Whether we like it or not, summer is officially over and now the cold march to winter has begun – but that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom until spring finally springs its head again in the new year. Autumn brings a lot to rejoice in, from incredible local produce that wasn’t available to savour in the summer to the simple pleasures of cosying up in a blanket in front of a roaring fire and digging into a hearty, warming meal, there’s a lot to look forward to this season. Sure, you may not be able to sit in your favourite pub’s beer garden and soak up the sun, but step inside and there’s a lot to love.
To celebrate the recent release of our Surrey Food & Drink Guide 2019, here at Fed Up & Drunk, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of our favourite restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in the region. For a more comprehensive guide to the best places to dine out in Surrey, pick up your FREE copy of our Surrey Food & Drink Guide 2019 here or read a digital copy of the guide here.
A quintessentially British pub overflowing with character and charm thanks to cosy touches such as hanging baskets exploding with bright, beautiful flowers and rustic tables tucked away in nooks and crannies, those looking for a tipple or a bite to eat will be more than delighted by the offering at The Red Lion in Bletchingley.
Stroll past the ample outdoor seating, step through the venue’s welcoming doors, and sit at the polished bar that runs the length of the venue while you choose from an extensive selection of ale, cider and lager. If you’re after something a little different, the pub’s international wine list offers tasting notes that are sure to please wine connoisseurs, and the cocktail selection is perfect for special occasions or just as an after-work treat.
The food menu is equally as special, with hearty, classic pub dishes that regularly change with the seasons and make the most of the local produce available. Start with the likes of chicken liver pate with toasted ciabatta before moving onto mains which include steak and kidney pudding, the pub’s signature slow-cooked beef and ale pie, or a homemade curry served with basmati rice and naan.
Named the best independent Italian restaurant in the country at the PAPA Awards in both 2017 and 2018, Spaghetti Tree is a lovely, family-run Sicilian restaurant that offers an exquisite dining setting for fans of indulgent Italian cuisine. Boasting beautiful views across Mere Pond, which is regularly busy with wildfowl, unwind in the relaxed and airy dining room and peruse the selection of delicious dishes from the restaurant’s tempting menu.
When we visited Spaghetti Tree, we began our memorable Mediterranean meal with starters of Parma ham and melon and penne messinese, before digging into mains of vitello saltimbocca, comprising melt-in-the-mouth pan-fried veal layered with Parma ham and sage, and sole fillet grilled to perfection and complemented wonderfully by light, tangy tartare sauce. To round off our fantastic feast, we opted for a slice of cassata – a traditional, dreamy dessert of vanilla and chocolate ice cream with candied fruit – and a swoon-worthy chocolate and cinnamon pancake.
A popular spot with countryside walkers and locals alike thanks to its secluded setting in the stunning Surrey Hills on the edge of the quaint village of Albury, The William IV is a historic and traditional English pub which provides the perfect place for a relaxed pint or three-course meal.
Whether you’re sat in the spacious beer garden or cosying up inside next to the roaring fire, The William IV is a home-away-from-home which offers a warm welcome to all, including all your fluffy, four-legged family members. As The William IV is a free house, the friendly team is able to select the very best drinks to stock behind the bar including the likes of Shere Drop beer, which is brewed at the Surry Hills Brewery, as well as Harvey’s Sussex Best bitter and the refreshing Seafarers ale.
If you’re after a bite to eat, The William IV won’t disappoint you with its tempting selection of freshly prepared and home-cooked pub classics. From an enticing range of bar snacks to its extensive and wonderfully varied main meals, enjoy the likes of warm cheese scones, West Country mussels, game pie with suet crust, or traditional fish and chips. The pub also offers a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, ensuring every member of the family is well catered to.
Taking pride in offering a relaxed and friendly dining experience, The Retreat, as its name suggests, provides a homely and welcoming atmosphere to all who step through its doors. Whether you’ve come to sample the pub’s ever-changing seasonal menus or you’d like to enjoy a pint or two as you soak up the glorious sunshine in the lovely beer garden, the Retreat is a treat for all the senses.
With food that is second to none, made fresh to order using local produce where possible, stop by for a light bite at lunchtime like the smashed avocado and poached eggs with chives and Hollandaise encased in sourdough panuozzo, a homemade wood-fired pizza, or a dish from the à la carte and get transported to foodie heaven. Why not start with the likes of salt and pepper squid with coriander and lime mayonnaise, and then follow this with a classic Caesar salad or curried salmon fishcakes with Asian-style stir-fried vegetables and sweet chilli dressing? Innovative desserts such as espresso crème brûlée with sweet biscuits or traditional classics like their Bramley apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding make the perfect finishes to a feast you won’t forget.
With an AA rosette for culinary excellence and an enviable setting in leafy Mickleham, straddling the border that separates Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Norbury Park and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, wild, wild horses couldn’t drag you away from this delightful and traditional gastropub in Dorking.
The Running Horses will enchant you before you’ve even entered the pub thanks to its beautiful and Tudoresque black and white exterior adorned with flowers, but it’s the exceptional food and drink offering that will keep you coming back again and again. The kitchen team prides itself on showcasing the best seasonal produce on a menu full of fine, modern pub fare. If you’re visiting for a light bite, you may wish to share the garlic- and rosemary-studded Camembert with spiced apple chutney and warm French bread, but if you’re after something heartier, you’re in for a true culinary treat.
For a full three-course experience, start with the likes of peppered tuna Carpaccio with crispy shallots, avocado puree, and horseradish crisp, follow with pea and asparagus risotto with wild garlic, Parmesan and truffled egg, and finish with rich chocolate marquise with honeycomb and salted maple ice cream or the zesty lemon tart with raspberry sorbet. With such delectable dishes on offer, dining in the Surrey region doesn’t get better than this.
Positioned perfectly atop Richmond Hill and providing a special and serene spot in which to unwind, whether that’s on the terrace or the recently refurbished and relaxed restaurant, 144 On The Hill is a brand-new dining destination that needs to be on your must-visit list.
Boasting a series of individual spaces that are all seamlessly connected and offer a completely unique experience, unwind in The Snug, with its comfortable, cosy and intimate ambience, or socialize at the bar and lounge with its upbeat vibe, live music, selection of delicious small plates, and carefully crafted cocktail menu full of intriguing and innovative tipples.
With a ‘Turf to Table’ inspired menu that celebrates both modern and traditional British flavours, each exquisite dish showcases the chef’s unique style and passion whilst incorporating a wealth of seasonal, local produce. This turf-to-table philosophy means you’re guaranteed a fresh and tasty meal every time, and for vegans, the menu also offers an array of dishes that can be adapted with delicious plant-based ingredients. 144 On The Hill’s afternoon teas – featuring everything from traditional cakes to tasty vegan and savory options – and their sumptuous brunches – brimming with pastries, eggs, pancakes, and breakfast baps – come highly recommended.
Located opposite the beautiful Priory Park in the heart of Reigate, La Barbe has been bringing Gallic charm to diners across the Surrey region with an evening atmosphere and delicious dining that is difficult to beat.
Conjuring memories of holidays across La Manche, the restaurant is just as perfect for family occasions as it is for romantic dinner dates. Inside you’ll discover crisp linen tablecloths on tables adorned with fresh flowers and a service that is second to none. Peruse the menu full of scrumptious dishes focusing on French cooking with a modern twist and you’ll quickly wonder why you haven’t visited this Reigate institution before.
Begin a three-course feast with the likes of snails cooked in garlic butter or smoked mackerel and haddock terrine with lime and coriander served with blinis, before moving onto mains the likes of a veal, red wine, tomato and garlic casserole with pilaf rice with lemon thyme or duck breast with redcurrant sauce, sautéed potato with Provence herbs. Finish with a selection of French cheeses or the likes of caramel cream filled choux pastry with vanilla ice cream and this is French dining at its finest.
Beloved amongst locals for its superb selection of food, quality beer, and friendly atmosphere, whether you’re popping in for a few relaxed drinks or enjoying an indulgent three-course evening dinner, The Racecourse is the place to be. Just a stone’s throw from Carshalton Ponds and located just a short walk from Carshalton train station, this traditional-style pub is more than worth a visit thanks to its well-stocked bar and food menu offering a mouth-watering amalgamation of all your favourite British classics – and after its recent renovation, there’s never been a better time to visit.
Sit and unwind in the homely and cosy interiors, order a pint of real ale, lager, or cider, or opt instead for one of the pub’s new cocktails which include the likes of a sweet raspberry Mojito or invigorating Espresso Martini, and peruse the enticing food menu full of comforting pub grub. The juicy sirloin steak is a popular selection, while the smoked cod fillet on champ with a poached egg and creamy mustard sauce is ideal for those with heartier appetites. On Sundays, the pub also serves up a highly popular roast with various meats, veggie options, and trimmings on offer.
Launched in 2016, Wags N Tales in Surbiton and Twickenham may hold the title as the most dog-friendly bar and restaurant in the country. Passionate about providing a friendly and informal dining place where your four-pawed pals feel just as welcome as their two-footed family members, in its three years since opening, Wags N Tales has already won a plethora of impressive awards including the Best Newcomer in the 2017 Time & Leisure Food & Culture awards and the Independent Retailer of the Year at the Kingston Business Excellence Awards 2018.
Specialising in delicious vegetarian and vegan fare, all the food at Wags N Tales is homemade, from the delicious plant-based full English complete with scrambled tofu, baked beans, sautéed potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, and sourdough toast, to the scrumptious selection of cakes. There’s even a range of dog-friendly treats including dog scones made with peanut butter and dog pupcakes made with carrot, honey and cheddar.
If you’re stopping by later in the day, options range from halloumi salad to hotdogs, and sharing plates like nachos are great for groups dining together. To accompany your food, Wags N Tales provides a tempting array of alcoholic and soft drinks. From Long Island Ice Tea and chilled white wine to fruity smoothies and specialist coffee, there’s something for everyone.
Set on the slopes of the Surrey and Sussex Hills within 16 acres of woodland, Lythe Hill is a historic country house hotel home to five licensed ceremony spaces, 43 bedrooms and a tranquil spa and health club, making up a handsome hamlet on the outskirts of the market town of Haslemere. Nestled amongst this charming setting is The Tudor House Bar & Restaurant.
Dating back to 1475 and packed full of character and ambiance, The Tudor House Bar & Restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the grounds and the lake and offers two private dining areas for you to enjoy. A true home away from home, behind every door of this charming bar and restaurant lies a quiet place in which to soak up all your surroundings and enjoy freshly cooked-to-order dishes using locally sourced produce. Choose from the likes of pub classics such as beer-battered fish and chips as well as new creations like saddle of lamb, 21-day-hung flavoursome steaks and a selection of homemade desserts. There’s truly something for everyone at The Tudor House Bar & Restaurant.