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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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The Seven Stars Ripley

We were in search of a pub with steak & Guinness pie. My sister, visiting from Canada, requires having at least one steak & Guinness pie in a pub each time she visits and time was running out. On the promise of quality homemade food, we decided to try The Seven Stars near Ripley.

Seven Stars Ripley external

Independently owned, The Seven Stars prides itself on being a traditional pub. A quiet traditional pub – background music is turned way down, tables are spaciously placed and there’s no fruit machines.

The inside is bright, airy and very clean.

Open fires and cosy curtained booths indicate this is a good place to be on a winter’s day.

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The bar is a sort of mad dream bar, every inch seems to be covered in a bottle. Plus there’s wine on tap, how exciting.

We encountered the owner sitting at one end of the bar, a character that added interest to our lunch.

Service is relaxed and friendly.

Seven Stars Ripley bar

There’s a garden area, including a unique row of outdoor booths, two of which are heated.

Seven Stars Ripley garden

The menu is long and filled with pub classics, baguettes, sandwiches, a kid’s menu and daily specials, all made fresh on the premises.

I had the Carrot & coriander homemade soup £4.95. The cream came in its own little jug, to add to the soup to taste. The soup itself was lovely, not blended and thick with carrot matchsticks.

Seven Stars Ripley carrot and coriander soup

My husband had the 10″ baguette jumbo sausage & pan fried onion £6.95. It was excellent. The smell of fried onions was certainly divine.

Seven Stars Ripley sausage & onion baguette

We shared a side order of Cheesy chips £3.95.

Seven Stars Ripley cheesy chips

My daughter had the Bacon & brie sandwich £6.95.

Seven Stars Ripley bacon and brie sandwich

And finally the purpose of our visit, the Steak & Guinness pie prime beef cooked with mushrooms & Guinness with a puff pastry top served with chips & peas or seasonal vegetables £10.95

It was one of, if not the, best pie she’s ever had. The beef was beautiful, no filler, no gristle, just lots of perfectly cooked prime beef in a super tasty mushroom gravy.

Seven Stars Ripley steak & guiness pie

We were all pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. The Seven Stars is perfect if you’re looking for a traditional pub that does great food. It exemplifies why we should cherish independently owned pubs.

Newark Lane, Ripley, Surrey, GU23 6DL
www.sevenstarsripley.co.uk
Car park
Dogs welcome in the garden

Pinnock’s Coffee House

We were out to celebrate Lynn’s birthday and with miserable weather forcing us indoors we opted for one of our favourite cosy spots, Pinnock’s. Located in one of Ripley’s ancient buildings, on the high street near the intersection with Newark Lane (beside the Thomas Ford and Sons.) It’s easy to miss as the sign can be hard to spot. Street parking is usually easy to find.

Pinnock's Coffee House

Downstairs is a perfectly nice (big wood) tables and chairs cafe but upstairs is the real treat. Set in the rafters, the beams divide the area into roughly six sections. Each has its own individual comfy sofas, chairs and low tables, think charity shop chic. A book exchange corner and boardgames to add to the charm.

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It’s super cosy and sweet and quirky. It’s hard to feel stressed inside Pinnock’s, as it’s such a relaxing environment. The service is welcoming and jovial. A visit here is a bit like wrapping yourself in a warm blankie.

pinnock's coffee house

For days that are too nice to sit inside, there’s a cute little patio area out back (we couldn’t get a photo because it was chucking it down.)

This is your proper coffee house and consequently they take their coffee seriously. You won’t find any of the bog standard dark roasted joe here. For each cup, beans are ground fresh and brewed using the slow drip method. Pinnock’s is all about the subtle flavours of the bean. Too bad we don’t drink coffee, but we had Clare with us to give a verdict. She approves.

slow drip coffe

Tea drinkers don’t despair, they do a proper cup served in a proper cup. The selection of leaves is as wide as the selection of beans.

tea set

The food menu here is more interesting than your standard cafe fare and everything is homemade, which automatically makes things more appealing. The portions are generous and the side accompaniments are tasty.

For her celebratory lunch, Lynn chose the Smoked Mackerel Pâté – Homemade pâté served with a marinated tomato salad, potato salad, green salad, coleslaw and brown toast. It did not disappoint, the pate was lovely, fresh and vibrant with nice sides.

mackerel pate

Even before we arrived Ann was craving quiche. Fortunately the quiche of the day was brie and roasted vegetables, flavours Ann loves. It was deee-licious.

quicke

Marie and Clare both opted for wraps. Both looked identical so we only took one photo.

Marie had the roasted vegetables with homemade houmous finished with balsamic vinegar. Basically Marie orders anything on a menu with balsamic vinegar (including ice cream) but it was hard to detect it in the wrap. It and the sides were still yummy.

Clare had the free range egg mayonnaise with rocket salad. A good egg salad is underrated, but it’s the kind of thing you (or at least we) don’t bother to make at home so it’s a real treat to find a good one. We’ve decided that next time we come we’re all ordering the egg salad wrap.

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If you have any room left (we didn’t) they also sell a variety of homemade cakes and treats. Poor Lynn, no cake for her birthday.

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Pinnocks is such a special spot that we may well regret sharing it. Whether you come for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon treat, it’s sure to give you a break from the daily stresses of life and a chance to recharge your batteries.

Menu 4
Food 5
Decor/Ambiance 5
Service 4
Value 4
Total 22/25

High St, Ripley, Surrey, GU23 6AF www.pinnockscoffeehouse.com/
dogs are welcome inside in the upstairs and on the patio