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Seahorse, Shalford

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user reviews of the Seahorse, Shalford

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

A long way from terrible but not that close to great either. Pleasant enough pub, clean and well presented with attentive staff. Food was generally ok but I felt it was priced at the top end of what they could get away with (there's absolutely nothing special about it). My meal was cold which I didn't feel was acceptable which is why i've marked it down but the other courses were reasonably ok.
georgey48 - 15 Dec 2013 20:43
Average place,there are better private owned pubs in this area to eat.
ThePilgrim - 7 Feb 2013 17:28
Pretty confusing ordering food here, but the food is of good quality on the bright side.
EyeOfTheTigerBeer - 8 Sep 2012 19:45
Remains the most reliable pub to eat in around Guildford. We've had various NCT doos over the past 12 months - all have gone well. Keep it up guys...
pwr - 26 Feb 2012 18:06
We dropped in for a meal the other night. Rude inattentive staff and a totally uninspiring and pretentious menu (I mean "frites" and "jenga fries" really?) meant we didn't even stay long enough to find out what the food was like.

This place is basically an Italian restaurant masquerading as a pub, and from what I saw I wouldn't be confident that it is a particularly good restaurant.

Like Castiche, we went on to the Parrot and were very glad we did!
Dr3Daemon - 26 Aug 2011 10:11
Called in a couple of days ago. It's now a Premium Country Dining Group place (same as the Wooton Hatch, Arkle Manor, Derby Arms on Epsom Downs etc.

The good thing about these places is that they do have proper bar areas (i.e. not every table is laid with cutlery) - and they are different, keeping some character.

A bad thing is the menu's always the same.

In an ideal world, Mitchels and Butlers wouldn't exist and every pub would have a red-faced landlord, a roaring fire in the winter, a beer garden for the summer, and a free minibus to get you home.

As it is, the pub is still in business (which is a real bonus these days) and it's a pleasant if rather homogeneous experience
Gzornenplat - 23 Aug 2011 02:32
Pride (£3.25), Doom Bar with TEA turned around. Very much food led although welcoming enough as a pub. Large beer garden.
GuideDogSaint - 26 Jun 2011 13:40
very very bad. typical of a big pub company that is only interested in the share price. real shame.
neil10 - 19 Nov 2010 20:13
Returned after 2 years to give it another go - same old story - nobody serving at the bar, was initially happy at seeing Doom Bar on hand-pump until it arrived and was badly off. Asked for T.E.A instead but was told that was off as well.

The good points: friendly and attentive waitresses; food came very quickly; nice decor/tables.

Bad points: ales being off; food overpriced and small portions (a bland tasteless burger with ten chips in a bowl is not worth £11!); small wooden plates - they may look trendy but the food falls off the sides, particularly when they're so small!

We will be continuing to use the Parrot where, by some wizard's magic, they seem to be able to serve much better food at a more reasonable price, keep their ales well and actually staff the bar.

Castiche - 19 Nov 2010 11:16
No need to disinfect the tables every time someone leaves!
mint_julip - 24 Oct 2010 19:39
Not sure about this place, as said before it`s not a `Pub`.
Food we get the feeling is bought in from one of the Brake Bros.companies could be wrong but it that`s how it seems.
FredCarno - 21 Oct 2010 20:11
I have been to this pub / restaurant on at least a dozen occasions over the past two years but although the quality of the food remains high the quality of the service remains stubbornly poor.
There are other comments on this site about this and although I have never suffered rudeness it is common to receive dismissive and unattentive service. Orders get forgotten, it takes an age to get anything delivered to the table and getting the bill can equally be a time consuming affair. For me i'm not sure that i can bother to go back when there are so many better options in the area.
245BobJ - 21 Jul 2010 22:32
yes a nice visit today on a fine sunny day... a lot of older people were eating here but i had a beer and sat outside. 2 real ales doom bar and tea but the erdinger was fine with friendly service.
drinkers_paradise - 2 Jun 2010 17:17
Nice pub, they looked after a large(ish) party of us really well, no complaints about any of the service or the meals... my steak was very nicely cooked, not the best in the area but up there in the top 5.

Definitely worth a visit if you are after a nice atmosphere and some decent food.
bretty - 11 May 2010 14:35
This is far more a restaurant than a pub,some Ladies who lunch were in on our visit,so not a drinkers place.
Shanty - 22 Mar 2010 14:29
Another visit to the Seahorse today. An enjoyable occasion especially for the lovely location and the pub itself was reasonably busy inside but empty outside. Only 1 real ale on that being the Tim Taylor Landlord. Good beer and I can only think this pub has to remain at 10/10.
BestBeerBoffin - 10 Feb 2010 15:32
Ok visit on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, at least I thought it was quiet but there was a whole load of people inside today having a late lunch. Just a soft drink for me and much more quiet outside. Still a neat place.
BestBeerBoffin - 16 Sep 2009 15:50
Went to visit this pub last sunday. It had nice decor and atmosphere but two things let it down. The service was terrible and it wasn't good value for money.

The senior staff knew what they were doing and were efficent and pleasant but the junior staff were useless. It took ages before our order was taken and it seemed like ages before our food came, whilst other later diners meals streamed out of the kitchen.

We werent offered any condiments, there was no salt or pepper on the tables and at no point were we asked how our meal was.

The food was fine in that it was cooked well, however it didn't justify the price. The roast dinner was £12 but was of average quality with a processed circle of stuffing. The fresh tuna tasted anything but fresh and the new potato accompaniment comprised 1.5 new potatoes. The greek salad upon which the tuna was served was so heavy on olives and feta cheese that it was hardly possible to eat for the saltiness.
spiceydonkey - 24 Aug 2009 20:29
A nice visit yesterday afternoon. Hard to know what to make of the interior, perhaps it just feels a tad common but it is pleasant enough nontheless. Sitting outside proved the best option on a warm sunny day and the lady at the bar was friendly. Invested in a Vendetta lager beer or something, whatever it is was called I really should have stuck to some ale! A fine place nontheless.
BestBeerBoffin - 20 Aug 2009 12:38
Location makes it awkward. Could be really good but as others have said the carpark is awkward and walking here isnt that much easier. Nice beer and area mind you.
TheSurreyPubMan - 15 Feb 2009 12:52
Average roadside eatery, pricey and lousy vehicle entry / exiting.
FAB1 - 6 Jan 2009 08:32
After this pub was refurbished thought I would check it out, I was so disappointed, I had the Greek Meze and my husband and son had the burgers, the burgers were tasteless, the Meze looked as if it has been plated up for hours, the pitta breads were stale. When my husband went to pay, and the waitress asked was everything OK, my husband said NO, and explained ...she shrugged her shoulders ...she then just presented the bill!!! Last week I went back again with a friend - thinking perhaps it had just been a one off bad day - we ordered the mushroom soup, this arrived and it didnt taste of mushroom at all, just potatoe - I will not be returning again!!! what a shame that a lovely pub cant produce decent food and have polite staff...
MG100 - 2 Nov 2008 17:51
Had a lovely meal their with friends last night (31/10/08). We had reserved a table, and the restaurant was full. It was nice to sit by the open fire and have a drink before our meal. The atmosphere was buzzing and the staff were really friendly and efficient. Wonderful food; a good choice of meat, fish and trad dishes, plus a specials board. Loved the home made burger with cheese & bacon and chips, just about had enough room for a huge portion of apple & plum crumble (with an extra jug of custard!) Yummy. Have rebooked for another night. This was recommended by a colleague at work, brillant choice for a Friday night.
h1234 - 1 Nov 2008 18:35
Has improved a lot now. Four of the best bottled beers in the World and some good soft drinks too. Food looks like it would be ok. Worth visiting.
anonymous - 21 Jul 2008 15:11
The Seahorse hasn't been a pubby pub since the 1970's - bring back Sid and Ursula and the darts board. However I think it is the best now that it has been for a long time. Have had numerous lunches and one evening meal there since it reopened and all have been excellent. The service is always friendly if a little slow and I don't think they quite grasp the concept of a lunch hour. Howver a Lithuanian chap did go and find out the footbsll score for us! The beer is just about OK, much better kept at the Jolly Farmer down the road at Bramley or the Grantley at Wonersh. But the area does need a decent pub to eat in and so far has been excellent quality and an interesting and changing menu. Worst thing - the nightmarish (excuse pun) huge pictures of horses heads.
lizlibation - 2 Jul 2008 23:18
"Aleman" not so much a strange name but certainly inappropriate for a half-pint drinker - wouldn't one agree old "chap". Read my review on the Parrot - if I worked there I wouldn't be critisising the prices. Mr Reasonable got something right for a change when he states I wasn't commenting on your review,although I feel very sad you couldn't find a nice vegetarian dish - not!
Castiche - 30 Jun 2008 12:26
We wandered in willy nilly only to stand transfixed like a deer in headlights before backing slowly out again.

I wanted to go somewhere relaxing after a tough day and the lighting put me off immediately. Is it some kind of McDs "Keep the lights bright so they'll eat faster and we can put new bums on seats" design? I couldn't see anywhere that you wouldn't have a spotlight shining right at you.

We try again on a day when I've got my sunnies with me. perhaps.
jackie_sunshine - 29 Jun 2008 12:56
I agree with those saying that the re-furbisment has been a disaster for the pub. Been drinking and eating at the SeaHorse occasionally for many years but don't think that I'll be going back till new management take over again.

They have destroyed to old pub atmosphere - the lights over the tables look like they have come out of a factory - huge things about 2ft diameter or else multiple swivelling car headlamp units. Very out of place for a pub that is hundreds of years old. I agree with the "designed by a footballer's wife" comment made earlier.

Meals start at £10.50 and don't come with vegetables - only found this out when our meal arrived as was not clear on menu nor mentioned by the waitress that you had to order veg separately. Been told the permanent looking printed menu is identical to that at the Inn on the Lake, Godlaming ~ so now part of a pub chain maybe, I don't know. Also rather over crowded in the bar area with smallish round copper tables all with two chairs and one stool type affair.

Range of beers reasonably priced from £2.85/pint.

Was very busy on a Friday so some people like it - just not my cup of tea as they say and miss the lost atmosphere of what had been one of the best very old traditional Surrey pubs.
andy8 - 23 Jun 2008 07:39
It used to be a lovely PUB now it`s an over priced restaurant.Staff are a mixture some friendly and some not.You don`t get the villages in here so a ocal it can`t be.We travel on to the village edge,Wonersh or Bramley.
giveusabeer - 20 Jun 2008 21:39
Gets some pretty harsh reviews. I prefer it to how it used to be.
TheSensiblePubReviewer - 20 Jun 2008 19:14
Castiche? Strange name don't you agree. My points were rather valid I certainly believe. Anyway chappy are you a worker of the Parrot by any chance? My half pint of T.E.A at the Seahorse was what i'd expect.
anonymous - 20 Jun 2008 11:01
Agree with the last two comments - now just an overpriced theme pub although difficult to work out what the theme is. Go to the Parrot just up the road, still pricey but 10 times better. Mr Reasonable should be Mr Ridiculous, the road leading out of Guildford to Shalford is not a "horrible stretch". His comment on the parrot also states that "he can't enjoy a pub on such a busy road" (it's not) does he have a road phobia? Two things sum up this individual - he'd rather have an "exotic bottled beer" than the excellent locally brewed T.E.A ale, and his use of the word "one" - i.e. = "How does one get here from Guildford". Says it all.
Castiche - 20 Jun 2008 08:47
Hootch have to agree with you but thats what Mitchells and Butler do, they ruin good friendly pubs and try and close down those near by.
The food here ain`t great well over priced not a relaxing place at all.
Beware of bones in your food you have been warned!!!
Beersupper - 17 Jun 2008 11:26
Mr Reasonable - I am a local and I suspect you won't be murdered by us but your sneering attitude is symptomatic of the Seahorse’s conceited new clientele. Most of us don’t have two heads and are generally commuters working in London. Some of us can even read and write. If we wanted to go to a “Publet” like the new Seahorse, we would stay in London because there are thousands of them in Clapham alone ! That’s why you won’t see many locals in the place, The Seahorse is just another theme pub on the back end of a dying trend. People want the genuine article nowadays and there is nothing genuine about The Seahorse apart from it’s tackiness.

Conglomerate owned and run by disengaged gel monster yoofs wearing “corporate” style shirts referred to as “staff”, with interchangeable names. Who let Laurence Llewelyn-Bown loose in this place without supervision? Only a matter of time before the banners appear for “Live Football and Karaoke”. The only thing keeping the chavs at bay with their Sunday best football strips and white trainers, wafting in a cloud of “Lynx effect” are the outrageous prices.

“Smart, cool and trendy”? For who exactly? Cheap Burton suits with “footballers fist knot” ties and pointy shoes kind of trendy? Maybe in West London but in Surrey it stands out like a missing tooth.

We used to go to the Seahorse on a regular basis because it was a family friendly local pub where you could settle in a comfortable leather chair and relax. We are no longer welcome. New business model. The new Seahorse is not designed to welcome locals, it is designed to separate people from their money as quickly as possible, hence the visual pollution and uncomfortable straight backed seating. An hour in the Seahorse is like sitting in a room filled with white noise, but you pay £100 for the pleasure.

Very much for London day trippers with more money than taste or husbands pressed into taking the Missus out for a “posh meal” and being too embarrassed to mention the true size of the bill, alleviating their discomfort by declaring it to be “quality food” because they don’t know any better .

Yes, best to drive to avoid the web fingered locals …… but my advice is to keep driving to the Queen Vic, Compton or Wonersh where you can still find the genuine article, but Mr Reasonable, please stay away because that’s where you will find the Shalford locals!

Hootch - 12 Jun 2008 11:46
We went on Saturday night, managed to get the last table (we had not booked) and it was rather manic in there. People all over the place and not enough staff. However, it's a lovely pub and has been refurbished to a high standard and really liked it. The menu was good. I had the roasted monk fish, but they were a bit tight on the fish. Overall I would recommend this place, lovely decor and nice food and pleasant staff.
mjh35 - 2 Jun 2008 12:45
Well I have to say that I am surprised by the comments since The Seahorse was refurbished. We eat out a lot in the vicinity and enjoy good quality food. The Seahorse food has been of the highest standard since the refurbishment. We have taken three different parties and each have agreed that the food is top notch. The liver, the smoked haddock risotto, the scallops are all top drawer. If I could improve anything it would be the staffs knowledge of the menu and their enthusiasm.
arcticrascal - 6 May 2008 11:34
What a disaster.

What was once a friendly, welcoming, comfortable place has become a mixed and conflicting train crash that is somewhere between a faux tapas bar and a Pret-a-Manger!

It had to be designed by a footballer’s wife – the new interior virtually screeches at you.

I still can’t work out what the new décor is supposed to be or what market it is aimed at, although this is a restaurant now aimed at the under 30 market. What was a comforting, relaxing place to have a pint or two by the fire whilst reading the generously provided weekend papers is now glass and steel and very ….. well ….. beige. I challenge anyone to find a comfortable seat, the new seating is horrible and those spotlights ……. Everywhere! To suggled to find a place to sit without a spotlight burning into my face.

This place will have to be re-decorated within five years, the new look will date quickly, it’s cheap and tacky anyway.

Surly and disinterested staff.

Cripplingly expensive though (Steak dish is close to £20 and even a burger is £10). I could easily see a meal for two with drinks being close to £100.

Expensive tourist trap.

Hootch - 25 Mar 2008 10:16
We had friends who were invited to a preview of this referb`ed pub sorry restaurant(you are correct Stroller)very nice decor (not sure how long it will last)but the food yuck they can`t even send out hot food (chicken at that) even when trying to impress what chance for the rest of us?
ThePilgrim - 23 Mar 2008 17:58
They just dont seem to ever get this restaurant right(it`s not a pub) must be all the microwaves they have.Yet another referb going on but same old brakes food i`ve been told by an insider. Nudge Nudge
stroller - 17 Mar 2008 14:34
I agree with the last comments, same thing happened on my visit, queue of people waiting to be served at the bar but only one person serving, while numerous other staff stood around seemingly doing nothing. Also noticed sticky tables and bar.

No other complaints though, as staff went out of their way to accommodate my party of nine and changed meals to suit my fussy kids without any problem. Nice meals and beer well kept. Also liked the idea of seating areas and booths in smaller rooms, giving a cosier and more private feel to the place.
Castiche - 10 Aug 2007 15:00
This is a very attractive pub to visit and we have always enjoyed our meals here, but they persist in doing things that I find profoundly irritating!

For example, on our last visit when I went to the bar to order our food and more drinks there were 8 customers waiting, but only one member of staff behind the bar. A mere 10 feet away two girls were languidly polishing cutlery at the dresser, whilst another zoomed around delivering food to tables. In my opinion whoever was responsible for managing the staff wasn't doing it very effectively.

The girl behind the bar said she would deliver our drinks to our table, but that just meant that we waited another 15 minutes for them on top of the 20 that I queued at the bar.

Both the edges of our table, and the bar were horribly sticky as well, and I hate that kind of sloppiness.

It's such a shame.
LunchLadyDoris - 28 Jun 2007 12:42
Went for lunch on Sunday - a Bank Holiday weekend - so had expected it to be busy but strangely it wasn't.My first visit. The staff went out of their way to accommodate our party of eight, moving tables and chairs etc.We were made welcome, including the children in the party.Presumably this pub is part of a chain but not overtly so.The food won't win any Michelin stars but it was fine and it fuelled us for a walk in the Surrey hills.Puddings were small and therefore seemed dear. Treacle tart was very good though.A good sign in my view was no children's menu; they ate what we did and cleaned their plates.Pleasant, calm atmosphere. Beer was Tim Taylor Landlord in good nick; shame I only had time for one.

Ordinary - 8 May 2007 21:56
Currently advertising for staff - the shortage of which showed in my opinion.

On the plus side, we stopped in for a drink and felt comfy enough to order food as well. It says Free House on the outside and we always like to try those out in preference to the branded chains.

Inside, the pub is a genuinely old building and has lots of nooks and crannies with different seating areas. It is furnished in keeping with the style of the building and we liked it a lot.

Our food was lovely, and arrived reasonably quickly. My daughter said it was the nicest burger she'd ever tasted - which is high praise indeed! The menu is not extensive, but there were quite a few things I fancied. Nothing veggie though, as Aleman noted.

The staff seemed friendly enough, but a tad over worked and kind of stressed out... It was hard to get any eye contact or conversation and to be honest I prefer a bubblier reception. The staff were in "head down and get on with the job" mode.

At my arrival at the bar nobody acknowledged me, said hello, or even smiled, but I was served precisely in turn. Unfortunately the bar was too sticky to lean on which is never a great first impression.

Or table was sticky as well, and nobody came to check if our food was ok or not.

Having said all that we'll definitely be back in a few weeks to try again. On the whole we liked The Seahorse, but the negative things I mentioned do matter to me, so I am hoping to see an improvement on my next visit.

(No rating left this time)
jackie_sunshine - 18 Feb 2007 03:46
2 Ales available, Timothy Taylor Landlord, which was off on visit. But they also have a nice London Pride. Decent lager as well, with Amstel on draught.

Quite a nice feel to the place, old and traditional. The food menu was intriguing, does not contain any main vegetarian dishes however. Best time to visit is on a nice day as you can sit outside
aleman - 15 Feb 2007 17:12
I think Biker and I must share the exact same taste in pubs. Once again we agree with each others comments. The drinks prices are as high as in London, but the food is priced at the right level for what it is - which is good and for where it is - which is relaxed and friendly. Glad to have 'discovered' it for myself. Pillar candles in the areas away from the warm fires are a good feature that I wished more pubs would use to add atmosphere as well as a little more light. Amused to read that real fires can leave you smelling of bonfire. What a revelation :)
pwr - 4 Feb 2007 16:38
Spent a very pleasant weekday lunchtime in this pub. Food was very nice and the puddings were excellent. Not cheap but could be a lot worse.

Decor is comfortably old fashioned although the toilets were a bit of a disappointment! Beer is reasonable if not spectacular. The same for the prices. On our visit it was nicely half full with most other people being retired. The real fires are a nice touch although leave you smelling like a bonfire.

Well worth the small drive out of Guildford for a pleasant drink and perhaps some food.
anonymous - 9 Jan 2007 16:51
This pub is boardering on being a restaurant it certainly is not for your local drinkers.Food was ok service average,decor great.Saying all that we will possibley call again when we have done all the really good village pubs in this area.
giveusabeer - 5 Oct 2006 12:53
Nice pub to sit and have a drink and catch up with great selection of ales, soft drinks and wine. Service by staff is very good however lunch time menu was a let down with limited choice and it being very over priced for the quality and quantity.
anonymous - 1 Oct 2006 21:31
This is our local and we go regularly for a pint and a chat. The bar staff and management are always very friendly and beer is VERY well kept. Upset to here that others have had poor experiences of the food. Every time we have eaten there it has been exceptional. Shame you can't sit at the bar though, I miss that.
one_for_the_road - 22 Aug 2006 23:45
I have always rated this pub very highly till now.Called in a couple of times now mid afternoon,gone to the bar staff just sitting around no one makes a move to serve,they look up and then just carry on talking,we asked if they were doing food(they advertise allday menu) to be told no.No sorry or reason given,we had traveled from over the other side of town on a wasted journey will never be caught again.
Beersupper - 16 Aug 2006 11:52
Sorry to disagree sunny,but if Mitchells & Buttler is not a chain i don`t know what is.As a local in this area for over 40 years i am feed up with pub companies taking away our local pubs which has happened here & is happening all over where will it stop.I just want to be able to go to my local a have a pint & a chat can`t do that because of companies like the above,Punch etc.
stroller - 29 Jul 2006 15:41
Lovely! Great date pub, or somewhere to take your Mum & Dad out to. Food was great - & the boss was really nice. I liked being able to see who was running the show.

It's good to go to lots of different types of places & this is definitely a food pub rather than a bar or drinkers pub.

I know it isn't part of a chain because I asked, but it really reminded me of The Swan. Nice atmosphere, friendly people with personalities, & good food.
Sunny_Sunnarsson - 5 May 2006 17:29
Fling and bing .Not a pub anymore.Where r all the good pubs going.Pub Co`s have alot to answer for shame on you.
anonymous - 2 May 2006 19:23
This place should be called The Oyster. Its quite ordinary on the outside but a real pearl inside with good solid oak furniture and proper log fires. The food is truly excellent and there is a varied choice. The service is attentive but not intrusive. The waiter (or was he the landlord) certainly knew about the food he had to offer.
anonymous - 4 Jan 2006 21:12
Really enjoyed our visit after an absence of a year when we had a terrible experience. Pub has changed hands and now seves good quality fresh food and real ale.
Attentive and caring service by staff who have clearly had a course in customer care as opposed to delivering a "speech".
Well worth a visit if you are looking for a bolt hole away from the ever increasing number of chain owned pubs.
anonymous - 12 Aug 2005 15:31
Recently visited The Seahorse after quite a break from the area. It has changed hands and has had a refurbishment. There is a good quality look and feel to the place and the food ordered was prepared in a timely and 'cared for' fashion. It is clear the new chef, and owner, is passionate about high quality ingredients sourcing them from all around the country. Atmosphere was good and staff were fun and friendly without swamping our table with the ever increasingly meaningless 'is everything ok with your meal' question. Well worth a visit. Although take care leaving the car-park, on-coming traffic is often speedy and the entrance/exit is not hugely visible. - 22 Jul 2005 12:22

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