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Sunday Lunch Made Easy
Apley Arms (Telford)
Member Name: arnoldhenryrufus
Apley Arms (Telford)
Advantages: Cheap, quick, saves cooking and close to home for me
Disadvantages: Hit and miss with the veg .
APLEY ARMS, TELFORD, SHROPSHIRE (Sunday lunch made easy)
We have had connections with this public house/restaurant for over a decade; it used to be a Harvester and when both our daughter reached the age of 16yrs they started work there, in the kitchens and then as waitresses, so we used to go quite often usually when they were working so we could say hello and they would look after us. I still remember their faces when we would turn up for a meal, especially if we visited with my parents and they got to see their Nan and granddad, my dad used to play them up a little bit. It costs a fortune in tips when it's your daughter serving you.
Anyway, it is no longer a Harvester and my girls no longer work there and haven't done for a good few years so I will leave the past behind and get to the modern day; it is now part of the crown carveries (www.crowncarveries.co.uk) and we have visited it on many occasion. It is so cheap when my step son had a housing problem and had no where to cook his meals, he still wanted his independence so we advised him to go here for his evening meal as it worked out cheaper than him buying convenience food you don't cook from the supermarket and it meant he ate a good cooked meal.
If I have to travel for a church service we often nip into here for a quick dinner before we set off on our journey so as you see it is a well visited location for us, mainly because it is a good meal and a cheap price.
Our last visit was Sunday just gone, which came about all because we had our new puppy Holly; as part of my new year's resolutions we want to make more family time this year so we had invited my step-daughter and her family (hubby and our two grandchildren) over for Sunday dinner, but us having the puppy meant we could no longer have them over as my step daughter does not like young untrained dogs around her children. So we came up with the solution of taking them out for Sunday Lunch to the Apley Arms.
So it was all arranged we would meet up at the Apley Arms around 1200hrs, we wanted to go early as we would need a table for 6 and I expected it to get busy as it being a Sunday lunch time, I have been in the week at lunch times and the queues for the carvery have been massive stretching right across the pub. When we arrived I was quite surprised that there were not many people waiting and that there were tables free, so we snapped up a big table for the six of us.
The Apley is a very large building with a conservatory, it is very open plan with some soft sofas positioned around tables as well as normal table and chairs. It has the odd gaming machine thrown in as well to try and take your well earned pennies. It decorated with in soft terracotta shades with prints on the walls, the furnishing here are a little on the tired side, but that is to be expected really as it does get very busy and has a lot of usage.
The toilets sadly are not always kept up to standard, depending on the time of visit, but this is a family friendly pub and you know what board children can get up to in the toilets, so it can get a little untidy at times; but again the décor and condition of the cubicles could do with a little uplift.
Back to our visit, we had only been there a few minutes when our beautiful family arrived and we were soon settled around the table ready to get up and go to the carvery table, which we did at intervals so we someone was always seated with the children. This place gets a lot of children in with their families and the noise level can get quite high at times. You have to pay for your meal before you eat it and you do this at the bar when you go up for your drinks at the same time. As I have mentioned drinks you can go back to the bar for a top up, or the waiting staff will take your order and your money for more drinks including tea/coffee etc.
When you go up the carvery you have a choice of 3 meats, Beef, Gammon and Turkey, on all the visits over the years this has never changed; the meat I have to say nearly always is cooked to perfection, being succulent without being overly so and most definitely not dry, I think over the years there has only been the odd occasion where the beef has been a little tough, but that is a rarity. You also get offered Yorkshire Pudding and seasoning (stuffing) with whatever meat you choose, now this is where there is no continuity; I don't like Yorkshire Pudding, but my hubby loves it, I asked the lady on the counter if my hubby could have mine and she put it on his plate, she then went to put me one on my plate, so I had to remind her not to. My step son in law went up and asked for two Yorkshire puds and she said no you are only allowed one. On previous occasions we have been given an extra one if we have asked, so you take your chances with that I'm afraid, you may get lucky if you ask, or you may not.
The vegetables rarely change, you get the usual peas, carrots, sweet corn, roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, green beans and cauliflower cheese, all the years we have been going these really have not varied much at all; some visits if you catch them when they just come out, they are not too over cooked; on other visits if you are unlucky they can get overcooked especially the cauliflower cheese, which can go a bit mushy.
The gravy has always been a hit with me, it is meaty and a lovely dark brown in colour. As with all carveries I have visited, the gravy is on a separate section with the condiments like, cranberry sauce, mint sauce (even if there is no lamb) and horseradish.
We went for 4 adult and 1 child portion for our meals; we also asked for an empty bowl for our grandson as he is only 2 yrs old so he had a tiny bit off our dinners, well his moms mainly as he seemed to prefer eating her dinner to his own, lol, we all had to replace her carrots as he found a love for them and her roast potatoes.
We paid £6.50 per head for the adults and £3.25 for our grand-daughter; I find it's a little pricey as you pay only £3.50 per head from Monday - Saturday for exactly the same food (children's prices stay the same all week).
On this visit we decided not to go for the desserts but we have had them on previous occasions and although they have tasted ok, they have not bowled me over so I don't really go for them here anymore.
Overall we all enjoyed the majority of our meal and enjoyed the quality time we all had together, my only niggle was the cauliflower which was decidedly soft and unappetising, but there is something about not having to cook the Sunday dinner yourself isn't there.
~~ Menus ~~
If you don't fancy the traditional carvery, they do offer a small menu for you to choose an alternative, they also offer light choices, starters and desserts on this menu.
Starters: Range from £1.75 - £3.00 depending what you have, they don't actually have many choices only 6 on the menu - Mushrooms in three cheese sauce, Spicy Chicken Tikka, Soup of the Day, Chicken wings, Gammon and Mushroom skins and finally the traditional Prawn Cocktail. I have never eaten a starter here since it became a carvery so I cannot comment on how good they are.
Main Meals: I have to mention that they do have some alternative choices as not everybody likes a carvery or meat either; they do offer a vegetarian choice if you ask one of the staff what is on offer this will cost £5.99 though whatever time you visit. Other choices are Sweet Chilli Turkey and Gammon Salad, this is a combination of strips of turkey and gammon coated in a sweet chilli sauce, served on a bed of crisp mixed salad and red peppers (£4.50); Prawn and Tuna Salad, this is tuna and prawn mayonnaise, served on a bed of mixed salad with cucumber and sliced red peppers served with Marie Rose dressing (£4.50); and finally a Fish Pie, a creamy crumb topped potato pie with salmon, haddock and prawns (£4.99) and that is the total of your alternative main courses, certainly not a lot of choice.
Starting 18th March 09 they have a Spring and Summer Meal Deal for £4.99 this includes the two salads mentioned above in the main meals, or a Ploughman's lunch, this includes a drink of either a pint of Bulmer's Cider served with ice, a glass of fresh juice or a glass of house wine. This is on offer from Monday to Saturdays and if you don't want the drink it will cost you £4.50 so you may as well go for the drink with it.
A point to note here that if you have a nut or gluten allergy then these alternatives may affect you; they do put a warning on their menu that their meals may contain nuts and gluten, seeds or all allergens.
Side orders: This is an even small list you have a choice of garlic bread for £1.25 or cheesy garlic bread at £1.45.
Desserts: Again the choice is not great there are only 8 desserts to choice from, as you can see the main emphasis is on the carvery, but if you do want a pudding you have the options of: Lemon Meringue Pie, Orange Jelly and Ice-cream, Toffee Apple Pie, Apple and Blackberry Pie, Chocolate Fudge Sensation, Treacle Sponge, Dairy Ice-Cream and Chocolate Melting Cake, prices ranging from £1.60 to £2.99 for adults. Only two of the deserts have children's portions (children being under 10yrs) these are the Ice-cream at 55p and the Chocolate Fudge Sensation at £1.05. I have over the years tried 3 of these desserts, they were fine but not awesome, and I can really take them or leave them, which is so unlike me, I will save a space for a special dessert.
Drinks; You have the wide choice from the Bar, also a choice of teas, coffee, floaters (coffee with cream floating and chocolate grated on top) and liqueur coffees.
~~ Staff ~~
We have had mixed views on the staff here, on some occasions they have been very busy running around cleaning the tables etc, but on other times especially when not many people are in, it is hard to find the staff when you need someone, and on a few occasions we have had to replenish the cutlery ourselves as there is none left in the pot on the table, and whilst I have mentioned cutlery this is a big issue with my hubby here, he refers them as children's cutlery, they are really cheap, tacky, light weight and small and even I agree that they could do better with them. When we have collared the staff they have always been pleasant and friendly.
~~ Other Items ~~
As I have already mentioned this is a family friendly restaurant and it does have high chairs available for your use, should you need them.
They do cater for people with disabilities, there is a disabled toilet and there is a ramp for your use, there are areas around where a wheelchair can fit easily. Now we have used a wheelchair here and have always managed to navigate it around the room, with the occasional request to someone to move their chair. The disabled toilet doubles for moms and babies for a changing area, you can easily manoeuvre a wheelchair in here.
Apart from Christmas day there is no need to book a table here, you just turn up and find a table, there is no showing you to your table here, and you just look for yourself.
The maximum table size they will cater for is a table of 12.
They also hold a quiz night on a Sunday night; contact them for further details if you fancy joining in.
A line on the menu made me smile it says 'All tips will be kept by the staff'. I know it means that it goes to the staff and not the management but it still brings a chuckle.
~~ Opening Times ~~
The pub is open from 1100hrs - 2300hrs Monday to Thursday, it opens for an hour longer taking you to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Sunday it closes at 2230hrs.
Food is served between 1130hrs and 2130hrs daily except for Sundays when it starts 30mins earlier at 1100hrs.
~~ How to Find Them ~~
Shawbirch Cross Roads
M54 Junction 6 and follow the signs to the Princess Royal Hospital and then follow the road to Shawbirch and you will see it on the junction off the Island.
~~ Conclusion ~~
Overall this is not a bad place to eat, although at times the vegetables get a little overcooked, we still keep going back for a meal. It is really quick at quiet times, you can go mid afternoon, go straight to the bar pay for your meal get your drinks and be sitting down eating your meal within a few minutes. There is no waiting whilst it is being cooked, but with this you also get the fact that it has been kept warm on the serving counter. You can monitor your own portion size with your vegetables, so if you have a big appetite you can pile your plate high, or if you have a small appetite just put a little on. We find it really convenient when we are busy and need a meal but don't have the time to cook it, it is right on our doorstep really and it is cheaper than a visit to the local fish and chip shop or the local Chinese takeaway. For £10.00 mid week hubby and I get a hot cooked meal and a drink so we can't complain about that. So if you don't feel like cooking or you are in a rush then yes I would recommend a visit here or at your own local carvery, although they are all part of crown carveries, they all have their own chefs so it could vary from pub to pub.
Thank you for reading and sharing my experience
Lyn x (Arnoldhenryrufus).
Summary: Cheap, quick, saves cooking