The Carvery is served in the main restaurant area. I’ve never actually sat up here before on my previous visits, having always sat in the bar or on the terrace. I’ve written about 1565 a few times before, covering their Afternoon Tea, and cocktail menu. The restaurant area is still light, thanks to huge skylights, and is calm and relaxing with soft grey colours, pretty mirrors and comfy booth seats. It would be nice in this weather if you had the option to eat on the terrace, but for the Sunday menu, you are kept to the restaurant.
I don’t fancy an alcoholic drink with my lunch, and opt to peruse the soft drinks list. As well as the usual suspects, they have some nice soft options from brands like Fentimans, and serve a range of coffees and iced coffee options. 1565 uses Starbucks cover and you’ll find options from lattes to the fruit coolers on the list. Dave and I both choose an Iced Chai Tea Latte (£3.20). It’s strongly spiced, and very refreshing with mounds of crushed ice.
The Carvery is £14.95 a person, which includes access to a soup and salad bar, the main carvery station and a selection of desserts. You can opt to upgrade to a fancier starter or dessert for some extra spends.
Despite the forlorn looking waiter looking totally rejected by the soup station, we stick to our guns that it really is too hot for Creamy Broccoli soup, and instead attack the salad bar. The options cover most of the standard couscous, pasta, bean and ceasar salad options, with a few dishes of fresh veg and lots of dressing choices. I load up a plate and happily munch. The salads are tasty, but it is hard to get too excited about a fairly standard salad bar.
The main event has several options too. You can choose beef, turkey, a roast of the day (gammon on our visit), a fish of the day (tuna when we visit), and a vegetarian roast. There is of course dishes of veg, two kinds of potatoes and lashings of gravy.
I opt for the gammon, and Dave chooses a mix of gammon and beef. The gammon is good, juicy and tender, and with no hint of the dreaded Carvery dryness. The beef too is surprisingly moist, but over-cooked for my taste. I prefer my roast beef pretty pink.
Most of the veg is pretty decent too; so often Carvery veg is left til it turns to mush, but this has some bite left in it. A highlight is the carrots, which are cooked in honey, making them sweet and tasty. The parsnips, sadly, are very, very undercooked. The roast potatoes are fluffy inside, but have no crisp on the outside which is a shame.
What is truly criminal is the Yorkshire Pudding. I love yorkies, but as soon as I clap eyes on these, I know this isn’t going to be good. The yorkies look like deflated balloons, and a far too dark. The flavour is no better; it is pure stodge, tough and chewy, and after one bite I immediately ditch it. The gravy too is poor. It’s very, very watery, and tastes of not a lot.
We fare better with dessert. Dave’s Gateaux of the Day reveals itself to be Black Forest. The whole plate has clearly been fridged, as everything is very cold to the touch. The chocolate garnish has to be chiselled off the plate, and at first look, the sponge looks as though as it’s sunk and gone soggy, but appearances are deceiving. Instead, it is pleasant, with lot of cherry and plenty of icing.
I order the Dark Chocolate and Orange Mousse. It’s creamy, with plenty of orange cutting nicely through the rich chocolate.
The service is a little erratic, varying between over-attentive with no less than four waiters checking back on us during our main course, to not a single member of staff being in sight for some time. We wait so long for dessert menus to arrive after mains are cleared, we almost gave them up for lost forever, and left. I was gathering my handbag about to get up when they finally arrived. The restaurant is quiet when we visit, so the swings in service a bit strange. They’re all perfectly friendly though, and we have a good giggle with the poor soup man about his terrible job for such a hot day.
The price is an undeniable bargain, and it’s the sort of place I’d take my Mum or my Nan, to impress them with the swish surroundings. For my own taste, I’m not sure I’d bother. The Carvery was hit and miss, and that Yorkshire was unforgivable.
I was a guest of 1565. All food and drinks were complementary in exchange for honest review. All words, images and opinions are my own.