Every Brit knows the only reason for going to a Toby Carvery is to take your plate to the feeding station, pile it precariously high with roasties, Yorkshires and slabs of meat, then totter back to your table already thinking about seconds.
Now, though, coronavirus has waded in and ruined everything. When the restaurants reopen on Everything Is Fine Day (4th July), self-service will not be on the menu. Instead, you'll have to go to the Carvery Deck and be served by a chef. Do you have the spuds to ask for as much food as you want? Does anyone? This is Britain, after all.
"Two roast potatoes? That's fine. Absolutely fine. Great, in fact. Thanks ever so."
As you might expect, Twitter is deeply unsettled by the news that another pillar of British life has fallen:
I'm not cool with Toby Carvery having the chefs serve you now bc I cannot deal with the judgement when they get to the mash and that creamy garlic leek think they do and I'm just constantly like pic.twitter.com/544uO1U5bp
— My Name is Mud (@bethany_mae_) June 28, 2020
If you Can’t serve yourself at Toby Carvery what’s point in going
— Connor Moore (@ctfc_connor) June 28, 2020
I just read that when Toby Carvery reopens you won’t be able to fill your own plate No more being a fat cow with the roast potatoes & Yorkshire puddings day = ruined
— Chelsea Morris (@chelseamorris10) June 28, 2020
Just saw the news that you won’t be able to serve yourself at @tobycarvery anymore. Don’t think I’ll ever have the confidence to say please can I have 25 roast potatoes
— Jess Corcoran Fuller (@JessCCorcoran) June 28, 2020
@tobycarvery we had booked to visit you but have canceled when we found we could not pick our own veg from the deck, and sad to say will not return until you can restore this. This is what makes toby now your just the same as any other restruant or cafe serving a roast
— cliff cook (@cliffc100) June 29, 2020
We fully expect riots when chefs raise an eyebrow at someone requesting their twenty-fifth Yorkshire.
The announcement – brilliantly accompanied by a picture of a gammon – explains that the restaurant chain will be bringing in other measures to reduce the risk of everyone dying from covid-19:
"We’re delighted to say that guests will still be able to enjoy their favourite roast just the way they like it, but we will reopen our Carvery Deck with our chefs serving the roast meats, vegetables and accompaniments to guests at the deck. Similarly the famous Toby breakfast will be served for guests by our chefs in the same way. Tables and the space around the Carvery Deck will observe the safe distancing guidance and we will ensure rigorous standards of cleanliness with hand sanitiser stations throughout the restaurant."
While lots of people are upset about the lack of DIY-nomming, many more were just happy to see the carvery chain reopened, and booked tables for "opening night" (yes, really). What a strange island this is. [Metro]
Main image: Toby Carvery