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Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood - pub details

Royal Oak Inn

Address: Caterfield Lane, Staffhurst Wood, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0RR [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 13269) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Hurst Green (2 miles), Edenbridge (2.4 miles), Edenbridge Town (2.8 miles)

Pub facilities/features:
Cask Marque accreditation

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> Current user rating: 6.6/10 (rated by 39 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Diamond, Hurst Green (1.0 miles), Brickmakers Arms, Crowhurst Lane End (1.8 miles), Haycutter, Oxted (1.9 miles)

user reviews of Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood

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

5 most recent reviews of 47 shown - see all reviews

Now a puffy cushion effort in the "Grumpy Mole" chain.

If you can stand the soft furnishings, the food is actually good, and not (quite) as expensive as I feared. But with all 3 ales now sourced from the Greene King portfolio, sadly this is another former rural gem that I won't rush back to.
lynx - 13 Nov 2018 17:20
Things went on satisfactorily for a while, but after the freeholder failed to get what he wanted (i.e. planning for a large extension on the side of the pub), he seems to have taken his bat home and sold the business on to an apparently on-the-up but food-driven company trading under the rather gimmicky (and in my view rather dated) name of 'Grumpy Mole'.

I haven't eaten here since the old regime and I fear it won't match up, although in fairness to the GM brand I ate at their Brockham 'branch' (the former Duke's Head) last August and found the food very acceptable, so one hopes that the standard is uniformly reasonable across each outlet.

What lets these down - and I know I am biased but part of an increasingly-discerning and similarly-biased group - is the lack of attention to beer. I would contend that notwithstanding that dry sales are now king in terms of revenue contributions, any pub pushing itself as a higher-end eaterie should nowadays also ensure it majors on a range of decent drinks in general, and particularly quality cask ales. Most pubs of this ilk - even the chain-led venues such as the proliferation of B & P pubs in this area of late - have a reasonable stock and moreover seldom found in bad condition, even if one has to fork out rather more than in some less-restaurant-orientated places. Both the Brockham version and the Royal Oak had a very unimaginative and narrow range on, and I spoke to the bar staff about this in the hope they might feed it back to their superiors and wake them up.

This pub has lost much in this takeover: it was once a happy combination of drinkers' bar and eaters' restaurant where rural working class and urban professional types could mix freely under the same roof, but in distinctly separate areas with different characters. Now the entire place is a restaurant with only the immediate bar area as an 'obvious' place to lurk if one isn't hungry. Nevertheless, it is at least still trading as a kind of pub, and hasn't lost all potential as somewhere still worthy to drink as well as have a meal. If they broaden their bar spectrum, especially on the cask side, it can only help deliver what I think many gastro-ish customers now expect. Keep it local, but most importantly, keep it well!
Gamboozler - 25 Apr 2017 15:45
One of my personal favourites for food over many years, and also cask beer. Frequent winner of local CamRA 'Cider Pub of the Year', most-recently bestowed 17 days ago, although changes are afoot at the Oak. Julian & Denise, the long-term leaseholders, sadly retired a few weeks back, and although essentially the owner has decided to maintain the status quo and installed Paul (erstwhile big barman) as manager, there are some amendments appearing albeit for now only in decor - general brightening up and de-cluttering is good although too much and character may start to ebb away.

Ales still kept well (some of the best Adnams Southwold ever!), and a rare outlet for Larkin's Trad. Ciders all in check though a touch warm as behind the bar in polypins.

It's the victuals I'm most fearful for at the minute - that standard must stay high as it is surely the king when it comes to overall sales? I do hope it continues where J & D left-off; they will be sorely-missed by many.
Gamboozler - 9 May 2014 16:26
beer good, Long Blonde, Larkins , staff not interested, rowdy bar , seems for a handful of younsters. will not be back!!!
pistolknight - 8 May 2014 16:59
An entirely pleasant rural pub near the Surrey/Kent border, with the mostly middle aged and middle class clientele one might expect after driving through the area. Worthy selection of interesting-enough ales and a couple of real ciders - with the Larkins being in fine shape and a welcome sight. Long Man Long Blonde was also evident and I think an Adnams. Not sure why they bother with Doom Bar. Deservedly popular without being astonishingly good.
richythemole - 12 Apr 2014 09:29

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