So, if you’ve been inspired by reports that beer can help you lose weight, and you fancy a stroll in the country this weekend, perhaps making the most of what’s left of the summer weather, then check out this guide to some of the best nearby pubs.
Surrey Life magazine’s guide roams right the way across rural Surrey, and includes a write-up on one pub with its own campsite and llama farm, and also recommends very highly the pub owned by Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans (though the juke box is a bit crap, apparently).
But as well as some pubs almost on our doorstep, such as the ever-reliable White Bear at Fickle’s Hole, and the Rambler’s Rest on the Chipstead Valley Road, here’s one or two, some with CAMRA recommendations, that are not too far away which might be worth exploring.
And of course, if you have any recommendations (or dire warnings) of your own, do let us know.
King William IV, Mickleham
Nestling at the foot of Box Hill, the King William IV was built in 1790 to serve as an alehouse for workers on the North Downs. Now it serves thirsty walkers who have enjoyed one of the finest bits of walking country in the south-east.
Surrey Life waxed lyrically: “The building has changed little since then and the views of the Mole Valley from the sun terraces retain their timeless glory.”
- Unique features: Parking can be a little awkward, so if you notice a host of cars left on the verge of the A24, you know things are busy.
- Food and drink: Featured in Michelin’s eating out in pubs guide, the summer range will include the likes of seared king scallops and roasted monkfish. Great local ales on tap include Shere Drop, from the award-winning Surrey Hills Brewery, and TEA from the Hogs Back Brewery.
- King William IV, Byttom Hill, Mickleham, Surrey RH5 6EL Tel: 01732 372590
The Parrot Inn, Forest Green
Located close by another great walking area, Leith Hill, Surrey Life says of this pub: “With splendid views over the lovely village green, fresh food produced from their own farm, plenty of tables in the attractive gardens and a farm shop inside, The Parrot Inn is an absolute delight.”
- Unique features: The farm shop, which sells home-made bread, cheese, chutney, ham, meat and pies.
- Food and drink:The menu changes seasonally, with meat, veg, eggs etc all coming directly from their own or neighbouring farms. Their real ale tends to have a local twist, too.
- The Parrot Inn, Forest Green, Dorking, Surrey RH5 5RZ Tel: 01306 621339
The Sportsman, Mogador
Tiger Woods’ favourite English pub? Apparently, the world’s No1 golfer has visited after playing at Walton Heath GC. It’s not recorded whether he hit a tree with a driver, or whether the driver hit a tree… The pub is another haven for walkers, with miles of fantastic Surrey views.
- Unique features: Built in 1532, it was once a stop-off point for the Royal family when out hunting.
- Food and drink: Fresh and seasonal, with a menu that changes every four weeks. Chef Jamie Carey has been there for 12 years, and they pride themselves on good food served well, with no gimmicks or fancy wording.
- The Sportsman, Mogador Road, Lower Kingswood, Surrey KT20 7ES Tel: 01737 246655