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

Four Horseshoes

I got a hot tip from a mum at school about the Four Horseshoes in Chobham. A quick look at their website (a good precursor in both visual delightfulness and vibe) and it didn’t take me long to get myself down there.

It’s positioned on a triangle of green on the fringe of Chobham. True to its name, horses do indeed pitch up from the nearby equestrian centre and an application for hitching posts has even been made – talk about retro.

There’s a lovely large outdoor seating in front alongside the green as well as small enclosed patio seating are to the rear of the pub.

four horseshoes exterior

Four Horseshoes was taken over by a passionate independent owner in 2013. He clearly thought long and hard about what he’d want his venture to be and has successfully created a whimsical, welcoming pub.

Main dining areas are bright with well spaced tables. There’s oodles of delightful finishing touches, from the birdie lampshade to decorative coat hangers, not to mention the sumptuous toilets.

four horseshoes dining area

The bar seating area is cosier and complete with doggy water bowls.

four horseshoes bar seating

Crowning glory of all is a bar that looks like it’s made from disused kitchen units.

four horseshoes super cool unique bar

All food is made fresh to order and everything is prepared on site, save the bread and ice cream. Service is efficient and smiley.

The menus is predominantly pub classics with twists and flourishes that make them up to date and enticing. They have a nice two/three course lunch menu but would benefit from offering some lighter lunch bites.

Ann went for The Shoes ale battered hake, pea puree, triple cooked chips, tarter £12.50. It was tasty with skin on chips, yay! All chips should have their skins left on!

Fish and chips four horseshoes

Suffering from a deficit of green vegetables, I was in a serious salad mood. As there was only one (the horror!) salad on the menu my decision was easy. I had the Roasted sweet potato, goats cheese, pine nut, chilli balsamic, leaves £10.50. There was lots going on, including a some heat. I did quite enjoy it and it was filling, however I would have liked a more exciting dressing.

sweet potato salad four horseshoes

Ann has suffered from a sweet tooth lately and fell prey to the Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, rum & raisin ice cream £6.50. Naturally we shared it. Mmm, it was yummy with lots of ooey gooey toffee sauce.

sticky toffee pudding four horseshoes

The Four Horseshoes is a crackerjack of a pub, another in the growing group of next wave Surrey eating spots.

13-15 Burrow Hill Green, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8QP
www.fourhorseshoeschobham.co.uk
Car park
Dogs welcomed in the bar area

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

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 Duke of Wellington East Horsley

Sunday Lunch and my husband and I decided to check out the new Duke of Wellington in East Horsley.

Current (independent) owners took over about 9 months ago and completely revamped the interior and the menu.

The exterior of the building is full of character, an old flint coaching house with lots of interesting detailing, the establishment dates back to 1541.

The Duke of Wellington East Horsley exterior

Inside is fresh and ecclectic with a touch of whimsy. This is a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously and has successfully created an appealling space to be in.

There’s a nice mix of proper tables and comfy seating.

The Duke of Wellington fireplace seating

A fake cow head is mounted over one of the fireplaces, pineapple wall sconces grace the bar area and one dining section is wallpapered with vintage collectable coupons are just a few examples of the fun.

The Duke of Wellington seating area

Another section is a smart dining area.

The Duke of Wellington dining area

There’s a yet another cosy seating area tucked away behind the bar. You can tell I liked it – I took so many photos.

The Duke of Wellington comfy seating

A mark of quality – the menu is fairly small with daily specials. The only Iron Duke here is their smoker, imported from the US. As you’d expect in a place with its own smoker, the menu is fairly meat heavey, howwever they do have a yummy sounding Sweet potato and cauliflower Aloo Gobi for vegetarians.

Service is friendly and efficient.

I quite like the wine in lock up.

The Duke of Wellington locked up wine

The outdoor dining area is filled with picnic tables, including an intriguing small covered area that looks like it was once a hermit’s hut.

The Crown Chertsey outside dining area

My husband could not resist the call of meat, meat and more meat so opted for the three meat (rib-eye of beef, hogget & ham) roast served with roast potatoes, roast veg + Yorkshire pudding £15.95. We learned something new – hogget, it’s not a wee pig but in between lamb and mutton. He wasn’t as impressed with it as he was with the super yummy beef. The rest of the dish wasn’t half bad either.

The Crown Chertsey three meat roast

Nothing really jumped out and screamed ‘eat me,’ so went for a fall back of mine – the fishcake – smoked haddock fishcakes, leeks and savoy, peas, liquor £12.50. Oh man, am I so glad I chose this, it was insanely delicious. Full of interesting flavours and textures and not heavy. I would advise that the single fishcake (£8.50) is sufficient for lunch.

The Duke of Wellington fish cakes and peas

The Duke of Wellington is another great addition to the Surrey pub scene. I particularly love the uniqueness of the decor. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Guildford Rd, East Horsley, Surrey, KT24 6AA
www.dukeofw.com
Large car park
Dogs welcome inside to the left as you walk in

The Crown Chertsey

The substantial Victorian building of The Crown in Chertsey (which is definitely not reflected in the image) has long been on my most wanted list, finally I found myself in Chertsey at a mealtime and got to venture inside for some lunch.

The Crown Chertsey exterior

The large restaurant area is very up to date yet with many great features like the brick wall and the roaring fire/sofa seating area.

The Crown Chertsey dining area

The pub area is equally up to date, with beautiful old windows and a trendly colour scheme I want in my kitchen.

We elected to sit in the pub area, as it was so sunny and inviting. We played a bit of musical chairs to find the most comfortable seating but once settled we easily could have spent the afternoon.

The Crown Chertsey interior bar seating area

Outside in back is a sheltered and covered sofa seating area, complete with television and blankets. I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve encountered another like it.

The Crown Chertsey outdoor seating area

Service was largely absent though perfectly adequate, they appeared at the bar to take our order and again to deliver our food.

The bar menu was more exciting than your standard fare, with perhaps the most interesting sandwich selection I’ve come across.

Susie and I were both wavering between the same two sandwiches and so elected to get them both and go halfsies.

Our first was the Open classic chicken club £7.95., which was a French club rather than an American club. Though messy to eat, it was delicious and substantial.

The Crown Chertsey club sandwich with egg

Our second choice was the Char grilled pita bread with feta, red onion, cucumber and red cabbage coleslaw £5.95. It was tasty but definitely needed that sauce for moisture. We’re not sure it alone would have been filling enough for lunch.

The Crown Chertsey feta pita

Having both sandwiches combined made for a perfect lunch that was full of flavour and textures, in delightful surroundings.

We really enjoyed The Crown, and if anyone there can tell me the Dulux number of the dark grey in the bar area…

7 London Street, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8AP
www.crownchertsey.co.uk
Street parking
Dogs welcome in bar area