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.

Barley Mow

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.

This is what 98% of Americans think all English pubs look like

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.

Surrey pub in a photo
Proper fire, nmercifully unlit

And more “Hmmm, FOUR pumps ? Really ?”

And the hook for your man bag, Si

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.

Seat in the bar by the window

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 ?



  1. So is “101 places every American should embarrass themselves in” going to be the next in sequence after “6001 places BRAPA has embarassed himself in” and “501 places BRAPA has embarassed himself on”?


  2. Oriental Chef in Walton High Street is always a good bet for Chinese Takeaway, although Mr Turtle is probably better – but a bit of the beaten track

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem. Walton lacks a truly outstanding pub although the two GBG entries this year The Walton Village and The George are very accommodating and both landlords keep a good pint. Enjoy

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah that’s a shame about Mr Turtle – maybe closed over the CNY holidays I guess. Glad Oriental Chef came up trumps. Look forward to the Walton post – Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

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