Our Inspector's View
The setting for Steve Drake’s domain certainly doesn’t lack character: the stylishly reworked 300-year-old building wears its age gracefully, with its wonky beams, wood floors, and linen-clad tables laid with fine glassware adding to the all-round feel of a classy operation. It’s a restaurant to suit our times, classy yet relaxed, the cooking exciting and thoroughly modern. Drake has form with creative contemporary ways when it comes to making an impact with his seasonal, ingredients-led compositions. Via a cracking value set lunch and five-and nine-course tasting menus, the kitchen delivers inspirational dishes starting with an impeccably seasonal celebration of spring – asparagus, say, transformed by the salty punch of sea purslane, lardo and the balancing sourness of fermented tomatoes and verjus. Ingredients are combined in thoughtful and stimulating ways in main courses, perhaps superb sea bass, its natural flavour enhanced with the judicious accompaniments of wild garlic, bouillabaisse sauce, turnips and fish bread, or lamb with courgette caviar and marjoram milk. Flavours are judged just so, through to fragrant finales, which could see a strawberry-based workout pointed up with black pepper biscuit, coconut and lemon verbena, or the imaginative pairing of Earl Grey and ginger bringing an exquisite touch to an utterly delicious rhubarb and custard millefeuille.
Facilities – at a glance
Inspirational modern cooking in a delightful dining room
- Seats: 40
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Days Closed: Sunday to Monday
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2
- Dinner served from: 7
- Dinner served until: 9.15
- Wines under £30: 1
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 10
- Cuisine style: Modern British
Also in the Area
About The area
Surrey may be better known for its suburbia than its scenery, but the image is unjust. Over a quarter of the county’s landscapes are official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and along the downs and the greensand ridge you can gaze to distant horizons with hardly a building in sight. This is one of England’s most wooded counties, and has more village greens than any other shire. You’ll find sandy tracks and cottage gardens, folded hillsides and welcoming village inns. There’s variety, too, as the fields and meadows of the east give way to the wooded downs and valleys west of the River Mole.
Of course there are also large built-up areas, mainly within and around the M25; but even here you can still find appealing visits and days out. On the fringe of Greater London you can picnic in Chaldon’s hay meadows, explore the wide open downs at Epsom, or drift idly beside the broad reaches of the stately River Thames. Deep in the Surrey countryside you’ll discover the Romans at Farley Heath, and mingle with the monks at England’s first Cistercian monastery. You’ll see buildings by great architects like Edwin Lutyens and Sir George Gilbert Scott, and meet authors too, from John Donne to Agatha Christie.
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