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Surrey Oaks, Newdigate

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user reviews of the Surrey Oaks, Newdigate

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

Went back to this pub as it had recently changed hands. The first thing you notice is how many more tables and chairs have been squashed into the public bar area. Couldn''t quite get my head round this till I was asked to vacate the table as a family wanted to eat.
All this said the place was quite busy, this might have been the reason why it took so long to be served(3 staff members all chatting) a pint,mind the barman was very interested in the money as he snatched it out of my hand,i stood back from the bar expecting the change to be thrown at me.
They tell me the way forward in the pub game is food and by what''s happening here we are gaining a new restaurant and loosing another local pub.
Aleman1962 - 18 Aug 2017 17:22
Located in Parkgate rather than Newdigate, this pub has won many CAMRA awards for its cask bitters.Its long lounge is 4 distinct rooms with a very low roof at one end. Seating is mainly made up of church like pews and other assorted wooden chairs but is reasonably comfortable. There is seating at the front and side of the pub and in their large garden. There is also a fair sized car park.The kitchen is open plan and is in the centre of the pub. It is nice to drink in a pub which is not a glorified restaurant. A fine choice of real ales, some from some unusual breweries, all served nice and cold on a very warm summer afternoon. Highly recommended.
boozers_knows - 8 Jul 2017 10:37
The food in this pub is pretty good, but don't go when it's busy. The hard part is figuring out if it's busy. Tried booking a table, was told it wasn't necessary, but could hardly get in the door when we arrived, and were ignored by the staff. Beer average. Disappointing, really.
JBanana - 1 Sep 2016 12:06
Girlfriend dragged me back over the weekend i have to admit i didn't struggle too much as she was driving. Well beer was average certainly not living up to the certifications that are posted everywhere! mind you they are past ratings. Anyways just thought i'd mention that i was short changed gave the bar tender £20 got change for £10 pulled the lady up sorry about that she says. Got to say not a fan of this pub a bit pretentious bar staff better than last visit but short changing, don't like that, nice location though ha, still boring.
therealdeal28 - 9 Aug 2016 23:47
Thought i'd come out and have a look as i heard the price of this pub is tumbling faster than England's standings in world class football ! Friday night what a bore nobody in there. If this is the brexit effect then oops ! I know you can't judge a pub on one night, but looks like the ratings are sliding fast, didn't even stop for a beer, why would you no atmosphere here, no point waste of time, think i counted 8 people eating and one table of 5 drinking, how much is this pub worth !!!!
jonny7 - 30 Jul 2016 18:46
Hello all, i see this pub has a few good reviews its up for sale i see, my experience is the staff seem to have there own agenda and treat the pub as there own little social club gathering just out of sight chatting amongst themselves making it difficult to get their attention ! Regarding the beer 2 pumps were off and the staff didn't seem to care if you had a drink or not. I left a bit frustrated i will not be returning. Maybe the staff all have one foot out the door !
therealdeal28 - 21 Jun 2016 16:22
Indeed so.... Except that we may not enjoy that tradition much longer if rumours are to be believed that Tracey and Nick are selling the pub....

If this is correct, I have been made aware of the reasoning behind the decision, which needn't be discussed here. But suffice to say that I earnestly hope that they reconsider their position before they throw away all the excellent work they and the team have done to not only to keep the SOaks going, but enhance and improve upon what they inherited in the last two years. There may be other pubs that they can go and run, but there may not be such diligent and engaging publicans waiting in the wings to carry on the much-loved quality service provided by both current and the last landlords of this one. Surely there must be a workable alternative whereby all could be kept happy?

If it does come to a departure, they will be much-missed, and we can only hope someone as suited to running this classic venue comes along to keep it in the manner to which we've all become accustomed.

Gamboozler - 11 Jun 2016 17:23
There has been a fantastic beer festival on here over the bank holiday with around 70 beers and ciders. The choice and condition of the beers has been first rate and has been supported by some really good music. Well done Nick - you should be immensely proud of what you and your team have done.
anotherpintplease - 30 May 2016 09:32
I am bound to say that I must heartily agree with JohnN and disagree with Mhartes and Slerpy. They are entitled to their opinions and if based on genuine experience of their visits then fair enough. But I can't believe them to be representative of the Surrey Oaks experience in general, and judging by my recent visit I'd implore people to give it another chance.

On 31 Dec '14 I toddled along for lunch with my dear mother. Cask ale range, and conditioning of the two sampled, was found to be as per the Proctor years - options hailing from various regions as well as nearby. Indeed, there were a couple of extra barrels on the bar, and so found quality as good and quantity a shade better than under Ken on this occasion.

Food was selected from a regular menu that is manageable in scope yet not dull and predictable. When advised there was no 'game paella' I asked if there was 'game' but maybe with something else such as mash - the very attentive barmaid immediately checked with the kitchen and confirmed this was possible, and in 20-or-so minutes, in an ever-busying bar, there I was comfortably scoffing my way through a very flavoursome home-made lunch which had been served efficiently and pleasantly.

Mother's suet pudding was - and I quote - "the best I think I've ever had"! Her experience of pub grub is in fairness somewhat more restricted than mine, but nevertheless, it was a strong vote of confidence, and when I tried a bite or two I had to concur that it was a fine choice. She also commented on the quality of service - not insipid and not over-attentive; just about right.

I applaud what Nick & Tracey have done with the pub's interior - they've retained its natural character but just tweaked it here and there (including a sensitive incorporation of the former games room), and there's no denying the food quality has improved overall, and beer continues to impress as his predecessor's record did. Festivals are still run too which is a bonus. I understand the local CamRA aficionados are still happy!

As a freehold rural pub, much money needs to be made here to render it a viable business, but I would suggest all the right things are being done to realise that aim, without short-changing customers or moving too far away from what has become a bit of a local legend since the 1990s. There is life after Ken.

I say keep up the sound work folks and I'll certainly be back when I can. ....PS: John's comment re attractive bar staff is seconded....
Gamboozler - 20 Jan 2015 13:01
Ken did a great job for 20 years and Nick & Tracey are are maintaining its reputation. They've just achieved 2014 Surrey & Sussex Pub of the Year! Beer is good, (often superb), food is not your all-purpose "pub grub" and is delicious and very inventive, and bar service is better than before. (Most attractive, friendly and efficient barmaids in the area!)
JohnN - 16 Dec 2014 11:33
Two posts in a week - from the ubiqutous slerpy and Olive (?)

Nick has done a great job here

Just try it.....

(WHO is Olive?!)
randolf7 - 28 Oct 2014 22:25
Very worried about this pub, I had a shocking pint ,completely vinegar, they obliged me by sniffing it and replacing it but unlike Ken( who was dedicated to stocking a wide variety of real ales at their best) the idiots LEFT the beer on SALE !!! Astounded, I won't be back.This pub will be unrecognisable within eighteeen months if it follows that kind of policy.2/10 from 10/10.
slerpy - 10 Oct 2014 19:28
If you are thinking of going to the recent Edinburgh Fringe Review which is touring the country... "The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience", don't waste your money.............. go to The Surrey Oaks, Newdigate instead! It is a sort of gastronomic Boot Camp. The waiter kept on encouraging us to speed up and leave.(A bit like the guests being removed from the table to be replaced by Lord Melbury in Fawlty Towers) He later also invited us to leave the table and drink our coffees standing at the bar! When that did not work, he sent over a lady to intimidate us. (she looked a bit like Olive from "On the Buses".) Unfortunately we surmised, too late, that the pub has been taken over by a new landlord!!! I have been going to this pub for the last 35 years and was shocked by the new unique dining experience..... and I wish they didn't keep asking if the food was alright. If they asked me one more time I would have told them the truth!
mhartes - 3 Oct 2014 22:19
A fantastic beer festival was held over the bank holiday weekend. There were some really great beers such as Tiny Rebel, Mallinsons, Burning Sky and Celt Experience. Great music too. Thanks to all the team for their hard work - shame about the weather but you can't have everything
anotherpintplease - 28 Aug 2014 19:47
Nick and Tracy are doing a fantastic job. The beer is as good as it was in Ken's day. Mr Grumpy (the name says it all; it's not funny, and no-one likes a professional complainer) is very wide of the mark; Shere Drop instead of Harveys is a great move; local beer, far superior.

Well done, Nick and Tracy. Keep up the great work.

dfennemore - 2 Aug 2014 20:42
What a strange post by grumpy - who is 'shocked' at a particular beer being replaced; that decision is entirely the prerogative on the governor.

Nick continues to run his new venture well and, with a wide variety of beers on offer, a visit to this rural establishment is always a pleasure.
wealdman - 30 Jul 2014 12:31
I have popped in here a few times over the years and have always enjoyed a pint of Harveys. However I am shocked to see that it is no longer on sale. The new landlord has decided that the best beer in the south is no longer good enough for his pub. What a strange decision.
mrgrumpy - 30 Jul 2014 08:37
The pub made the front page of the Surrey Mirror this week and is operating better than ever - under all headings. Particularly, beer quality.
sussexfox - 26 Jul 2014 13:08
A seamless transition - Nick taking over from Ken. You'd hardly notice any difference although Nick, quite rightly, is doing things his way. Excellent service and beer quality.
tempest - 10 Jul 2014 15:49
Foxtrial is being mischievous. He knows full well that there were not many poor beers (and certainly even less which could be termed awful) chosen by Ken, and Ken would be the first to admit that some were bad choices. Nick is learning, but there had been some stupendously dull beers on sale such as Mauldons and 1648. The fact that they have remained on sale a week later tells a tale.
thepubvisitor - 28 Jun 2014 13:24
As a regular at the Surrey Oaks for many years, I find the small minded back stabbing of some of these posts extraordinary.
Every day many pubs close, with people so quick to ruin reputations it is really no surprise.
Nick and Tracey have take a bold step taking a pub for tied house to free house and wish to support both the local community and local business where ever possible.
If the local beers do not meet the exacting standards of some drinkers I would suggest the speak with the brewers concerned, personally I find the: Surrey Hills, Tillingbourne, Dark Star, Kissingate, Crouch Vale, Harveys, Firebird rather good.
Ken did a good job over the 20 years he had the keys, however in those years fine tuning his beer selection of recent years have been some simple awful beers, so perhaps the hop police should cut a little slack in the beginning.
Service now is excellent, always enough staff to server quickly and efficiently, pints are always topped up without asking and delivered with good condition.
Anyway last pint I had was Crouch Vale Yumi, which was a light hoppy slightly fruit ale in very good condition.

Foxtrial - 27 Jun 2014 12:32
I am a regular here though not part of any community. We come for the beer quality which remains excellent, after Nick replaced Ken. A number of improvements and changes have been made, all for the beter. I look forward to some more visits over the summer.
sussexfox - 20 Jun 2014 08:33
'Stating the obvious'

When kind people tell us about pubs that are shut!

That servingwench comment should go down in BITE folklore - as the stupidest, ever.
brewmason - 18 Jun 2014 17:42
Never been in this place. My comment concerns servingwench's idiotic assertion that a 'pub closed' post is obvious! To whom?

People who haven't passed the particular pub for some time? The 'closed' post is more helpful/informative than most on here.
wealdman - 18 Jun 2014 16:04
Wench and sawus (previous posters) have a mentality akin to the high bike era. Old and dated. But it doesn't stop them waffling on. Sawus types exclusively about the Oaks and gets upset when Nick ignores his 'advice'.

When new management come in, they strive to improve a business. And Nick has. Ken, a top class publican, was there a bit too long and was looking forward to his retirement. Brown bitters, what's wrong with them - haven't seen any other colour?!
mandraker - 18 Jun 2014 10:59
Yet more advice from a regular and 'true postie'! But I agree with blackgander - a local should NOT be a community; I drink here regularly and have no desire to chat with either regulars or locals; We come - often after work - to have a few (or 10) beers and are happy to talk among ourselves.

Moaning about a fire and giving out about the beers - as these sad regulars do - seems to be the norm. Wishing that things were still done as they were in Ken's time; that time has gone - and it is now Nick's time. Nick and his staff are doing an excellent job - and the pub remains one of the best in Surrey.

If the moaners are so distressed, why don't they frequent another establishment; I know that Nick wouldn't mind! With regard to 'stating the obvious - pub closed' - this simple note is, in fact, most helpful; telling us, for instance, the the only Westcott pub is not trading - and saving us a journey.

But you can't please everyone.....
tempest - 18 Jun 2014 10:36
This is all down to personal tastes. Lets hope Nick and Tracey use some of the comments as constructive. It is a community in it's own right, Most of the trade is steady regulars, (this keeps the pub open and people in jobs) not people just passing or popping in for the odd pint (although it also help), This is what a local should be a community.
Personal jibes are very unhelpful to other posters on here. ( Like the last 2 )True posties on here write about their experiance on the day they visit. So a bad experiance or a good experiance but about the pub, not others. Would like to see this from them not just back bitting or stating the obvious like pub now closed.
Yes the beers were not good over the weekend and the fire was a light. So Hopefully Nick will take this on board and try some other beers and take into account customers views.

servingwench - 17 Jun 2014 14:04
Yes, that chap should enter a Home for the Bewildered.

'We want the new owners to'.....

I don't agree with anything the 'sawus expert' says and everyone has their own 'interesting beers' - and views on how a pub should be run. By its OWNERS.

Let Nick continue his good work - and if the 'sawus expert' doesn't like it, he should make his expertise available at another pub in the area.
blackgander - 17 Jun 2014 10:32
Third negative post from sawus who only posts about this pub - usually to moan, criticise and give advice! A pub should be part of the community, he says; like many, I travel to this pub from South London - and have no interest in any 'community'.

He also says that a pub is about customers and not owners; again, rubbish. Nick and his staff are working hard to serve a very diverse customer base - with a huge variety of tastes (brown beers are not boring to me!); and there is no reason whatsoever that he should follow the Ken blueprint.

Nick is a good publican who is doing well - but, sadly, some don't like change even if its for the better; but I fear we are likely to hear more from the sawus expert who seems to have pre-WWII pub views/tastes.
randolf7 - 17 Jun 2014 10:04
I think "tradervis" and "on the brightside" should also read thier own reviews, a pub should be part of the community and it is about the customers and NOT about the owners who are only temporary custodians. This pub has had a very large and loyal customer base for many years and has been thriving when many pubs in Surrey have been closeing down. So the comments you say can damage a business are in fact trying to save it. We want the new owners to build on the success and not erode it. A big part of this sucess was built on offering good interesting beers, if we want boring brown bitters there are many other places but it is not just the beer. Most of the good staff have gone, service is poor if you can get served, fire on in June make the bar like a sauna, but it's trendy?
Hoppysawus - 17 Jun 2014 09:20
Perhaps on the brigh side should actually read my review of the pub - I was actually being complimentary. Unlike sevearal other posters.
anotherpintplease - 17 Jun 2014 09:08
Quite right bright - these chaps are living in the past. There's nothing wrong with this pub - its just become a hub for Camera type moaners.
tradervic - 17 Jun 2014 07:20
Good grief.

Posters like anotherpintplease and who_am_i can ruin a publican's trade.

Read your own reviews - so what if its hoppy versus brown and malty. Its about personal taste.

Get a grip, grow up and stop trying to ruin someone's business. Which you are probably doing inadvertently.

on_the_brightside - 16 Jun 2014 23:12
I think some of these reviews are a bit unfair. Nick is going to take time to get things as he wants here and ken is going to be a very hard act to follow. The emphasis will be a bit more on local beers, and the local theme will be continued when food is sold - he will be using local suppliers where possible. Breweries such as Kissingate and firebird are now being supported. Yes there have been some not so good malty brown best bitters, but I'm sure a good number of hoppy beers will be sold as well.
anotherpintplease - 16 Jun 2014 22:40
When this pub was taken over the rumor was it was going to be a family run country pub, along the same lines as Ken ran a very lovely business.
Found an advert for staff... No experiance needed.. boy does that show. The staff can look right at you but still not see you. Only one original, Soon more staff than customers. This does not bode well for the future.
The pints are pulled flat and short. The new fruit juices are like drinking a cordial and very expensive. Not good value for money.
I know you have to try new things but this was a busy pub, which at the moment it still is but as said below, people are looking for other watering holes. Only need one of the others locally (and not the one just up the road as Badger) to buck their ideas up and we could see a rapid change.
who_am_i - 16 Jun 2014 14:47
I have made a few visits here since Nick and Tracy took over, and some things are good. The pub is still welcoming and attractive to the casual visitor. I am sure the food (when the kitchen is finally finished) will be good. But the one thing that made the Surrey Oaks what it is (apart from Ken that is) is the beer. The best for miles, as others have commented on. Some good local beers, plus some wonderful hoppy treats from other partd of the country. Now it is mainly boring regional and large micro brewery beers - stuff like Sharps, RCH, Whitstable. Dull brown beers. I fear that this is going down the gastro pub route by stealth and will soon be just a clone of most other Surrey country pubs. RIP the Surrey Oaks, Camra pub of the year.
thepubvisitor - 16 Jun 2014 09:50
Well is been a while since the new owners have been in charge and its not good. The beers available have really gone down I do not think the pub has had as many (cheap to buy) brown bitters in a month of Kens time as it did this weekend. On Friday one of the customers favourites was allegedly on I won’t mention the brewery as it is unfair on them but those of us who drunk it could not even work out what it was. Also I don't know what possesses them to do it but log fires on in June what are they doing trying to drive everyone out in the garden, also unnessary fires hardly environmentally friendly. I am unhappy to say I am looking for somewhere new.
Hoppysawus - 16 Jun 2014 08:37
Oh dear. This was my favourite pub in Surrey, although I only managed to visit every couple of weeks or so. The new management started removing all the quirky features of the pub and firmly placing their mark on the pub whilst pretending it is the same friendly place selling a fantastic choice of beer. Unfortunately they have not succeeded in this. They have replaced the lager (Becks and Kronenbourg) as expected (the previous landlord did not like commercial lager), but just put in Peroni instead - where is the craft in that?
charlie_one_two_three - 21 May 2014 12:53
News that Ken Proctor has left after many successful years at the helm of this well-nigh perfect pub has saddened me. He knew what people want from a proper country pub and he delivered in spades. I wish him a well-deserved, long and healthy retirement. The Oaks had the best selection of beers and ciders for miles around and good food at a reasonable price but above all an unpretentious, friendly often jovial atmosphere that pulled you back for more. The latest reviews are starting to worry me but two recent visits have been good - the beer hasn't suffered anyway. I will attend the beer and cider festival as ever and just hope that the new kitchen will not change the food too much or be too expensive: many 'gastropubs' near here have disappointingly dull selections of poorly kept ales and sell overpriced and often badly prepared food with a poor to average service. Please don't let that happen to the Oaks!
Garganey - 19 May 2014 12:35
Yes I agree the staff WERE friendly before the change over, the new staff are trying too hard and it shows. The young lads thats been there for years is good, glad to see they have keeped him on. Hope they look after him and he stays. In on Sunday mid afternoon, two ladies behind the bar both need to learn the trade before being let lose on customers. I will give it a few weeks before I return, Lets hope things improve.
Yes Jury out.
who_am_i - 13 May 2014 09:22
Great pub with great ales in a beautiful setting. Bar staff were friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. Bar decor is tasteful and compliments the pub. Kitchen is closed for refurbishment so could not try the food. Understand the owners are investing in new swings for the kids, (old ones were very dangerous and should have been replaced long ago).
everythinginmoderation - 11 May 2014 10:27
Hmmm I do hope this is just early teething troubles. I popped in on 18 April to wish Ken well having heard he was shipping out just after Easter. He was generally positive about the new incumbent when I gently quizzed him about his approach to ale and so forth. But then being a gent, would he have been anything else? Another source suggests that this chap is essentially decent, but is certain to take it in a more food-led direction if only to try and recoup the massive outlay on the pub: he is owner outright, having purchased it from Admiral Taverns lock, stock and barrels. Said source also conjectured that he could have "bitten off more than he could chew", so, make of it what you will as time unfolds. We must all give them a chance, expecting that it won't be the same as it was in the Proctor Years.

I guess the jury's out for now, especially given the previous review on here...
Gamboozler - 9 May 2014 16:37
We all know that new owners will want to put their own mark on a pub, but things do not look promising for the future. The bar now looks like a very bad attempt at recreating a Laura Ashley window display it is horrible, come on this is a country pub. As for the new bar staff the woman who served me seem to have no idea and would certainly benefit from customer care and bar training. The big fairground swing that has been loved by children for years is tied off and we understand is being taken away what a loss for the kids.

Hoppysawus - 6 May 2014 09:33
Sad to say that Ken, the landlord for the past 20 years, is retiring after Easter. He has made this one of the best real ale pubs for many a mile and has been a great supporter of small breweries both near and far. Ken will be a hard act to follow. Thanks for emptying my wage packet for the last several years - but at least it has gone to a good cause.
anotherpintplease - 14 Apr 2014 19:23
Checked this pub out a few times now since i moved to the area. I love the fact that this pub retains it's character, so many local pubs have committed to the food trade and have been completely refurbed. These now appear to be ye olde theme pubs. This is the real deal with lovely well looked after local ales. The food is great quality pub grub.
Mrsausages - 6 Jan 2014 10:19
the clientele sitting down to their enjoyable lunches yesterday when my wife and I visited were mainly well above middle age (going on 90 by the look of one or two of them) but still very sprightly and in good spirits.

Not being that hungry my wife had a prawn baguette and I had just one of the starters - black pudding & bacon on toast washed down with half of Surrey Hills' Ranmore ale and a half of Harveys bitter. Both beers in good condition but I preferred the maltier flavour of the Ranmore. The admittedly small amount of food that we wanted was very tasty. Will try a full meal another time.

Decor is plain and unmodernised which is great in my opinion. and with plenty of seating. Old chap in charge behind the bar knew what he was about (don't know if that would be the 'Ken' referred to elsewhere) and seemed a bit of a character.

Great pub will defo be back.
redbarrel - 15 Nov 2012 11:10
Just doing a little local round-up of pubs that have secured a berth in the 2013 CamRA Good Beer Guide - not the be all and end all by any stretch, but a reasonable indication that all is fairing well at least beer-wise - and noting this on their BITE entry. Given the unerring support of the cask ale scene and the apparent ongoing lack of any serious competition in the immediate vicinity, the S-Oaks' dominance as E & Mid-Surrey CamRA POTY continues unabated, so of course it's in the Guide!

Excellent work Ken as always. If you win any more awards you'll need to start using ceiling space!

PS: At the beer fest last Friday evening; cracking selection to work through. Don't usually make it on the Fri - really enjoyed it.
TWG - 30 Aug 2012 17:21
Only tend to visit for excellent Beer Festivals so cannot comment on food. Landlord knows his beers and supports the Independents - with Harvey's Best and Shere Drop on handpumps. Clientele includes a mix of middle aged Surrey Money and friendly eccentrics. A good choice for the area, with large garden and outdoor games for fine weather.
richythemole - 27 Aug 2012 16:32
blah blah blah.......salad ??
fullbelly - 21 May 2012 18:18
Excellent range of very good beers but on my visit, the food was disapointing. The baguettes were good but too small. The accompanying salad was tiny and browned well past its best. The service was pretty miserable initially (no welcoming smile or "hello") but they brightened up later. The interior is pleasant but they should lose all the "do this", "do that" signs in the garden.
I'd return for excellent beer but not much else.
Psi - 21 May 2012 17:53
I enjoy the Surrey Oaks a lot, I sometimes visit on a Saturday, What a diverse group of people. You have a couple that get in there, she is very domenering, When asked if she wants a drink, she snaps I'll have a half, then when asked if she would like a half she snap's that what I said, most weeks I have seen her she can only talk about her and her family. Alot of others sit away from her when they turn up. Then there is another couple a bit older, think used to to in the trade. They are funny to listen to, talking about other people in the pub. There is a large chap that gets in, sits on his own but then slowly moves into other peoples conversations. Seems to drink a lot, good to see he is limited when drinking and driving. With the fine beer choices, lovely location, very good food and the people watching all in all a lovely pub. Well worth a visit.
who_am_i - 23 Apr 2012 14:11
servingwench - 16 Apr 2012 13:40
you still spell bad ken!!
fullbelly - 26 Feb 2012 21:04
the beer is delightfull and the food is amazing we were served by a very nice gentlemen who made sure everything was perfect i defenitly recomen it
anicedayout - 20 Feb 2012 14:58
A great pub serving really good and interesting beer. Recently a number of great porters and stouts have been served, along with an ever changing number of guest beers. The Surrey Hills Ranmore (a regular beer) is just brilliant. I can also recommend the food. No, this is not the landlord writing this, just a very grateful local.
anotherpintplease - 23 Dec 2011 22:55
Beginning to think that you just can't trust anything on beerintheevening anymore. This pub was thriving on the first Friday in December; complete with a fully decorated indoor Christmas Tree. Guess what? It has a loyal following of locals and if you try to chat to them, you might be surprised... they will talk back! A great pub, selling great real ale and if you want to eat here as well, the food is great too. For me... the perfect pub 8-)
duckdod - 2 Dec 2011 21:35
love it.....
laughingduck - 15 Sep 2011 06:41
Laugh says 'I wish I could turn away 60 rounds' - then complains that the money was in the till first! 'Gentlemen' please avoid Newdigate (even on your way to Benidorm with your wives, via Gatwick!) - and google this pub's status/awards/charity functions etc. Did you notice the little animal farm at the back of the pub car park - or were you and your ladies in a charabang, again?
beerlager - 14 Sep 2011 23:23
Laugh and guv lie. I was there also on that sad day - as I am about 3 days a week. This is an excellent pub - why the hundreds of awards? Visiting publicans - unlike local regulars - seem to think they have free rein on a day out.

Not, with Ken! Go elsewhere....
tempest - 14 Sep 2011 22:58
This is a fine pub - in terms of location, hospitality, beer keeping/ brewing knowledge - and food. Did a few ex/current publicans get their due - from Ken - on a boozy day out. Probably.
tradervic - 14 Sep 2011 21:53
I was here in 1921 had a great time laughing at a duck in the garden juggling,the beer was on fine form as well.
Don`t worry be appy.
anonymous - 14 Sep 2011 19:59
by the way,i would have asked the forth stooge to take his domestic home with him.
laughingduck - 14 Sep 2011 17:29
not at all fullbelly,just that if a large group of people turn up they are not welcome.i only made the posting after reading the previous review by 180,who for reasons of his own did not like the pub/staff on his first visit,once again we came here because of the ale....shame there was too many of us,and for some reason the landlord was not happy with that there were many strangers in his pub....we were very well behaved...we all run pubs....we are all in our 50s....not yobs,once again shame,but if hes doing well in these bad times...good luck (i wish i could turn away 60 pound rounds) love rating given
laughingduck - 14 Sep 2011 17:25
i also was here on the ill fated day we visited this public house two years ago, as said by the duck it was very bad the way we were treated,he waited untill the money was in the till(the round came to over sixty pounds)before we were asked to leave,as a fellow publican it was more to be said,only that the ale i had was in first class condition,just sorry i could not have another one.
guv2 - 14 Sep 2011 15:26
I visited this pub three years ago and had a barny with the missus. Even though I was upset the landlord continued pouring me drinks and taking my money. After reading laughing duck's comments, I am very upset that I was not thrown out. Three years later this still hurts so I thought I would tell you all about it.
the.fourth.stooge - 14 Sep 2011 14:10
was here two YEARS ago??? obviously stewed on it then until the pressure became too much and you just had to vent your rage!! Keep up the good work Ken
fullbelly - 14 Sep 2011 07:20
was here two years ago with a few friends and was made very uneasy by the landlord who for reasons of his own did not want us in his pub,shame really the ales were first class, service very slow,but that might have been that he didnt want us there,but after taking our money and putting in his till, he then decided we should arguments on our behalf apart from why dint you say before you served us,and a shrug of the shoulders from the landlord,we were 12 publicans and our wives,who had just come from a funeral in brighton and went out of our way on the way back to have a toilet break,and try some of the good ale we have all heard about.we were not drunk,loud or in anyway upsetting any other rating given.
laughingduck - 13 Sep 2011 15:37
I heard a lot of great reviews about this pub but unfortunately it just isn't my cup of tea.

The beer was fantastic - the Ranmore was kept brilliantly.

But the pub to me feels like a mixture between a working mans club and a retirement home. Its like it got revamped in the early 80's, lost its old charm and its not been touched in years.

The service was very slow due to one person behind the bar and 4 people waiting and not very welcome (not the landlord).

I'll go back and give it another go but it just didnt click for me; hopefully it will on my next visit.
l80pje - 13 Sep 2011 13:37
I had a pleasant time here listening to the jazz on Monday. Unfortunately several of the beers had sold out but the Sadlers Hop Bomb complemented the New Orleans sounds very well. Unfortunately the gents was of its usual poor standard. Surely in these enlightened times a tap under which one can put one's hands would not be too much to ask for.
mrgrumpy - 30 Aug 2011 13:45
The beer festival is underway and being very well attended. Great selection of Ales. Worth a trip.
servingwench - 28 Aug 2011 08:51
A few recent visits here have found a good number of interesting beers, and I see that there is a beer festival here over the August Bank Holiday with 50 different beers plus music. Looks like my trip to Barbados will have to be postponed.
charlie_one_two_three - 8 Aug 2011 17:03
I'm often in here and I have never been disapointed with the beer! Unlike a lot of pubs there's regular guest ales and whilst some may not be to everyones taste at least the landlord keeps the ale offerings interesting. Well kept beer and friendly staff - that's a pub.
Jericho - 20 Jul 2011 19:42
When it comes to Beer festivals they don't get any better than Ken's. I see yet another award from CAMRA, no surprise there. This is one astonishing pub. . a dying breed. Revel in the beers and ciders and spare a thought for the "larger boys", forgive them for they know not what they do. I for one will be there this weekend.
artemis - 27 May 2011 15:13
Wanted to give it a try, and saw Harveys on the pump, but there was a really big queue ordering food, and both bar staff were trying to take their orders at a side bar. No-one at all serving (just) beer. When about 10/12 bikers came in at the same time as us, I knew there would be a long wait for a cool pint on a hot day! Headed off to the Seven Stars at Leigh instead. Characterful pub with lots of good reviews, so will try again soon. Therefore, can't give it a rating yet.
CountryBoy - 25 Apr 2011 16:00
No frills country pub par excellence. Rightly famous for its twice-yearly beer festivals on May and August bank holiday weekends. Changing range of always good beers, ciders and perries beautifully kept by knowledgeable and enthusiastic landlord. Nice garden with play area. Pretty standard menu but food is consistently well cooked with fresh ingredients. Try the steak and ale pie if it's on! Only gripe is that last orders at 2.30pm during the week makes for an early lunch. Thoroughly deserves all the kudos it gets.
Garganey - 16 Apr 2011 09:32
It's funny, but unlike the last reviewer, I go here because they always seem to have very hoppy beers on such as Brewdog and Dark Star. I agree that this is a great pub though (they sell Harveys for those wanting a more malty bitter)
charlie_one_two_three - 2 Apr 2011 11:08
Really liked this place. Selected it largely from reviews on this site - needed a local pub who could cater for a family gathering on a sunday lunchtime - all twelve of us. They were helpful, courteous, and the food and beer were good to excellent. My only mild criticism would be that all of the ales available were of a hoppy character, with nothing malty, which is more to my taste. There were heavy things like porters and stout i think, but something along the lines of London Pride, Ringwood Fortyniner, TEA or Badger would balance things out. Just can't stand a really hoppy bitter - Shepherd Neame therefore being my least favourite brewery. By the way, the photo above doesn't doit justice either - makes it look down at heel. Inside it's a proper old pub with log fire, low beams and one nice high-ceilinged room. Excellent stuff. Will definitely return.
properpublover - 17 Mar 2011 19:19
Ken must be doing something right. Sunday lunch is very busy. Try the surrey Oaks but BOOK. Only serves till 2.30 on a Sunday. The food is good any time, all cooked on site. The beer talks for itself. 2 regular real ales and 3 changing guest beers.
servingwench - 8 Mar 2011 09:38
The food was as good as everyone says, although I don't think snacks are available at Sunday lunchtime. They did let us book and I was surprised that there were a few spare tables, given the quality of the food.

The roast chicken was excellent with a good choice of well-cooked vegetables. Much better than the hard peas at our local pub! The chocolate mousse was surprisingly good especially for only 3.95. We'll be going back. Service was pleasant and accurate.

Thanks to everyone whose reviews convinced us to try it.
fairyhedgehog - 2 Jan 2011 17:12
Nothing substantive to add to previous reviews - as everything remains in spankingly good order (as 2 new awards that have just been bestowed should confirm). However I feel I need to congratulate Ken all the more for these achievements, as unfortunately his wife passed away after a short illness on 12 November. Despite this, he and his staff soldiered on bravely, and have delivered a consistently sound service throughout this difficult time. A local CamRA Christmas function was recently held at the S'Oaks and both food and ale were superb; indeed Ken himself joined our merry throng and other than when anyone offered their condolences for his recent bereavement, he did not let on and frankly I wouldn't have known had I not been made aware previously. Many lesser licensees in a similar situation would have folded when faced with the requirement to be jolly to order in front of 30 people.

Whilst life must go on notwithstanding such tragic circumstances, I can't help but have greater respect for a chap who carries on steadfastly, and in an already challenging industry, and a less certain future. Well done Ken, and I do hope 2011 brings you better fortunes.

TWG - 22 Dec 2010 17:02
I love coming to this pub. Always a superb range of real ales . . . rather fond of a porter myself. Beer festivals are excellent, if only there could be more than 2 per year. Yes I know the service can be a little slow at times, but it is worth the wait. I just hope Ken stays in the pub for many, many years to come.
5555 - 31 Oct 2010 09:48
Lovely pub, thanks for the wonderful buffet on Saturday, Ken !
slerpy - 25 Oct 2010 20:04
Was waiting to see if anyone would record a word of appreciation to a young lady, Jo Parker, a 20 year old university student, who took over the running of the S'oaks while Ken & Robin were on holiday.
She did a fantastic job, serving customers with a big smile, changing barrels, cleaning lines, keeping the accounts, managing other staff and liaising with the kitchen. Well done, Jo, look forward to seeing you back in the hols!

JohnN - 14 Oct 2010 10:26
This pub wins virtually every award known to mankind but why? Well, fantastic middle of the market food plus several well chosen real ales and cider are the mainstay of the formula.Outside the Soaks is a long thin rambling old building with a large garden which houses a marquee when they hold their legendary Beer Festivals which are held over the late May and late August Bank Holiday weekends when the best and the most recent breweries are featured.I'm slightly surprised that the rating on this pub is so low -7.1 seems a bit parsimonious to me.Truly faultless.
slerpy - 5 Oct 2010 08:16
A great pub, wonderful beer and a landlord who knows his stuff. He doesn't suffer fools, which is why some of the comments here have been a bit rude. But if he stops idiots driking here, then that is fine with me.
redrag - 31 Aug 2010 16:36
I enjoyed a couple of hours at the beer festival listening to the live jazz and drinking some fantastic ale. I disagree with the beerterrorist, I thought the Hogs Back beer the worst here by some margin, but I loved the Beerworks Milk of Amnesia and rather liked the Pilgrim beer. So many pubs run beer festivals these days, but nowhere quite as good as here. Good beer, good music, good company in a lovely old pub with a great garden. Bliss!
the.fourth.stooge - 30 Aug 2010 10:57
All you BITE members,if you were not at the SOaks for the pub premier of the BeerTickersFilm then you can't call yourselves real ale enthusiasts. What a great evening it was with Phil & Anna from 'beertickers'. Thanks Ken for putting it on during his great beerfest.
Very noticable that those 'head in the sand' chiefs at CAMRA refused to have anything to do with it or even show it at the GBBF 2010! Wake up guys.
beerbiker - 29 Aug 2010 23:58
Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee....Beer Fest starts today...
What a beer list you have Ken, well done.
Looking forward to seeing all you 'BITE' members there over the weekend - Good, Bad, Ugly or not, Pleasant or Objectionable...Remember its about enjoying the beer and the company...So for once shut up & chill.
beerbiker - 27 Aug 2010 08:25
Tick...Tock...Tick...Tock...Only 2 more days to wait...


Watch out for a pub 'Full of self-satisfied tree-hugging chumps', after all this is a Real Ale & Cider festival!

Sorry, I could resist - The beer list does look stunning though as does the entertainment so well worth as visit or two or three!
beerterrorist - 25 Aug 2010 10:14
I see there is a great beer festival here over the Bank Holiday weekend with 50 real beers and cider. I know where I shall be then!

I seem to spend most of my wages down here for their beer festivals, much to the chagrin of my missus.
thepubvisitor - 24 Aug 2010 23:20

Now less than 7 days to go until Beer Tickers Film goes on tour at the Surrey Oaks. Look forward to seeing you all there for a great evening.
beerterrorist - 22 Aug 2010 21:10
Tick...Tock...Tick...Tock...Only 13 days until...

Just been on the 'Beertickersfilm' website and I see that it is going on tour and it's first stop is the Surrey Oaks! All it says is that it's on the 29th Aug but no time is listed, any ideas?

Re posts - There are some very strange posts attacking the pub. All I can say is that on my visits I have always found the beer to be excellent, the service good and the food as good as I would expect. I had an excellent Xmas diner there last year.

beerterrorist - 16 Aug 2010 16:57
Posts about PM's and 'personnal insults' are out of place on a site about pubs and beer; the PM service is there for posters to communicate. Init.
wolfdog - 13 Aug 2010 09:12
Direct message from sussexfox to me!!!

'rattled my cage' - you couldn't even if you tried...

but I seem to have rattled yours by some straight and honest talking!

hence, your post/complaint (on an aside) on the main site!!

grow up old man and realise that you are not always right....and also that commenting on PM's mystifies others who simply don't know what you're talking about....

Now I ask you all, is this what this site is all about?

beerbiker - 13 Aug 2010 09:08
Since writing my little post in favour of Ken & the S'Oaks I have received 2 direct messages from somebody who calls himself sussexfox. He tells me that I have used this website to 'spout off' in his 1st, and I'm gibbering in his 2nd!!!
Well, lets hope the next time he crosses the county line the Surrey Hunt are waiting for him.
I didn't think this site was about personnal insults, well somebody needs to talk to sussexfox I feel.
beerbiker - 12 Aug 2010 19:29
I have to say I don't get all this 'have a go at the S'Oaks' thing thats going on at the moment. It hasn't changed in years, it has always served good food prepared & cooked in the kitchin, thats never going to be quick - If you want quick (fast food) try Burger King.
The beer has always been the best quality in Surrey & some years the South East, OK there is a bias to the north but Ken is a Northern lad. Talking of Ken, yes he has his moments, but don't we all? He is never rude and he will never tell you where to go, like some landlords will, if he is a little short with you, you normally deserve it I'm affraid.
Re the 'pub is full of CAMRA members', well I disagree, it's full of people who like good beer, good wine, good food & good choice.
Bar staff - Auntie Eileen is not Kens misses! She lives down the road and has worked there for years - We all love her and wouldn't swop her for anybody, she has here own pace but is always jolly unlike a lot of pub staff I have met in other pubs. Also, you try getting staff to work in a country pub in a village where you'd struggle to buy an ex-authority property for under 250k. Nobody wants to earn what bar staff earn.
So for me the S'oaks is a little gem, it served good beer years ago when we couldn't get good beer anywhere, and still does so today. I may not get in as often as I should but may I suggest that if you don't like it you try somewhere else, I'm sure you will soon be back with your tails between your legs....
beerbiker - 12 Aug 2010 14:02
Hello there I'm Silly Sam
I like lots of Bread and Jam
I like Spam and Dad and Mam
and to come here when I can

Its Fraddledaddledoodly.
mr_anage - 12 Aug 2010 09:48
I suspect I'm a lot younger than the other users here, and I am not a CAMRA member. However I do visit the Surrey Oaks on a once a month basis mainly because of the great beer. Most of my friends unfortunately drink lager (or cider, and there is a very good selection here). I can't comment on the food, but it smells good!.

I would agree that the service is hit or miss and it is the one thing which should be improved on (although the older lady who I think is Elaine is actually very sweet, even if she is slow). Surely one extra person at busy times would not break the bank.

Of course there are other good pubs around, but this is one of those pubs that when you visit you realise it is something different (old fashioned perhaps)., and is the only place for miles when an exceptionally good pint can be guaranteed.
charlie_one_two_three - 10 Aug 2010 06:49
The troops have arrived to defend some acurate and slightly negative comments by deservebetter and others! Some seem to think that this place is unique, with high standards.

Sevice is slow, beer quality good - and Ken and the missus have had very successful personality bypasses. Food is average - but as good as the Leigh pubs .

Its a place devoted to the Camra type chaps who like to say - 'went out to Newdigate on Sunday' - then wait for the 'was the beer good' question'

Not a bad pub overall - just like many others in the area....Red Lion, Seven Stars, Dolphin, Royal Oak etc.etc.
wolfdog - 9 Aug 2010 21:49
Is "deservebetter" a pseudo for a brewer beginning in D who feels slighted that his beers are not featured in the role of honour published on The Surrey Oaks website?
Now I may not be Mel Gibson.....but as theories go I believe mine stands out....
Well if he can go on here and talk rubbish , why not join in......
fullbelly - 9 Aug 2010 20:44
Nice building, well kept ales, pleasant garden. The one thing that nearly always disappoints here is the service: I always seem to have to wait ages to get any. The older woman who I assume is the guvnor's wife seems more interestried in faffing about with paperwork or slicing lemons than serving non regulars. Today I actually gave up after several minutes and went back to my meal before it got too cold.
Beerwulf - 9 Aug 2010 00:09
'One visit to One Pub & One posting on BeerintheEvening and you think you are an expert on our local beer traditions' - Was sent as a direct messasge to deservebetter in disgust.
beerbiker - 6 Aug 2010 23:40
I cannot understand why someone would come on this site just to abuse a pub without any factual information to support their tirade. Deservebetter makes no comment that fits the Surrey Oaks. The beer is easily the best for many miles, and the Soaks is actually run as a traditional drinking pub, albeit one which does excellent food. As others have mentioned, it has won many Camra accolades; however it is not a "beer tickers" pub. Ken, the landlord, supports all his local brewers (such as Surrey Hills, Pilgrim and Dark Star), as well as offering beers from further afield. Gabby, the chef, is a lovely guy who has a passion for good quality home made food. The only items which are deep fried are the scampi(which is made in-house) and the chips.

This is the best pub in Surrey, do yourself and visit it and ignore deservemore's rant.
anotherpintplease - 5 Aug 2010 18:44
I'm wondering if Deservebetter has ever actually been to this pub? I'm struggling to believe that they have, seeing as all the points made are factually incorrect. There is a notice illustrating opening times, and as someone who has been going there for the last 6 years it always opens promptly on time and closes when it says. I used to work in the kitchen there and as someone with inside knowledge of how the pub works I have to say that all your comments are absolute rubbish. The food is all cooked from fresh, with pies, quiches, puddings etc being home-made by the chef on the premises and of excellent quality. The pub is renowned for it's excellent ale and has recently won CAMRA's Surrey pub of the year for the 6th year running. I find it impossible to believe that any pub who has been awarded such an accolade consistently for the past few years could ever be run by 'morons' as Deservebetter so politely phrased it. Ken the landlord and his staff are welcoming and always happy to help. I suggest that in the future that Deservebetter actually visits a pub first before writing such offensive and false comments about it.
A superb pub that I can thoroughly recommend to anyone looking for excellent ale, great quality food and a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
realaledevotee - 5 Aug 2010 16:53
Ken Proctor is a dedicated landlord who has won many CAMRA awards for his beer and his pub. OK, so he has a short fuse for idiots and those who make totally unfair criticisms but his customers wouldn't have it any other way!
JohnN - 5 Aug 2010 15:25
servingwench - 5 Aug 2010 14:22
Deservebetter.........umm, an interesting choice of name, if he or she thinks they do deserve better they might like to try the weatherspoons in Horsham! Personally I am a lover of old fashioned stuck in the past beer swilling 'dumps'........indeed i have one of my own. I find the staff friendly and helpful, the food good and the beer always excellent which is why, when I deceide it is convienient for me to take a couple of hours off I always go to Kens. Take no notice of this spiteful unprovoked attack and give the Oaks a try!
sarabl - 4 Aug 2010 19:26
I agree with you duckdod. What a superb pub. I have been drinking here for 15 years and have eaten in the pub numerous times. Food is always good and as for the beer, TOP CLASS. The Palmers "TALLY HO" last week was a joy to behold. I have made many new friends since i first set foot in the bar and always receive a warm welcome.
Ken and his staff should be congratulated on running a wonderful hostelry.
moriarty - 4 Aug 2010 11:24
Who is 'Deservebetter'? One posting only and it's a serious dig at quite simply, one of the best pubs in the UK. This person has no idea what The Surrey Oaks is all about. We have eaten in The Surrey Oaks as recently as two weeks ago and the food was absolutely excellent, no 'deep fat fryer' in site! Run by 'morons'? Are you serious? This sounds more like a description of you rather than a pub that cares about the community. The notices do not tell you what you what you can and can not do (if you had read them you would have realised this), but they relate to games of boule that the pub plays against a host of other interested pubs and amazingly the other pubs appreciate what The Surrey Oaks does and they join in... creating a great inter pub atmosphere. The Surrey Oaks is a great pub, maybe 'Deservebetter' confused this with somewhere else?
duckdod - 1 Aug 2010 20:46
Run by people who care about themselves more than their customers, too large a menu which consistantly disappoints. Straight from the freezer to the deep fat fryer. Not a place to eat. Big portions trying to hide very poor quality. Over priced Pig Swill. Old fashioned stuck in the past beer swilling dump. Open at its own convienience and littered with written notices telling you what you can't do. Run by morons. Avoid at all costs.
Deservebetter - 31 Jul 2010 22:09
Big beer festival here over the bank holiday weekend with a good mixture of local beers and ones from far away (including the fantastic Brewdog).
anotherpintplease - 25 May 2010 11:17
Excellent pub! Good food, great range of Ales, and good atmosphere.
alexe_1509 - 14 May 2010 13:59
Splendidly traditional and welcoming 16th Century rural roadhouse pub which features stone flagged floors, oak beams, low ceilings and a large inglenook.

There's a restaurant area on the left and several interconnecting drinking areas on the right, which includes one room with what is possibly the largest collection of framed CAMRA certificates that I can recollect seeing for some time. There's also a fine collection of pump clips indicating the large number of ales that have been sold over the years. Unusually, and looking slightly out of place, is a separate billiards room.

There's a largish garden at the side which includes 2 petanque pitches and some rather rusty and weathered childrens play equipment.

Note also the different pictures on either side of the pub sign and a Friary Meux horseshoe lamp outside, indicative of the pub's former ownership. Unusually, for such a rural location, there's an unconnected curry house directly opposite.

The pub is a keen supporter of local microbreweries and, on my recent lunchtime visit, was serving Weltons Lionheart and Ossett Dazzler, amongst others. I didn't think either of these two beers tasted particularly distinctive, but a subsequent pint of Harveys was superb. All beers were priced at 3. A Surrey Hills beer had just run out.

The pub is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular - note the large collection of stickers on the door as you go in. A large banner outside, tied up between two trees, advertised a forthcoming beer festival over the late May Day Bank Holiday weekend ( 28-31 May )

Being a rural pub, it's not particularly easy to get to without the car and it doesn't seem to be on a bus route. My recent lunchtime visit was via Holmwood Station ( on the Dorking - Horsham line ) and then a pleasant 40 minute walk across fields and through bluebell woods. Do note that the pub is in Parkgate, and not Newdigate, as the address would indicate.

Local residents are fortunate in having two such splendid pubs as The Surrey Oaks and The Royal Oak within a few miles of each other. Do make the effort of seeking them out - I don't think you'll be disappointed.
JohnBonser - 10 May 2010 08:44
We tried this pub on a Saturday night after having read some good reviews. We were not disappointed! A charming English pub, run by an equally charming Manager, who was friendly, jovial and helpful. We had tempura prawns with chilli dip and then fish & chips (we were in a fishy and unadventurous mood!) which were both flavoursome, piping hot and fresh as a daisy. Yummy. There was plenty more on the board to tempt us on our next visit, which we will definitely be doing. After some good natured banter about my partner being a lager drinker, the manager explained that he really should try some of the ales, an opinion which was shared by the friendly locals! We will indeed. Looks like a lovely place for a nice walk and Sunday lunch, so we will be trying the beer soon!
degodier - 28 Apr 2010 20:20
The quality of the beers in this pub every time i drop in never fails to amaze me as i always seem to get a excellent pint in good condition .. The guest list is always interesting with a mix of light and dark ales.. long live the surrey oaks with a landlord who takes pride in his ales .
bartez3 - 15 Apr 2010 13:57
Popped in for lunch and a pint and while the Ranmore Ales wasn't on, was treated to a pint of Rooster's Apres Ski while waiting for lunch, which then consisted of a pint of Pilgrim's Luperc Alia to accompany a tasty chicken & leek pie.

As on my previous visit, the welcome was warm and friendly and it was the perfect place to spend a cold but sunny winter lunchtime. I would definitely recommend it if you're in the area - a quintessentially British rural pub.
fazerblue - 2 Mar 2010 07:30
Pub of the week in Saturdays Pint to pint column..

16th Century Inn

Beers from Surrey Hills Brewery includeRanmore ale and Shere Drop

Food under 10

Ken the landlord runs a dailycompetion to win a free beer

Tasting note s on different beers.
hogshead - 17 Feb 2010 12:41
Here we have a landlord who knows his beers. Always local beers such as Surrey Hills on sale and often Dark Star. There is nearly always a dark beer on sale ( a lovely pint of O'Hanlon's Dry Stout recently). Good friendly locals as well. It may not be one of the best four pubs in the country, but it is the best pub for a very long way around (one bar is full of Camra awards to prove it). If you are in this part of Surrey / Sussex ignore all other pubs and come here for a treat.
the.fourth.stooge - 30 Jan 2010 09:59
Having made a trip to the Royal Oak down the road, it was only fair to see what the Surrey Oaks was offering. And I was pleased to find a rather buzzing pub, with a few people drinking the excellent beers on offer. The pool room was as always empty, and I could not help to think that it could be put to better use. The brats who in play this game would be far more at home in the lager swilling lair of the Six Bells.
mrgrumpy - 16 Jan 2010 09:34
I like this pub, in fact being brought here made me appreciate real ale. Top quality stuff, and some amusing regulars including a buddha look alike at lunchtime.
charlie_one_two_three - 9 Nov 2009 19:16
A return visit found the gents had been cleaned up, so well done sir. The beer is, I must say, very good. So those who think I only critisise pubs, you are wrong. I will praise when justified, and if the landlord will accept it, this pub gets the grumpy seal of approval (although being stuck out in the sticks is not ideal for frequent visits).
mrgrumpy - 28 Oct 2009 19:28
Possibly Surreys best pub. A huge range of beers available from mains to micros and ciders/perrys too drawn straight from the barrel. Don't miss the beer festivals here either (May/August bank hols) as they would shame any other pub that bwould lay claim to do the same.

There is only one slight downfall here and it's the reason why I can't get there more often. The transport, as with most areas of Surrey, is shocking despite a bus stop right outside! It only runs about two journeys a week. But if you can get here DO because you'll enjoy a great pub also with fine staff and locals.
Oakman100 - 18 Oct 2009 21:51
I enjoyed many great beers, mostly those I've never had before, on the beer festival on Friday night and returned to try all the excellent ciders on the Monday while enjoying the jazz band in the sun. A recent new and permanent chef has lifted the food quality too to great reviews. You'll receive a friendly welcome from the locals and enjoy a traditional pub, run properly
goosegog - 4 Sep 2009 22:44
Another fantastic beer festival has been on this weekend with over 40 beers available. The quality has been great. As others have said, it is not the easiest pub to get to, but it really is worth it. The local breweries of Pilgrim, Surrey Hills and Dorking were all represented, although the latter's India Red Ale was not on on Friday night - oh well, another visit is needed!. A great pub with a great landlord and great staff.
anotherpintplease - 31 Aug 2009 13:44
A fantastic real ale pub, lovely garden.Every year two beer festivals are held in May and August, around seventy beers are available.The snag is it very hard to reach without a tough train journey ( from london) and a lengthy walk.The food is actually HOME cooked( a lot of pub claim to produce home cooked food but clearly do not, the price reflects this but is well worth it.The guvnorKen is a long standing CAMRA member who became a publican. The range and quality of his beers shines through.A utopian pub in all respects.
slerpy - 31 Aug 2009 08:44
It is many years since I last visited The surrey Oaks, but it was always a favourite location for many reasons. The bar was regularly booming with laughter when I enjoyed the company of Frankie Howerd, (who only lived half a mile away), James Robertson Justice and on occasions Peter Sellers. I left Newdigate as a resident during 1960 but regularly returned at weekends when I was script writing for "Aunty Frankie". I guess that the old watering hole is just as it was then but the faces surrounding the bar have changed.
MARTYG - 24 Jul 2009 22:15
I was passing through the area on Saturday and thought it good form to pop into the Oaks to have a decent pint. I was glad I did in many ways, there was a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in progress in the garden! It certainly cheered up what was otherwise a pretty soggy English summer evening. What was even more impressive is that I found out the performers were from The Royal Oak in Rusper, another of the superb pubs in the area, what a refreshing change to see two pubs pooling resources and promoting each other, not something you see too often! The performance was great fun!

As usual it was good to see interesting beers on the pumps and support for local brewers in the form of Pilgrim Crusader. Keep up the good work!
Schooner - 13 Jul 2009 18:12
Much as I appreciate this pub with its great choice of ales, it must have the most disgusting toilet in Surrey. Cold water only, no space to get your hands under the taps, and mildew on the woodwork. The sort of toilet you would expect at a pub on a sink estate. Landlord, as you appear to read this site, please dip your hand in your pocket and so something about it!
mrgrumpy - 11 Jul 2009 17:55
I see the landlord is checking up. Actually he has nothing to worry about, as the pub is great for real ales. Personally I love to see local beers on sale, and here he comes up trumps. As per previous comments, yes the landlord can come across as a bit grumpy (a bit like me), but really we are both quite cuddley. A good old fashioned pub where beer is king, and for this reason worth a detour.
mrgrumpy - 31 May 2009 00:11
Thank you for the positive feedback on the 2009 May Beerfest 'Mayfest 09', we always do our very best to source interesting beers, have great live music and good food.
It is always encouraging to hear enthusiastic comments, it makes the hard work worthwhile.

On a previous note we do ask that if you feel the standards of our service, beverages or food are not as good you you would expect, please let us know at the time and we will do our best to resolve any issues. This will make your visit to the S'Oaks more enjoyable and avoids comments on a public forum that may potentially dissuade people from visiting us.

Cheers! The Surrey Oaks
Soaks - 30 May 2009 15:57
Popped in on bank holiday Monday. Obviously te drawback to this place is ythat it's miles from anywhere and you pretty much have to drive. Had a couple of halves of the festival beers. Inside they had Harvey's Best, Ranmore, Landlord and an Elgood's beer I think, a bit difficult to see in the middle bar once there are a few people there. Various different rooms including a pool table and restuarant area. Many pump clips show that they must generally have some interesting ale. Definitely worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 28 May 2009 06:53
A long overdue visit took place here to find a beer festival in full swing. Loads of interesting beers from near and far were on sale in a tent in the back garden and there was a good "buzzy" atmosphere throughout. The bar staff were coping well, although there were a couple of longish queues at times. I was impressed with the staff (especially a couple of lovely smiley girls who actually cared about what they were doing). Good to see a country pub doing so well, although if it had been a typical wet bank holiday weekend rather than the beautiful day it was then it may have been different. Oh, the music was good as well (old fashioned rock).
thepubvisitor - 24 May 2009 10:22
popped in here Sunday for a pint. good selection of beers and i had a nice pint of Harveys and my partner had one of the guest ales. the two guys behind the bar seemed a bit miserable. ordered a bowl of cheesy chips. they turned up in a small ceiral bowl with about 15 chips in it and a sprinkle of cheese on top. 3.00 for that, pathetic really. went to the bar for another pint and was served by a very nice young lady who greeted me with a smile and couldnt have been more helpfull, a complete contrast to the two guys there before. excellent beer but if the chips are anything to judge the food by dont waste your money.
henrychinaski - 20 May 2009 15:57
Popped in for a well earned pint and found that Surrey Hills beers are still on sale. So that is an extra point! The garden was popular with families and boules players. Emma behind the bar was lovely as well.
anotherpintplease - 4 May 2009 15:00
What a great pub! This place is a real beer gem. Popped in tonight and found a really different beer. It was from the Dorking Brewery (not seen anything from them before) and it was called "Ruby Plus!". The plus bit turns out to be orange and ginger. It's great to see unusual beers and a good beer choice. The Surrey Oaks certainly seems to pride itself on beer choice and there is a list of forthcoming beers on a blackboard in the middle bar. It's a pity this information is not visible from the lower bar as I thought they were only selling Ranmore Ale and Harvey's Best. Will definitely be back.
duckdod - 9 Feb 2009 22:13
Visited in order to compare with the Seven Stars at Leigh, on a Sunday afternoon. A less luxurious feel, but none the worse for it. I had the draught French cider, which was excellent. The bar staff (two guys - one of whom I assumed to be the aforementioned landlord) seemed friendly enough. A good selection of ales was available. Nothing exceptional, but good enough!
Moses - 1 Oct 2008 13:56
Nice quiet country pub, I was welcomed warmly enough, Moles Black Rat cider and Westons' perry served.
jgurney1 - 21 Sep 2008 12:00
I have to say this is the most unwelcoming pub I have ever had the misfortune to visit!!! After 2 months of planning our local pubs outing to Brighton, we searched for a good traditional pub to stop off to on the way back. After going through The Good Pub Guide we decided on The Surrey Oaks, As 25 paople turning up to a pub at 7pm on a Saturday night can be a bit unexpected, the organiser of our trip made two calls four weeks before the date to The Surrey Oaks to check this was ok. So we diverted from our route to find this pub with everybody looking forward to a nice refreshment break. As soon as we entered the pub the the gentleman and lady behind the bar looked at us as if we were something unpleasent on the soul of your shoe!! however we stayed and purchased a drink and yes the beer was very good. After we had paid for this large round the landlord then asked us to remove our coach from the car park as it was not " in keeping with the image of the pub". The landlord has a right to say who comes to his pub but there is ways of speaking to people without being rude. This was suppost to be a nice end to a very enjoyable day but ended making everyone miserable. I noticed that this pub is holding a beer festival soon, I would like to advise people that they go in groups of no more than four as large groups are blatently not welcome. I could understand if he was obviously busy but with the current situation of pubs in Britain who can turn away passing trade. We should have stopped at The Six Bells !!!
jock_in_town - 27 Jul 2008 21:05
The (late ) May bank holiday beer festival is on again this year.Unmissable ! Ken works hard to obtain esoteric beers from all over the U.K.
slerpy - 14 May 2008 20:56
Went to this pub after visiting the curry house across the road. I have never received such bad service in all my life. We waited so long to try and get served whilst the landlord just stood staring at us that in the end we turned round and walked out.
Don't go here if you want to actually get a pint this century.
beermonster1984 - 21 Apr 2008 21:24
Like this place so much I popped by again this evening! And a curry house over the road as well!! What more could you want??!!
Simonkey7 - 11 Apr 2008 03:17
Very pretty pub (woodwork suffering a bit from winter weather!) easy to find despite being deep in the country and has a good carpark..didn't try the food but what I saw looked wholesome...friendly service which is becoming increasingly rare...beergarden must be a joy when/if Summer arrives...understand as well as the good (and changing) choice of local draught beers there are ale festivals but couldn't see when..Extra marks for supporting small brewers. BQ 8.7
Insearchofthebestpint - 10 Apr 2008 10:02
Fantastic!! The landlord Ken really takes pride in his beers, too many awards to list! Nice little pub, can be quiet sometimes, but overall one of the finest pubs in surrey!!
Simonkey7 - 9 Apr 2008 20:47
Agree with below comments that the beer is good and there is a nice selection. However i was extremely disappointed with the food which i received, it was definatley below average standard.
I would not eat here again.
The service was miserable and slow, and the atmosphere flat.
All in all not an enjoyable experience for my friend and i, which was a great shame!
firecracker980 - 24 Mar 2008 18:42
Popped in whilst out for a walk at the weekend. Loved it. The beer was good and the natives were friendly. Will go back to eat some time very soon.
gdm - 11 Mar 2008 13:52
So good, I moved to the village! (seriously)
goosegog - 23 Dec 2007 08:29
The Surrey Oaks is one of those great pubs where the landlord really cares about the beer he serves and the awards on the walls speak volumes for this sensibility. The food won't win any Michelin Stars but it is decent pub grub, I usually go to and judge pubs on their beer, that makes the Oaks a winner in my book.

One of the best pubs I've been to, highly recommended.

Schooner - 14 Dec 2007 17:50
The finest pint of Harvey's Sussex I have ever had.
LeGodalminger - 31 Oct 2007 14:44
PS reviewer "anonymous", below = "the landlord"!
He has improved his welcome over recent years to be fair
The beer can be great, but irritatingly, seems to run-out after one pint, every time I go in there and is then switched to another brew [single barrels presumably]. There seems to be a policy of only stocking weak to low/mid strength bitters, which is a pity, as he used to stock some nice full bodied stronger brews.
The food is reasonable, but not great.
The pub used to be very smoky and is better for no smoking, but the landlord is quite parsimonious with his heating, so it can feel chilly.
However all-in-all, this is the best pub I know in the area for some miles

Quaffer - 8 Oct 2007 16:44
Had high expectations for this place as it is in The Good Beer Guide. I suppose rightly so as the local ale was top rate. BUT..found the locals to be very unwelcoming and had to wait to ages to be served as they were extremely understaffed. In fact we were going to eat there but gave up and went for a very nice curry across the road instead.
Barney1 - 16 Sep 2007 22:27
Had lunch in there recently. Not so much a 'sausage ploughmans' as a do-it-yourself sausage baguette with a salad garnish. Tasted good though. Beer excellent, good selection with many guest ales due. Prefer the Six Bells for good value food
localaledrinker - 4 Apr 2007 16:08
Wonderful pub. Ken continues to lead the way in this area re real ale. Ever changing selection in tip top condition. Good quality pub grub.This is my local so please excuse the bias.
Try it yourself.
moriarty - 27 Jan 2007 12:01
Re the comment below, the pub won an award for its beer not food! The beer is usually magnificent.
anonymous - 27 Dec 2006 17:49
Plenty of atmosphere and good beer. Supposedly the regional winner of good food pub guide. Not on my reckoning. Average pub food, good, but nothing to rave about.
markofiorelli - 17 Dec 2006 17:45
The Oaks is a great place to take your mates to show your pride in your local pub. It's a great pub for drinkers and eaters alike. Always changing, they had 365 beers in one year in 2005! The food is pretty good and good value too. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm lamb pie :) It's my favourite pub in the world though so ignore my bias and go see for yourself
goosegog - 15 Oct 2006 19:44
A great country pub. The imaginative and ever-changing range of ales is supremely well-kept. The food is of a good-standard too, their home-made quiche in particular is very satisfying.
CJG - 12 Oct 2006 18:48
Personal bias aside, on an objective level I am amazed that this pub hasn't been rated higher by BITE users. Yes, it is a rural pub, that tends to be favoured by more middle-class punters with a preference for excellent interesting ales, and reasonable food. It's not for the urbanites who prefer loud music, lager and over-priced microwaved fodder. Maybe that's been the type of customer who finds the S'Oaks somehow unpleasant. I can't help but think that anyone with what most pubgoers and serious drinkers would regard as reasonable discernment would find anything to hate here. The manager prides himself on being a primarily drinkers' pub, with a rare emphasis on constantly changing, well-kept ales, and fortunately the pubco give him carte blanche in that department. Indeed, the S'Oaks has a virtual monopoly on the quality ale market because there are so few "free" houses serving good and diverse beers in this part of Surrey - no wonder his walls are strewn with awards going back 11 years!
Granted, the food is secondary to him, and if it weren't for the need to compete and provide service to a wider public, including families, I suspect he wouldn't do food. But it is of a decent quality in my experience, even if it isn't ALL "home-made".
Whilst he can come across as somewhat off-hand to some, those who appreciate what the licensee's trying to do will find themselves all the more appreciated by him in the process. This is a good country pub that can appeal to people of all ages, be they friends or families. The beer festivals held now in May and August bank holidays demonstrate this amply.
You can always visit the curry house opposite if the food really doesn't appeal!
TWG - 11 Oct 2006 12:12
it looks like timeplease likes posting negative comments about pubs. A good proportion of the food is home made, and very little has been bought in. Perhaps you are more used to MacDonalds food
anonymous - 28 Aug 2006 18:56
Came here last week....very disappointed, surly staff, terrible choice of menu, all deep fried, no emphasis on local produce or homecooked food...nicish location, but all in all I would say anew manger could do this place proud....all in all...a 2 out of 10. (beers were ok..hence the 2).
timeplease - 28 Aug 2006 15:04
In response to AVFC (you have two middle names!?!?)we also have electricity and inside toilets down here.

If you wanted to smoke you and your mates could have had your drinks outside..I'm sure the garden is big enough.
anonymous - 22 Aug 2006 14:20
Did you say non smoking. Was going to come to the Beer Festival me and my mates will have to find somewhere a bit less Surrey. Do you allow alcohol in your beer Southereners ? Don't forget leave your 4 WD at home what what ....
AVFC - 21 Aug 2006 12:41
Regular rotation of good ales especially local brews such as the excellent Ranmore and Shere Drop from the Surrey Hills but also features ales from other parts of the country so you may be likely to find something you might not have tried before.

Good pub food but the real ales are the main reason for visiting this pub.

mikey64 - 17 Aug 2006 12:46
I've been recently and landlord Ken has taken on a new bar dude called James and a friendly chap he is too. Great food, great beer, great service, great surroundings and great beer festivals! No wonder it's my favourite pub!
goosegog - 15 Aug 2006 18:26
Went to pub for first time this evening.Very busy but was served by a wonderful Scottish gentleman who I believe was called James.Real ales were well worth a re-visit. Surrey Oaks you WILL be seeing us again.
ilikeadrink - 11 Aug 2006 23:37
Took the day off for my birthday and went for a drive with the wife Came across this pub so stopped and went in. One of the nicest boozers I have been in and I have about 50 years "experience" Tried the Sussex and the Ranworth and they were snacks were brilliant and the Bacon/Brie/Avocado was an absolute delight. I will not be waiting for my next birthday to visit this pub again..and what a pleasant surprise to find a non-smoking establishment,,,congratulations to the very pleasant gug'nor.
Earlhamcourt - 10 Aug 2006 16:47
Generally a decent pub with good ale and decent food. Only gripe was that the playframe is slightly 'old-school' and isnt really suitable for toddlers. The barman James made us feel very welcome and the kitchen/serving staff were very nice.
fink - 27 Jun 2006 14:05
my second visit - why in the area, great pub/beers just slightly let down by a large group of "locals/regulars?" letting out their rather bigoted and prejudiced views in a very vocal manner
moclips2002 - 25 Jun 2006 11:13
I see it is the Camra Surrey pub of the Year. They do a different beer each day of the year, and also do the great Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale. Even better, they do two ciders from casks in the cellar. And the beer is cold.Great pub.
anonymous - 25 Jun 2006 10:57
Well..what can I say. Just been to the S'oakes on the strength of the previous all I can say is, good beer, but shame about the food. But I suppose bugs in the salad don't make much of an impact after a couple of pints!. We did go while the beer festival was on, but had to endure 'dixieland' piped music, which does get a bit much after a while.
anonymous - 29 May 2006 14:33
The S'Oaks is my favourite pub full stop. I guess I'm pretty biased then but it's great to have a choice of garden areas 5 or 6 bar areas, pool table, fires, incredibly well kept ales and ciders, elusive crisps and really good food, all at reasonable prices. They made it no smoking this year too so when you walk in it smells of grub! When you leave you don't stink like an ash tray. If curry floats your boat, Ali Raj over the road is also superb. Think PINTS > CURRY > MORE PINTS! The pub also has two beer festivals a year. Huzzah!
goosegog - 15 Mar 2006 23:12
Used to stay in the area and discovered the Oaks. Now, I always try to go when I am visiting the area. The bitter is consistently excellent, the food always good and I have never had a grumpy word from the landlord in 8 years.
sicily777 - 10 Feb 2006 17:14
taken here my friends when i was visiting the area, what a pleasant suprise, superb beers at sensible prices ! and no smoking throughout... highly recommended
moclips2002 - 28 Jan 2006 21:22
The pub has a shabby chic look but is no worse for that. The beer is always good. And with regard to locals getting served first, not true. Everyone has to put up with the landlord's grumpy ways. I think it is a great pub and there are some very friendly locals (unusual for Surrey).
anotherpintplease - 1 Jan 2006 14:23
The pub from the outside is looking shabby and run down. The bar area is ok for drinks, but food in there can be awkward as its not that big, it looks a bit run down too.
pioneer - 8 Dec 2005 18:03
I have occasionally visited this pub and although the publican does have a positive approach to serving a variety of ales, the wierd thing is, they all seem to taste much the same, "socky", when you come to the finish. Most strange!
I agree with the earlier comment, the publican can be quite prickly and the service can be selective ie regulars first, strangers last. The food wasn't great when I tried it and the garden furniture is well past the replacement date!
Could do better!
Quaffer - 8 Nov 2005 15:57
Good choice of well kept and varied ales. Wide range of menu but would regard as primarily a drinking pub rather than an eating pub.
mikey64 - 1 Jul 2005 18:19
Good range of real ales and varied menu (with specials), has a childrens menu also. Playground for the kids and an aviary!! Well worth seeking out as this pub is in the middle of nowhere. Had a beer festival due to start with 30+ ales available. Had a meal and a few beers after booking into a hotel near Gatwick Airport. Friendly bar staff. Very good pub, I will definately return.
snowdog2112 - 4 Jun 2005 11:33
Excellent multi-roomed old pub - unlike too many rural pubs not given over entirely to eating - you don't feel out of place if you just want a drink and a smoke - anyway excellent food and range of beers, delicious Timothy Taylor's Landord. Well worth a trip out.
nickdavies - 16 Apr 2005 18:22
Chris, probably because you used his car park for eating at Ali Raj across the road! The Surrey Oaks is my favourite pub even though I don't live particularly near. An exceptional array of ales, international beers and real cider on offer. Great food and a big garden with Boul pitch and swings! Unmissable Beer Festival August Bank Holiday weekend and Ali Raj is superb for a curry after a few beers
goosegog - 22 Aug 2004 20:38
The landlord at this pub chose to tell us to move our car within his empty car park in such a rude way that we left immediately. It is quite possible to request these things nicely and there are plenty of other places to eat and drink. I recommend boycotting pubs like this one with rude landlords. The Indians in the excellent restaurant across the road were much better mannered.
Chris, 4 August 2003.
ChrisS - 4 Aug 2003 17:27
The Soaks is one of the best real ale pubs in Surrey. Plenty of excellent guest beers and ciders, a nice beer garden, and they do take outs as well. Strongly recommended if you like good beer.
Jeez - 12 Jun 2003 23:45

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