Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Plough, Harborne has flat access to the entrance, but somebody had chosen to put a big sign outside, to display deals or a promotion and this prevented me from getting in without assistance. This can be rectified with a simple movement of the board. But at the time of my visit, there was no one around to ask. With assistance from who I was with, I managed to get my wheelchair up to the front entrance and up a small lisp into the restaurant.
I have not needed to use the disabled toilet in The Plough, Harborne, but I have seen it from the outside and it is another standard size with very little space within it. This shows ignorance on the part of everyone involved in its design, the toilet is unable to cater for the needs of every disabled person especially those who cannot transfer by themselves on and off the toilet with ease and they don’t understand that disabled people can very easily slip and hurt themselves seriously in the restricted space in this standard sized facility.
Glancing around, I saw the restaurant seemed to be in an older building, with wooden floors and floors, but the restaurant had made very good attempts to keep it vibrant and eye-catching as well as welcoming. The restaurant was separated into three parts; a small area as soon as you walk in, consisting of tables and chairs, a small step which gave way to a bigger seating area and a back-garden area, only used on sunny days, the area wasn’t very sheltered. I have been to The Plough, Harborne on a few occasions and I have sat in the downstairs seating area and the upstairs area. The restaurant has one step which gives way to the second seating area, but The Plough has a ramp which I have used to get up there, the angle and height of the ramp are steep but it’s possible.
Though accessible, the space within the two sitting areas that I was able to get to was very tight. It was difficult for me and my wheelchair to manoeuvre between the tables and chairs without disrupting people and my surroundings. I get particularly tense and wound up when I have to manoeuvre in tight restricted spaces, as I feel pressure to be able to get through without knocking into anything and not disrupting many people. Instead, my visits involved me having to squeeze through tight spaces which were between the tables and chairs and I had to disrupt people repeatedly to move aside to allow me to get through and to my table. This was not good for any of us involved and can be easily rectified if the interior design and layout is reconsidered.
As space is very restricted within the restaurant it took me a few attempts to manoeuvre close enough to my table once chairs had been removed to enable me to do so. I had to try positioning my wheelchair at different angles in order to get close enough which did involve me disrupting a lot of people. When I did get as close to the table as my wheelchair would allow, I found that I could get under the table but my knees were against the underside of it which wasn’t very comfortable. I need the tables in The Plough to be higher so I am able to get in closer without banging my knees and having to strain my back in order to eat and drink independently. Once customers have decided what they want to eat and drink, they have to order at the very tall bar which is situated at the back of the upstairs area. Unfortunately for me, I am unable to be heard over the bar to place my order and I have to rely on whoever I’m with to do it. This is okay I suppose, but it doesn’t do well for my independence and I would much prefer the opportunity to place the order myself.
It was a Monday evening when me and my cousin visited. The Plough Harborne had a deal on every Monday which was 2-4-1 on pizzas. I loved the sound of that and so did a lot of people. At the time we went to the restaurant was very busy and there was a lot of people ordering a great deal of food as well as enjoying themselves with the company they had. I would say in all that I enjoyed the atmosphere within the restaurant at the time we went, it was busy, but we didn’t feel like it was overcrowded and each table could still have their own conversation without the fear of being interrupted or missed heard. There was an active atmosphere and I enjoyed hearing the indistinct harm of other people’s voices while enjoying my own conversation with my cousin. When we first arrived and I saw it was 2-4-1 pizzas at The Plough, I was a little concerned that the restaurant would be busy and even though we had booked a table ahead of time, I worried that the staff members would be stretched too thin and we would have to wait for ages for our food and drink. But the staff members were very helpful and provided us with the ramp to enable us to get to the table that we had booked prior to our visit. The service was very friendly and very attentive as they kept coming to check on us and asked if there was anything else, they could do for us. As regards to the service surrounding the food and drink order we made, I felt the service was very quick but at the same time we didn’t feel rushed to get out and me and my cousin were able to have a nice catch up while eating.
At the time of our visit, it was 2-4-1 on pizzas. I had a very nice, large fizzy coke which went lovely with my choice of pizza, it defiantly quenched my thirst. The pizza that I chose to have was ‘good old’ margarita. I just wanted to concentrate on the flavouring paste of it without it being overpowering and too much on my taste buds. Having been to plenty of restaurants and bars which serve pizza, I was expecting a thick base which would weigh heavily on my tummy after the meal. Instead, the base of the pizza was thin and crispy cooked right, although a bit burnt around the edges. The thin and crispy based made the pizza toppings and their flavours and taste more pronounced. I really enjoyed to the right level of cheese and basil that was on my pizza.
I will be returning The Plough, Harborne very soon for 2-4-1 pizzas.