The Royal Oak
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
Critchmere Hill, Critchmere, Haslemere, GU27 1LS
Skirting the borders of Hampshire and Sussex, the quaint village of Haslemere lies within the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Haslemere's best-kept secret, The Royal Oak, is a classic, quintessential, English country pub. Dating back as far as the 16th Century, this stunning building boasts original features, with exposed wooden beams, a stunning open fireplace and wooden church pews within the dining area. The menu perfectly complements the surroundings, offering traditional country pub fare. We began by sharing a whole baked Camembert, delicately flavoured with rosemary and garlic, served with crusty bread and crunchy bread sticks. Next, I chose a tender lamb shank; juicy, perfectly pink and accompanied by crispy roast potatoes and plenty of delicious gravy. My companion's chicken, leek and Stilton pie was equally delicious, topped with the lightest, crumbliest pastry imaginable and served with new potatoes and vegetables. To round things off, we shared a bread-and-butter pudding, which was light with a crisp top and scattered with plump raisins. Vegetarians are far from neglected - there's an excellent menu with tasty offerings like beetroot and mascarpone risotto and a very good vegetable moussaka. In season, the large garden is great for alfresco dining, and children will love playing in the playground and feeding the rabbits and guinea pigs that live there. Whatever the occasion, this charming family pub - named the Haslemere & District 'Best Eatery' at the Chamber of Trade annual awards - is sure to deliver.