Tag Archives: buffet

What Is A Carvery?

A Carvery Is A Very British Thing

Most British pubs these days offer a selection of food to entice visitors through the door, and many also offer a Carvery, because a roast dinner is something that is always popular in the UK.

While many visitors to the UK from overseas might expect there to be pubs everywhere, they might be amazed at the number of foreign restaurants that the country has, especially Indian restaurants, which number in their thousands.

The good old English “Pub” (which is short for “Public House”), used to traditionally be a place where men from the community would go in order to drink beer and gossip over the latest news. However, in the last 30 years, with the drink/driving laws becoming ever stricter and with pubs losing business as a result, plus with people now being able to access news and events via television, radio and more recently social media, the traditional pubs have been forced to change or as has happened with many, they have ended up closing their doors.

Over the last 25-30 years many pubs started to offer food to entice people to visit,  most offering fairly simple food, with typical English fare such as:

  • Ploughman’s Lunch – fresh bread, cheese, salad, pickled onions, relish
  • Cottage Pie – minced beef and vegetables in gravy, baked with a topping of mashed potato
  • Shepherds Pie – same as Cottage Pie but made with minced lamb
  • Steak and Kidney Pie – chunks of steak and kidney in gravy in a pastry crust
  • Toad In The Hole – Yorkshire Pudding cooked with sausages in in, usually served with mashed potato and gravy
  • Lasagne – layers of pasta with bolognaise sauce and cheese

With increasing competition, and with the popularity of more exotic food, some then offered foreign dishes such as curries or other Indian meals, and others opened up full restaurants with a wide selection of meals. Others went in another direction, offering more American style dishes, like Chicken Wings, Burgers and Ribs.

Lately there is a new phenomenon, the “Gastro-Pub”, which is a type of pub that not only prides itself on it’s ales, but on the quality of it’s food. Here you will often find more up market cuisine, but at a price. It’s often “nouveau cuisine”, which to me means food that is attractively presented, costs 3 times as much, but leaves you hungry.

Many pubs are now either changing towards more English food, but a wider choice of offerings, or switching to include a Carvery, which is becoming more popular than ever.

So after that long pre-amble, back to the original question of “What Is A Carvery?”

A Carvery is the closest thing that you will get in England to a Sunday Roast, which used to be a tradition in most English households years ago.

An English Sunday Roast would usually be either Chicken, Beef, Lamb or Pork, served with Roast Potatoes, Roast Parsnips, Yorkshire Pudding (especially if Beef), Stuffing, and a selection of vegetables, usually 3 or more of the following seasonal vegetables, and served with thick brown gravy:

Brussel Sprouts
Cauliflower (often with a white or cheese sauce)
Leeks (often in a white or cheese sauce)
Swede (aka Rutabaga)

At the Carvery, customers form a queue to be served, and the chef carves for them the meat of their choice, usually from a choice of 3 types. If you want, you can have any 2 or all 3 kinds.

You then take your plate and help yourself to the vegetables and potatoes, and back to the table to enjoy it. A carvery meal really does go down well with a pint of good English Real Ale.

Unlike many buffets in the USA, many carveries in England only let you go back once, or if you can go up multiple times, it’s for the vegetables only. Prices for food are higher here in England, so to keep the prices down, they limit how much meat you can take. However, for most people, the amount you can get on one plate is adequate, even for me!

The price for a carvery meal varies, and so does the quality, but paying a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better meal. Prices vary from around £3.50 ($5) to £7.50 ($10), depending on the pub.


Personal experience

D Is For Dine With Me

Today is the 4th day of the  The A to Z Blogging Challenge,  which requires you to publish an article for every day in April except for the 4 Sundays, with each article being related to the appropriate letter of the alphabet.

With it being the fourth article in this series of 26, today’s letter is D, and seeing as how I am feeling a little peckish, I thought you might like to come Dine With Me.

I love food, and it doesn’t matter whether I am eating in or eating out, I love them both.

With money being fairly tight these days, the same as with many of us, eating out is becoming more and more a luxury that we are able to afford maybe once a month, if that.

Debbie and I do enjoy fine dining once in a while, but both of us were brought up on good old style English Cooking, and that is what we still love to eat, although we do cook a lot of other things as well.

Breakfast is one meal that I really do enjoy, although most of the time I keep it pretty simple.  I love once in a while to go to a good buffet restaurant like Golden Corral where I can enjoy anything and everything that I feel like eating, although it’s not a good idea to do this too often of course.

A while back I created a lens on Squidoo entitled What’s Your Favorite Breakfast Food and this has a lot of different types of breakfast foods listed.

Having lived in the USA for 15 years, I wanted to write something about how different eating out is in the USA as compared to the UK, with food being often a lot cheaper in the USA as well as there being a lot more choice of places to eat.

I published several articles about buffet restaurants, The Buffet Restaurant In The USA and The Buffet Restaurant In The UK, as well as Sweet Tomatoes A Healthy Buffet Restaurant Alternative.

Although I do love buffets, I love healthy food as well, and Sweet Tomatoes is one of the places that Debbie and I love to go to when we are in Florida.  Their Soup and Salad Bar and other fresh items are to die for.  Well, if you enjoy soup and salad that is.

Buffet Restaurants are also great places to go if you have small children or babies, which led to my publishing articles on Buffet Restaurants Perfect For Couples With Babies and Buffet Restaurants Ideal For Toddlers And Older Children.

But getting back to reality, and the lack of money, and once a week we usually end up eating what has become a staple English meal over the years, Baked Beans On Toast.   Baked Beans have a completely different use in the UK to in the USA, and here you can serve them on toast for any meal of the day, making a quick and also cheap meal.

Cheese On Toast is also one of my favorites, and again in England we eat this for any meal, quite often with Baked Beans smothered over it.  I tell you, this can’t be beat, and it kept me going through my university days.

I hope you enjoyed learning about my taste in food, and also had a chance to visit some of my food related articles.  I would love to hear any comments that you have on both my taste in food as well as your favorite kinds of food.

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