I wrote on my Twitter page the other day that I was going to do something shameful – to which someone replied, Toby Carvery? Oh…how little did I know.
BANG BANG BANG. I was awoken on Sunday morning by some ferocious banging at my front door. “POLICE, OPEN UP”, came the shout.
Fuck. What had I done? I’d been out 3 nights in a row which is a bit much for me in my old age. “LORD GRAVY, GET DOWN HERE NOW”. How do they know my name? What have I said? Has The Carrie been reading my blog?
With that I heard a smash and I ran downstairs, to be confronted by two women. Well…one was like an obese version of Nadine Dorries, the other was…well…robust with a tattooed face.
“WAAAA WHY ARE YOU WEARING GIRLY KNICKERS, YA POOF”. Oh shit…what did happen last night?
“Well let us in then”. Panicking and wondering what the neighbours, might think, I went looking for my front door keys, “one minute”, I said.
Toby Young is dreaming of your anus.
“Don’t you remember us?”, the robust one said. “Erm…”.
“We miss you, Lord Gravy. Bracknell hasn’t been the same since you left”.
I opened the door to let them in, “you don’t remember us, do you?”. “Well, no, sorry…”.
“You don’t have a girlfriend yet, do you?”. Well, no.
“My psychic said that I needed to hurry up if I was going to get you to fall in love with me – she said I’m running out of time. So here I am. And here is Chantalle, also”.
“And you are?”, I replied.
“Sharon”. “Don’t you remember, we lived around the corner from you in Bracknell. Chantalle used to blow you kisses on the way to work every day, I used to follow you to work when I was walking the dogs”.
Ahhh those dogs – everyone had pit bulls and horrid dogs in this estate (also some pugs), though I assumed most were drug dealers. I shuddered with the memories of walking through the estate in Bracknell, where I used to live.
Toby Young has a foot fetish.
“We’ve converted our basement into a shrine…all about roast dinners…and all about you”.
I AM SCARED. Is it Halloween or something?
With that, they dragged me upstairs – I’m not the strongest guy and certainly couldn’t out-muscle Sharon, who pushed me onto my bed. “I just want to show how much I love you, Lord Gravy”.
She pulled my, erm, pants down – “I’ve…never seen one that…tiny”.
“Well, erm, yeah. I’ve got a bad hangover”, I replied.
“I’ve got a better idea”, said Chantalle. Well, I couldn’t think of many worse ideas. “Put on some clothes and we’ll take you out for dinner, somewhere really special – and then you’ll realise how much we love you”.
“And then we can have a threesome after”, added Sharon. “I can speak a bit of Spanish if that helps turn you on?”.
With that, I felt something around my ankle. “What the fuck is that?”, I coarsely said. “It’s just a tag – half of the guys in Bracknell have one, don’t worry”.
Toby Young is licking your ear.
I concluded that I had a better chance of escape by following them, for now, so got into their rustbucket of a car. Plus food – I was hungover, and needed food and beer. Also, to my surprise, Chantalle offered me a can of beer when we got in the car.
“Carling or Fosters?”, she said. Well…”or we’ve got hooch…or cava…or…”.
“Fosters would be delightful”, I replied.
I won’t repeat the rest of the monotonous conversation about their favourite Love Island characters, how we’ve taken back control, isn’t it so great, amongst other drivelous matters, plus she even offered me some ket – though it definitely wasn’t ket.
We were very much on the M25, I assumed going towards Bracknell, when we came to a halt. “Oh those fucking cunts are on the road again”, shouted Sharon. My eyes lit up – this was my escape. “Shall I go piss on them?”, I suggested.
“YEAH! We love you, Lord Gravy, you are our hero”. They let me out the car, and I went towards the eco mob…and sat down next to them.
“AIR CONDITION BRITAIN”, I shouted. “AIR CONDITION BRITAIN, AIR CONDITION BRITAIN, AIR CONDITION BRITAIN “. I had no shortage of evils.
With that, Sharon dragged me out of the road, “Oi, we’re going to fucking Toby, don’t be a dick, you love roast dinners”.
Toby Young is whispering in your ear about Brexit, in sexy, hushed tones.
We arrived at Toby Carvery in somewhere called Snaresbrook – practically Essex. Over come the booming voice as I checked for our booking (yeah you have to book a table at Toby Carvery), “what do you want to drink, Lord?”.
I asked for the most expensive bottle of red wine, received some abuse from my captors but they did at least show their love for me. “Twenty fucking pounds that cost – you better love me later”. Cheap and nasty, but probably the least nasty of the options. The wine, I’m on about.
Toby Carvery actually has a food menu. Who knew?! And they try to make it look like one of those places that offer so many options that they clearly specialise in nothing.
They even do a set menu, yorkie wraps, fish and vegetarian/vegan options. Though when we were queuing up, someone asked for the vegetarian, was given two Yorkshire puddings and Sharon just laughed out loud, blurting, “a fucking vegetarian in a Toby”. Sigh. One imagines there are few vegans in Bracknell.
There are two tricks to consider applying at a Toby Carvery. Firstly, choose the meat that looks like it has been there the shortest amount of time – as we were queuing, a new turkey crown arrived. Decision made.
And the second trick is, that you need to chat up the “chef”. Firstly, whilst my captors were laughing at the vegetarian, I tried to tell him I had been kidnapped. “You want king size?” he replied. No.
I then asked him how we was, said I was excited to be here and it was the first time that I’d been in 10 years – “you work here?” was the response. Ahh. No.
I asked for turkey, “only turkey?” he said. Yes. And once he finished slicing, I said, “oh can I have a bit of gammon too”. Tricks of the trade, my friends.
Toby Young is getting an erection whilst whispering to you.
The vegetable selection looked pretty miserable, but I think I made the best of it – avoiding the peas and red cabbage, and choosing a mixture of roasties with beef dripping, and ruffled roasties. No, I didn’t work out what was ruffled about the roasties.
And no, mash doesn’t go on a roast, Sandra.
The carrots tasted of carrot, which is pretty useful – the last time I went to a Toby Carvery around 7 years ago everything tasted the same, so to start with some unique flavour was a plus. Steamed and soft, they reminded me of what my mum would do.
Also steamed were the green beans, but steamed to death. When I went back for extra roast potatoes, the next batch of green beans were actually closer to green than brown – but these were even limper than my willy in a threesome with my captors.
Finally, for the vegetables – at least the ones I dared try, I had a lump of very robust cauliflower. It had a little dried cream on the stub, which I assume was their Brexity version of cauliflower cheese – but you cannot really suggest this was cheese.
Toby Young is about to stick a roast potato up your bum in the Toby Carvery toilets.
Considering that they are constantly making fresh roast potatoes, unlike half the pubs in London who seem to make them the day before, one might expect fresh, crisp roast potatoes. And they weren’t bad – they were better than many I’ve had in London.
I wouldn’t go too far in praise – they were quite chewy, only occasionally crispy on the outside, sometimes soft on the inside, occasionally with chunks of dead, black potato that should have been chopped out – but in the grand scheme of London’s roast potatoes, these were…ok? And the beef dripping ones were tasty – like a slightly stickier version of the gravy.
The Yorkshire pudding was one of the best Yorkshire puddings that I’ve had in recent years. No, seriously it was. Soft, freshly cooked, a bit of crisp on the outside. I thought it was excellent.
As one of my captors had also been flirting with the chef, suggesting a foursome (I hoped he misheard that also), we had some sausages that you should only get for king size. It was tired and basic – but it was sausage also. Make of that what you will.
I liked the turkey. One of my captors suggested it was the best turkey she’d ever had – fuck knows what Christmas is like round hers, and I dearly hope that I escape their clutches before then. It was, however, quite nice, not too dry, not especially succulent either – just fairly respectable slices of turkey. And three slices too, a ha ha ha ha ha.
Again, the gammon was nothing to write home about, but I quite enjoyed it as a compliment to the turkey, a tad salty but nothing too much.
The stuffing cube was surprisingly square, a tad over-cooked but also quite tasty – how can you resist the charms of sage and onion together?
Finally, the gravy. It did taste quite a lot like gravy granules, but with added meat juices. I actually liked it though – maybe that says more about me, but it was thick and meaty – albeit with a saltiness you’d expect from cheap gravy granules at Iceland.
Toby Young is naked, with only a book covering his genitals, smiling and waiting for you
I was stuffed. I could barely walk – and certainly couldn’t run away. Yes, I went for more semi-disappointing roasties and more semi-delightful gravy, so this didn’t help matters.
My captors insisted that this was the best Toby Carvery in the south of England. How many had they been to?
It certainly wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it would be. The Yorkshire pudding was actually very good – given that many pubs in London make them hours before (or the night before) and leave them lying around, it isn’t difficult to do better.
The gravy was thick and flavoursome – albeit also salty and granule tasting – and the turkey was quite nice also. There are actually compliments to make. About the roast. Not my captors.
All the vegetables were as miserable as I fear life will be with my captors.
I’m scoring it a somewhat surprising 6.20 out of 10.
“So, do you love Toby Carvery more than me?” asked Chantalle.
“Innit great, that we’ve taken back control?”, asked Sharon.
It was a very, very, very long drive back to Bracknell, my new but hopefully very temporary home, until I figure out a way to escape their evil clutches.
Will I be reviewing a Toby Carvery near Bracknell next week? Or will I be be back in London? Find out in a week…
Until then…be scared…stay scared.
Toby Carvery, Snaresbrook
Tube Lines: Central
Fare Zone: Zone 4
Loved & Loathed
Loved: One of the best Yorkshire puddings I've had. Seriously. Gravy thick and meaty.
Loathed: Vegetables all miserable, gravy might have been thick - but it was also salty.