This is a real old school, classic truckstop café diner. It’s located near Prees Heath by the roundabout where the A49 diverges south off the A41 on the road south from Whitchurch. The postcode is SY13 2AF.
It has plenty of capacity and can accommodate over 200 diners at any one time. However, be warned, it is open only from 0700 to 1500, so it’s not going to be able to serve you a meal in the evening after a long day’s driving.
The Raven serves a wide range of breakfasts. There is a choice of mini breakfasts for example you can have two eggs, two rashers of bacon or two sausages, and beans or tomatoes for £3.50 while two slices of bacon along with two sausages and either baked beans or an egg is priced at £3.70.
The small breakfast costs a fiver and comes with a rasher of bacon, a sausage, an egg, hash brown, fried bread, either baked beans or tomatoes and also includes a mug of tea or coffee £5.
The Full English is a pound more and has two rashers of bacon, two sausages, an egg, hash browns, fried bread, beans, tomatoes and black pudding and again includes a tea or coffee.
For those with a truly big appetite, then the Raven gut buster gives you two bits of bacon, three sausages, two eggs, two hash browns, fried bread, beans, tomatoes mushrooms and bubble and squeak and a tea or coffee and comes in at £7.50.
The Raven also offers a vegetarian breakfast option which is two eggs, two hash browns, fried bread, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and bubble and squeak, with tea or coffee and is £6. And if you have your nipper with you in the cab, then you can treat them to a children’s breakfast for £3.50, and that comes with egg, bacon, sausage, beans or tomatoes, and toast – and also a small bottle of pop.
You can also add extra portions to any breakfast, and these are bacon, sausage, mushrooms, eggs, beans, tomatoes, peas, hash browns, fried bread, black pudding, cheese or gravy all at 50p while bubble and squeak is an extra 60p and chips are £1. Bread and butter is 25p a slice while toast and butter is 35p a slice.
There is also a selection of lighter breakfast options on toast. Poached or fried eggs, beans or mushrooms are all £2.80 while scrambled eggs or cheese is £2.90 and tomatoes on toast is £2.70.
The Raven offers a wide selection of traditional main meals. They include fish, chips and peas for £5 while steak pie, steak and mushroom pie or cottage pie – all served with chips or potatoes, vegetables and gravy – are all priced at £6.50.
Roast dinners are available daily, and – subject to availability – there is a choice of beef, pork, chicken or turkey and these are served with chips or potatoes, vegetables and gravy and cost £6.50.
Gammon, eggs, peas and chips is also £6.50 while two sausages, two rashers of bacon and chips is £4. Ham, eggs, peas and chips costs £5.50 while two eggs with beans, or peas and chips is £3.80. That is the same price charged for a beef or chicken burger with beans and chips while a choice of either two sausages or bacon with two eggs with chips is also £3.80.
Salads with ham or half a chicken are both £6.50 and they come with a choice of either chips or potatoes. A plain jacket potato with butter is £3 and you can add a choice of three fillings – tuna, cheese or beans at 50p each.
The café offers both hot and cold sandwiches. The former are available with bacon at £2.20, sausage, egg or mushrooms at £2 each, bacon and sausage together is £3.20 while bacon and egg together is priced at £2.50.
Sausage and egg is £2.40 while sausage and mushroom combined is priced at £2.50 and bacon and mushroom as a pair is £2.70. Bacon or sausage with black pudding is priced at £3. You can also have all these combinations in toasted sandwiches for an extra 20p a go.
In the cold sandwich range, there is the choice of cheese or egg mayo – both priced at £2.20, ham or cheese and onion are both £2.40, beef, pork, turkey or tuna mayo are all £2.50 each and finally ham and cheese together is priced at £2.80.
There are six pudding choices available – all are £3.25 and all come served with custard. They are the usual favourites, namely chocolate sponge, jam sponge, syrup, sticky toffee, spotted dick and bread and butter pudding.
The Raven might look a bit run down, and the toilets could do with a makeover, but it’s friendly and popular, and the food portions are good. It has the top food hygiene rating of five – so you know the place is clean, the food is fresh and well prepared.
It hosts local bikers’ group meeting and there are plenty of old bike magazines available to read or buy.
There is also a pool table and some sofas for those who want to relax that bit more. While popular with the general public, truck drivers get priority.
There are showers available at £1. There’s a big parking area, which is a little rough, but just opposite there is a council owned parking land for trucks to park. Judging from the number of tricks parked, this is a popular truckstop. It’s cash only, but there is a cashpoint close by.
There is also an outside seating area for when the weather is good!
Lynn’s Raven café
Fern View, Prees Heath, Whitchurch, SY13 2AF
Tel: 01948 665691