that it's the best, especially some specific dishes such as the Steak. I have been disappointed on a few occasions with the food here due to items missing or just the overall poor quality of it and the way it has been cooked. Although the food always looks and sounds good on the menu it sometimes doesn't always taste like this. Some of the staff in here are really helpful and are also very polite, whereas others don't really have a clue about anything and seem to lack any sort of training with how to deal with certain issues or problems. Due to the one bad experience with the carvery I personally wouldn't visit here for a carvery again, but I would go here for another meal. The pub tends to be really quiet during the week, especially during the winter, how-ever for the summer the pub is really busy and it's often hard to get a table. There have been a few occasions during the summer where we have had to walk back out as we haven't been able to find anywhere to sit. This isn't my top place for dining out but it is lovely if you fancy a nice relaxing drink during the summer.
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The Quays, Coleford Bridge Road, Mytchett, Camberley, Surrey GU16 6DS
Tel: 01252 372656
(review may also appear on ciao)
With my recently graduated brother-in-law managing to secure his first proper job recently, the news that I was to join him in the ranks of the employed resulted in much rejoicing by my father-in-law, so much so, that he felt suitably inspired to treat the family to a Sunday lunch. Having previously visited The Quays for tea on a couple of occasions with my mother-in-law, he liked the look of the carvery and decided to take us all there for a slap up roast.
My previous experience of carveries has not been particularly memorable, usually consisting of some anaemic meat being pathetically hacked at by an equally pale, spotty and terminally bored teenager. As such, as a veteran of a fair few expensed lunches at the City's top tables, my expectations were not so much low as totally non-existent. However, my gastronomic snobbery does not extend as far as refusing a free lunch, so I kept my thoughts to myself and dutifully tagged along.
The Quays is located on Coleford Bridge Road, just off the A331 close to the village of Mytchett, and not far from the town of Camberley. Given its nondescript approach road, sprawling loose gravel car park and long and unassuming frontage, it's safe to say The Quays will not be winning any awards based solely on aesthetic appeal.
However, the vista changes immediately as you step through the main entrance into the building. The carvery is immediately on the left, the unfeasibly long bar is set off to the right, but bang in front, running the whole length of the building is the windowed view out over the lakefront. It's virtually impossible to sit anywhere in this establishment without a decent view. Having called ahead, we were advised that the restaurant had two "bookable" sittings for Sunday lunch - one at noon, with the other following on at 2pm (note however, that the carvery remains open on Sunday until 8:30pm if you prefer dining at a later hour).
Given church commitments later that afternoon, we opted for the earlier sitting and were shown to a table situated below the carvery with unimpeded views over the lake, which is actively used for sailing and a variety of water sports. There are plenty of tables with benches outside, but few takers given it was a blustery early Spring day. Our table was a fairly basic affair with an eclectic hotchpotch of variously styled chairs and benches.
SERVICE & ATMOSPHERE
We were greeted in short order by our young and friendly server and proffered menus. However, we had come specifically for the carvery, so we gave these the most cursory of glances before making a beeline for it. Although the dining room was sparsely populated when we first arrived, it wasn't long before it starting filling up with a steady stream of families, many with young children, out for a leisurely lunch. As such, a boisterous busy atmosphere began to develop, so if you are looking for quiet, sophisticated relaxation, you are unlikely to find it here, at least not for the Sunday service.
On warmer, more welcoming days, there is a small children's play area with enclosed trampoline to help keep the younger set occupied. Given it was a little too chilly to be outside, the kids' activity pack, which includes a small box of crayons and a dedicated children's menu, was a welcome distraction.
The decor is an eclectic mix of old and new, with slightly dated (but new - as in not threadbare) carpeting. The very long bar parallels the lakeside frontage and fits in well with the barn-like interior. There are several different types of seating areas to suit different tastes such as a secluded lounge, bar style high tables with stools, coffee shop settees with low tables and more traditional tables and chairs of various style and sizes.
Disappointingly, the walls are adorned with typically generic photographs and pictures, with nothing reflecting the local area or unique to The Quays itself. The place has a vaguely pub chain feel to it, so I wasn't surprised to learn that it does, in fact, belong to the Orchid group of pubs and restaurants.
The carvery has four available meats - roast pork, a gammon joint, roast beef and roast turkey - although these can vary from service to service (apparently, they sometimes have lamb or chicken instead). You are served two or three quite generous slices of meat and can opt for one type or smaller portions of two. You also get a selection of trimmings, consisting of a perfectly cooked super size Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland sausage and a stuffing ball.
While waiting in the modest queue, I was licking my chops as I saw my brother-in-law get three generous slices of medium rare beef and quite fancied the same, but when my turn came, the carver, resplendent in white apron and chef's hat, turned the beef joint on its side and much to my consternation served me up the very well done side bits. Fortunately, I wasn't bashful about my preferences and he cheerfully obliged with a slice of rarer meat.
On the other side of the carvery, there is a self-service buffet with a selection of vegetables, including sautéed sliced carrots, roast potatoes and parsnips, shredded red cabbage, minted new potatoes, steamed broccoli, and leeks in a cream and mustard sauce. There is also a variety of condiments on offer, including apple sauce, English mustard, creamed horseradish, mint sauce and two types of gravy (one with onion and one without).
The food, in general, was quite well cooked, but hardly spectacular. My beef, unsurprisingly for "end bits", was a little on the dry side, but the proper medium rare slice was decent enough. I had also opted for a slice of the gammon, which was slightly too salty, but otherwise quite succulent. My wife's turkey was moist but lacking a bit in flavour. Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly for a chain pub, there were a number of real ales on tap, so I was pleased to be able to accompany my roast with an excellent pint of local Hogsback Ale.
After a great deal of thought (i.e. about five seconds) we decided to treat ourselves to a selection of the delicious sounding deserts. I weakly resolved to confine my calorific excesses to a sticky toffee pudding which I shared with my wife, served with a separate pot of custard. It was served piping hot with a moist base and a lovely rich and cloying sticky toffee topping. To be frank, the custard, although quite nice in its own right, was almost extraneous.
My wife also ordered a Belgian chocolate and West Country clotted cream tart with a mint crisp ice cream, ostensibly for our daughter, but it wasn't long before our spoons were making surreptitious sorties across the table for a bit of a taste. I asked for my pudding to be accompanied by double espresso, but it was a bit of a while before it arrived, and when it did it was lukewarm - fairly typical given the wide, open style coffee cup it was served in.
The Quays is a great place for family outings, especially for those with younger children, as given there are so many other families of a similar demographic, you don't feel quite as self-conscious when junior decides to get a bit vocal. There are plenty of high chairs available, and the cheerful staff are used to catering for, and interacting with children. Most tables have a view of the water, however, a select few, ours included are placed parallel to the lakefront, meaning half the table faces the lake, while the other half have their backs to it, which, given that the vista is such a large part of the appeal, is far from ideal.
As an aside, on my Hogsback and espresso induced trip to the Gents, I discovered clean and well kept facilities but with a couple of light bulbs missing, which made it unnecessarily dark. Incidentally, The Quays offers free Wi-Fi, just in case you fancy bringing your laptop or netbook, but I can't vouch for the quality of the connection given that my wife vetoed the idea of me reviewing the place while I was there...
It may sound like I am damning The Quays with faint praise, but that would be slightly unfair, especially given my penchant for gastronomic snobbery. The carvery food, atmosphere and service are perfectly adequate and overall, represent excellent value for money. They also offer a full pub menu, including the usual suspects like burgers, steaks, fish and chips, lamb shank, and various grills (see their comprehensive website for full details).
For a party of eight, my father-in-law paid a touch over £100, which included drinks, coffee and deserts for five of us, with the carvery coming in at £8.99 (£7.99 Monday to Saturday) for adults and £4.99 for kids. At that price, it seems churlish to complain. Given the pretty lakeside setting, I would be more than happy to drop in again if I were in the area, but The Quays doesn't, for me at least, have enough about it to justify making a special trip.
General Manager: Jenny Searle
Coleford Bridge Road
Surrey GU16 6DS
Monday to Saturday: Noon to 11pm (Carvery open Noon to 2:30pm and then 5:30pm to 8:30pm)
Sunday: Noon to 10:30pm (Carvery open Noon to 8:30pm)
Phone: 01252 372656
© Hishyeness 2010