“ Address: Cross Point Business Park / Gielgud Way / Coventry / CV2 2SZ / England / Tel: 0870 111 2816 „
I first heard about Taybarns from my best friend who had been to one in Newcastle. She was raving about it, so I decided to visit my nearest Taybarns (which happens to be not so near...in Coventry)
The prices are cheap, £5.99 for adults on a weekday before 6pm and £7.99 after 6pm, and £8.99 on weekends any time. Children under 12 are £3.99 although my daughter usually is free as she's only 2. There are 8 Taybarns restaurants around the country with plans to open more. So far there is one in Coventry, Barnsley, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, South Shields, Swansea and Wigan.
Taybarns is a huge restaurant and reasonably family-friendly although I didn't find the baby change when we went, and now that my daughter is potty trained, the ladies toilets are difficult to use as the cubicles are small and the sinks are high. But other than that, they provide the usual highchairs and crayon/colouring activity. There are disabled toilets and parking, and plenty of other parking too.
You pay for your meal and drinks upon entry and then can either wait in the small bar or just in the queue. We've had to queue every time we've been, at various times of day. There are loads of tables though, it's a huge place. Soft drinks are free refills (as many as you like) and reasonable price. There are beers and wines etc. which are average price.
The food itself is brilliant. It is laid out on a really long table and you help yourself to as much as you want. Plates, cutlery and napkins are near to the entrance and regularly topped up, although occasionally dirty which is something I notice almost everywhere these days. There are a wide selection of soups and salads and bread to start which are fresh and good quality.
My concern with Taybarns was that it would be like so many other buffets where it is cheap food of poor quality - but this is not the case. All of the food is good quality, fresh and tasty.
One thing to note is that if you go during the day there are less options (presumably as you pay less)
There are a variety of foods:
Chip Shop - good quality chips, saveloys, mushy peas, battered fish, jacket potatoes, bread, corn cobs, fishcakes, chicken, curry sauce
Grill - Beef burgers, cobs, sausages, chicken breast, BBQ pork ribs, fried onions, hot dog rolls, mushrooms
Italian - variety of pizza, lasagne, variety of pastas, garlic bread, cheese, potato wedges
Spice - Chicken Jalfrezi, Chicken Tikka Masala, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Vegetables in Black Bean Sauce
Boiled Rice, Naan Bread, Prawn Crackers
Carvery - roast turkey carved by chef, gammon, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, stuffing, gravy, liver & onions, veg, beef & kidney pie
Desserts - apple crumble, hot fudge sauce, cheesecake, profiteroles, ice cream, cream, custard and various sponges
All the food is good quality and tastes good, the desserts are a good size, and you can eat as much as you want!
The best thing is that you get such a variety, rather than just one type of food, and there is so much of each type of food it's unreal. I'm always stuffed when I leave! It is good value too, as the average carvery is around £4, but you can have as much as you want, plus loads of other stuff, for a few pounds more!
Coventry's restaurant is clean and usually busy, but well worth a try!
I am a massive fan of all you can eat restaurants, so when I heard about this chain on the BBC, I thought I'd give it a go. In short, it's an all you can eat, but with lots of choices of food.
There are around eight Taybarns restaurants in the UK, but the owners Whitbread have said that they are planning many more. I haven't heard any news of new openings, but I'm still hoping for one near Norwich!
To get in, you will likely have to queue. I've been twice, once on a quiet January night, where there was still a ten minute queue to get in, and secondly on a busy Saturday, when the queueing time was nearly an hour. It shows just how busy this place is, and it's a big venue, so very popular!
You pay on your way in, and get your drink and are shown to a table. The prices are very reasonable, I paid 8 pounds when I went, but it's cheaper at lunch-time. Certainly it's an exciting sight to see all the counters full of food when you're waiting in the queue, and a cheap way of eating! On both occasions I've gone I've got a free drink using vouchers they had e-mailed, but the drinks are still good value at normal price.
The food on offer is quite wide ranging, and is all served on a long counter which you help yourself from. I won't list everything that you can choose from, but a selection of my favourites were chilli con carne, chicken fajita wraps, roast meals and the fish and chip shop was my favourite with cod, saveloys, chips and mushy peas!
If the wide selection of main courses isn't enough, there are also starters, usually in the form of soup, and a wide selection of desserts which you can pick from. The profiteroles were my favourite without a doubt!
Drinks are all you can drink (non alcoholic) pepsi, tango and R White lemonade although there is also a selection of beers and other soft drinks should you prefer.
I went with a group of friends, some of whom were not initially sure whether they'd like the whole experience. They were worried that the food would be "pile it high" food which was cheap. It was far from that, the roasts were good quality, with the meat carved by the chef, and foods such as the cod were hand battered and good pieces of fish. The same went for all the meat that I tried.
You can re-use the same plate if you want, or go and retrieve a new one and help yourself all over again. I found that the plates were taken away relatively promptly, although it is of course a busy restaurant, and at times they do get a bit behind in cleaning down tables.
Aside from the gluttony of the whole experience, I do have some complaints however. The plates and cutlery are gone through in large numbers I understand, but they are often put back in the warmers ready for use by customers still dirty. Water marks on plates and cutlery I can understand, but there are sometimes still pieces of food on the plates, and this isn't really acceptable. I might not have high standards, but someone really should check this. You can of course just select a plate and cutlery that you're happy with, whilst putting dirty ones to one side, but this just makes more cleaning up for the staff!
The other problem was that they did have problems on one of the two nights that I went with managing to keep up with stocking the counters. Inevitably not everything can be on all of the time, but some foods were rarely replaced, and large gaps appeared in the selection. That often led to queues of people selecting from the other counters, which made the whole process rather busier than it might have needed to be.
We were told that unfortunately you can't reserve tables at Taybarns. We did ask politely, but were quite rudely told that "Taybarns don't need to do reservations". They probably don't, but it might be worthwhile making that clear without staff being slightly aggressive about it, as it was a question that I heard being asked a few times by customers.
However, these complaints didn't take away from what for me is a superb eating experience! The quality and range of the food is very good, and at the prices that they charge, amazing value.
The site is disabled friendly, and there is a disabled toilet. The toilets generally were clean and tidy, and seemed well looked after. As the restaurant is on a retail park, there is lots of parking, so this is unlikely to be a problem.
If you want to find out more about the food and the chain, Taybarns has a web-site at http://www.taybarns.com/. I'd advise signing up for their e-mail newsletter as they have sent me twice now free drink vouchers to use, which makes the evening meal even better value!
Overall, superb, and I wish that there was one nearer to me! I hope my wish will be granted!
Taybarns is a resturant that's a little different. I hate "plastic" food, you generally find at family friendly resturants. Taybarns isn't serving five star food but the range and mixture of fresh and preprepared food is amazing. Its great for families, we've celebrated birthdays and had mid week feasts. It is slightly cheaper to eat before 5pm on weekdays.
You pay for your party at the bar and order drinks. If its busy then there will be queues which has put us off a couple of times. Its reasonably priced unless you have a child who doesn't eat much or someone in your party that does not want to eat. You will still have to pay to gain entry, fair enough as customers help themselves as many times as they want.
The dining area is large and if busy, noisy. Not intimate enough for dinner for two. The atmosphere has always been good when we have visited, it can make for a quick dine and dash or lengthy fun dinner. Children should be accompanied to the food serving area as if hot food is spilt then I feel they are vunerable.
There is no waitress service, though finished plates are cleared fairly fast. There are two vegetarians in my family and one particularly fussy eater and we can all eat here without any arguments. My fussy eater tends to try different foods here as he can pick a small amount of something and not get pressurised to eat it all.
The range of choices include soups, fabulous salads, dips, pasta, pizza, fish, roasted vegetables, traditional english food, chinese, indian and italian food. The puddings are also varied with chocolate perfiteroles, victoria sponge, apple pie, fresh fruit salad, cheesecake,ice cream, pouring cream and warm custard. The food is prepared and cooked in full view of customers. Much of it is bought in ready prepared and reheated but there is plenty that is freshly prepared and cooked on site.
There is a small patio area to the rear and my children will often stretch their legs outside. Parking is never a problem as it next to Showcase Cinema.
I've been to Taybarns a few times now and have always found it pretty reasonable. I know I'm not going to get gourmet food, which is good, because you don't.
Like others have said the food that is cooked sits under the warm lights slowly cooking all the time it is out so those going later may experience some overcooked food. I'd rather that than undercooked though! They always a selection to suit most tastes. When I went they had a Tex Mex Station, Carvery (Gammon and Turkey), Salad, Pizza, Fish, Meat (such as sausages and ribs) and the desert section. I'm sure I'm missing one out but they are ever changing so it's hard to say.
It costs £5.99 until 5pm then £7.99 after that. On weekends it costs £8.49. The latter price also applies to bank holidays.
Drinks aren't that cheap really. Probably where they make their money back. Costs around £3 for a pint of lager and soft drinks are at the higher end of the price you'd usually pay. Considering how many free refills you'll probably get on your soft drink (Pepsi, Lemonade, Fanta etc) I'd hardly call it unreasonable.
So you pay your money on entrance and then get your 1st drink from the bar. The process on my last visit was a little slow, possibly due to staff shortages as there didn't seem to be that many staff working. You are then 'welcomed', show your receipt/ticket for your food and go and find a table. Then it's just free for all. Plates, bowls and silverware are at one station (well, there's two stations of them actually), then there's two drinks stations and the ice-cream station. Go ahead, grab a plate and pile it up. Once you have finished that plate, leave it at the side of your table and they'll take it away and you can get a fresh plate.
The selection of deserts isn't as big as I first thought it would be but big enough for most. Consisted of several cake type items, profiteroles, cheesecake...the usual in many respects. There used to be sweets you could put on your ice-cream (like in Pizza Hut) but they are no longer available as I think many people were bagging them up and taking them home.
Location wise the Restaurant is in a good position. It's located in the Cross Point Business park in Walsgrave. Other places of interest in the park are Ten Point Bowling, Showcase Cinema's, a laser quest type place (in 10 point I think), A massive Tesco extra, Toys R Us, Blockbuster Video plus other food places such as Nando's, Frankie & Benny's (well it was there when I last looked), Pizza Hut and Aldi Supermarket. As you can see from the picture there is also a Premier Inn next door. So it's quite easy to spend a whole evening in the area.
The only grumble I have about the food, apart from the occasional overcooked items, is that it can be pretty greasy, especially the meat.
It's a nice place and for the price you pay, you won't go far wrong.
I love Taybarns, I've heard you either love it or hate it!!
It's great for all the family, priced at about £8 per adult in the evenings and £9 per adult on the weekend it's real value for money.
It's eat as much as you like buffet style restaurant. All the various foods are at the front and you go up and help youself to the food. You can see many of the dishes being prepared and it's fresh and hot.
There's many food to choose from, from Roast including vegetables, roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding and gravy, Pizza's, Pasta dishes, Salad cart, Chinese, Indian and much more.
The puddings - well! yum!! There is plenty to choose from, profiteroles with chocolate sauce, cakes, sponge pudding, cream. In fact if you choose you can have chocolate sauce on anything!! There is also an ice cream station for children with plenty of aditional toppings to go on!
If you choose you can spend £1 more and have free top up's of soft drinks.
Sometimes it gets a little busy but I've never had to wait long. The service has always been great. I wouldn't say it's a special night out kind of place but for a fun night or a family meal it's great. I especially like it for families because if your children don't like something they can just go and help themselves to something else or if they like strange combinations like Pizza & roast potatoes they can do that.
Taybarns is situated on the outskirts of Coventry just off the M6/M69 junction of the motorway. It's in the same complex as Showcase cinema's and Nando's. The car parking is right outside and free.