The Sun

Anne and I met for lunch at The Sun pub on Chobham High Street. It may not look much from the outside, but inside is hugely charming and inviting.

The Sun Chobham exterior

The pub is part of The White Brasserie group, group of Surrey pubs that combines traditional Britishness with French food. The feel is very fresh without being soulless.

The original section of the pub is charming, complete with wood fires and cosy corners.

The Sun Chobham bar area

When the White Brasserie Company took over the pub in 2014, they sympathetically built a large extension to the side that now serves as the restaurant area. It’s a beautiful double aspect space with a huge amount of light. High ceilings and exposed beams give it character, even though it’s new.

It was very busy during our visit, but was quiet enough to easily carry on a conversation.

The Sun Chobham restaurant area

Service is friendly and attentive. The atmosphere relaxed but sophisticated.

A la carte menus change seasonally. Set menus change monthly. We both dined from the lunch menu, two courses £9.95.

I started with the Potted smoked mackerel, horseradish cream, toasted baguette. It was yummy, though I might have done with a bit more toast.

Smoked mackerel pate The Sun Chobham

Anne went straight to mains withe the Steak frites ‘Express’ (£2 supplement.) She really enjoyed the meal. The steak was delicious, the salad well dressed and the chips crispy with fluffy centres.

Cornish minute steak steak frites The Sun Chobham

While I wanted all of the appetisers, I struggled a bit with mains. Not because they didn’t sound delicious but because they sounded heavy for lunch. I settled on the Spanish omelette, roasted red peppers, potatoes, onions, olives & courgettes, roquette salad. I really enjoyed it, the delicious vegetables were generous and took centre stage over the eggs.

Mind also came with a pot of chips, which was far more food than I could manage.

Spanish omelet The Sun Chobham

Finally, Anne and her sweet tooth had dessert, the Steamed lemon sponge pudding, lemon curd sauce. It was chock full of lemon flavour cut through with the cream. Levels of great textures made for a tasty treat.

steamed lemon sponge pudding The Sun Chobham

The White Brasserie has seven other pubs in Surrey (all of their pubs are in Surrey), including The Queen’s Head in Weybridge. The Cricketers Downside, near Cobham is currently undergoing a million pound renovation and due to open in March 2016.

The Sun is definitely a good choice for a meal in Chobham. It’s definitely worth venturing into the village for. The White Brasserie group has a reliable selection of Surrey pubs that offer both great food in charming old pubs.

High Street, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8AF
www.suninnchobham.com
Small car park, large village car park nearby
Dogs welcomed in bar area

Advertisements

Richard Onslow Cranleigh

A drive through the beautiful Surrey Hills brought us to lunch at The Richard Onslow in England’s largest village, Cranleigh.

The Richard Onslow cranleigh

Located in a neat building, parts of which date back 500 years, on the high street, the pub started life as a coaching inn. They still have ten hotel rooms, some of which are dog friendly – perfect for a weekend of dog walks in the surrounding hills.

The restaurant area is a delightful, I want to say Georgian, room complete with double aspect sash windows that let in tons of light giving the room an airy feel. I particularly love the super long double fronted banquette down the centre of the room.

main Georgian dining area The Richard Onslow pub

It’s a Peach Pub (their only Surrey location), a group of pubs that pride themselves on preparing all fresh food, seasonally sourced where possible from British suppliers. Menus change seasonally, as well as a good selection of specials. Service is super friendly and the vibe is relaxed.

To the left of the entrance is a charming pub area. It’s a contrast the the restaurant area, has a much older feel and comes complete with a working Inglenook fireplace and flagstone floors.

open fire in pub area The Richard Onslow
The entire building was completely renovated when Peach Pubs bought the property six years ago and feels current and fresh.

In addition to outside tables along the high street in front of the pub there’s also a dining area in the old coaching inn’s courtyard.

Court yard al fresco seating area The Richard Onslow

For lunch, Jman started with the Soup of the day, broccoli and stilton £5.25. He really like the croutons on the side concept, they were nice and salty and he could control how many we in the soup. The soup itself was good and nippy from the stilton, very morish.

broccoli and stilton soup with croutons The Richard Onslow

I started with the Free range smoked duck, almond, watercress & orange salad, quackling £8.75. I was surprised when it came, I thought I was getting little pieces of duck in a whole lot of lettuce, instead I got a big piece of nicely flavoured, moist duck with great orange flavours. The quackling was quacker jack.

smoked Duck salad The Richard Onslow

For his main, Jman chose, again from the specials board, Sauteed chicken, smoked bacon & mushroom sauce, Dauphinoise potato £13. The dish was full of flavour and the chicken nice and juicy. He was very pleased with his choice.

sauteed Chicken The Richard Onslow

For my main I had the Roast squash, spinach & barley wellington, vegetarian gravy £13.75. When I saw barley on the menu I immediately had to order it, it reminds me of my childhood. I’d always loved it then in the stews my mother made and it was a super treat to find it on a menu (having never noticed it on an English menu before.)

It was a unique vegetarian dish,interesting with lots of flavours and all round yummy, though I did wish for a bit more squash.

Vegetarian en croute barley and butternut squash The Richard Onslow

Despite the January pledge to watch our weight, we couldn’t resist sharing the Lemon tart, toasted marshmallows and a poached fruit salad £6 The other bits on the plate are white chocolate (the triangles and the ‘stick’) I felt like I’d stepped onto the set of Masterchef when the plate was set down in front of us.

We immediately cursed ourselves for not ordering two desserts (or three). We were expecting standard lemon tart but got something special. If passing through Cranleigh definitely stop in if only for dessert.

Amazing lemon tart dessert The Richard Onslow

The Richard Onslow serves up an impressive quality of food in a great old building and is definitely worth a visit. My complements to the chef.

113 – 117 High St, Cranleigh Village, Surrey, GU6 8AU
www.therichardonslow.co.uk
Street parking or town lots
Dogs welcome

We were guests of The Richard Onslow but this is no way biased my review.

Three Horseshoes

On our way home from Star Wars at the Staines Vue, we popped into the Three Horseshoes in Laleham for some lunch. The pub has been on my want to visit list for some time. It’s Pearmain Pub, which is a group that burst onto the scene in Surrey over the past few years. (See Red Lion Horsell and The Old Plough.)

Three Horseshoes Laleham pub exterior

We arrived after 2pm and the pub was packed. We were lucky enough to find one available table in the bar area – the restaurant was full. Granted it was the Saturday after New Year’s but still you would be wise to make a reservation.

Three Horseshoes Laleham bar area

From outside it looks like a smallish house converted into a pub. Inside is a rambling series of rooms, some belonging to the bar and some to the restaurant. The rooms are stylishly decorated. The bar area we sat in was filled with fun a4 size retro posters relating to nearby Shepperton Studios.

Because the rooms are small, the noise level is not too loud but as they spill into one another you still get the buzzy vibe. You’d be hard pressed to find a better atmosphere, even in other Pearmain Pubs.

Three Horseshoes Laleham interior dining area

There’s a large outdoor patio.

Service is friendly, helpful and knowledgable.

Three Horseshoes Laleham outdoor patio

The menu is well thought out with something for everyone. All food is prepared fresh onsite.

We started with Olives £2.25 from bar snacks menu.

Three Horseshoes Laleham olives

We ordered a side of Calamari £4.75 from bar snacks menu. The calamari itself was divine. Well spiced, crispy coating on fat rings of squid. The dip was a little blah, I think it was just mayonnaise.

Three Horseshoes Laleham calamari

For his lunch, my father in law had the Beetroot houmous, avocado, carrot, sunblushed tomatoes & feta cheese on granary bread with wild mushroom soup £7.50. It was a lot of food for lunch, a large sandwich plus the side of soup but everything was really tasty. The wild mushroom soup of the day was particularly memorable.

Three Horseshoes Laleham vegetable and feta sandwich with mushroom soup

Jman went for the Crispy bacon, brie, fresh tomato salsa & spinach on granary with home cut chips £7.50. The chips were lovely, the salsa fresh and the sandwich very good. Probably more than good, he’s raved about this pub ever since. He also appreciated the notable selection of ales and he definitely wants to return here.

Three Horseshoes Laleham bacon and brie sandwich with chips

After an indulgent holiday season, I opted for Feta cheese, soya beans, butternut squash, broccoli, avocado, spinach & blueberry salad with garlic, lemon & yoghurt dressing, soy toasted seeds & nuts £9.95. I felt healthy just eating it, finally a day in getting all my five. Filled with many different ingredients, it was nice and varied though a shaper dressing wouldn’t have gone amiss but overall I enjoyed it.

Three Horseshoes Laleham superfood salad

I don’t think you can go wrong with the Three Horseshoes in Lalelam. It offers superb food in a wonderful atmosphere, and would be suitable for both a casual lunch and a stylish dinner with friends.

25 Shepperton Road, Laleham, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 1SE
threehorseshoeslaleham.co.uk
Car park (behind building, look for signs to the right of the pub)
Dogs welcome on the patio

The Alexander

When I picked my Canadian friend up from the airport it was only natural that the first thing she wanted to do was go to a pub. (Particularly since she writes a Toronto pub blog.) I chose to take her to The Alexander in Oatlands (Weybridge.)

The Alexander Weybridge exterior

Outside there’s a nice big outdoor space that doesn’t open up to a road (just the parking lot.)

Inside the pub runs in a relatively skinny chevron from the car park entrance, with windows running along one side or the other, there’s no dark, dank pub qualities here.

The Alexander Weybridge bar

Decor is a kind of updated take on shabby chic pub, up to date colours and a bit of whimsy coupled with all the nice big windows make for a cordial dining spot.

The menu changes daily, I like the ‘on this day’ and famous birthdays for each day. It has some nice sounding dishes, however as we were there for lunch we didn’t want a full big meal and there weren’t really any light lunch type items save for lentil soup. Lentils are my anti-beetroots. I will never, ever order anything with lentils.

The Alexander Weybridge seating area

Service was fine.

My friend, fresh off the plane from Canada and barely on breakfast time opted for the Great British cheeseboard with white graps, pear chutney & biscuits £8.50. As you can see it was nicely presented and a pretty good size, it made for a nice little lunch.

The Alexander Weybridge English cheese plate

I opted for the potato skins with sweet chilli and sour cream dips £5.50 from the bar snacks menu. Foolishly, for some reason (I think from a combination of the price and wishful thinking) I thought I was ordering North American style potato skins, like these, that can be passable as a lunch. Instead they were literally just the skins. They were very tasty and nicely presented but I’m not sure about the value for money.

The Alexander potato skins

I do like the interior of The Alexander and expect it is quite a nice spot for dinner or a Sunday lunch, however I’m not surprised we were the only ones in at lunchtime – they need a light lunch menu. The food we did have was good quality and nicely presented. I think it is worth a try when going out for a full meal.

139 Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 9LA
www.thealexanderweybridge.co.uk
Car park
Dogs welcome

The Anchor Ripley

Mother’s day and of course my kids know I’d like nothing more than to go out for a meal. Unfortunately they’re too young to arrange this and so I took it upon myself to book us in for dinner at The Anchor in Ripley.

As seems to be the in thing these days, Michelin starred Drakes Restaurant acquired the centuries old pub in 2013 with a view to creating an unpretentious village pub.

DSC_5418

Inside is simply decorated, allowing the character of the ancient building to shine through. It’s made up of several smaller rooms, including a super cosy snug and a nice roaring fire.

The Anchor Ripley dining area

There’s also a courtyard with comfortable al fresco seating, not photographed as it was too dark, even darker than the food images.

Service is friendly but a little too relaxed, I like to linger over a meal but not over uncleared plates, hopefully this was down to the busy mother’s day rush.

DSC_5463

The mother’s day menu was all very tempting, which is how we ended up here in the first place. The set menu was two courses for £26 or three for £32 and was similar to their regular menu. Regular price mains range from £12-24 and there’s a set lunch menu of two coursese for £15 or three for 19.

I opted for a starter, the Beetroot salad, lemon dressing, pine nuts and goats cheese. I loved the assortment of beetroots and the pine nuts added a nice burst of flavour though I wasn’t convinced by goat’s cheese in grated form.

DSC_5424

For mains everyone but me chose the Roast sirloin of beef, Yorkshire pudding & fresh horseradish. In a blue and black or white and gold dress phenomena, that meat is juicy pink almost to the edges. The roast potatoes were amazing and the gravy was super flavourful.

DSC_5432

I had a tough time choosing my main, in the end went for the Slow cooked duck leg, mash potato, cabbage & licorice sauce. Most of this dish was lovely, unfortunately each bite of the mash was a mouthful of salt, I’m surprised it snuck out of the kitchen like that. Which is a shame as the rest of the plate was so nice, I especially enjoyed the licorice sauce.

DSC_5452

For dessert Jman had the Rhubarb & ginger custard, pistachio shortbread. As you can see, it was a visual delight, as if a cartoon had come to life. The taste wasn’t too shabby either, interesting flavours and textures made for an utterly enjoyable dessert.

DSC_5471

The Anchor building is magnificent and the Drakes have successfully created a comfortable pub with lots of charm. I’m hoping the slow service was down to our visit being on the busiest restaurant day of the year. And I will get to Drakes Restaurant, one day.

High Street, Ripley, Surrey, GU23 6AE
www.ripleyanchor.co.uk
Car park

Square Meal

The William Bray Shere

Armed with a slew of children and a hoard of dogs, the ladies and I engulfed the bar area of The William Bray in Shere after a dog walk in the Surrey hills. We’ve eaten in the restaurant of The William Bray and know it’s an appealing gastropub, but we wanted to test out how their casual lunches rate.

The beautiful Edwardian building is a dominant feature in the centre of my favourite Surrey village, Shere.

William Bray Shere exterior

There’s a lovely outdoor lounge area overlooking the road filled with comfortable seating. There’s also a garden with backless picnic tables to the side of the building.

Inside is bright and airy thanks to those beautiful big windows.

The main restaurant area is modern yet retains some of the Edwardian features, including the beautiful hardwood floor. I love wood floors, it’s so nice to see one in a pub.

William Bray Shere interior

The bar area is on the right as you look at the building. It’s not huge but the high ceiling and those big windows make it feel larger than it is. Again they’ve kept those beautiful hardwood floors and there’s a woodburner to give it a cosy feel in winter.

They have a good assortment of sandwiches on the bar snacks menu. They also serve the regular menu in the bar area.

William Bray Shere bar

Our server was super friendly. We did have a slight issue, as a sandwich for a child was ordered on a baguette but when it showed up it came on cornbread as they’d run out of baguettes – something the child was unimpressed with. If given a choice we would have asked for white bread and he would have eaten his lunch. (Although Ann took the cornbread and loved it.)

Now, a problem – I’ve lost my descriptions and prices and only one thing we ordered is on the online menu! My humblest appoligies.

Liz had a chicken and Mediterranean vegetable sandwich on a baguette. Apart from the unusual interpretation of a baguette it was a rather tasty sandwich.

William Bray Shere chicken sandwich

Ann needed thawing out so went for the winter vegetable soup of the day. It was a nice size for a starter but not filling enough for lunch. It did have nice flavours. Fortunately she had the unwanted corn bread to fill up on, wich was yummy.

William Bray Shere soup

I choose the smoked salmon and crème fraiche £6.95. More bread than filling but fortunately it was heavenly fresh granary bread. We especially loved that our sandwiches came with root vegetable crisps.

William Bray Shere salmon sandwich

The William Bray is a really fabulous independent pub. I’d suggest it’s best for an evening meal with friends rather than a lunch spot. The front terrace is arguably the best place in Shere to watch village life go by and a perfect place to lounge after a ramble.

Shere Lane, Shere, Surrey, GU5 9HS
www.thewilliambray.co.uk
Car park
Dogs welcome in bar area

Square Meal

The Queen’s Head Weybridge

Probably the most popular pub in Weybridge, yet for some reason I’ve only been once before. Finding ourselves in the area, we popped in for a quick lunch.

The Queen’s Head is a part of a small chain of pubs, The White Brasserie Company, that has 5 locations, including another Surrey location in Chobham.

Queen's Head Weybridge exterior

Inside is made of of several small rooms, that are partitioned off from one another yet manage not to feel detached or claustrophic. ‘Nice pub’ decor with lovely touches like the open kitchen. And very classy, you get real linen here.

Staff are chilled out and helpful. Our Friday lunch was bustling (hence not very many indoor photos) yet we didn’t wait long for our food to arrive.

Queen's Head Weybridge interior

Not to big, not too small, the menu is interesting and widely appealing. The set menu changes monthly.

Short on time we both had sandwiches. Mr had the hot sausage and red onion marmalade baguette £5.95 An impressive size and amount of sides for the price. It was tasty and very enjoyable. He even commented how good the salad dressing was.

Queen's Head Weybridge sausage baguette

I had the melted goat’s cheese, beetroot and walnut baguette £5.95. A bit awkward to eat but yummy. The cheese was thoroughly warmI would have preferred a bit more of the beetroot flavour coming through. Nice chips, not too fat, not too skinny.

Queen's Head Weybridge goat's cheese, beetroot and walnut baguette

I’m now kicking myself, why haven’t I been coming here more often? Lovely pub, good food, good sounding evening menu. I think we’ll be back soon for the three course set menu, only £14.95 for weekday dining before 6.30.

The Queen’s Head, 1 Bridge Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 8XS
www.queensheadweybridge.com
Small car park or street parking
Dogs allowed in pub area