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Dolphin, Betchworth

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user reviews of the Dolphin, Betchworth

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Went here on a Sunday. Beer and food good. Prices similar to other pubs in the area. Staff fine. Surroundings pleasant. I hadn't visited for years, so I can't comment on all the negative reviews, but maybe it's on the up now?
JBanana - 21 Sep 2016 16:14
It is certainly not the Pub it used to be - AGAIN!
Why do Young's let it happen - maybe the bottom line says profit and other than that they don't care?
The beer can be good one minute and shocking the next and as the previous poster says - drinkers are moving elsewhere and the character of the place is fast disappearing.
I know some people complain about the front bar but the locals give the place an edge and it is not always bad.
The amount of money they used to spend must surely be missed by the Brewery?
Less cars in the car park means less people stop by.
I am also told from people who ate there recently that the food was not good and they will not be back.
A real shame!
Fin58 - 14 Feb 2015 12:00
Im sorry to say the old local has gone down the pan poor staff with an attitude of take it or leave it no leadership visible from management, beer at its lowest ebb many of the beer drinking locals moved on to other pubs so the character of the pub has totally changed very sad to see. Hopefully Youngs area manager will do her job and start making changes hopefully from the top, train staff get a decent cook and a proper cellar man or women and we can have a proper pub again.
plombier - 14 Feb 2015 10:44
I went in here as received an email saying its our birthday have a free pint so thought why not. Nothing chnages with this pub the staff only look out for the regulars who crowd round the bar and completely ignore you unless it was the fact i had a free beer voucher in my hand. The beer was good and had it not been for the incompetent staff and regualrs who think they can take over I would have had another pint. Whilst jnever as busy the Red Lion down the road is a much better bet if you jsut wasnt a pint and a friendly hello from bar staff.
charliefarley - 24 Sep 2014 14:58
Was enjoying a nice quiet meal with my wife last night when some ignorant man starting shouting at one of the young female waitresses in the restaurant. It was totally uncalled for and made for uncomfortable listening. The young lady concerned was very tearful and all those in the restaurant rallied round her as the idiot left. Heard later that he was a previous landlord - so glad to see the pub is in better hands now.

I love this pub - its worth a visit. The burgers are excellent and good value for money.
purple1959 - 11 Sep 2014 18:31
I have just come away from the dolphin and what a disappointment,food poor and beer poor.what a shame as I have always liked this pub
Aleman1962 - 12 Jun 2014 13:40
Unfortunately the tubby posh bird behind the bar is on a power trip and wouldn't be capable of running a tuck shop. She openly berates staff in front of customers and vice versa. Yet again hospitality is suffering for the sake of someones ego.
grandaddy - 5 May 2014 10:20
An old rural pub with a lot of personality and Youngs' modenisation didn't spoil this. With its garden, location and car parking - this pub has everything, as the last poster said.

However, the brewery seems to know this - and also that the venue will be full, no matter what. Accordingly, they put in midiocre managers and fail to do anything about the frequent complaints about declining food and beer standards.

For me, a local who remembers a great pub, this is sad. I, also, now use an alternative local pub - where I see many familiar faces from the Dolphin.
tempest - 9 Apr 2014 13:04
The lovely location and character of this pub means that it'll always do well - particularly in the Summer. Youngs also spend a lot of money doing a tasteful refurbishment/extension.

However, its hard to understand why such low calibre management and staff are now in situ - precipitating a downturn in food and beer quality. I've stopped going in - but pass by on my way to the Red Lion.

Rarely is there a place left in the Dolphin's large carpark. The sub 5 rating is accurate; however, the place has the potential to improve - and return to its high ranking of old, as one of the best pubs in East Surrey.
blackgander - 28 Mar 2014 13:54
What has happened to this pub...rude bar staff...humourless landlady.. indifferent food and loss of the good atmosphere it used to would appear that the good food at the nearby Red Lion is worthy of a visit and the proper pub feel is to be found at the Seven Stars also wonder the locals are leaving in droves..
grumpster - 8 Mar 2014 12:47
Nice pub but being run by amateurs.
grandaddy - 30 Dec 2013 13:18
I had a mate called Brian Dead, don`t think he drinks here.
anonymous - 10 Sep 2013 18:55
experiance, opion and best of all brian dead, who is he............?

Don't you just love BITE!
nokegthanks - 10 Sep 2013 15:43
Just adding fuel to the flames....... The post from Annabee was posted in May this year..
Why wait about 4 month to reply, did it take this long for your beer soak brains to think of something ? And then the rest have to jump on the band wagon. This is Annabee's experiance. Put yours, Mine is I will never go in here all the time these people are in here. This is my personal opion. What reply am I going to get.. something like you not welcome here. oh well what a shame. Let the brian dead pick the bones out of this.
who_am_i - 10 Sep 2013 14:43
Annabee, try McDonalds; a pub is clearly above your IQ level.
whisky_diet - 10 Sep 2013 13:57
Totally agree Kevmac.
Annabee comes across as one of those typical selfish parents who let their kids do whatever in public then if anything goes wrong it`s every one elses fault.
What would have happened if hot food got tipped over her child, a claim against the pub no doubt.

stroller - 10 Sep 2013 11:40
Annabee, it's called a pub.

If you want to take your offspring out try a cafe, coffee shop or a Wacky Warehouse. Leave the pubs for the adults where we can get respite from noisy kids and their usually self centred parents.
kevmac - 9 Sep 2013 20:17
Agreed! Current management need to look up the word hospitality! A little bit of power?!
grandaddy - 9 Sep 2013 18:36
We visited the lovely Dolphin recently to be greeted by what can only be described as a rural disneyland...bouncy castles..a dog show..loud music and screaming children! What has happened to the nice country pub frequented by interesting (if somewhat off the card) locals and good cheer (and the occasional joke)? Has it been taken over by Weatherspoon/Chessington?! Never the less, the beer as hoped for was good but the lack of proper village feel was sad. We were considering ordering food but the fact that the fiasco outside limited this to BBQ or an obviously frozen menu was pointless, plus a ever so stressed person behind the bar (presumeably with no prior experience of working..anywhere) made it clear that we should wander off and find somewhere else. And we did...and will until this pub returns to its proper roots. Shame, managers never get it right do they?
grumpster - 30 Aug 2013 19:20
Very disappointed with our experience here. My 4 year old was walking across to the restaurant when another customer told him to move away from them and to not make any noise (think she was a bit special needs) Anyway, after confronting her, explaining that my son was not making a sound and that she was being quite rude, the Manager came out, listened to her side of the the story and rather than hearing mine, turned to me and said they had a policy that children shouldn't run around in there!! I protested saying he wasn't running, merely walking into the restaurant after I had asked him to (to see if our table was ready). She then said they had a policy that children shouldn't run or WALK!!!! At that point we walked out.... What place doesn't let children walk around on their own?!! What if he needed the loo?! Ridiculous! I advise people not to go there with children.
Annabee - 28 May 2013 07:17
We visited this pub this weekend and noticed some rather dire changes from our previous experience in December 2011. The heart and soul has sadly gone out of this place. When we visited more than a year ago the landlady was so kind to us as a rather large family party - she made sure the children were taken care of and went that extra mile. The landlord (also the chef) was equally as kind letting us sample some homemade pâté and going out of his way to customise dishes on the main menu for the kids. We aren't in this area often, but promised we would come back when we did. Last weekend's experience was disappointing to say the least. The staff appeared uninterested and whilst the pricey food was okay, the whole experience was pretty lacklustre. We won't be going back.
carolsinger - 27 Jan 2013 20:29
Susie P, My recent experience here was a carbon copy of yours and it left a nasty taste in my mouth when I remember the lovely times that I had in this pub in the 1970's and 1980's. I bet that this post will be removed like the others but it won't alter the fact that i won't be going back and will be recommending others not to do so either. Word of mouth is still the most effective way of ensuring that people don't have to endure poor quality.
peterwarlock - 5 Jul 2012 10:43
Well said susie! But similar posts (including mine) have been deleted.
tradervic - 13 Jun 2012 13:15
This used to be our regular haunt and we loved it with friendly helpful staff, good food and beer. The previous landlady went under a dark cloud and we went back whilst it was under temporary management and needless to say it went down a bit so we didn't go for a long time. We were in the area on the Jubilee weekend so thought we would pop in to see what it was like as we knew there was now a new permanent manager in place.
What a disappointment. The food prices had increased significantly and there wasn't much choice and what I saw come out to other customers didn't look very appetising. The beer was not very exciting either. There was a leaflet on the table advertising burgers as they had a barbeque in the garden and on the bottom was a footnote which read as follows "all our staff work 100% and during busy periods you can expect a wait of 45 minutes or more" What a ridiculous thing to say.If I go out for a meal anywhere I would walk out if I had to wait that long. Especially at their prices. The staff always used to be very happy in there but they were all really miserable and we were told that some of them had been sacked and others had left or were in the process of doing so. Youngs you need to get your act together as the locals have deserted this place in droves. I know there were issues with the previous landlady but the pub was thriving. Have you heard of the expression "If it aint broke don't fix it". We will not be going back there, shame because it really is a lovely pub. Shame on you Youngs.
susie.p - 13 Jun 2012 12:11
Yup tradervic looks like someone has been removing all of the previous comments...oh dear free speech would appear not to be everyones taste..pointless website then. what extraordinary sensitivity...but still a good pub whatever goes on.
grumpster - 18 May 2012 12:20
Recent negative posts deleted!!
tradervic - 18 May 2012 11:09
We visted this pub recently as GOOGLE map reviews looked fine. The pub has just changed hands. We had food in the restrurant and had one of the most reasonable bottles of high quliaty Chillean wine for under 20.
We both had the burger with beer battered onins and chips which was fantastic. Qulaity of meet was good and everything was cooked to perfection by the new chef. His wife was very welcoming and also the other staff with no task being to much trouble. Key points:

* Great food.
* Very resobable prices on wine and nice range to offer.
* Very friendly staff.
* Beautiful old beamed pub inside and the log fires added to the warmth.

Overall cracking experience and I hope your still their as will be visting tonight. Keep up the great work!

Cheers! Nicholas and Christina from Bournemouth and Someset.
redwinebeer - 4 May 2012 17:30
As new residents to the area I drive past this pub every day. It looked so welcoming. It took me two weeks to get my boyfriend to agree to move from his regular pub, to give this a try, and we were very disappointed. The food was not good. Andy had the fish pie and he said that Admirals pie for a quid tasted better. I must admit it looked very unappetising. Served with carrots and red cabbage, which were already cold when it arrived.
I had the fish and chips with mushy peas. The peas had obviously been burnt and the taste permeated through to the hard peas. The fish and chips were no better. I had to ask for salt and vinegar. The salt was served in a grinder that did not work. All very tacky. Staff trying as best as they could without adequate training and attention to detail. No sign of the owners/managers to welcome us? We wont be going back.

Andles - 4 Mar 2012 14:07
New management arriving shortly!
tempest - 17 Feb 2012 10:27
Staff from agencies or not, just low calibre. Food and beer, mediocre at best - in a pub with the most potential in Surrey. How could Youngs give such a gem to Peat, the village idiot (not my words, but those of a Betchworth neighbour!)

Call in around 3pm and see/hear the front bar - just estuary language, with high volumne.
wealdman - 25 Jan 2012 20:22
grandaddy - 24 Jan 2012 12:34
Just like to say that there are no 'agency' staff at the Dolphin...sorry to disappoint those reviewers. All of the staff are local and have been trying to do a good job under difficult circumstances for a considerable time! Perhaps if Youngs didnt put incapable managers in charge of a charming local and immensly popular pub then there wouldnt be so many issues. Thankfully at the moment the air is clear, the front bar behaving and the pub is back to it's self again, mainly due to the hard working, responsible chaps working there. Lets hope that the next management people Youngs find whoever they may be will take it seriously and run the pub as it should be. but for now doing a good job Anna!
grumpster - 24 Jan 2012 11:27
AP seems to have organised some post deletions!
tempest - 21 Jan 2012 22:57
Avoid the lunchtime sandwiches. They have a nerve charging 4.50 for a couple of meagre slices of cheap supermarket bread.

Incidentally, no sign of the brawling drunken louts referred to in other reviews. It was all very peaceful. A bit disappointing after all we'd read, but one member of staff was sporting a black eye!
rentaquote - 14 Jan 2012 19:21
Agency staff, or otherwise - who really cares? The fact is the staff are fairly mediocre and it is a wonder how Angela Peat (inept, clearly) got such a fine pub, with so much potential, from Youngs. Beer and food are acceptable and a bit over-priced, but no big deal. But to allow, for a long time, a tribe of foul-mouthed idiots free reign is idiotic. Never have I heard one word of vague admonishment! It just doesn't happen in the Red Lion, Royal Oak or Seven Stars (where we now drink).
wealdman - 14 Jan 2012 18:29
'Stupid comments' says villagedrinker! But accurate ones, as agency staff are a feature of this pub from time to time. However, the pub's main problems lie in a poor management and an odd tolerance of loutish behaviour - mainly during the day.
tempest - 14 Jan 2012 10:02
Just before Christmas, I spoke to a very capable barperson from an agency, behind the bar at the Dolphin - nothing wrong with that. All pubs have to get staff quickly in an emergency - 'flu, weather etc.
tradervic - 14 Jan 2012 09:34
The Dolphin DO NOT use agency staff ever! You need to get your facts right before posting stupid comments!
villagedrinker - 14 Jan 2012 09:16
'the food is to die for'

no regular customer (or managers) would make this silly claim...the dolphin serves - most of the tme - reasonably standard pub food

a bad series of staff/managers, after a large rerubishment, have put people off this place which now uses agency staff all the time

mediocre at best. louts, try mid-afternoon!
randolf7 - 12 Jan 2012 21:49
I really can not believe the last 3 posts as the only anti social behaviour we have witnessed was from a large party of people who were visiting the church on 28/12/11 (bell ringers I believe) and caused total chaos in the pub that lunchtime. This group were mainly well spoken and in their later years but I have never witnessed such rudeness and disrespect to the staff. Every time we have been in the front bar it has been full of nice local people. We love this pub and the refurbishment in 2010 has made it an even better place. The ales are well kept, the food is to die for and the staff are brilliant. The only downside is the parking problems. If you want to eat on a weekend then book, it's really easy online.
danishdish - 12 Jan 2012 18:52
Sadly, the last two posters are correct. Drunken louts and an inept landlady don't bode well for this lovely rural pub which has so much potential. Timing is important for visits - when the louts and landlady are sleeping it off. Pity....
wealdman - 9 Jan 2012 15:41
not a nice place seems the locals and the landlady have big fall outs...
hardman - 8 Jan 2012 22:38
I have always loved this pub but the last 2 times i have been in there full of drunken louts in the front bar ruined both occasions i will never step foot in the place again until this has been sorted out it's a real shame
philmitchell1 - 7 Jan 2012 10:20
I'm giving this a 10 as it surely doesn't deserve the poor rating it seems to have- the newly extended bit is great and the food was very good. Chatty waitress and friendly locals. Great for dog walkers and cyclists. Lovely spot and very attractive.
degodier - 1 Jan 2012 19:02
Haven't been here for a while but it seems to have got even better. There's a new dining room out back and there seems to be more space around the bars. They had three real fires going as well. Young's ordinary was in very good condition, they also had Special, Winter warmer & Bombardier on. Food very good too.
alan_From_SAWW - 15 Dec 2011 17:06
An old pub in a very rural part of Betchworth. Oak beams and wood panelling abound. The lounge is surprisingly large and wraps around the bar. The front bar has stone slabs and the back lounge has bare floorboards. It has a good selection of Youngs beers, including Waggledance and Charles Wells Bombardier. A pub with real character and well worth a visit.
boozers_knows - 27 Oct 2011 14:17
Excellent friendly staff, reasonable food with good portions. Superbly kept beer with frequent changing of guest ales. Also excellent choice of ciders. The staff seem to be very knowledgeble about the beers too. All in all a very warm and friendly pub
susie.p - 24 Aug 2011 13:02
The bore I referred to was quite young. He had a handsome looking dog (boxer).
artemis - 30 Jul 2011 08:47
I know just the chap you are talking about - a real gem indeed!

Fin58 - 18 Jul 2011 07:27
Haven't been onto this site for a while but I see that the comments remain mixed regarding this pub. I did venture into the Dolphin recently only to see a new and even louder bore in front of the bar, desperately trying to buy people drinks to stay so that he retained an audience. A group of people outside at the smoking table did their best to ignore him but with the doors open it was difficult. What is it with this establishment? Underneath that flagstone floor is there a magnet which draws in every single "pain in the ass" in the area. Ho hum. I guess I'll just keep drinking elsewhere.
artemis - 14 Jul 2011 23:15
Had a visit to the old dolly, got to say the landlady is a standout red noser, getting drunk whilst working, dont think its working luv get a grip or start singing. Nasty drunks are very borish., apart from your contribution the pubs is in good order .
jonny7 - 14 Jul 2011 21:49
An old pub in a very rural part of Betchworth. Oak beams and wood panelling abound. There are stone flag stones in the front bar and bare floorboards elsewhere. The lounge is deceptively large wrapping itself around the bar. A good selection of Youngs beers, including Waggledance and Charles Wells Bombardier. A pub with real character - well worth a visit.
boozers_knows - 13 Jul 2011 14:50
She does have a nap in the afternoons...
tradervic - 11 Jul 2011 11:18
If the landylady isn't drunk, its posiible to get a good meal and service here....but the odds are stacked against it!
mandraker - 11 Jul 2011 11:08
Isn't it good that we don't all like the same thing! We've are 'genuine local users' too - we've been coming here for 30 years or more. It's had a few ups and downs, but keeps its character, and certainly things are better since the change of management and the refurbishment than they have been for a few years. We mainly come at lunchtime, whether inside or outside, and it continues to deliver well. The managers of another local hostelry we frequent visited for a meal for the first time recently, and both gave it a good report, so they must be doing something right. The amazing frequency of such strong for and against comments on this site mean it obviously has an impact and you need to try it for yourself and decide whether it's to your taste.
d11burton - 28 Jun 2011 15:54
I haven't posted for a while and haven't personally been to the Dolphin for ages but I have had two people in the last few days state that the meals they have had recently were very poor indeed (both groups of four people) and that they won't be going back.
Also others (three in fact) saying that the atmosphere in the Pub has changed dramatically and for that reason they will probably not go out of their way to go there either.
These are genuine local users - some regular and some irregular but they certainly fly in the face of some of the more positive (partisan) comments posted recently.
Time will tell whether Young's have actually got it right!
Fin58 - 15 Jun 2011 06:18
Which side? I was there today!
tradervic - 5 Jun 2011 16:16
What a wonderful pub, we will be back. Loved the Sean Connery lookalike at the bar!
luvmeale - 5 Jun 2011 16:00
When all you have in comparison, my fellow drinkers, is The Chequers any other establishment is 100% better.
villagedrinker - 3 Jun 2011 21:08
Yep a bloody big roland I smell her.All had smiles on their faces are you sure they weren`t breaking wind ??
Not a very good PR job villagedrinker.
stroller - 3 Jun 2011 11:17
wot rubbish...'might even change from our current village local!!'

'the team'......idle and brain dead

current local......Mars?
tradervic - 2 Jun 2011 22:54
I visited this pub a few weekends ago with a friend. We were a little apprehensive due to previous comments, but nonetheless went in with an open mind. Well I'm so glad we did. The menu was exactly what we required - nothing too fancy but good quality. The team behind the bar were brilliant - there was a real team ethos between them with an equal amount of banter. Also a smile on all of their faces. We will definatley return again and might even change from our current village local! Well done
villagedrinker - 2 Jun 2011 21:55
Youngs pub. Ordinary, Special, Bombardier and Waggledance. Staff were friendly and welcoming. Large beer garden at back and tables out front too. Nice enough for a Youngs pub
GuideDogSaint - 30 May 2011 15:44
I first discovered The Dolphin forty years ago when I used to go walking in Surrey and I usually arrived there just in time before they closed at 3pm.
Now they are open throughout the day but I still tend to turn up there about the same time. I have never heard any foul language from the locals who are usually to be found in the front bar but perhaps those referred to arrive earlier or later. It is quite justifiable for people to object to swearing and if I hear any of it i when I am there, I shall write a very pointed letter letter to Young's head office. Swearing is the first resort of the inarticulate and should not be tolerated in mixed company as others may find it offensive. I am sorry to see that the current management of The Dolphin appear to be condoning it by omission, as it is an otherwise very nice pub, but I mean what I say about bringing Young's attention to the problem if I am offended by hearing it on the premises.
Padderborn - 18 May 2011 19:43
A fantastic example of a 17th century pub. Set in a beautuiful village. Great beer gardedn with fenced off area to keep the kids safe. Great real ales and a good selection of fizzy beer too, plus good food and the occasional hog roast make this pub a real destination. However, the service can be a bit slow, which on the average day is no problem as this is a lovely place to spend time. However on busier days, the wait can be extremely long and you can spend longer waiting at the bar to order you drinks than you spend outiside in the sun! Worth a risk as when it's good, it's great.
Ivor_Pynt - 10 Apr 2011 09:29
What does the highly articulate fred mean?
tradervic - 10 Mar 2011 19:44
Wow first time on and loving the comm's, didn't know the depth of the mud untill now, so cool to see you guys and girls strutting your stuff and getting all fuzzy over the old dolly. Keep it up i now want to get in early to see some action first hand, i've obviously been missing out for years !!!!
jonny7 - 10 Mar 2011 18:22
We loved this pub, we sat in the bar and had a drink and then discovered the newly refurbished dining room which was lovely. I ordered a 'home made' burger, but sadly it was another 'Birdseye' burger, nothing home made about it - I mean how difficult would it be to make a burger, it's so easy! The rest of the food was good and we will return, but not for the burger!
joanna345 - 3 Mar 2011 15:36
Thank you for your advice, bitter; I, however, tend to believe posters'comments when the threads are consistent and when the problems are a matter of local record (and even made police records, on one recent occasion recently).
tradervic - 26 Feb 2011 10:12
I called in last night for a couple of pints and was shocked to find no swearing louts and no drunkend landlady only civilised customers eating and drinking and friendly staff
Perhaps I was lucky but in the past I have avoided pubs I don't know because of the bad reviews in Beer In The Evening
My advice,read the reviews then go in the pub anyway and make your own mind up
bitterlover - 26 Feb 2011 08:49
I understand that Melissa Cole knew nothing about this advertised evening, and the talk from the manager about her being ill was utter rubbish. Just an excuse to cover his incompetance.
redrag - 22 Feb 2011 18:12
We had heard of the beer and cheese tasting and duley turned up. It is a shame that Youngs and / or the Landlady had not confirmed this with Mellisa. Can not comment on the pub or beer as got to the door saw it was not on and went home.
servingwench - 22 Feb 2011 16:55
Well, I have seen 'untoward behaviour from the landlady' - just last week, as well as the usual gutter language from the louts. Two complaints have been made to the pub's Youngs site; neither have been even acknowledged - nor posted.
tradervic - 21 Feb 2011 15:39
Just an update on a previous post -

I believe the service is much slicker now; especially helped by the condiments being on the table before service.

Some of the dishes are smaller than others, so I tend to avoid the fish pie and liver & bacon and go for the burger or fish and chips.

I have never seen any untoward behaviour from the landlady - she doesnt seem around much.

"However the staff here are absolutely dreadful" - that is very harsh. I would have been very annoyed if I had of turned up for an event to be cancelled but I have only experienced a warm and friendly welcome.

Joanne - I think you were unlucky on your Saturday visit. The shoot tends to split between a couple of pubs or go to one only. They may not have been shooting that day! I have been there several times on a Saturday afternoon to find it busy. Yesterday lunchtime / afternoon the pub was heaving with a great atmosphere.

l80pje - 21 Feb 2011 13:44
I am one of those regulars who have stopped going - not been in there for months - all due to the Landlady.
Young's know the score but choose to do nothing about it.
The Shoot go in there from time to time but tend to use a variety of Pubs now and their use of the Dolphin had become fragmented anyway due to the Landlady.
Why Young's are doing what they are doing I have no idea - hopefully time will deal with the matter.
There has allegedly been another flare up but it is so commonplace now that it has become the norm I believe.
Very sad indeed.
Fin58 - 19 Feb 2011 19:38
So shall I randolf7. Most of my comments now go to the Youngs site, where they are not posted and ignored. Only positive posts are welcome; the thoughts of us non-swearing regulars are not relevant.
dolphoxe - 18 Feb 2011 12:34
Joanne, I fully agree with most of your sentiments. But, I - for one - will continue to complain about the foulmouthed louts who remain unchecked and are a major factor (not the only one) in this pub's decline. However, thank you for your advice!
randolf7 - 18 Feb 2011 12:12
I left a review many months ago, and vowed never to go back, after witnessing the landlady turn on several customers.. But we had heard that the refurb was worth looking at, that she is never really about and leaves it to run without her. The refurb did not dissapoint, which I do have to say is excellent, and congratulations on this.

But sadly, that is where is stops! We went down on a Saturday afternoon, expecting to see it packed after the local shoot, something we enjoyed very much, and it was almost empty! Apparently, she has been at it again, we got chatting to one of the regulars, who told us the latest batch of slanging matches between the landlady turning on customers very drunk, threatening behaviour. Even a nasty incident on the first night of opening, has kept many locals away!

Youngs what are you doing?? the pub looks great! But there is No atmosphere, No community spirit, No happy faces, and one person successfully running this pub into the ground. It just doesnt make any sense?

The sadness that Betchworth has lost its greatest asset due to the inept running of this beautiful pub by this appalling landlord, management, area manager, and the incredulous ignorance of Youngs still amazes!

Youngs wake up!!

PS. I must say after reading some of the reviews here, and clearly one or two out for revenge. I dont think there is a pub in the united kingdom where someone doesnt swear! (possibly attached to a convent) no wonder Youngs dismiss some of the comments. PLEASE STOP! it makes it tough for genuine reviews, with genuine complaints, and the genuingly appalling state the Dolphin is now in.

Joanne Lymmes

jolymmes - 17 Feb 2011 18:34
Great refurbishment. However the staff here are absolutely dreadful. Having seen an advert for a beer tasting tonight I organised a number of people to come along. I checked on Sunday that everything was OK and it was. I came along tonight to find it cancelled. The guy behind the bar, wearing a suit and an earing, could not care less, even though I told him a number of people were turning up. His comment when I told him was "that's a shame".

Many posts on this site complain about the customers. It is not surprising when the landlord has such a dreadful approach to customer service.

Avoid until Young's realise that they are pi$$ing in the wind with this pub under its current management and get someone with a brain to run it.

And no. I have been coming here for nearly 40 years and I have never seen salt beef sandwiches for sale.
anotherpintplease - 16 Feb 2011 23:03
Like 555 I don't remember salt beef sandwiches even when George and Rose were there
First post by Pudgy Partridge - very complimentary indeed - what a surprise!!
Maybe the recent poor Customer Relations between the Landlady and her Public needed balancing out yet again!
When will Young's learn what a large number of people think - great Pub - bad Management (staff excluded)
Fin58 - 9 Feb 2011 13:20
Note that PudgyPartidge's 7 Feb comment was the first comment they ever posted on Beer in the Evening. Also there never was any such thing as a "famous salt beef sandwich" in the past 25 years at the Dolphin. Hmm?
5555 - 9 Feb 2011 11:42
Hadn't been to the good old Dolphin since the days of George and Rose, but decided to meet up with my friends for lunch there last week. We were welcomed by very attractive and friendly waiting staff who didn't mind us slipping in a pint of the Young's "Ordinaire" at the bar before going to our table in the newly refurbished restaurant. Pleasantly surprised to see that the famous salt beef sandwich was back on the menu and had to order it for old time's sake. The others had fish pie (good portion and lots of sauce) and liver and bacon. The meal was good, but the atmosphere was even better. We stayed three hours after our beautiful waitress tempted us with brandy coffees. We didn't hear any profanities (granted it was lunchtime), but it was just very nice to be back at the Dolphin. We are going to make it a more regular port of call now that we know the food has improved and the welcoming atmosphere has remained unaltered.
PudgyPartridge - 7 Feb 2011 17:28
Place has improved a bit; the louts are all talking (quietly) about their Xmas credit card bills!
randolf7 - 5 Feb 2011 19:20
Having moved to the area a couple of months ago, I have been visiting the Dolphin every now and again, but mostly post refurb.

Only once have I witnessed the raised voices and swearing but it only lasted for 10 mins (I think a story was being told). I am no shrinking violet and also have a foul mouth but it just did not seem appropriate in that kind of environment; save it for the terraces. I visit a very similar pub in Hampshire and that sort of behaviour would never be tolerated by the Landlady.

The staff are very friendly and welcoming but the food service is pretty inefficient. I know it was the first week after opening but having waited 40 mins for two main courses when only two tables were eating, we were delivered our food with "sorry for the wait but we're rushed off our feet". It did make my partner and I laugh. It is always a wait to get condiments and the bill.

On to the food - its generally very nice and the fish pie competes with the Mole (and less money). But the portion sizes really need sorting out. A couple of weeks ago the game pie resulted in a very full belly. This weekend the portion seemed about half the size. The fish pie has also shrunk. I also heard another customer unsatisfied that the bangers and mash was a small portion. So unless this is sorted I'll eat elsewhere and use the Dolphin as a watering hole.

It's a very nice pub and well worth the visit; I look forward making use of the large beer garden in the summer.
l80pje - 27 Jan 2011 11:40
Great refurb. But what a waste of money?

Still the same problems - poor beer quality, foulmouthed louts and inept management.

At least, the louts seem to stay in the Dolphin, leaving us to enjoy the excellent pubs in nearby Brockham and Leigh.
randolf7 - 26 Jan 2011 10:57
IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET A DECENT REVIEW TO GET THE LANDLADY TO WRITE ONE.....................................................

servingwench - 24 Jan 2011 17:14
Over the last year and with some interest I have been watching the comments about the Dolphin and many other pubs in Surrey. So Ive decided its time to add my own two pennies worth. As with others on this site Ive been a regular (on and off) at the Dolphin for 25+ years. Whilst many hark back to the good ole days of George and Rose (and I did indeed like them) I personally found that they ignored the bad language and behaviour of some punters and by some I mean those who put money over the bar. On the whole the pub was well run and George kept the best pint of Youngs outside London, the food though was average, scampi and chips bought in bulk catering packs Id guess.

Since they left, the Dolphin has without doubt been afflicted by a series of managers ranging from tolerable through to downright appalling. Until very recently and I have to say after an excellent refurbishment by Youngs, the pub was a dump. Had you been a visitor to Surrey (holiday maker or whatever) and walked into the Dolphin, based on your first impressions, youd have left within minutes. We have all put up with sub standard managers, scruffy 70s decor and disgusting toilets for years because lets face it, the location is beautiful.

Apart from the Saints in a community we all blaspheme from time to time, but mostly in the privacy of our own home. Most of us have social graces and we dont inflict foul language, rude behaviour, lewd and/or offensive jokes on people around us.

For those on this site who say if you dont like it drink somewhere else I say NO. You drink somewhere else. Youre the ones with the minority view. In fact I would suggest that you look at the comments for the William IV at Albury. That pub too has a similar problem with men of a certain age and disposition. Perhaps you can all get together and buy your own pub. . . . preferably far . . . far away.

Ill keep coming to the pub. I dont care that some men try to upset others by increasing the volume and frequency of their foul language - once they see specific people (men and women) enter the pub. We all know you do it. Fact is some punters are trying to goad them they want them to go over the top, so that they get banned . . . and it will probably work.

artemis - 21 Jan 2011 20:45
Well spotted indeed - Angela Peat - is that her actual name (Peat) I mean.

Fin58 - 20 Jan 2011 20:04
Well spotted tintin - and the halffish is her sister!
brewmason - 20 Jan 2011 17:09
Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear, tsk tsk tsk. Angelapeat???? I'm sure that name rings a bell, let me see, come on think, think, think. angelapeat? angelapeat? angelapeat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . That wouldn't be Angela Peat would it? The land lady of the dolphin??? Is it fair to write your own fictional revues on here even if it is nearly 2 in the morning after god only knows how much red wine?????
tintin1975 - 20 Jan 2011 16:13
It is notewothy that fish has never commented on the Dolphin's beer, food or service quality - but helpfully gives us all advice ('if you don't like the pub, don't go there!')

But this fine site is a forum for all our views - and if the gutter language is acceptable to him/her, fine....
wealdman - 20 Jan 2011 10:39
Tsk. Tsk. Tradervic and randolk7 really have their knickers in a twist over this one. Now girls it's time to move on, and by that I mean you always have a choice. Go and drink at a pub more suited to your temperament and sensibilities.
halfmanhalffish - 17 Jan 2011 10:59
dolphinista says leave the dolphin and thinks that only one of the 'regulars' has offended someone (see numerous posts). the constant use of the c and f words seem ok to him or her - but, significantly, tradervic's last question remains unanswered.
randolf7 - 15 Jan 2011 21:34
Oh dear . It looks like there is a bit of a personal issue with one of the posters. Their delicate sensibilities have obviously been offended by one of the Dolphin regulars. Does he/she really want the Dolphin to be the same as the Stars , the Royal Oak or god forbid the Red Lion. Go to these other pubs and leave the Dolphin alone !
halfmanhalffish - 15 Jan 2011 17:53
One of the best pubs in East Surrey. Location, food and beer quality are good. Major downsides - management standards, and their inability to cope with a small number of fools away from their Dorking hostel(s) .
randolf7 - 13 Jan 2011 23:29
good refubishment with fine food and offers. beer quality is generally ok and the location is prime with ample car parking. but, as has been pointed out by so many, the front bar crew take all the gloss off.
wealdman - 13 Jan 2011 15:33
The last poster (two names) says that 'the public bar - wherever that is - early doors is a male sanctuary' and that there is some 'rough talk' but 'none ot it is malicious.' Is this an attempt to justify lewd, crude and ignorant behaviour by loud/foul-mouthed louts?

Despite itself, the Dolphin remains a fine pub which has been tastefully renovated - but, to ignore, justify or condone the language of a dozen or so idiots is pure folly. Such chaps are not tolerated in the Stars, Red Lion or Royal Oak. Neither should they be at the Dolphin. Would the last poster allow such 'conversation' in his/her home?
tradervic - 13 Jan 2011 15:14
Having had the Dolphin as my local for over thirty years the vitriol expressed about the locals and their behaviour really annoys me. Everyone locally knows the public bar early doors is very much a male sanctuary and yes there is some rough talk and banter, none of it malicious. As far as tradesmen being blamed it just shows where that persons prejudicies lie ! When George and Rose ran it if anyone got out of hand he would sort it out, and you didn't mess with George. The present landlady doesn't have that kind of authority and after recent events certainly doesn't have anyones respect. So if you want one of the cloned country gastro-pubs there are plenty around, leave the Dolphin alone. Let it remain the best proper pub in Surrey.
Dolphinista 12/1/11
halfmanhalffish - 12 Jan 2011 13:05
We booked late - a party of 18, despite what we've seen on this website. The service could not be faulted (the landlady took a pre-order and made sure we were designated to a comfortable place because we had children). The pub is probably the most original we've seen in a long time. The atmosphere was wonderful. The food was delicious (there wasn't a children's menu, but we were able to order children's meals adapted from the main meal menu). We were made to feel at home. We think the Dolphin is lovely and will be back within the month, especially given the fact they have a "two meals and a bottle of wine" for 20 offer. The staff gave us a coupon with our bill (reasonable to say the least), but we will be back to take it up. Any takers for baby sitting???
angelapeat - 4 Jan 2011 01:52
A classic renovation and a fine location with a river, old forge and church nearby. With a huge beer-garden and ample parking, the Dolphin is probably the finest pub in the area; the staff are friendly and the beer well kept.

But, as stated many times before on BITE, the pub seems to attract a band of idiots - mostly from Dorking way. Why they are tolerated, I do not know - particularly after 250,000+ worth of expenditure. My visits will be rare.
randolf7 - 1 Jan 2011 13:25
The refurbishment and enlargement was carried out to a high standard, without affecting the olde worlde character. With the large beer garden, proximity to the Mole and enhanced parking, this pub could be the best in East Surrey - if it wasn't for the foulmouthed lout-bores who continue unchecked. I, too, will divert to the Red Lion where customers are normal human beings.
sussexfox - 1 Jan 2011 11:57
5555 simply tells it as it is; the foulmouths have been allowed to remain. Thankfully, they don't frequent the Red Lion!
tradervic - 30 Dec 2010 16:35
5555 All you seem to do is berate the Dolphin. Solution, don't drink there. Bore off , you are making my teeth itch!!
grandaddy - 30 Dec 2010 12:04
So much for the "encouraging change". Paid a visit to the Dolphin last night and sat in the front. The usual corpulent crew were there .... effing and blinding. They actually seemed to be making a point of it. Then slipped off to the newly named "Toby Room" for some peace. There sat the landlord having a drink, oblivious to it all.

Some things never change. The rude, ill-bred peasants still own the place.

Off to the Red Lion.

5555 - 28 Dec 2010 13:56
Well...... have to say the pub looks seriously good after the refurb. Delighted that almost all the old features have been retained and the new extension is pretty classy. I can't believe that after all this investment Youngs will be contented to let a bunch of low-lifes continue their "dragged up by parents and must swear every other word" type of behaviour.

Maybe I'm a sucker for punishment but I just have to give it one last try.
5555 - 14 Dec 2010 21:06
Yes, a lot of us are wondering if the foulmouthed/uncouth/loud ones will be served; if they are, we will simply go elsewhere. Sheer bad manners is unaccceptable.
sussexfox - 13 Dec 2010 10:10
Well, I for one, will be in today. But - if those louts restart their antics - I shall never return on the natural assumption that Youngs don't care about standards. Thankfully, the competion is good in the area - from the Royal Oak to the Seven Stars.
tradervic - 13 Dec 2010 09:36
I am sure that the Pub looks great but whilst the Managemnet remains there will always be problems - Leopards do not change their spots!
I for one (and I am not alone) will not be going back until Young's deals with the main problem.
Fin58 - 13 Dec 2010 08:33
Youngs has definitely pushed the boat out in the refurbishment of the Dolphin! It looks terrific. All the wonderful old bits have been retained and the new remodeling is excellent. Management last night worked very hard to show off the new dishes. What an encouraging change!
pooying - 12 Dec 2010 20:05
Was in on Sunday (this morning) for a pre-opening reception for friends/regulars; the place is looking well, with the olde world character retained after the refurbishment. A Youngs/Wells brewery chapie told me the the louts will not be tolerated on re-opening and a firmer management style will be in evidence; this is, indeed, good news.
croydonpeer - 12 Dec 2010 12:17
'cos of snow - it seems the 13 December deadline will be missed.

sadly, it'll be the same management.

and the same front bar louts, probably....
sussexfox - 5 Dec 2010 23:34
Many have voted with their feet and no longer drink in the Dolphin - but in the nearby Red Lion and the two fine Brockham pubs. The reasons are the drunken louts (not seen in the other pubs!), the drunk/rude landlady and poor quality food and beer. Yes, Youngs are currently spending a lot of money - but will they address the real problems?
tradervic - 30 Nov 2010 10:43
Went on to Youngs' own site and clicked on the Dolphin. Not a negative view or comment to be seen - everything in/about the pub is 'fantastic'. It would seem that criticism is unwelcome and ignored; do they even live in the real world?
dolphoxe - 29 Nov 2010 15:00
I share the last poster's hopes.

Management standards (as well as food and drink ones) will have to improve and the front bar idiots moved on.

Otherwise, the improvements will be a waste. Opening again - Monday, 13th December.
dolphoxe - 29 Nov 2010 12:31
When open again, one can only hope for a good/new management (sober!) and that the loud and foul mouthed lout-regulars are barred; a lot of money is being spent and, hopefully, Youngs will seek a return based on better standards - all around.
wealdman - 29 Nov 2010 12:08
I totally agree with some of the previous comments, i live in Dorking and have been coming to the pub on & off for a a few years now.The setting is fantastic along with the beer too & I actually like to eat there, However the food was great, it seemed to change for the better around Easter time. I took the family there back in the summer & it was absolutely great, fab salads & some great specials we all had a great time. I went back last towards the end of september, the food choice had dropped, i asked the guy behind the bar and was told the Chef was working in other pubs whilst the building work was it all made sense. There is a heavy presence of locals, which never bothered me too much But had noticed the presence of "The drunken landlady" who looked worst for wear, sat outside smoking!! Not the best advert for the pub!! I am hoping that things will change when it re-opens and the Chef with his great specials returns!! waiting in anticipation!!
dorking78 - 21 Nov 2010 23:55 would seem that the pub is closed for refurbishment, lets hope sincerely that the brewery dont completely ruin this pub, it isnt the Chequers! Also sincerely hope that someone with half a brain from Youngs will read this site and take notice of what everyone is saying and change the management before it re opens. Can you imagine a newly tarted up Dolphin (shiny radiators et all..) and the same old drunken chananigans and duff food as before? Might as well throw the refurb money in the river! Come on Youngs get with it! We all want to enjoy going back to this pub..get it sorted!.
grumpster - 18 Nov 2010 13:26
Closed for refurbishment.
dolphoxe - 18 Nov 2010 10:07
I agree with sallyclarkson, what is happening here.
Went for a drink here Saturday night (6th Nov) Brockham Bonfire night. Got a table about 4pm, had something to eat. They stopped food. About 6pm was asked to vacate the table as reserved. Yes we were only drinking by then but food had stopped, the people who booked the table were only drinking aswell. Who books a table for drinking. Only Landladies and landlords that do not want returning customers. My money is as good as the next persons. Will not be returning. Youngs need to find managers to look after this traditinal pub not run it into the ground. Bring back Mel and Chris or Rose and George.
servingwench - 11 Nov 2010 12:22
2 versus 1 as well!
grandaddy - 11 Nov 2010 10:36
Apparently not for Boxing though!
Fin58 - 10 Nov 2010 07:39
Seems closed for refurb.
tradervic - 7 Nov 2010 10:31
In response to the last comments - keep writing - the only way to deal with this problem is to bombard Young's until they take notice - you are not alone!
I have sadly had to vote with my feet until the situation is sorted and have not been there for a while now - I probably had my first drink in there 30 odd years ago and have been a full time regular for 17 years so it was not an easy decison.
The situaution is not good but those who care should not give up - just keep the momentum to change the Landlord and Landlady going.
Eventually someone at the Brewery must surely realize that something is wrong.
Maybe someone should point them in the direction of this site?
As for Brockham Green - The Royal Oak where Matthew is the Landlord (trained by George and Rose) is very pleasant and very well run - but the new place will be an eatery more than a Pub.
Fin 58
Fin58 - 18 Oct 2010 09:04
I am writing this because every avenue I have taken to complain to Youngs has been ignored about the Dolphin Pub. I have written to the chairman, and shareholders, and not one reply. Clearly the explanation of why this wonderful pub has been ruined by a brewery that just dont seem to care about the awful woman that is ruining this pub, not running it! She is always on the wrong side of the bar, normally found swimming in wine!

There are many comments on this site that are totally useless, and frankly petty! I hope Youngs will take note of the serious ones?

I am horrified at the stories circulating the village regarding the demise of the pub, since this woman has taken over ruining it! As for the latest incident, I hear it was just awful, with customers walking out, while other customers restraining this woman!

My husband and I have always enjoyed our walks to the pub on big occassions, in particular the shoots, Xmas, winter afternoons and summer evenings, but sadly it seems to have lost everything.

I am rating this pub a two, for the two brave staff left, as that is the only thing worth commenting on.......positvely?

Youngs get real, sort this pub out, get rid of this irresponsible landlady, put in a reliable caring landlord on a permanent basis, and lets see some real positive write ups about the Dolphin.

Lets hope the new pub in Brockham due to open soon, can perhaps be a sanctuary until the Dolphin is rescued from its ultimate demise that Youngs seem to be actively encouraging.

It is shameful!

It makes me wonder if she has been put in there by the brewery to rid it of some of the characters, which can get out of hand at times...if that was the case they have succeded, as we went in last Sunday for a lunchtime drink, and the total customers were 7.

sallysclarkson - 9 Oct 2010 15:17
everyones in titled to an opinion and the come on brigade is just inviting everyone to read some people are really pathetic know one is perfect build a bridge and get over it makes me laugh this page!!
annieskye - 28 Sep 2010 16:23
Ratings; (10 is the top one). Starting there.

Subtract :- 1 for low quality beer and food
2 for drunk landlady
2 for lack of management
3 for foulmouthed customers, going unchecked

All these have been well described in previous posts. But...

Add:- 2 for fine location and
1 for olde worlde pub

No, the 5 rating is correct - although, on some occasions, this can hit -1.

wealdman - 28 Sep 2010 12:17
I've been in this lovely pub a couple of times (walking from Brockham Green)

Despite all the in house debating listed below, it must be better than a rating of 5.0 surely.
Pat_Bateman - 28 Sep 2010 11:58
Angela usually drunk, foulmouthed regulars (which is worse?) and invisible management; hoards of old regulars drinking elsewhere. Now - the 'come on people' brigade!
tradervic - 28 Sep 2010 11:52
come on people why sit on here moaning you know it will never change youngs will keep supplying all these managers and no - one seems to be happy unless its george an rose well sorry to say people theyve retired so you cant keep holding on to the past, and i have to stand up for charlie big potatoes you cant judge a book by its cover when you get to know him hes actually a nice bloke the thing is with this pub the regulars think its there pub when its not everyone can sit there and say you must do this and do that but if you look outside and look above the door think your find its run by youngs not the regualars. come on people generations change people change the pub has got a good atmosphere but you guys have to make that a good atmosphere. this website is rather silly as people are just sitting here bad mouthing it come on surely youve had some good memories jot them down people would love to know what fun you had its fun try it ive had loads of fun at the pub and the customers played a big part in it. come on people lifes to short
annieskye - 28 Sep 2010 08:58
I go to Dolphin Inn about once a month, as I used to live in Betchworth and loved the pub for its wonderful friendly atmosphere and character. Last month we along with friends went for dinner, and witnessed the most awful debacle with the Landlady screaming and fighting with a customer. She had to be restrained, taken away, but returned 10 minutes later to another awful slanging match. Her husband screamed at the staff not to serve her, and the entire evening ruined. We walked out in disgust, and WILL NEVER GO BACK AGAIN.

We have loved the pub for years, but have to say this last tenant has been just a disaster. we hear from all our friends who still live in the village that there have been countless episodes with this woman Angela, permantly drunk, and upsetting scenes with her bahaviour. Police being called, and generally appalling behaviour by a Landlady!

We have never expreienced anything so dreadful, and for all the people that compain about some of the customers behaviour, should take note that nobody can be as bad as this woman.

We certainly wont ever be going back to this pub, nor sadly the Red Lion, whos atmosphere is as dull as dishwater, and another pun ruining the wonderful village of Betchworth. Very sad times......everyone go to the Running Horses in Micklemham - now that is a wonderful pub, and you will never see such behaviour there, and see how a proper pub should be run! Joanne
jolymmes - 24 Sep 2010 11:52
The 'XXX' of cpotatoes adds a very worrying dimension to this gathering of 'tradsmen and pesents'.

It could be yet another misspelling though; maybe he meant 'BYE'.
tradervic - 20 Sep 2010 11:07
i would like to thank all the one pint a week warriors for there prompt, and sly comments. we have all had a good giggle, and look forward to more of the same.
you will all be pleased to know we have been drinking in the Red Lion for the last few months. Paul and Cindy are quite happy to take our money, and again have no problems with any of us.

as for my Spelling and Gramer skills, I seem to have given you all somthing else to complain about. Oh well, crack on......... Because while you are haveing a pop at me, at least you are leaving everybody else alone...

charliebigpotatoes - 17 Sep 2010 15:08
Potatoes invites us to "enjoy the company"

Is this guy for real? Only a bloke from the nearby Home for the Bewildered could do that.....

I'd rather let Michael (Collins!), the Irish guy, drive me home to Dorking ! ! !
dolphoxe - 17 Sep 2010 13:18
'BEING SEMI RETIRED AT 38 AINT THAT BAD' - says charlie. I suppose its better than learning to spell or punctuate. What drivel at 2am? Not only can these louts not speak English (except the gutter version), but they can't write it either. Charlie now prefers to spend his afternoons in the Dolphin with the Irishman and his semi-retired mates, sending many of us to the well run/managed Red Lion.

The 'JUGDES' that charlie talks of - is this a type of Betchworth antelope?
wolfdog - 17 Sep 2010 11:35
Thank you charlie for clearly illustrating the type of chap that posters have been talking about - although your inability to spell made some points vague. However, you did confirm the existence of the loud Irishman and seem to agree that the behaviour described by numerous posters is the norm for the Dolphin's real 'drinkers'.

I have considerably more than one pint a week at the Dolphin - though not as many as before; I have to ensure that that my presence does not coincide with that of you and your friends (early retired tradesmen!). No doubt, the Red Lion - and others - are dreading the Dolphin tradesmen's arrival during the forthcoming closure. Many of us are - and bored with their foulmouths!
tradervic - 17 Sep 2010 10:39







charliebigpotatoes - 17 Sep 2010 01:48
I hear that this pub is closing very soon for a period of time whilst alterations are made to the kitchen. Hopefully the swearing fraternity will have moved on by then (of course this means that one of the other local pubs is going to suffer).
redrag - 16 Sep 2010 13:47
Tradesmen (?) - these guys are too lazy to work; they have ruined a fine old pub with their foul language and behaviour. But, as has been said before, nobody cares and so many regulars have voted with their feet.
randolf7 - 16 Sep 2010 09:53
Dropped in again last week. It's still a beautiful pub in a beautiful place. Unfortunately it was a week day at 5 o'clock. Looks like the local tradesmen have taken over that time slot. If you like estuary English and endless effing and blinding don't miss it.
pooying - 9 Sep 2010 19:06
I agree with the last poster but the one before that - mentioning 'atmosphere and togetherness' - would suggest that tom might book a spell (a dizzy one) in the local Home for the Bewildered.

Numerous mediocre managers and transigent staff have made The Dolphin a much inferior entity to its days with George and Rose - and, clearly, regulars have voted with their feet.

Because of its fine location and proximity to the Mole, it still trades adequately - in the summer; sadly however, a lout culture prevails now - unchecked. Its high position in the pecking order of East Surrey pubs has deteriorated - just as the beer quality.
sussexfox - 11 Aug 2010 14:07
Sadly, nothing like it was. The afternoon foulmouthed brigade - mainly from Dorking way - see to that and staffing (there's been a lot) is totally hit and miss. Management - including the current pair - has, by and large, been inept. The Dolphin is a pub living on its reputation and location; Youngs are obviously indifferent. A vast number of old regulars now can be seen in the Red Lion, Royal Oak and Seven Stars - all infinitely better in price and quality.
wolfdog - 11 Aug 2010 09:19
After living in Betchworth for many years during the George and Rose era I must say in the last twelve years between villages in Nottinghamshire and now the beautiful Ashdown Forest I have yet to find a local pub with the same atmosphere and togetherness generated by both the locals and visitors.
City folk,wealthy individuals,workers and unemployed all socialised and ate together with not a snob in site. A true drinkers pub with an envied reputation in the surrounding areas (hence its popularity) .Finding a pub where no one swears is as likely as winning the lottery,if you want real swearing try Reigate and Dorking aroung 11pm.
hoppingtoms2010 - 14 Jul 2010 12:26
Lovely pub in a beautiful setting. The landlady and staff are helpful, friendly and efficient. This is what a real pub should be like - great beer, friendly faces and a warm welcome.
piratepete - 20 May 2010 18:05
Cannot understand the recent comments as I have always found all the staff polite and welcoming, including the new management team.

Very strange. Grudge perhaps ?

mjeeves - 28 Apr 2010 09:14
"Selling alcohol to anyone already intoxicated is also against the law, and staff are trained to look for signs, in order to prevent the drunken person from endangering themselves or others. Loud or slurred speech, staggered movements and uneasy swaying will all be noted by watchful staff members, and your purchase will not be allowed".

Yeah. Right.
5555 - 17 Apr 2010 15:57
Of concern is that some "locals" at the Dolphin regularly get extremely drunk. The staff continue to serve them. Then they drive home. Be careful driving around there.
5555 - 17 Apr 2010 15:03
I have to say, this pub has really gone down hill. I used to visit this pub alot, but now it seems that with the new management and the terrible increase in the prices, it's not what it used to be.

Although some staff seem reasonably friendly when you walk through the door, I found most of them to be rather rude and patronising in particular the short blonde haired girl. I am not 5 years old. The landlady also appears to be in a world of her own! I don't go to the Dolphin much anymore, but each time I have gone in for a quick pint, the landlady is either drinking with those obnoxious 'locals' or complaining about other staff. To me, this new management has cost Youngs dearly.

Having said this, the large open fires and the stone floor gives the pub alot of character which would not be found in other local pubs in the area. At Christmas, this really was a nice touch.

This pub is in a beautiful location and has so much potential. One of it's best features is allowing walkers and dogs in, no matter what the weather is like outside. All it needs now is to some decent people in to run the place and who can get rid of the 'can't-be-bothered' attitude from the ill-mannered staff.
farlay10 - 14 Apr 2010 20:24
There seems to have been a bit of change in the Dolphin. The grumpy bar maid seems to have finally gone (the one with lots of different coloured earrings) Hurrah! Also the chavvy loud mouth idiots that hog the bar seem to be decreasing in numbers (there's hope for us all!) The food is still great and the management and staff (minus the girl who looked like she was sucking a lemon) are as welcoming as ever. Still in my opinion a great village pub
pub2009 - 14 Apr 2010 00:28
Kinda surprised that the other night in the Dolphin was akin to a Wild West Quentin Tarantino-esque bar scene...the only problem was that the ultimate fall-guy joker with the dog didn't get continues to amaze me and other punters how the bar staff and the management (!?) still tolerate such unbelievably bad behaviour. What is it with Youngs that makes them think that this pub can continue to run under its current management and get away with it? Surely such a lovely country pub should be the bastion of civilised people enjoying a combination of good beer, good food (!?) and good company. I have also noticed that the price of drinks seems to be completely out of kilter with other local establishments to the tune of at least 20%. Shame.
grumpster - 11 Apr 2010 21:52
Grey haired Michael is the chap (c67): old silver car too; most days in here, a sad bloke, with a Ladbroke problem - and others!

MS goes to the Scarlet also...........

dolphoxe - 17 Mar 2010 22:54
I'm probably much younger than most posters on this site, and certainly than most visitors to the Dolphin, and perhaps my generation isn't quite so offended by bad language. However I too am appalled by the group who hang round the bar (and sometimes the table opposite). They are sexist, racist and downright objectionable.

The manager obviously knows them as I have seen them talking together, however nothing is done as they spend lots of money. However the income generated by decent people who would come in here if it was not for them would far exceed this.
charlie_one_two_three - 17 Mar 2010 18:44
Yes 5555, this chap has held court here in the afternoons for years - singing and foulmouthing; for this, he comes out from Dorking. An ex-journalist, his stories seem to impress his sycophantic cronies and his language has been ignored by the ever-changing staff and management. The cronies are also from elsewhere. Such a pity.
tempest - 17 Mar 2010 16:49
Dropped in again last Friday evening, having invited a man whose company I am beginning to do business with. (mistake!) The usual loud, foul mouths who hang around the front of the bar were there ... led by the resident, diminutive, elderly, "professional irishman" .... who proceeded to "eff and blind" his way through his usual crude jokes. You could hear his language (and even use of the "c" word) all the way around the corner in the side bar where we were. Unbelievable.

At one point a middle aged couple fled the main bar area to the side bar to get away from them.

When the land lady arrived downstairs for the evening, they began curtailing their language.

Someone suggested earlier that if you don't like it don't go to the Dolphin. Regretfully, I now think that they are right.
5555 - 17 Mar 2010 15:40
I've been going to the dolphin on and off for 6 years. I agree that changing managers makes it difficult for continuity of service and care. Having said that, I have found the current encumbents to be more interested in drinking than ensuring customers are being served.

I recently witnessed the landlady having arguments whilst under the influence with staff, customers and her partner. It felt that I had stepped into scenes from a soap than a place to relax and enjoy conversation. The excessive drinking of the landlady will pull the Dolphin down even further and the sooner Youngs takes action the better.

The food is ok but seriously overpriced and there is alot of competition locally with better food.

There are lots of bar staff and they seem to be constantly changing or perhaps it's because they aren't on the same nights. I find this is deterimental to fostering a "local" feel for those who don't go there every night.

The pub is in a great location just need Young's to put in great management that bring on the staff and the quality of the food and it will become a great pub too!
foolhardy - 7 Mar 2010 15:08
burton has yet to see 'the management getting drunk'

you did'nt go to specsavers then?
wolfdog - 6 Mar 2010 23:23
We are regulars at the Dolphin Inn in Betchworth. We have experienced the recent management couple's way of doing things and we have to say - what a tremendous improvement! We are happy that the management couple take time to spend with us on the other side of the bar and as for the "grumpster" comment about the management getting drunk, I have yet to see this. It is so good to see the pub back to its former self after so many years of mismanagement! And the honey and mustard sausages are the bees knees. Thank you.
d11burton - 25 Feb 2010 18:24
Love the dolphin, always someone to talk to, bigot or not, always a laugh, good beer, wildly expensive, just a real shame that the brewery dont seem to have a clue about getting the right people to run the place, the last few years have seen some frightful types attempting to take control, currently run by a reasonable couple one half of which spends too much time on the wrong side of the bar, not a good look, i thought the getting drunk part was for the customers. Shame.
grumpster - 19 Feb 2010 12:18
Following the 27 January comment: I don't know why I'm saying this but, as everyone else does ..... I live in the neighborhood and have been dropping into this pub for about 20 years. I've seen its ups and downs. The down of the last few years has been, in my estimation, the worst. Having said that, currently, I do believe that the service is good. People behind the bar are nice. It does look like the new management has a good relationship with staff. The food does seem to be good ... because so many people are eating there! The landlady is exceptionally nice .... providing a genuine and personal touch for customers.

Having said that, I would ask the 27 January writer - do you honestly think that the many comments made over a significant period of time about the churlish behavior of that small segment of "locals" that infest the front of the bar are fantasy? They are not. You would do well to remember that one couple that is put off by their behavior will tell other people ... and those, in turn, will tell even more. How many will end up hearing negative comments about the Dolphin. This isn't opinion ... this is the way it works!

Management - imagine this: The management has stopped the rude, ill-bred , uneducated, unsophisticated peasants from dominating the front of the bar. The "haw haw" brigade is dispensed with. (OK ... they aren't monsters ... but they are jerks). Normal, nice people who don't revel in making the bar their personal playground can come in with their wives (the super-annuated juvenile delinquents who frequent the bar mostly don't show up with women) and have a quiet, relaxing drink. How many more customers do you think you would gain? Answer: Lots. The word would get around ... fast.

Management - you would be absolutely amazed at your increase in customers if the lovely Dolphin was a pub for normal, friendly people .... if customers didn't have to push their way through those that act as if they own the pub.

If you let them continue their behavior ... they will continue to "own" it. And you will suffer.

... and you will lose out on the best pub opportunity that you will ever have.
The beautiful Dolphin could be the most outstandingly successful pub. It would take little to sort out the "locals". Trust me ..... they wouldn't leave.
Where would they go?
pooying - 14 Feb 2010 00:24
I've been back to the Dolphin a number of times since my posting in December, but then I would do as I'm a local. The pub has improved a little, in that bar staff appear more attentive and the speed of service is better. Generally the beer is not cloudy, which is how it used to be, but falls a little short of being classed as a good pint. That rather offensive group of locals continue to appear from time to time and I cant say that their language is much improved. I also witnessed yet another spat at the bar recently with one drunken man and one not so drunken man having a pop at each other.

I would suggest Dolphpub that it is not those people who write bad reviews that should grow-up but those who persist with their foul language and bad behaviour. It is the mark of maturity when you can restrain from such behaviour in public, even when you really feel like punching someones lights out, or, youd like to tell them what you really think. I do know a number of people who have complained directly to bar staff and management alike as regards standards in the Dolphin and indeed several who have contacted Youngs directly. So dont assume that this website is the only place that people vent their feelings. As for wasting money, I know many who feel that spending it in the Dolphin is the waste and hence they go elsewhere. Check out the comments for the Seven Stars or the Surrey Oak (apart from the odd comment) and you will see well run pubs with happy punters.

I remain optimistic that this pub will turn around and indeed the present management seem decent people who are making incremental improvements. I wish them luck and wait to see what happens over the coming months.

5555 - 10 Feb 2010 19:18
One has to wonder if dolfpub is a member of staff - or maybe went into the wrong pub! The December thoughts of 5555 are much more accurate and based on his 25 years experience as a customer. BTW, where is brokham?
randolf7 - 29 Jan 2010 10:48
i have read quite a lot of the comments that people have written about the dolphin! personaly they made me feel quite sick.
i can understand how people feel about the dolphin changing hands so often, because it is a pain, for both the locals and the bar staff.
But i would like to ask all the people who say that the dolphin food is shocking and not good enough why they had so many people in today and have had lots of people in for the last couple of weeks, even with the january blues that everyone seems to suffer from! on sunday they had people waiting for ages just for a seat to eat, no one cared that it was taking a while because they liked the place!
And as for the service i have to say that it IS good, they make an effort to try and help out, they take the comments into concideration.
And i think the word LOCALS says a lot, they are locals, 95% of them live in buckland, betchworth and brokham, and i met someone today who had been coming to the dolphin since they where dating, and i'd say he is about 60 years old now. the locals make the pub! i dont understand how people who obviously dont ever come to the pub can slag it of, now the new managers have settled in things are woking a lot better, the manager has a good relationship with the staff AND anyone who walks through the door.
Yes sometimes things go wrong like in every business. But if your business made a mistake would you want people to come back so that you could prove that it was a one off...
i can understand people saying that the locals can be a pain by the bar, but things are changing and everyone is doing there best to kick the locals up the backside and make them move out the way!!!!!!

so i say to all the people who are writing bad reviews to grow up and try and enjoy a good old locals pub!
and if you want to make a comment about the staff then like someone else said.....say it to their faces because im sure they will take everything in and change, which i know that the language behind the bar is now non egsistant.
everyone is warm welcoming and the food is good! so everyone just chill out and enjoy the dolphin because it is a good decent pub, if you dont like it dont come, go waste your money at a pub where the staff aint nice, dont listen to what you have to say and who dont give a toss as to what you think! if you want the opposite then come to the dolphin, where the food is good and the atmostphere is good

im sorry ive ranted on but ive been reading the comments and my blood has reached boiling point
dolphpub - 27 Jan 2010 19:42
Not sure why the poor ratings for this pub but then am only an occasional visitor (normally at the end of a walk over from Brockham) over the last six months. When I have been here have really enjoyed it, particularly the food.

Regarding the staff my main experience was when they went out of their way to fit us in for a last minute Sunday lunch a couple of months ago and have no complaints over the bar service which has always polite.

The locals all seemed pretty friendly and the charity quiz we attended was fantastic and only marred by our coming 6th which must have been due to erratic marking!

Anyway, in summary this is one of the nicest, most picturesque pubs I have been to in the area so if you have not visited I would definitley recommend giving it a go and making up your own mind.
petegraaf - 2 Jan 2010 19:01
There may have been a series of managers in recent years, but the fact is any half trained manager should be able to run a half decent pub. New managers seem to start out promising but fail to keep it up. It seems that life is much easier for them if they just allow people to behave as they choose and unfortunately that's what some do. From the comments I've read I don't think anyone wants yet another gastro-pub in the area, they want to preserve what appears to be a dying institution a "good old fashioned pub" with character.

Character does not mean a rather large group (of mostly men) swearing their fool heads off for seemingly hours on end. Or bar-flies who refuse to move to let anyone except for their own group of cronies get to the bar. Not character at all . . . . just people who simply weren't raised with any manners.

Diversity of thoughts, beliefs, ideas and all manner of witty conversation is wonderful in a pub. But rudeness and foul language is not.

I've frequented this pub for some 25 years and in recent times all too often the food, the beer and the locals are unpalatable. Youngs you are ultimately responsible for what this pub has become.

5555 - 16 Dec 2009 19:23
Fin58 has a reasoned view. But to complain other customers is not the answer; it could even be dangerous!

Their presence is obvious and audible to all - including staff and management , paticularly in the afternoons. Until, they go - many of us will continue to frequent the Red Lion.
wealdman - 26 Nov 2009 11:01
Gosh - what a lot of comments and what a lot of unhappy punters (maybe one or two anyway)
No Pub is perfect and therefore nor is the Dolphin - however it is still better than most.
The Management turnover has not helped matters over the last few years I grant you but the new Management do need to be given a chance
The Pub appears to be more settled right now and there is a better atmosphere in there.
I am a local of more than 15 years standing and mix with others who have been using the place for far longer than that.
I do not consider myself to be a "chav, a lout or a pikey" - others might of course disagree - but to be fair to some of the Posters there are probably one or two customers who you wouldn't have there in a perfect world - trouble is it isn't a perfect world and as I have said before better the way it is rather than a Pub with no character or characters!
Maybe the Posters on here who are slagging the place off should make their complaints known at the Bar rather than hide anonymously behind their posts?
Fin58 - 26 Nov 2009 10:45
Pikeys, chavs and louts - all at the Dolphin these days!

Odd that some posters don't see them....
sussexfox - 24 Nov 2009 23:43
I still think the food / staff are good, but after the other day i completley agree about the "locals"... they need to go. sorry anotherpintplease, you are spot on.
anonymous - 24 Nov 2009 23:31
Again, the last poster has hit the nail on the head. WHY do new posters condone the mediocrity of the Dolphin? Staff or management maybe? Some of the chaps being served here would be barred from establishments in Crawley or Redhill. The presence of ladies only seems to egg them on - in their foulmouthed rants. Are new posters deaf - or is such a question offensive?
marieceleste - 20 Nov 2009 01:03
Sorry pub2009 you did not just say the meal was lovely. You accused the several contributors to this site of being offensive.

I actually praised the beer. I have been visiting the Dolphin for over 30 years and live very near, and so I think I know what I am talking about. I can only assume that you are something to do with the pub and this is why you condone such mediocrity.
anotherpintplease - 20 Nov 2009 00:44
All i said was the meal was lovely. Obviously no one is entitled to have an opinion because anotherpintplease dictates what happens on this website! You clearly have something against the pub so why dont you jog on and find another pub and reviewers to abuse!
pub2009 - 19 Nov 2009 23:54
Sorry, but pub2009's comments really annoy me. He/she has never posted before today, and then tells us off for being offensive. For complaining about the bad language being used in the pub!!! So who is being offensive here? Pub2009, please run away and stop posting drivel.
anotherpintplease - 19 Nov 2009 18:24
I went to the dolphin for a meal last week. Service was very good, meal was lovely. Had good old fish and chips! I can't believe the debate between posters! I agree with Bella - Give the new managers a chance! I also noticed they are doing alot for charity - I think that's brilliant and wish them luck in their fundraising efforts. Not all pubs will suit everyone's taste, and of course they get different types of clients. Surely the pub and the posters that enjoy the pub do not deserve these offensive comments.
pub2009 - 19 Nov 2009 16:41
I think what people are saying is that there are problems here. Personally I can say that the beer I had last night was fine, and the food was OK (not great, but OK), and I would return for both. However, what has been pointed out by several reviewers, is that there is an group of unsavoury characters here. There may be few of them, but they are always there when I have been there. They are loud and uncouth, and unfortunately dominate the pub. Their swearing cannot have gone unnoticed by the managers, so they must be ignoring it. Hence the negative feedback on this site.

I'm, sorry Bella, but you need to take your blinkers off.
anotherpintplease - 18 Nov 2009 22:50
There is no need to be rude and offensive shipsteps. I would never lower myself to your level. I only comment on what I have observed from MY visits to this pub and would never be rude to another reviewer. You seem to have some vendetta against this pub and I can only feel sorry for you.

The new managers should be given a chance - its only fair.

I had lunch last Sunday and the pub was packed, food excellent (highly recommend roast pork). The service at the bar was very friendly. The new landlord and lady could not be more welcoming.

Give them a chance!

bella63 - 18 Nov 2009 19:51
Well I can confirm that Bella and Dolph are not the same person - Bella is my wife, not sure who Dolph is. Bit extreme some of the comments - under the new management things HAVE improved, food in particular and as for the regulars (many of whom are locals), a mixed bag like any pub - impossible for any pub to appeal to everyone, but better as is than it being turned into a characterless sanitized "chain" pub, plenty of those around. Don't understand criticism of the beer either - visit plenty of pubs, know beer and the quality of the bitter is absolutely fine and there are plenty who regularly visit who'd complain if it wasn't.
mrb_62 - 18 Nov 2009 12:01
Why does Dolph1967 think we should leave this pub alone? If things are not right surely we should point them out. Anyway. we popped in here tonight for a meal, which was very pleasant. However ther were foul mouthed boors sittng at the bar effing and blinding away, with the voice of one of them at least echoing through the dining area. The barmaid obviously knew them as she chatted to them. I'm sorry, but this sort of behaviour is just not acceptable in a country pub like this (or indeed anywhere).

Youngs, all you need to do is bar these morons and the customers will flood back.
anotherpintplease - 17 Nov 2009 22:42
Bella and dolph only post about the Dolphin, with the same theme. (the same person? - probably).

As already stated, the Dolphin is in a state of mediocrity following frequent management changes.

shipsteps - 17 Nov 2009 10:02
Lovely pub, always a warm welcome. Food excellent following management change and the beer never a disappointment.

bella63 - 16 Nov 2009 13:34
I think people should leave this pub alone, it's a country pub that is clearly popular based on how busy it always is. Especially on a weekend. The beer is top notch, I am writing this comment based on what my Father says about the beer. I had the pork belly recently - very very nice!
Dolph1967 - 14 Nov 2009 16:17
Clearly, Dolph1967 has a vested interest; his last post said 'the beer is always top notch' - now he says he doesn't drink the stuff!

Tradervic's post is accurate; the pub is still in transition after numerous management changes. For Dolph, to say the food is both 'brilliant & incredible' just reflects his bias and is simply wrong.

Also, tradervic's comments on the 'locals' is spot on.
wealdman - 12 Nov 2009 11:16
Now the new management have settled in, all is calm again at the Dolphin. The food is brilliant, fresh and homemade. Not brought in like most places do. I cant comment on the beer as I don't drink it. The staff are friendly and work well together. Over all this pub is a nice place to go to.
Dolph1967 - 11 Nov 2009 17:50
Nobody would deny the Dolphin's character - but the frequent recent management changes have take their toll. 'The food is incredible' says the last poster - rubbish. Just a few days ago, the current management appologised for their sad offerings (and refunded our money) saying that they - understandably - were just finding their feet.

As stated by several previous posters, the 'locals' are not from Betchworth - just foulmouthed blow-ins (not 50 year veterans!) who further detract from this former gem; beer quality is mediocre at best and it would seem Youngs have little interest in this unit which, because of it location, will always make a living.
tradervic - 7 Nov 2009 11:33
The Dolphin pub has so much character, the people that leave these nasty reviews obviously dont appreciate a decent pub! The staff are very friendly, the food is incredible, the beer is always top notch. The locals make the pub the fun environment it is. Most of them have been drinking there for 50 years+. So for those of you who think the locals hog the bar... get over it! They are loyal customers who will never leave. If you want a boring commercial pub with no character then dont come to the dolphin. Its one of a kind and always will be.
Dolph1967 - 7 Nov 2009 11:02
Try the Chocolate Fondant dessert..........ORGASMIC!! The best ever.
dollypartonGG - 10 Oct 2009 23:48
Because of its location beside the Mole river in historic Betchworth - and also its comfortable olde world interior - this pub will always be busy, particularly in the summer. Young's know this and seem content to let the place look after itself, more or less.

This is sad as standards have dropped alarmingly - in terms of beer and food quality; this has been alluded to by many previous posters. Low calibre management has long been in situ - and then there are the regulars! These are not from Betchworth; but their behaviour and foulmouthed repartee has made the place 'out of bounds' for us golfers and locals. A grave pity.
dolphoxe - 4 Aug 2009 14:27
The last post is a rare positive one for this former gem - and an inacurate one. Very poor management has been a feature of the Dolphin for a few years now; the low service and beer/food quality has been well described in many previous posts. But, if you like foulmouthed banter, come here and sit at the front table; you won't find many Betchworth people there as we have voted with our the two fine Brockham pubs and the Red Lion.
croydonpeer - 20 Jul 2009 13:08
This always was a great Pub and it still is!
There was a hiccup - maybe two actually - after George and Rose left but by and large this is still a top class country pub (thanks to the present incumbents) and thankfully one where the local community (despite some posters thinking they are not loca) still use it.
To those who don't like the "Locals" please think again - without them this place would just become another "proper" pub gone to the wall with no character and no characters - boring, boring, boring - there are many of those pubs around - too many in fact!
Take it for what it is and enjoy it - I will always go back again for the beer and the banter.

Fin58 - 29 Jun 2009 14:14
It is not just the boors at the front table who put me off coming here, it is also the morons at the bar who seem to expand whenever a non-regular appears. Their language is also disgusting. Why Young's allow such a beautiful pub, and one which was fantastic just 5 years ago, to reach such base levels is a real mystery.
mrgrumpy - 23 Jun 2009 17:54
At the time of writing this pub rates at 5.4 out of 10. Frankly I think this is generous and is obviously a reflection of better times gone by.

The pub itself is great. Fabulous, kooky building with real character, nestling in he sleepy village of Betchworth right accross the road from the local blacksmith. But there the romance ends...

The problem for this pub is that turnover is and always will be, low in comparison to its town centre cousins. As a result the brewry appoints inexperienced and mostly innadequate landlord teams to it .

What it needs most is an experienced hand on the rudder and someone who can wrest control back from a belligerent group of locals who have been there so long that they (almost literally) think they own the place.

Overall, we had a very dissapointing return to what was once one of Surrey's finest spots. The beer, actually was ok. But we were served food so ordinary that you could be forgiven for thinking that the kichens had simply unwrapped petrol-station cheese sandwiches and served with a garnish...

mpr2andgreen - 5 Jun 2009 10:25
Of the last 15 posts - over the past year or so - the last was the second positive one!

The three previous 2009 posts very accurately set out the Dolphin's well known problems, which are plain to see.
brewmason - 29 May 2009 11:07
Looks a picture, and the historic nature of the building is acknowledged by a SCC plaque above the main door. Inside it has a traditional village inn feel, with a welcoming array of Youngs / Charles Wells handpumps. My pint of Ordinary was very good, and the bar staff were friendly. Went at a quiet time during mid-afternoon, but it seemed a nice-enough place to me.
rpadam - 28 May 2009 21:16
This used to be a great pub that has gone down hill fast. The food is incredibly expensive and lousy value. Main courses the size of a starter, . If 5 small slices of potato and a few slices of other things go with Sea Bass and vegetables then go ahead and pay...... It used to be a struggle to park - now its easy - says it all.
tinplatetony - 26 Feb 2009 20:44
The last poster has very accurately described this fast declining former gem. But just substitute the word 'regulars' for 'locals' - for those who have colonised the front table; all else is spot on.

Betchworth is not home to these chaps, they could not afford it ! However, they have been allowed to hasten the decline, together with the extremely poor management, staff and food - covered in many previous posts.

Many of us have moved up to the Red Lion.
wolfdog - 23 Feb 2009 11:09
This pub makes me really sad. It COULD be brilliant - it's old, has flagged floors, stcoks Youngs and other decent real ales, has log fires, and a decent garden. But it isn't. Ignorant, dim staff, beers no longer well kept and a frankly reuplsive bunch of locals who have colonised the front table and for whom every other word must be a loudly issued swear word. Basically a bunch of ruddy-faced, reactionary, boorish, ornery middle-englanders swearing and telling racist jokes. Bar staff clearly too intimidated by this to bring them to order and therfore numbers will shrink even further. WHERE ARE THE MANAGEMENT and why are they allowing this to go on. You have to have control of your own pub. A real shame.
properpublover - 22 Feb 2009 13:29
Seemed OK yesterday after some poor reviews lately.
Ale tasted good. Food on the pricey side though.
Has it changed hands again recently?
Just ignore the apparent regulars who prop up the bar and seem reluctant to let others near the bar.
martins2 - 29 Dec 2008 15:19
Happy memories of this pub from the 1970's and 1980's were today destroyed by overpriced and substandard food and beer and a demeaning attitude from the staff.
peterwarlock - 6 Oct 2008 15:32
Such a shame, this is a lovely country pub with a great interior and the new managements attitude and poor food are distroying it.
nicnocs1 - 24 Jul 2008 10:43
A couple of friends and I have periodically visited the Dolphin for lunch over the course of several years and have certainly noticed the change. We decided to give it another try today and the food was ...shocking. A sandwich that could have been knocked together for 35p was 5.95. On top of that they had "run out of brown bread" although there were only four couples eating. A girl across from us complained her portion of chicken was meagre - "I'm paying 5 for THIS??!". I was told my portion of chilli was the last one (hence how small it was) and it was tasteless boil-in-a-bag fodder. When we pointed out to the woman behind the bar that the food was exhorbitantly priced and not very good quality, she said "you're right. I wouldn't eat here, I'd rather eat at home". Surely this is commercial suicide? Feels rather like the landlord's tenancy is coming to an end and they're past caring. We shall vote with our feet and go elsewhere next time. In you're hungry -- AVOID!
mojowoko - 25 Jun 2008 18:48
What a sad way to go for a once beautiful pub. Went there on Sunday night and we were the only people in there. We got served by the obligatory surly bar maid and last time we were in there a young barman was moaning that people were coming in to eat! It needs a bit of loving care and attention by a new landlord/landlady. Why cant Youngs find anyone decent to run this pub? The character of the back room has been ruined also. It used to a have a quaint old bench around the side of the walls which made it look quite old fashioned, instead they have ripped all the old decor out and made it into a "squashed up" resturant
mhartes - 24 Jun 2008 14:32
Since George and Rose left (about 3 years ago ?), a series of bad managers and staff have driven this Youngs gem into pale mediocrity. Regulars have left in droves to be replaced by fewer but more unpleasant chaps. Food prices and quality are a problem (compared to other East Surrey pubs). All could be solved by a new, strong and enthusiastic management team - but is the newly merged and much larger brewery interested in this 'quaint' type of rural pub anymore ? It would seem not.
leftfield - 22 May 2008 15:11
I visited the Dolphin in Betchworth for the first time last week with some work colleagues. The barmaid, who was not overly friendly, ommitted one of the meals we had ordered from the bill and then made a weak bitter shandy for my colleague who had specifically asked for a strong one.
I and another colleague had the Brie and chutney sandwiches and although not asked about preferred bread type, were astonished when they were served up in very ordinary white sliced bread. Therefore very expensive at 5.50 each!
Did love the pub interior but customer service and value for money has to improve before I'll return.
hollyhocks - 14 May 2008 14:41
A very nice pub.Soft drinks very expensive.2 Beers and two orange juices with lemonade,small portion of olives,one crisps,16 Pounds wonder pubs are dying.
damothe50 - 14 May 2008 10:39
I've got so many happy memories from this pub.... i was even a waitress here when i was a teen! Every time i come home to visit me mum, we go here. Sadly the recent landlord/s have tried to destroy any atmosphere the place had! I even heard a rumor they were going to carpet the flagstone floor and put up a big screen! Idiots.... Its a listed building for starters. This isn't a case of "we're local and we know best!" just that sometimes if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Bring back Rose and George!!! We miss you guys..... the best landlords ever!
sampson - 9 May 2008 17:37
Without any doubt the obvious downturn in this pub was caused by the sad departure of Bruno; he always had a waggy welcome for all - but now, sadly, lives in Walton.
simwilliams - 8 Apr 2008 14:55
Please see the 2 April comment mentioning the Dolphin at the Red Lion, Betchworth site.
pooying - 2 Apr 2008 22:01
Changed hands yesterday so hopefully good things to come and I am sure it, along with the Red Lion under their brand new management, will be back up to how it used to be in past years!
218238 - 1 Apr 2008 16:32
A very beautiful old pub in an idylic setting. Unfortunately it has gone downhill since George and Rose retired. Locals are, and have been, staying away in droves. A large crowd of foul mouthed hexagenarians have dominated the front of the bar for years. Listening to their never ending effing and blinding is the price you must pay to have a drink there. Yesterday, one of those lovely people stood right in front of the pub's front window, pulled his trousers open, exposed himself and urinated. When one woman's husband had a word with the pervert the gallant locals descended on him spewing out a torrent of foul mouthed abuse. All of the civilized people on that side of the pub got up and left. Neither the bar staff or the management said a word to them.
pooying - 31 Mar 2008 13:59
Unfortunately since the new landlord has taken over - this pub has gone down hill. It is hardly used by the locals anymore and people are finding alternatives. Mainly this due to the lack of feeling there - most of the staff can't speak English (including the Landlord) and the beer is not what it was. The food is over priced. The place is, for want or a better term, dead.
Rinc3wind - 7 Mar 2008 11:45
Popped in for lunch on a wet Tuesday in February. The Young's Winter Warmer was excellent. The toad in the hole delicious and my wife thoroughly enjoyed her chicken salad. Good value too.
PeterJK49 - 5 Feb 2008 15:37
Went there last night. Had a meal in the new back garden. Very pleasant evening. Food good, polite staff.
anonymous - 9 Aug 2007 10:15
Oh dear, they have been refurbishing this beautiful old pub. They have ripped the bench seats out of the main bar. (How come they are allowed to do this? It is a listed building?) The bench seats is what gave the bar its character !! WHY cant they leave things alone. They have now turned it into a restaurant and squashed as many seats and tables in as possible. It must be HELL at Sunday lunchtimes. Also the hotch potch of seats look if they have been bought from a car boot sale, very tatty looking, What a MESS
mhartes - 14 Mar 2007 13:23
Always enjoy eating here. Good pint of youngs on. Food reasonable and the chef even came round and told us how he cooked it all.
alan_From_SAWW - 11 Mar 2007 20:50
booked a table for a saturday lunch. you would think a prebooking of 8+ people for a lunch which as it is a fairly small pub you would think it to be a good thing but we were greeted with the most miserable landloard i have ever met. They were warned when the boking was made there would be young children. We were asked at one point to take an 7month old baby outside (the middle of feb so a bit chilly) because the noise might upset a few of the locals dogs. The service between course was terrible. the starters came out fairly quick but then a 2 hour wait between courses and they still managed to forget someones order. great service concidering the bill came to over 250!
anonymous - 20 Feb 2007 13:26
Great atmosphere, fast service, good beer and food.
anonymous - 5 Jan 2007 18:15
I went to The Dolphin looking for good beer and food in friendly, traditionial surroundings and that's what I found. This wonderful, unmolested compact pub has three very seperate sections which cater for whatever mood you're in. Great Youngs beer, served with a smile and the food was pretty good too. There's not much they could have done better for us(mind you, the toilets could do with some modernisation (or cleaning up a bit)). I wish I lived next door! Don't tell everyone about this great pub though; it's not huge!
goosegog - 6 Dec 2006 22:43
I have been going to the Dolphin for 20 years once a week with occassional periods away. It is a good pub, and the beer has always been good. The prices are on the high side and as a veggie the food does not attract but the worst thing is the tolilets have not ever been decorated since I have been going there, still I live in hope.
alanjacktim - 3 Dec 2006 22:02
Not a regular here, but have stopped by for many a quiet beer over the years as its always been one of my favourite pubs for a relaxing drink. back in the days of the old landlord (george i believe) the pub was flawless in my opinion, everything u want from a country pub. However i recently had a gathering there for my birthday and i was apalled at the level of service we received. Despite running up a bar tab of 350, the staff and landlord clearly were not interested in our business. Im in my 20's and had a few friends of a similar age, plus several of my parents friends and family. The barman kindly informed one of my parents guests that (pointing to the table my friends were sitting at) "If any of that lot are sick then they can clear it up themselves". We're not teenagers, drinking cider down the local park, we're adults having a nice time. shocking. Secondly, the same barman would not serve us a beer until we had returned all the empty glasses from our table. I dont mind bringing back empty glasses, even if it was asked for in a nice way (which it wasnt), but at the end of the day he is being paid to do a job, so he should do it, and at least act like he is enjoying it, instead of putting on a face like death. The landlord seemed equally uninterested and didnt seem to want us there. If i was a landlord, and the pub trade was my livelihood, i would be over the moon that 20-30 people were drinking in my pub, and would do my utmost to make them feel welcome. It really doesn't take much.
So long story short, a great pub, that has been ruined by apalling management. I will not be returning until a new manager is in place. Shame.
batman1470 - 28 Nov 2006 19:47
The long-standing regime of George & Rose is hard to recapture, especially in respect of George's phenomenal cellarmanship skill - I've never tasted Young's Ordinary as exquisitely kept as at the Dolphin. The beer's still on good form, albeit perhaps not stellar as it once was. The food is reasonable and the service satisfactory, and one can't ignore that this remains a beautiful country pub full of genuine character. Plenty of well-heeled locals and rambling types, which I think suits this kind of pub. Well worth a visit now and again.
TWG - 11 Oct 2006 12:30
I enjoy evenings at the Dolphin, the beer is great, if expensive, the peppers with feta cheese add to the experience, but it would be nice if they decorated the toilets they are undecorated since 1987, I know that because I used to go to the Dolphin before my wife and I got married and we are now seperated! Not due to the state of the toilets I might add, well I don't think so. A nice pub,but few vegetarian options.
anonymous - 24 Jul 2006 23:38
Not too bad today though I'd rather go back to the old regime. Don't turn up looking for just a snack on a Sunday any more. For some unfathomable and infurating reason known only to pub managers you've got to have a Proper Meal or make do with crisps.

The rest of the week is fine, sandwiches and whatnot. But not Sunday lunch.
nickdavies - 9 Jul 2006 19:09
The landlord has changed again (and again, and again), goodness I cant keep up with it.
Can't quite make the new landlord out, I have been going there since the 60's when it was a free house. This was the first time the landlord forced me into a different seat for some reason in an empty bar. (because it was a table for 4 people !) Most odd ! I reserve my opinion. Will report back in 6 months !!
mhartes - 3 Jul 2006 14:26
Went there on Sunday to celebrate my wife's birthday. Beer tasted good (but then having just walked there on a hot day from Reigate pretty much anything would have been acceptable.)

Slightly snooty newish landlord initially seemed horrified by my ear-ring, dodgy little goatee and mirror shades, but seemed mollified by the fact that I'm really dead posh and that our party ended up putting over 100 over the bar.

Not entirely convinced I like the new management.
anonymous - 6 Jun 2006 18:56
Now Have waited a while for the new Management to settle in.

They are working hard to get rid of the after work drinkers, who, hold up the sales when winter months set it. Oh well they will learn the hard way.

Ruined a lovely pub, Youngs have done it again, amd got the wrong Staff.
mavrick - 13 May 2006 12:23
Had no prob's with the locals.

Nice casual Youngs pub, with old basic, but attractive interior.
Staff were very polite and the bottled Youngs beer [Kew Brew & Oatmeal Stout] was good [I'm sorry but I tend to find Youngs draughts very variable, so I tend to stick to the bottles].

Look forward to returning. 7/10
NoLasher - 30 Apr 2006 22:27
If you don't like the locals, find somewhere like the Angle in Woodhatch, and then complain.

I'm just waiting for the new management. Bring back Rose and George.
mavrick - 24 Feb 2006 22:47
Is there a worse pub for locals refusing to give up space at the bar? You go there and try to get served and the morons at the bar just look at you as if you have invaded their pub. Shame because its in a great location and the beer is good.
anotherpintplease - 3 Feb 2006 22:28
The landlord has changed and he seems a bit grumpy, I think he might have cleared a lot of the Snobby Locals out !! The pub is nicer now, strict no smoking policy in one of the bars and they have got rid of the one armed bandit !
mhartes - 25 Nov 2005 07:28
16th Century country pub set in the pretty village of Betchworth in the Surrey countryside. The pub offers Youngs ales and a good food. There is both a full menu and also a bar snack menu. There is ample outside seating over looking the village church. This pub can get very busy on Sunday lunchtimes and both dogs and children are welcome
Mrs Payne - 22 Aug 2005 15:54
nice pub, snobby obviously haven't met burkey!!!
epsomisfullofpikeys - 8 Apr 2005 01:10
Agree with most of the other "posters" except those comments about the "locals"......Bit harsh I feel...
Surely it is not the fault of the pub that they have more locals than anywhere else around!!!
The place is well run by a very experienced team for whome nothing is too much trouble....
Cannot go wrong with Young's ales or the magic of a building which is apparently 500 years old!!!
I have had to dock 1 point form my overall rating........Reason?? the Landlord is an EVERTONIAN.......
patriarch53 - 2 Feb 2005 14:13
Good Youngs beers. Where these days do you see Ram Rod on tap. Even rarer is being given the choice of Would you like a jug, or straight glass Sir. Traditional flagstone floor in the bar area. However, one down side is those small fruit flies trying to drink your beer.
Gareth - 6 Nov 2004 18:10
My favourite pub in the Dorking/Reigate area, Lovely old pub opposite the blacksmiths and the village church. In fine weather there is seating just outside the front door in a pleasant hedged area, under trees, there is also a garden to the rear and a few benches on the other side of the carpark overlooking the church.
Nice old traditional interior. The open fires make for a cozy atmosphere on the colder days of the year, - Just add a pint of Winter Warmer!. I would certainly agree that some of the locals hog the bar, however the staff are very good at spotting you waiting to be served.
Always excellent Youngs beers!
H.O.F. - 29 Oct 2004 23:40
Very pleasant three room pub, stone floored public bar at the front, snug to the left and lounge to the right. Open fires. Youngs beer always top notch, nice food. Tends to get busy weekends, rather snobby locals
hogging the bar.
Nick - 24 Jul 2004 14:19

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