9th January 2020
None* of the Surrey GBG entries will appear in my long-delayed book, “101 places every American should embarrass themselves in“.
But they’re certainly more picturesque than the “Tap & Turtle” or “Hop Cellar“, and often look like free house even when, as with the Barley Mow in West Horsley. they’re owned by Heineken.
West Horsley probably gets a few gentlefolk diners in the Surrey Hills for the string of National Trust properties along the A26. I’d have brought my Dad here after our trip to Wisley Gardens last year if it had been in the Guide; I’m all heart.
You can trust a pub with an Ind Coope lantern, can’t you ? Can you ? I’m young enough to only remember the Draught Burton Ale.
More red velvet (not Alannah Myles) and sturdy beams in a largely unimproved gem.
And more “Hmmm, FOUR pumps ? Really ?”
I’m first in, and I wonder how busy it’ll get on the second Thursday lunchtime of the year.
Anyway, no “Are you dining ?” and it’s Shere Drop, of course, a solid NBSS 3.
“£2.25, if I may” . How polite.
A minute later the tone goes from polite to familiar as the Shere Drop pump is pulled for the for Old Boy of the day.
“£4.50, darling“. I suspect it takes a decade to achieve “darling” status in Surrey, ten seconds in Sunderland.
“Paddy hasn’t been in for two days”
Turns out our caring Landlady had the full medical lowdown on Paddy, and had clearly taken matters into her own hands to ensure he was getting proper care.
Rick Astley sang “Never Gonna Give You Up“, appropriately.
A succession of gentlefolk eased themselves into their favourite seats, their favourite lunches (oddly, Thai) already being prepared for them at the back.
It was a pleasure, but I fear for my future Surrey saunters inside the M25. As usual, street art and Chinese takeaway recommendations for Walton-on-Thames much appreciated.
I hope Paddy is back in his usual seat.
*OK, OK, the Royal Oak in Knaphill, though Woking isn’t really Surrey is it ?