A Carvery in The Park!
Toby Carvery - Sutton Park (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands)
Member Name: loulou22
Toby Carvery - Sutton Park (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands)
Advantages: Nice food. Dog Friendly.
Disadvantages: Meat was a little dry
Toby Carvery, Birmingham.
The Toby Carvery I am going to review today is located in the perfect setting of Sutton Park. I have been going here for many years as for most of my life I was living in Sutton Coldfield and I loved nothing more than heading for Sutton Park at the weekend with my dog. My friends would often join me on our trips to the park and as a result of this we often popped into the Toby Carvery for a drink or some food.
To get to the pub you will need to walk or drive through the Town Gate entrance. The pub has a large sign at the end of the driveway so it is quite hard to miss. There is a car park, it isn't too big though so I would recommend walking to the pub and taking in the beauty of Sutton Park if you live, or are staying close enough.
From the outside you will see a small beer garden to the right of the entrance with a few picnic style tables and benches and a nice white fence surrounding this area. This is particularly popular with local dog walkers, including myself. They also usually have some ice cream tubs filled with water in this patio area for the dogs to have a drink.
Inside the Pub
At first glance the inside of the pub looks quite small, the bar area is directly in front of you as you walk through the door and there are a few tables and seating areas to either side. The decor inside the pub is what I would describe as traditional pub decor with the patterned reddish colour carpet and raw brick walls with a few old style pictures hung on them. I really like this look for a pub and for me it feels warm and inviting.
During our winter walks or walks in the colder weather we sat inside the pub a lot, we were allowed to bring Izzie (my dog) inside providing she stayed on the floor. This wasn't a problem for us as she was usually worn out by the time we reached the pub and happy to sleep under the table. In general we tended to sit in the area to the right side of the bar, no particular reason, I think it just became habit. The tables and chairs are well spaced out and comfortable, I also like the fact that the chairs have the legs which make it possible to wrap Izzie's lead around so I can have my hands free.
When we have Izzie with us we tend to only have drinks here. Usually I will have a coke which on my last visit in May 2012 cost me £1.80 for a small one. The drinks I have had here have never been watered down and 9 times out of 10 they are chilled to a good temperature.
Chill in the Beer Garden
During the warmer walks and summer months when there has been the occasional bit of sunshine we have sat outside in the beer garden. Right up until my most recent visit I had only ever sat in the beer garden at the front of the pub as I thought this was the only one. However, my friend had visited this pub with her family in between our visits and she had discovered a much larger beer garden at the rear of the pub. This can be accessed by going though the inside of the pub or walking around the pub through the car park. The area is grassy rather than concrete and has more picnic style tables and benches spread out across a much larger area with large umbrellas offering shade. On this occasion I was feeling hungry so we enquired whether we could have food outside, the answer was yes and my friend returned to the table with the food menus. As I was only a little hungry I decided to order Cheesy Garlic Bread at a cost of £1.75, my friend went to the bar to place the order as I had to wait with Izzie and when she returned the man behind the bar had given her an ice cream tub of water and even put some ice cubes in it for Izzie, who took great pleasure in sticking her head in to fish them out and sit crunching them.
The garlic bread took around 15 minutes to arrive but this time went fast as we were talking a lot and had a lot to catch up on. When it arrived I could see it was cooked nicely and not burnt, the cheese was nicely melted and just starting to go a golden colour and all in all it looked and smelt rather nice. I waited a couple more minutes for it to cool down before taking a bite. The edge of the bread was nice and crispy and after biting into it I could see that the garlic sauce part had been absorbed nicely into the bread giving it a good garlic flavour but not too overpowering. The only thing I would have preferred with this garlic bread is a little more cheese. Other than this though it was a very tasty snack.
Have a Carvery
On the one occasion back in September 2011 when I didn't have Izzie with me as she had gone for a day out with my mum, my friends and I decided we would still take our walk in Sutton Park and take advantage of the fact we would be able to have a carvery, dogs are allowed in the bar and outdoor areas, but not the carvery restaurant area.
To get to the restaurant area you need to go the small desk to the left of the bar area where a member of staff will ask how many people are in your group. If there is a table available you will be seated straight away, if not then you will be asked to take a seat nearby and they will call you as soon as they have a table. There was 3 of us in our little group and we were politely told that there would be about a 15 to 20 minute wait, we said this was fine and gave the lady our name before taking a seat at a table nearby. In reality this 15 to 20 minutes turned out to be only 10 minutes which was obviously much better!
We were taken to our table by a waitress who then checked if we were ok for drinks, we said we were fine thank you and she smiled and told us we could go up for our food whenever we were ready.
Of course, I was first out of my seat and quickly joined the end of the queue for my food! The queue looked quite long but seemed to move rather fast so I didn't mind queuing. When it came to my turn the chef asked me what meat I would like, I had a choice of turkey, pork, beef or gammon. I opted for turkey as it is my favourite out of the 4. The chef then sliced the meat and placed about 4 quite decent sized pieces on a plate, I was then asked if I wanted stuffing and a Yorkshire pudding, of course the answer was yes! He then handed me my plate and I was free to move along and help myself to as many vegetables as I liked. Not being a big fan of veg I chose peas, carrots, roast potatoes and a bit of mash. They also had cauliflower, Swede and a couple of other options available. With my plate piled high I then moved along to the gravy counter which had a choice of beef gravy, country vegetable or chicken gravy, in all honesty I cannot remember which one I chose, but I can tell you it was nice! The gravy counter also had a selection of other sauces including cranberry sauce and some kind of white sauce which was possibly a cheese sauce.
Returning to our table I happily tucked into my meal. The thing which stood out for me about the meal was the roast potatoes, they were cooked perfectly, the outside was nice and crispy without being burnt while the inside was lovely and fluffy, they were very moreish indeed. The little bit of mash I had was nice and creamy but not being a big fan of mash I was pleased I only had a small portion. The peas and carrots were nice, although the centre of the carrots was a little too crunchy for my liking as I prefer my carrots to be soft all the way through, minor complaint though which wouldn't stop me from eating them again. The turkey was cooked nicely, but unfortunately I found it to be a little dry, it was alright to begin with but after the second slice I found myself reaching for my drink to add a little moisture to my mouth while trying to soak as much gravy as possible into my next piece of meat. Overall though I did really enjoy my meal and felt particularly full afterwards.
After our meal we asked the waitress for our bill and she brought it over within a couple of minutes, she didn't hang around and watch us sorting the money out, she simply asked us if we wanted to pay by cash or card as she would have to bring the card machine. We paid by cash, finished our drinks and headed back to the park.
For the vegetarians among you the Toby Carvery offers Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagne or a Nut Roast Wellington along with as much veg and potatoes as you want. I haven't tried either of these so I cannot give my opinion here.
The price of the carvery is £9.49 and the vegetarian options are £7.25. They are both served on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays and as far as I am aware these are the only carvery days and there are other menu's for the other days of the week which I haven't seen.
There is a carvery breakfast menu available which looks very nice and includes the usual traditional English breakfast items. I haven't tried this... yet, but it is priced at just £3.99 and is definitely on my list of things to do next time I visit! You also have the option of a breakfast carvery with unlimited hot drinks for £5.79 which I think is also a great price! As with the Sunday Carvery there is a vegetarian breakfast option too for £3.45 and a children's option at £2.95.
The toilets here are located near the seating area to the right of the bar area, they may be others but these are the only ones I have used. When I have visited they have always been clean and looked after with working locks on the doors.
With regards to wheelchairs and pushchairs the Toby Carvery is great, the main entrance is a gentle ramp and while the area to the right of the bar does have a step or two, the area to the left is flat. Part of the restaurant area has steps but there are areas which don't, so access shouldn't be a problem. I have also seen a door with the wheelchair logo on for the toilets as well.
As I mentioned at the start of the review Toby Carvery is located within Sutton Park, it is around a 10 - 15 minute walk from Sutton Town centre or 5 minutes by car. There is a medium sized car park for customers and you should be aware that during the summer months you may be requested to pay to enter Sutton Park in your car at the weekends, but if you tell them you are going to the Carvery they will let you in for free.
The exact address for the Carvery is:
West Midlands, B74 2YT
Overall I would really recommend this pub whether it be simply to relax and enjoy a cool drink after a walk in the park or to go for a meal with friends and family. I personally like that the pub is dog friendly and they supply bowls of water for the dogs to cool down too. The pub is spaced out well and there is plenty of room to move around throughout the pub and beer gardens without disturbing others or being disturbed. So, all in all, a highly recommended Toby Carvery in a fantastic location with polite, friendly and helpful staff.
5 out of 5 Stars from me.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: A Carvery in Sutton Park