We have been going to the Royal George every couple of weeks for the last three or four years ....maybe a little longer. In general, we've found the meals to be very good value. Crown Carvery is in the same ownership as Toby Carvery, but the meals are cheaper. A carvery or pie meal at the Royal George is currently £3.99, and at the Downlands Toby it's about £5.45.
We, like your other contributer, have noticed that the Royal George doesn't seem to be so busy these days. Today, when we visited at about 11.45am, there were two other couples eating. By the time we left, a further ten diners had arrived.
We paid for our meals at the bar (you pay in advance here and are given a ticket to pass to the carver) because there was no member of staff to be seen in the restaurant area. Eventually, a young male "waiter" appeared, but during the time we were in the restaurant, he did not approach us at all - either to ask if we were enjoying the meal or whether we wanted a dessert. He just seemed to be wandering around. We hadn't seen him when we've visited before, so guess he was new, or at least new to that shift. Usually, we see a more mature lady, who's always bright and breezy. She always looks into the kitchen and calls a carver if she sees somebody waiting. However, today, one man stood at the carvery for several minutes before the waiter wandered across and asked for the man to be served.
Having said that, our food was good and hot. We had chicken and mushroom pie with cauliflower, carrots, roast potatoes, gravy and a Yorkshire pudding. There were three meats available - turkey, beef and gammon. We prefer the beef at the Royal George to that at the Toby, because it's less fatty, but that's just personal choice. There were also peas, leeks, swede and mashed potato in addition to the vegetables we actually had. There have been times when the food hasn't been so hot, or the meal has been disappointing, but this hasn't often happened.
We understand there have been several changes of management in the last couple of years. There is usually only one waitress on duty when we visit, but if we've been a little later there has been two. The prices are probably kept low because the restaurant employs fewer staff and the decor and furniture isn't so up to date as that at Toby Carveries.
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