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Blacksmiths Head, New Chapel - pub details

Address: New Chapel Road, New Chapel, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6LE [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 12403) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Lingfield (1.9 miles), Dormans (2.2 miles), East Grinstead (3.2 miles)

Pub facilities/features:
Cask Marque accreditation

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> Current user rating: 7.0/10 (rated by 6 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Wiremill, Lingfield (0.4 miles), Peacock Lodge, Lingfield (0.7 miles), Greyhound Inn, Lingfield (1.3 miles), Old Cage, Lingfield (1.3 miles), Star Inn, Lingfield (1.5 miles) - see more nearby pubs

 

user reviews of Blacksmiths Head, New Chapel

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

Decided to pitch up at this establishment last Saturday afternoon, as some friends were camping nearby and I had joined them. Needless to say I'd hired some buildings with proper roofs on as TWG does not "do" camping.

This is somewhere that has apparently fluctuated over the last few years from being nowhere on the cask beer map, to being something of a local flagship, and then back to relative unworthiness. Despite the clutch of numerous interesting beer-clips adorning the wall above the bar which would suggest a rich and recent supply of good ale, the pumps themselves were regrettably bereft of any such offerings, with only 2 out of 4 in operation, and those that were were what most would regard as ubiquitous and uninspiring choices (Fullers London Pride and Greene King St Edmunds).

However, just as most readers will assume a tirade of negativity to follow on the back of the beer choice being so narrow, I am pleased to report that our afternoon at the Blacksmiths was not wasted, for every other element that a serious pub-goer wishes to see in respectable form was in check. Given that we were enjoying a long mellow session pre-Races, and the weather was awful, we were holed up here for some time, during which we not only sampled the beer but also the food, and had a lengthy exposure to the general atmosphere of the place, which so often a brief drop-in visit for 1 or 2 pints does not allow – and necessarily renders any reviews on this site based on such a fleeting experience subject to various inherent disclaimers.

Food clearly was a keener focus than the beer; it is served all day on a Saturday and a large variety of both snacks and full-scale meals were on offer, although there was no sign that it has over-blown gastro ambitions; what one finds here is just good, accessible pub grub. The sandwiches, available in various configurations, that were served up to others appeared to be generously-portioned and well-presented; the more substantial dishes we ordered were found to be in the same vein. The cod and chips, pie and chips and the lamb chops with asparagus and sauté potatoes were all splendid. Fresh, quality locally-sourced ingredients in simple but not drab forms, which is everything one should want from a pub menu. My lamb chops were fabulous – 3 of them done to perfection and relatively good value for £12.50. Although a “special”, the manager advised this is one of their big sellers. I was not surprised.

Other creature comforts are well-attended to at the BH, with a range of tables at the front, bar seating and a comfortable set of leather sofas/chairs which fortunately we were able to purloin and enjoy throughout. Piped music is played, though its style varied and none of it was unduly obtrusive. The lavatories were found in a state of acceptable cleanliness. There is ample car parking and an equally generous back garden for when conditions are rather more clement than they were last weekend. Frustratingly, I had been thwarted in my attempt to secure accommodation but it looked reasonable and could be useful for those visiting the area for racing etc.

In terms of clientele, the pub plainly serves as a solid local, as well as attracting a mix of folk from further afield, partly generated by Lingfield’s race-course trade. A birthday do was in session and the entire vibe of the place was one of mellow contentedness and unpretentious banter. Service from the manager and barmaid was attentive. The pub dog, a winsome springer spaniel puppy, was much in evidence; although something of a handful as juvenile dogs can be, it was hard to be irritated by him and his comical activities with items ranging from a cushion to till roll only added to the entertainment and good-humour of the scene.

And, for all my opening criticism regarding lack of range, both the beers were conditioned well – if perhaps with a little too much head which some may decide needs topping-up. Other drinks ordered, from Carling lager to gin and bitter lemon, received no complaints from our number and pricing wasn’t outlandish.

Not a universally-great pub. But still pretty good in most key areas, and perhaps this sort of place acts as a lesson to us ale-driven punters that not every outlet with limited cask offerings not making the latest ‘Good Beer Guide’ will have zero or little value by other measures.


TWG - 16 Aug 2010 17:10
Basic, friendly sort of place deservedly in the GBG with spot-on Harvey's. Worth a look if you're in the area, and as it's got highly rated accommodation looks a reasonable option if you need an overnight before an early flight from Gatwick.
nickdavies - 18 Jan 2009 20:02
A nice quiet pub with good food, nice staff and well worth a visit. Great old fashioned sevice.
anonymous - 21 Jan 2006 19:02

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