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.

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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 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

The Foresters

Winning Time & Leisure’s best pub three years running caught our attention. We visited independly owned The Foresters in Hampton Wick during a busy Sunday lunch to see what the fuss is about.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick external

Entrance is via the bar area. It's a one of a kind space – a padded bar draped with a Union flag, mis-matched distressed furniture in a non-shabby chic way and a penchant for using empty wine bottles as candlesticks plus, most joyously, the upbeat sounds of 1930s jazz. The Foresters is boho hipster in pub form.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick bar

A cosy sofa corner with a roaring fire would far too easily become a spot you never leave. We resisted the temptation and carried on to the restaurant area.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick cosy seating

More quirky decor in the dining area, with a tented ceiling and chandelier. Exposed brick is always nice. None of that lovely music though, probably a good thing considering how many people there were.

Staff were cheerful, which was impressive given all the running around they were doing.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick dining area

The Sunday lunch menu had, well, roasts though there were a nice amount of sides and a vegetarian choice.

Mr went for the Roast rib eye of beef with Yorkshire pudding, sweet braised red cabbage, chantenay carrot, sautéed green beans and horseradish cream – £14.30 It was very enjoyable though the Yorkshire pudding was a little crispy.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick roast beef

He opted for one of the sides, the Cauliflower Cheese £4.00. It was nice enough but he would have preferred sharper cheese.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick cauliflower cheese

I had the vegetarian option, Roast butternut with rocket and pumpkin seed salad, ‘Foresters’ spicy cous cous, sumac and rosewater yoghurt £13.50. The butternut squash was insanely good. I could happily eat it every day, lots of nice flavours and perfectly cooked.

I’m not sure how the cous cous goes with the squash. Without some Lamb Tagine to give it purpose there was never much chance I was going to eat it. The rosewater yoghurt did have a nice flavour though.

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick butternut squash cous cous

The single biggest thing you always miss out on when ordering the vegetarian option at a Sunday roast is the Yorkshire Pudding. Not a problem at The Foresters, they do them on the side. Yorkshire pudding £ 0.70

The Foresters Pub Hampton Wick Yorkshire pudding

It’s not difficult to see why The Forester has won best pub three years straight. The food and staff are lovely and the surrounds are unique and comfortable. The people of Hampton Wick are lucky to have such a fine independent pub on their doorsteps.

45 High Street, Hampton Wick, Surrey, KT1 4DG
the-foresters.com
Street parking
Dogs welcome in the bar area

King William IV

To enjoy the beautiful Sunday weather we decided to test out the garden at the King William IV. Set on the slopes of Byttom Hill, near Box Hill just off the A24 between Leatherhead and Dorking. Public car park on A24 (outside Frascati’s restaurant) or rustic lane parking in front.

It isn’t immediately obvious where the pub is – when you turn off of the A24 keep left when the lane forks and the pub is on your right (look up!)

Please note that the pub is reached via steep steps and that the garden is terraced with small steps in several places.

King William IV

Opened in 1790, the King Billy has loads of character. The interior is smallish but cute with two fireplaces and a fresh cut flower on each table. It feels fresh without being another sterile white wall pub.

For indoor weather you’d be wise to reserve a table, ideally beside the big window in front to enjoy the beautiful views over the Mole Valley.

We should also mention that it has a particularly nice women’s loo, for any toilet tourists out there.

King William IV

The garden is the big draw to visit here. It’s nicely maintained and made up of small terraces with gorgeous views over the Mole Valley. Between the tiered seating and the table spacing you have great feeling of space and openness, even at full capacity.

Remarkably, while busy, the pub is not heaving with people like some lesser pubs in more prominent areas. When we arrived at noon we had our choice of tables, the outside didn’t fill up until after one. It seems this truly is a hidden gem.

Several walking paths run very near (and even alongside) the pub. The clientele seems to predominantly be ramblers and dog walkers.

King William IV

Service is very friendly, informal and plentiful.

There is a weekend bbq in the garden, weather permitting.

King William IV bbq

The menu sounds super yummy (nachos with beef slow cooked for 10 hours or slow roast shoulder of lamb, also cooked for 10 hours.) However the smell of the bbq was a bigger sell than words on a page could ever be.

Ann had the marinated steak baguette. The onions were soooo good.

King William IV bbq steak sandwich

Marie had the marinated chicken burger. It was perfectly cooked and super tasty.

King William IV bbq chicken burger

We opted to share a dessert, the “King William IV Teardrop,” apparently their signature dish. We don’t know why the king was crying but his tears sure are tasty.

Made completely on site, a chocolate case in the shape of a teardrop is filled with summer berries and Chantilly cream then topped with chocolate sauce and a raspberry coulis. Decadent is the only word for this treat.

(Sorry about the poor photo, we were in a rush to eat it!)

King William IV Teardrop dessert

The King William IV is a remarkably pleasant pub. Enjoying the views and the food in their garden is a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.

We don’t know where to draw the line between pub and gastropub. We’ve ranked the King William based on it being a pub. It’s very nice whatever it is!

Menu 4
Food 4
Decor/Ambiance 5
Service 3
Value 4
Total 20/25

King William IV Byttom Hill Mickleham Surrey RH5 6EL www.thekingwilliamiv.com
Dogs welcomed in the garden

Thames Court

Friday offered us some gorgeous weather so we headed to the popular Thames Court patio in Shepperton. Located on the tow path at the top of Shepperton Lock. Large car park.

The river at this point is very wide, almost giving the feeling of sitting on a lake. Which means lots of sun and a great feeling of openness – an excellent place to be on a sunny day.

Don’t be put off by the road, it’s very, very quiet.

Thames Court exterior

The patio is large, but the demand is larger. It can be a wait to get a table but there are benches to scout from. Lots more benches (with backs) are located further down if you only want to come for a drink.

The patio furniture is stylish and comfortable (no picnic tables here.)

Though the patio is busy, the vibe is very chilled out. Some people bring games and seem to stay for lunch and dinner. The staff never make you feel rushed to leave.

Thames Court exterior

Service is prompt but the queue at the bar to order food can be long and slow. The best strategy is to go early or at the lull between lunch and dinner.

On busy days food can take a while to arrive but on this visit it was with us almost immediately.

Ann had the bacon and brie melt, described as ‘melted Cornish brie, bacon and confit tomato in a crusty brown cob, served with seasoned chips.’ The sandwich was tasty enough on a nice bun. The chips were pretty standard pub chips, no seasoning detected.

Thames Court

Not much chance of eating healthy here, Marie compromised with BBQ chicken burger (soooo healthy.) ‘Grilled chicken breast topped with smoked cheddar, sweetcure bacon and BBQ sauce in a crusty cob, served with seasoned chips.’ Undercooked bacon and overcooked chicken but otherwise good.

Thames Court

Thames Court is popular for a reason. The location is fabulous and the prices very reasonable given the location. A visit to the patio, provided you get here early and get a table, is a highly recommended way to spend a summer afternoon.

Menu 3
Food 3
Decor/Ambiance 4
Service 2
Value 4
Total 16/25

Towpath, Shepperton, Surrey TW17 9LJ www.vintageinn.co.uk/thethamescourtshepperton
Dogs welcomed in the bar and garden

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