One of the best carveries in the Midlands in my opinion, The Pretty Pigs Inn in Tamworth serves consistently delicious food and has an excellent clean play area for the kids' which my three always enjoy.
When you enter you pay for your meal at the bar and will be given a ticket to give the staff over by the carvery, who will then sort out your meal. A very simple and effective system which means there is rarely much hanging around as you can take your ticket to the table if there's a queue and pop over to the food once the line dies down.
The food is always piping hot and extremely fresh tasting; when we visited last week I had turkey and beef, although there were other meats to choose from too. The turkey was wonderful and buttery with the most deliciously crisp skin, I almost went back up for seconds but didn't want to look like a greedy pig in the Pretty Pig!
The veggies available are always cooked beautifully and there is a much wider choice than other carveries in the area. Carrots, peas, sweetcorn, parsnips, onions, cauliflower, cabbage and green beans are usually on the menu and you're urged to have as much veg on your plate as you want - I love veg so didn't need telling twice and piled my plate with veggies to the point that I had to eat most of them before I could even uncover my meat!
With my meat I was given a large fluffy Yorkshire pudding and a good size crispy stuffing ball. Both of these were beautifully cooked and seasoned, I ended up eating four stuffing balls because my kids' didn't want theirs and I felt I could have eaten more they were so lovely.
At the end of the carvery you choose which gravy and sauces you'd like to add to your meal, the meaty gravy is wonderfully fresh and absolutely the perfect accompaniment to my dinner. I also had a dollop of cranberry sauce and some horseradish.
There is also a standard menu at the Pretty Pig, although to be completely honest with you the carvery is so good that I have never felt the need to look for anything else. My daughter had steak and chips once which was excellent and very reasonably priced compared to other eateries in the area.
All prices in the Pretty Pig are good actually, and during the school holidays they often run promotions whereby kids' can eat cheaply or discounted adult meals. This can make eating out much cheaper than you expect and considering the quality of the food in here even full price is a bargain in my opinion.
Of course you can have a drink with your meal; all the big name lagers, ciders and spirits are represented and priced on a par with other pubs in the area. Soft drinks are very reasonably priced which is excellent news as with three children it means their drinks often cost more than our alcoholic beverages over the course of the visit, not so here and there are also a variety of soft drinks to choose from.
The pigs may not seem that pretty as you tuck into your gammon at this decent carvery and pub, which essentially feels like two separate businesses.
The pub part is large and roomy, with a substantial bar making it easy enough to get served even on a busy Sunday. Little tip - if you're eating you can pay for your food at the same time as grabbing a pint, before showing your receipt to the carvery staff when you're ready to go up and grab your food. The pub section also has games machines and a decent enough television for sport.
The food on offer at the restaurant is decent, and when we went for my Mom's birthday everyone was happy with what they had - though the restaurant was uncomfortably warm even in January. The exterior of the premises is really interesting too, showing off the history of place. You'll probably have to drive here as it does feel like it's in the middle of nowhere, especially at night.
Note - just lettin g you know that the car park is situated on the opposite side of the road to the pub.
Huge value for money is the easiest way to describe this carvery pub. At the time of writing, £3.50 was the price we just paid for an adult carvery meal. Applies Mon-Sat.
Staff were pleasant, tables clean, good family atmosphere. Great views of the lake from the rear and fenced area for children to play.
Finding a table is a free-for-all, with no organisation from the staff. Can be frustrating on busy days. My only gripe about the Pretty Pigs.
The quality of the carvery food is almost comparable with Toby Inns. Not bad at all. Considering the price (less than half the price of a Toby carvery) it's outstanding value.
The chocolate fudge sundae is not on the same par though. I recommend having pie and custard.
Another place that brings back lovely childhood memories. My parents are neither one of them into pubs or drinking and it was a rare treat that if the sun was shining we would get to go sit outside this pub with a bottle of coke (in a proper glass bottle) and a straw, and probably a bag of cheese and onion crisps if we were lucky. There were really only two pubs that my parents ever went to - and this was the better of the two by far. Reviewed through a child's eyes ( if perhaps a little now through rose coloured nostalgic specs) I would probably give it a 5. It was named after the pigs that used to be kept in the outside area at one point which I believe were actually 'Sandybacks' one of the few things Tamworth is famous for. There were no pigs in my day and none now, but the garden area lies adjacent to neighouring farm fields and there have been over the years horses, sheep, cows and goats kept there which could be fed grass and the like and strokec through or over the wire fencing. A free petting facility, fresh country air and coke - what more could a kid ask for? But wait. there was , and still is a small play area too, not at all commercialised just a few swings and a climbing frame , and last but not least loads of lovely grass to run around and turn cartwheels on. Possibly I am biased and kids were easy pleased back then, but I have to say that my son loves it too.
Now the adult stuff. The pub has changed hands regularly over the years but the food probably at the minute is about the best it has ever been. Its Sunday lunches are phenomenal value, and really well cooked. Its simple unfancy food but really good portions and you can tell the ingredients are fresh and excellent quality. Its a carvery type service and there are usually a mix of meats available (pick one or all 3), with a vast array of 'help yourself' veggies. They also do some fab old style traditional puds that remind me of school dinners back in the day. You cannot go wrong for £5,95 a head. The staff are really friendly and easy going too.
I have alot of admiration for the team here as over the last few years this pub has been flooded no fewer than 5 times, but every time they revamp and redecorate and get it just right all over again
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