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Royal Oak, Bookham

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user reviews of the Royal Oak, Bookham

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

The Real Ale dispensed by this pub is undrinkable. They are clearly clueless and the blackboard exclaiming the "finest cask ales served here" is not only misleading but itching for a creative mind with a piece of chalk.
bumpsfelt - 9 Apr 2015 11:56
This pub is run by one of the rudest men I have ever encountered. I am not from the area and had been on my way to the shops. I had parked in what I thought was the car park for the co-op. On passing the pub I had considered going in for a drink with my toddler as we had some time to kill. As I parked and struggled to get squirming toddler out of car, the landlord came running out shouting at me to get out of his car park. I had not realised nor seen the signs they had put up due to grappling with my son etc etc. As I tried to explain he was incredibly rude and basically told me to get of his property. I was not at all confrontational and thought the treatment I received was utterly appalling. I will never set foot in this pub now. EVER!!! If I could give minus points, I would.
lovelypint12 - 8 Jan 2015 19:25
Crikey, what happened to the reviews on here???? between 2006 and 2010 they were really good now theyve gone down hill, hold on 2006 to 2010 oh that was when i ran the place lmao

beernomad - 25 Feb 2014 13:15
Recent refurbishment rather tastefully done I surprise myself to say.
However, the ale remains appalling and expensive. Bookham is well and truly underserved by it's pubs.
bumpsfelt - 18 Nov 2013 16:47
Sub-prime beer at premium prices.
bumpsfelt - 9 May 2012 14:33
Hope the days celebrations are going well
Happy St Georges Day to All at The Oak ;0)

beernomad - 23 Apr 2012 18:50
Hmm. My last post has disappeared. All I said 3 weeks ago was that they had run out of beer when I went there, the Krony ran out as I drank it, and a change of management seemed imminent.

Well, there's a new manager/landlord (not sure what the arrangement is) as of a few days ago. Too early to tell how it will go, of course, but the beer (well, the Wychwood I had) was up to the usual standard.

Let's see how long this comment lasts :-)
Gzornenplat - 20 Feb 2012 15:23
Rather odd little set up split into three areas, no doubt due to the ancient character of the building. One small, rather rough looking drinking bar, approached through a door directly on the High Street and another general area through another door lying back from the High Street. This area houses the bar tacked on to the side of the room and with some seating for a few diners having lunch when we were there. At the rear of this area a short connecting corridor leads into a longer wider section with a few tables and chairs along the length and a door out to the car park at the rear. Despite the main bar retaining its old character with oak beams and large open range fire there was a distinct lack of atmosphere about the place. The Courage Best went down well though.
redbarrel - 14 Nov 2011 13:00
needs some help
cyclepal - 18 Jun 2011 15:46
This lovely old pub should be the heart and soul of the village placed as it is in the high street but it is nearly always empty. This is a shame but not surprising! I do not appreciate sitting in this pub while the manager chatting to a couple of his friends at the bar (who appear to be the only regulars that now seem to frequent the place) was constantly using bad language. This would put off any newcomers and has deterred past regulars. The beer was fine but I shall not be visiting again until the management sorts itself out. Incidentally they stopped serving all food several weeks ago.
ladydrinker - 1 May 2011 23:48
Oh dear.
Pub shut last Saturday evening for the night. Evidently, they had a better offer elsewhere for that night.
The new managers certainly know how to put the customers in their place and provide an extraordinary lesson in loyalty to the regulars.
bumpsfelt - 13 Apr 2011 12:07
Update to review below as beer selection was much better. Two from each of Hammerpot, Dark Star and Surrey Hills with GK IPA also. Hammerpot Bottle Wreck Porter was excellent.
GuideDogSaint - 7 Feb 2010 17:09
there is some fine ale's on here at the moment, well worth checking out, i may have to try another one as me daughter has an appointment with the landlords daughter later, it a tuff life, nice one dwayn & hazel x
aquila - 3 Nov 2009 07:13
Been in here a few times over the last year. This is a decent pub which has 2-3 ales on pump (at least) including when in on one occassion the full range of Caledonian beers ie Deuchars, 80/, etc. Well worth the detour from Leatherhead.
Oakman100 - 1 Oct 2009 18:04
Dropped in for one only as I was driving. For a place that serves 7 ales the choice was a little disappointing being GK IPA and Abbot, Pride, Youngs Ordinary and Courage Best with Surrey Hills Ranmore (soon went off) and Thwaites Golden Wunder. Had the latter which tasted ok but did have bits floating in it. Quiz was going on and it seemed like a friendly pub.
GuideDogSaint - 14 Sep 2009 22:47
Lovely lovely beer :-) Can't tell you what a nice suprise it was to find a quiet bar without a fruit machine (that was the other side) and 8 real ales, 7 of which were on.

How nice. Will be back to try the rest!
slugbreff - 10 Aug 2009 20:35
Smart village inn with two bars, which is handy if you want to avoid someone. As well as the usual beers, there are a couple straight from the barrel (which are supported on a Heath Robinson designed wooden affair next to the door).
mrgrumpy - 11 Jul 2009 08:52
amazing festival @ week end loved the folk music and 22 ales was incredible
well done for camra award you deserve it
callu - 30 Apr 2009 17:50
I see your point on the dog ban,
but how can you tell which dog is behaved or not
and i quite like going into the restaurant here and not having dogs around i think it would worry me with the mix of dogs and food
mackdrinker - 3 Feb 2009 15:20
7 real ales -the 5 we tried were in pretty good nick.
Good food served in generous portions.
A great improvement.
Only downside is a ban on dogs, which is a great shame. Far better to only allow dogs that were well behaved rather than impose a blanket ban.
GGG - 30 Jan 2009 15:12
even after the reno, it is still less antiseptic and faux than the establistments lower down the street. Hopefully an equilibrium has now been reached and we can forget the recent yobbo incarnation. The choice of ales is what makes it, keep 'em flowing in good condition please.
threeravensmoor - 15 Jan 2009 13:15
Nice little pub 7 ales and good restaurant
dibbley - 22 Nov 2008 09:01
Got to agree Biker,whats that smell dog ?cat? nope it`s bull```t.On our visit we found the pub ok nothing special beer alright,did not eat so no comment there,but top 40 no no no.5/10
Beersupper - 9 Nov 2008 15:51
Is the clamping brigade still busy in the car park ? They made the local paper last year hovering - and taking no prisoners, and losing the Oak a lot of business.
simwilliams - 9 Nov 2008 10:53
Must agree with cozmopolitan
dined in the new restaurant area for sunday lunch
before refurb it was a drinking hole now its a nice place to take the wife beer still well kept just hope they can keep it up!
doomgloom - 2 Nov 2008 21:45
an amazing transformation
good ales and food
cozmopolitan - 2 Nov 2008 10:36

The Oak is back in business!! The refurb has left it looking fab and the garden is now most excellent for us smokers now that the nights are getting colder. Can't wait for Dwayne's fire pit!!
LadyCroft - 22 Oct 2008 14:48
the pub opened last friday, it looks real cool,the pub has been sorted at long last'me and our family had a roast on sunday there and it was out of this world i strongly recomend you check it out' well done all involved long may it last, the best pub aruond.
aquila - 21 Oct 2008 05:30


The route:


Finishes with...


20th SEPTEMBER 2008 from 8PM




(unfortunately no The Royal Oak due to refurbishment)

BPC2007 - 17 Sep 2008 00:37
Well nut, you'll be pleased to hear that the refurb has begun and the pub will be shut for approximately 7 weeks.
lagerpig - 30 Aug 2008 15:28
Yes, it does need some (a lot) tidying up, hope this doesn't detract away from the pubs character!
Just had another fun packed, beer swigging weekender, this time including Firkin pushing, well you had to be there. Another 17+ ales and ciders available. Shame the weather wasn't much.
Was down there again last night but only 8+ draught ales on.
Top notch, I'll go back there again.
Nut - 31 May 2008 12:51
Good food friendly staff nice selection of beers shame about the decor landlord said a refurb is due later this year
beertoday_gonetomrrow - 29 Apr 2008 19:34
nice friendly pub in urgent need of a make over but beer and food ok and staff friendly enough enjoyed our ploughman's lunch
madly - 25 Apr 2008 19:31
A great St georges weekend 17 ales and an amazing game called dwile flonking you will have to ask the landlord for the rules he knows them by heart
a real fun weekend
alepig - 25 Apr 2008 12:21
A great St georges weekend 17 ales and an amazing game called dwile flonking you will have to ask the landlord for the rules he knows them by heart
a real fun weekend
alepig - 25 Apr 2008 12:21
A small traditional pub in the centre of Bookham. It has 2 rooms with a compact bar between. The main lounge has a slate floor with limited and basic seating. The food is simple but good value. The bar staff were very friendly and offered a excellent range of real ales but it was during their beer festival.
boozers_knows - 22 Apr 2008 21:06
Traditional pub in a village near Leatherhead, plenty of beers on for the beer festival this weekend but normally good ale as well, the landlord is a fan of good beers, trouble is the place is a mile from the railway station and a mile and a half from the bus stop. Pub will have a refit later this year but most of the traditional interior will be retained.
rainlight - 19 Apr 2008 22:44
visited the royal oak on friday night not only have they got 7 well kept real ales but they are doing a promotion called ale trail they give you a sheet with the weeks ales on it and if you drink all 7 in a week you get a free pint definitely gets my vote
alepig - 26 Jan 2008 23:45
there is a charity fundraiser at the oak on sat the 2nd of february with a cycle challenge dj live music hog roast and childrens rides all in aid of local charities starts at 2pm all welcome
cyclenut - 18 Jan 2008 16:31
sounds interesting it would be good if things went back as they were,i miss the oak, i've been around the pubs and i've seen alot of lost souls scattered around from the oak and it's just not the same it brings a lump to me throat, i've heard a few rumours and i hope they become facts.
aquila - 24 Nov 2007 17:09
dear mr Bumpsfelt
Iwill be running it and will be dusting of my saddle and cycle shorts as the wooden wheels cycle club are all invited to breakfast on sunday first of december
930 sharp

cyclenut - 23 Nov 2007 17:09
Who will be running it and does he have a bicycle?
bumpsfelt - 23 Nov 2007 16:52
update it will reopen on 28th november
cyclenut - 21 Nov 2007 17:37
the royal oak will reopen by the 1st of december 2007

cyclenut - 18 Nov 2007 21:04
have heard it will be closed untill beginning december
anonymous - 17 Nov 2007 16:02
Its reached the bottom of the pile takes its money from poor shoppers parking there cars in the oaks and getting wheel clamped
anonymous - 28 Sep 2007 10:23
Wheel clamping is a situation drivers face very often. It may look similar, but wheel clamping on private property is very different than public property's wheel clamping.

If you are involved in a wheel clamping situation, you should first know the conditions under which your car can be legally clamped on private property. Your car can be wheel clamped if you have parked in a car park reserved for employees of a certain company and you don't work there. Or you have parked in a car park belonging to a club or a restaurant which is reserved for their customers and you are not a customer. Another reason for wheel clamping your car is to overstay in a pay car park or to park dangerously (meaning blocking emergency exits). You also risk getting wheel clamped if you don't show your car park ticket or permit.

These are the most common situations for wheel clamping a car. But parking in a restaurant's car park without being its customer is not enough for legally clamping your car. There must be notices displayed clearly which should warn people about the possibility of getting their cars clamped if they park in that area. The fee charged by the landowner to release your car is normal, compared to fees charged by other companies. You get your car back the moment you have paid the release fee. The notices at the car park display clearly the way to contact the owner to get your car released.

You should also know that if your car displays a valid disabled badge it can not be clamped. The same rule applies to a marked emergency car which is being involved in an emergency situation.

So if you do get wheel clamped, there are some guidelines you should follow. First of all, keep your cool. You are not the first person getting clamped and you are definitely not the last one. Therefore, don't try to remove the wheel clamp yourself as you can be accused of causing criminal damages. So, what you should do is to call the number displayed on the notice and ask information about how to get your car released as soon as possible. You should also ask the wheel clamper is they have a valid licence for this type of activity. If they are not able of displaying a valid authorisation, don't pay the release fee and call the police. Remember that clamping a car without having an authorisation is a criminal offence. But if the wheel clamping company is a perfectly authorised one, you have to pay the release fee.

You may feel that the release fee was too high or the wheel clamping warning signs weren't displayed clearly enough, you can get your money back through a legal suit in court. But before suing the wheel clamping company, consult a lawyer on the chances of winning the law suit.

In conclusion, may you have a happy driving and a stay away from getting wheel clamped!
I would advice this to be read as the royal oak car park has a wheel clamping operator doing the rounds .

anonymous - 28 Sep 2007 10:15

If you want to know where all te locals have gone, go to The Anchor.

So sad that Jim and Anne have let the Oak get to this level. It's never been a particularly clean and tidy pub, but then that's part of it's charm. As for the public bar being like that, it's always been like that!!

The sooner Jim and Anne go, the better off The Oak will be.
LadyCroft - 7 Sep 2007 08:59
the public bar, the seating is filthy, plaster coming off the walls - BUT beet this, last week, 6 taps but no beer - used to have really nice locals but they avoid the place now - Avoid
anonymous - 6 Sep 2007 21:08
oh dear what's happened? it's sad that dwayne and family have got the boot!someone should let the so called manager know you should'nt bite the hand that feeds you,now there's more life over the church yard and certainly more spirit's, for once this real old pub had a good manager when dwayne was running it and now look at it' they should re-name it the titanic cos it's only a matter of time' thank you dwayne,hazel,& family you showed us a good time and that's what bookham need's, your'll be missed.
anonymous - 1 Sep 2007 17:46

The new management sucks. They've put their son in there, who's fresh out of prison for drink driving, thus he has had his license revoked. Nice and legal then.....

I do know for a fact that they took virtually no money last week, thanks to the lovely regulars boycotting the pub in sympathy for Dwayne and his family - well done guys!! Here's hoping that Dwayne gets the lease.

Dwayne is/was an awesome manager and will be sorely missed. The current 'manager' (and I use the term VERY loosely) can stick it up their bums as far as I'm concerned.
anonymous - 31 Aug 2007 17:28
Up to a week ago - its was a great pub to go to. Very friendly atmosphere, great food & ale - but alas, it has gone downhill faster than a sinking stone under the "new" management - who apparently know what they are doing !!
For a comparison of their success - look up The Kings Head, Chertsey - which the current management team also occupy.
nutcracker - 30 Aug 2007 11:42
Dwayne hazel corin callum ruby and harry will all be missesd. the pub was great with these guys in there now the atmosphere is terrible, see you all down the anchor.
anonymous - 29 Aug 2007 10:52
Dwayne & Hazel, We are so disgusted, infact there are no words that are printable to describe how we feel about the way you & your family have been treated. It's a disgrace. You have done so much for the Oak, a great bloke, wonderful sense of humour (well you have to in the Oak)!! & we will miss you dearly. But knowing you Dwayne! You will come out on top. Wishing you all the luck in the future. But your'e not rid of us yet!! We will find you!! Good luck xx
anonymous - 26 Aug 2007 23:19
hi this is Dwayne
thank you every body for you comments and support over the last year i feel like my family has grown tenfold goodbye to everybody at the oak and all the best to bookham
cyclenut - 23 Aug 2007 07:48
its a sad day when you see a manager who has worked so hard for the pub and comunity thrown out by an idiot who wants to employ his own bloody son instead if this place doesnt fail it bloody deserves to
goodbye Dwayne and family good by the oak
anonymous - 22 Aug 2007 15:10
Oh dear. The manager(a good bloke struggling with a failing enterprise on behalf of idiot masters)was told to get himself and his family out on 7 days notice so that the lessees son can get in. He starts on Thurs 23/08/07. Is it true that he has an interesting recent history?
I understand that the lessees have cash problems and I have noticed that the chiller cabinets have been sparce and there has only been one real ale on. The bogs have always been stinky.
What are the locals going to do now?
How long can this cash starved place survive?
bumpsfelt - 19 Aug 2007 00:04
i love this place
anonymous - 30 Jul 2007 19:52
Best pub in the world serving mighty fine ales in a great atmosphere.

LadyCroft - 18 Jul 2007 14:34
Pub full of character and life, lovingly nurtured by the best landlord the place has seen in years. I defy you to not have a good time here!
anonymous - 18 Jul 2007 12:32
Dwayne has started the the task of sorting this pub out - subject to the limits of the building. Atmosphere is great. regular entertainment. Great events (Try dwile flonkin- Traditional beer game). Traditional simple food in big portions. Well maintained celler with real ale available all the time. Children very welcome. Dwayne always listens to your comments should you have any.
ravensable - 13 May 2007 12:11
Now Dwayne is there you have afamily that care running the place. Live music nights are great especially Los Bastardos/The WitchDoktors:-). At last someone is sorting the place out and keeps the beer well. Public Bar for character filled atmos or Saloon Bar for Country pub feel and a great fire in the winter. Beats all the pubs in the area hands down as a 'real village pub'
PlanetAndy - 1 Feb 2007 01:42
anonymous - 18 Jan 2007 13:17
Oh dear!
Series of half hearted owners.
Series of disenchanted managers.
This pub now has somthing to offend everyone.
Someone has pushed the self destruct button and this pub is now in freefall.
The only remedy I can think of is for a pub owning company to put money into this pub and install an ambitious career minded manager.
The problem is that the pub is not only tiny and has little scope in space but is a listed building which presumably means no serious alterations can be carried out.
bumpsfelt - 15 Feb 2006 14:40
friendly staff and a choice of 6 well kept real ales what more do you want!
hammerhead - 10 May 2005 21:41
Warm and welcoming staff, very friendly locals and great food. Fantastic quiz on a Thursday night.

Only downside is a slight lack of space.

Have found our new local!

anonymous - 27 Apr 2005 16:41
Old relief manager back full time. Pub cleaner and less stinky. Regular drinkable guest beers back.
puss in pye corner - 16 Jul 2004 09:25
Stinkiest pub in Christendom.
Quizzes OK.
Music entertainment cacaphonic.
Bring back Friary Meux.
puss in pye corner - 1 Dec 2003 12:16
Have worked here in the past. Still has two seperate bars. Looks rundown these days. Could be a lovely traditional pub with a bit of care and attention. Beer garden is a mess though.
Matthew - 20 Apr 2003 11:25

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