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BITE user comments - HHGTTG

Comments by HHGTTG

The Kings Arms, Westerham

Yes. Fawlty Towers comes to mind.
I meet up with my cousin and sister and we usually go to Food For Thought on the Green. But this time we'd though we would give this place a try out for our Sunday lunch.
Hmmm, won't be going again. Initial impressions were that of a faded old hotel. We were shown to our booked table and i noticed straighaway that the wine glasses could have done with a polish as they were dull and smeary.
When the three of us had gathered we decided to go for the Sunday roast and based on the condition of my teeth opted for the Turkey a decision that we all arrrived at.
Some minutes later someone came back to us and said would we like Cauliflower Cheese with that and we all said yes. Howver the person returned to tell us that thay would incur a £3 surcharge and so we said, don't bother. Eventually he came back and said there wan't any Turkey an so unwisely we chose Beef. Big mistake for me, as it turned out as it was so chewy and the vegetable were already on the plate and not served up on a side dish.
All in all very disappointing and the Cheesecake dessert was very disappointing but that was my fault as I misread the description of it.
Won't be going back there, Mr Fawlty.

17 Oct 2013 10:38

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

Believe me, I don't have a vendetta against this place but I went their and met up with some mates, for a drink.
My initialy impressions of a few months ago about the decor were now reinforced. The interior has been ruined in my opinion.
The walls are stark white and the wall lights are are unforgiving white as well. As I said before all the original dark beams/woodwork has been overpainted with a matt paint/emulsion in what appears to be a very pale creamy colour and this has accentuated the wood's blemishes in a most unpleasandt way.
The positive points then. The place was very warm - over warm or oppressive and very quiet on this October night. Including us, I only could account for about 8 or nine people but I did not go around the other side of the pub.
Frankly, I am not sure who are the owners now, of this establishment. There is only an A la Carte menu with quite a lot on it and a chef in the kitchen!
Well it's a convenient place for we three to meet up that's all I can say but they no longer sell J20 drinks but and 'H' equivalent.

17 Oct 2013 10:26

The Wheatsheaf, Bough Beech

Yes, this pub is now up for sale. About £700,000 if anyone is interested?

2 Aug 2013 10:25

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

Well it's had a revamp and is advertiseds a 'Pub country and Dining' or something like that and this tells me it is now under the Mitchell and Butlers umbrella.
All the wooden beams and walls have now been painted all the same yuk-ish colour at least on my last visit about a month ago and didn't look very nice but perhaps that was in the early stages of a revamp

2 Aug 2013 10:17

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

Well, last week we were heading down to the coast but came across some atrocious wet weather and so decided to about turn and head back to Sheffield Park which we normally approach through Fletching and one of our favourite pubs, The Rose and Crown.
Admittedly, it was just after midday but the moment I entered the pub and saw the rather bare interior with the tables not laid or anything remotely inviting, we had a brief look at the menus and then left. Perhaps we were a trifle hasty but I can't imagine that this pub was now attracting its original clientele that it had been, last year and for which we always made sure that we had booked a table.
The place just looked shabby and wanting but maybe I am being unfair and perhaps an hour later would see this place crowded. However, the menu, whilst adequate for us did not seem to offer what used to attract people in the past.

8 Aug 2012 09:48

The Rose and Crown Sevenoaks, Sevenoaks

I, too have been here since it opened as a Vintage Inn.
Bearing in mind what it is, this is a very good example of its type and is well laid out BUT it all depends on whether the management can keep the present standards up.
Our visit a few weeks ago was very pleasant and the food was hot and good for its type.
Another Vintage Inn has opened up at Biggin Hill and was The Fox and Hounds but now known as The Aperfield Inn. This only opened up after Christmas and you might be interested to read my comments so far. I don't want the Rose and Crown to echo my findings there!

19 May 2012 18:05

The Padwell Arms, Seal

I cannot believe I am reading this last comment. After all these months and on the verge of revisiting this pub after some time, since Dougie and Jayne left and various others had tried to revive it, I am now hearing it's back to square one, again.
Never particularly enamoured by D and J but at least they tried but all the regulars I knew including that interesting character from the Knole estate, all left and we stopped going as well and moved on to pastures new.
This is such a shame. I often drive past the pub about 1-30pm but the once full car park is usually quite empty.

18 May 2012 09:29

The Fox and Hounds, Biggin Hill

Have been to the new re-opened The Aperfield Vintage Inn and first impressions were great, considering the chain involved. All nice and clean and fresh and enthusiastic staff.
However on my second visit, about 3 weeks ago, we found the place crowded as usual (a victim of its own success), with many tables booked. This led to rather slow service as they now insist, it seems on waitress service. The new Summer menu was now in use and we noticed that the fishcakes on offer were now Haddock and wholegrain mustard rather than the ubiquitous Salmon ones (don't like Salmon).
We both ordered these and after some time they arrived looking rather squashed and somewhat greasy. Upon eating these it revealed that these were indeed Salmon based and contained Broccoli and therefore were not those as advertised on the menu. As the staff were so busy, we ate these but eventually drew this discrepancy to the pleasant waitress. She apologised and asked if we wanted something else, which we declined.
We had a dessert and then coffee and left.
I eventually contacted Vintage Inns via their website and filled in their online complaints form and eventually received a phone call from the duty manager of said pub apologising and told me that I would receive a letter from Vintage Inns allowing me 20 my next visit to any one of their establishments. I now have such a letter in my possession.
I ought to end here but on my recommendation and which I had made to a relative en passant, so to speak, they visited the same Inn a few days ago.
They visited on a busy Saturday and found the service sadly lacking and one of them also chose the Haddock Fishcakes only to find that these too were not as advertised on the menu but comprised that wretched Salmon again.
Sadly, it looks as those this recently opened pub is already on the decline which is a sad state of affairs.

14 May 2012 09:21

Bull Inn, Brasted

This place has now shut and is boarded up if it is the pub in the High St. Funny thing is, that I've only just noticed this state and yet pass through Brasted quite often but perhaps not as often as I thought based on other's findings.

18 Nov 2011 14:32

The Fox and Hounds, Biggin Hill

Well, now I know its fate. I drove past today and they're advertising for staff. The pub has been renamed The Aperfield Inn and it's opening in December as another Vintage Inn - I hope that the plates and the food are hot. A bte noir of mine.

18 Nov 2011 14:28

The Harrow Inn, Warlingham

Very poor experience last Friday when I attended for lunch at midday. The place was cold as there was no central heating on (perhaps it was broken). Several of us complained but there was no explanation. The bloke in charge then proceede to light a fire (that should have been lit at least an hour earlier).
So establishment felt cold and unwelcoming. We ordered three hot starter between the two of us. They came quickly but two were just tepid and the stuffed peppers were stone cold and uncooked. All dishes were presented on stone cold plates as is usual in Vintage Inns.
After complaining, the food was then re-issued piping hot. We didn't bother with desserts but just had coffee.
All in all a lousy managed example of a Vintage Inn. I have complained to the head office but shan't be going there again.
Utter incompetence.

5 Nov 2011 18:00

The Fox and Hounds, Biggin Hill

Only comment I can make is that on passing by the pub has closed down and the builers are in whether for refurbishment or converting to something else, I don't know. But it's shut for pub business.

22 Oct 2011 18:17

The Blacksmiths Arms, Cudham

Oh, dear. A large black cloud hangs over this pub due to the rather sudden death of the lovely Jan who had done several decades serving as loyal bar staff here. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and succumbed to her disease after a very short time.
I send my condolences to the her family and the rest of the staff here at this delightful pub. This is a pub by which others should be judged and if they only followed some of this pub's criteria, then not so many would be closing down.

6 Oct 2011 19:22

The Old Jail, Cudham

Always being an early bird at lunchtime, we see many tables that have been reseved for much later in the period. It's a pity you can't have these tables, if they are reserved for much later, providing you are told this and wil vacate them when necessary. It's stupid having tables empty for, say, one and a half hours, if you arrive just before midday.
Of course all this presupposes that he kitchen staff can get the food out promptly like they do at the nearby Blacksmith's Arms.

23 Apr 2011 11:25

The Woodman, Ide Hill

On the basis of the comments below I visited this 'pub' for a bit of lunch and was slightly taken about by its vastness and character, to be honest and it wasn't all positive for all that.
If it had been branded like a Vintage Inn then I would not have been surprised although I realise that the food style was quite different and there was obviously a S. African influence with accents from the floor staff etc. and this has something to do with the owner's country of birth.
The food was OK to middling but the desserts were, in my opinion, rather expensive as was the filter coffee at 2.55p per largish cup/mug.
We'll probably go there again as it is a matter of change of venue from the pubs we regularly go to but it is certainly not one of the best but not bad, however.
Each to their own I suppose.

25 Feb 2011 15:29

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

Oh my goodness what has happened here. My friends and I had arranged to meet at the Red Lion but on arrival at 8pm couldn't get into the overcrowded car park and so decided to decamp to the PA.
On entering, I could not believe how much this place had gone down the pan in the last couple of years. Flashing machines, Games machines bare floorboards and no food on offer (or so it seemed) and very few customers. However we stuck it out until 10pm as we just wanted a chat but frankly, I was class this place as a dump now - such as shame.

18 Feb 2011 15:51

The Harrow Inn, Warlingham

Sorry but in the post below, I meant leading up to December 2010!!

12 Jan 2011 21:44

The Harrow Inn, Warlingham

On one or two visits in the weeks leading up to December 2009 my friend and myself went for a drink on a Thursday night. A big mistake as this place insists on having a quiz on this night, whethe you want one or not. All this does, when it starts, makes it impossible to hold a conversation with the friends whom you have arranged to spend the evening with.
Why does the management persist in this nonsense in what is essentially an eating establishment with drinks thrown in. You have to sit there and try and compete with the Tannoy system and the banal question every so often.

12 Jan 2011 21:43

The Bell Inn, Outwood

I reported my findings to Fullers Pubs and eventually received a letter of explanation and apology from the Manager of The Bell, Sian.
Her explanation was as follows.
"I welcome your comments regarding our prices when you visited The Bell the other day for coffee. We have a large and diverse menu offer for lunchtimes ranging from bar nibbles at 3, fresh baguettes at 5.95, hot filled Jacket Potatoes from 5.95, pub classics around 9 and a chefs creations and a specials board around 13.95. We review our prices on a regular basis and I am sure you can appreciate that prices do fluctuate with certain ingredients and seasonal produce. Further to your comments, we have since reviewed the pricing of our lunchtime offer again.

On another note, the day in question that you visited we had had an operational error and the chalk boards had been re-written with the wrong price for the Jacket potatoes, whilst our tills were charging our usual price of 5.95 for a Jacket Potato. The staff member who had written the board had copied the price of our ploughman's lunch by mistake, a genuine error for which I apologise."

12 Oct 2010 17:06

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

Now an excellent pub. Dare I say even better than it has ever been. Super food if only the amount of food on the plates seems a bit excessive for my appetite!
Have one minor criticism in that I asked for a cup of filter coffee and got a large cup of what appeared to be like a Latte. I had expected a cup of black coffee with some cream to add. Maybe this was why the cup was 2.25!!!
Anyway a super pub and excellent food and only wished I lived nearer.

16 Sep 2010 08:58

The Castle, Outwood

Covered in scaffolding yesterday but open, I think, as there were some blokes sitting outside, drinking. Will reserve judgement until work completed.

11 Sep 2010 09:14

The Bell Inn, Outwood

Well, where do I start? We had been to the Red Lion in Bletchingley for lunch, for the first time (excellent) and then decided to cover some old ground by driving south and passing the Dog and Duck (now closed of course) and then turning left into Miller's Lane and passing The Castle that was covered in scaffolding but presumably functioning as a pub. We ended up at our old stomping ground - The Bell. We had not been there for about 2 years but decided to go in for a cup of coffee.
This was about 1-45pm, or thereabouts and the place was not overly crowded, for a Friday, compared to where we had just lunched.
We sat drinking our coffee and scanned the various chalk boards and were flabbergasted to see the price of their jacket potatoes, the dearest being a prawn jacket for 7.95!! How can any establishment justify charging this for this ubiquitous filled potato? Absolutely ludicrous and off-putting.

I'd like to put this pub back into our regular visits but could not do so at these prices. I do recognise that on Tuesdays they have some good lunch offers but that day is out for us.

11 Sep 2010 09:13

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

Phone up the pub again today 27th Sept and surprisingly got an answer. Apparently the pub is now under yet a new owner and is now open again!!

27 Aug 2010 11:02

The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone

As previous comments have alluded, I too visited the pub again yesterday on the way back from the excellent Bottle House Inn and enjoyed the marvellous resuraced roads leading to Chiddingston.
We walked into the courtyard and were pleased to see that the seating there had improved from those horrible backless benches we'd seen there a few months ago and had been replaced by rather large and cumbersome wooden furniture - which is a plus. However, glancing at the Pub menu, we winced at the prices charged for sandwiches, starters and especially desserts at 6.50 a time - absolutely ridiculous.
No, go back down the road to the Bottle House, Spotted Dog or Little Brown Jug for better fare and prices.
It's a shame that the Castle has ended up like this for want of a bit of common sense and good management - Don't owners ever learn?

21 Aug 2010 11:39

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

Oh, dear! Was looking at their website today for a possible visit tomorrow, before going on to Sheffield park and the pub appears to be closed again "due to unforeseen circumstances". What's happened here?

3 Aug 2010 11:30

The Bottle House, Penshurst

I think that I or the previous poster must be in a parallel universe. I went yesterday, again, for lunch (a Tuesday after Bank Holiday Monday) and had a very nice, large starter, a bowl of chips followed by a dessert and coffee and truffle. 27/two people.
The all female staff were very chatty and helpful but admittedly the place isn't very 'pubby' now or never really was even when that rather dour Northern gentleman used to be behind the bar, before the alterations.
I know that as a 'starter' only person (as mains are usually too big) the portions can be a bit smaller but they are enough for me.

5 May 2010 09:19

The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone

Stopped off briefly in Chiddingstone today to have a look at the menu and courtyard of the recently 'taken over' Castle Inn.
I did not like what I saw in respect of the prices of Pub Grub on the menu (6 for a dessert!) nor the fact that the comfortable although faded plastic furniture in the courtyard had been replaced with the ubiquitous and uncomfortable 'backless' picnic tables.
Shan't be going there again. Ah, well anothe pub bites the dust, so to speak

4 May 2010 15:57

The Spotted Dog, Penshurst

Have to report that the information I gave below is incorrect. Was told that the Bottle House Inn owner decided not to proceed. It is, however, under new ownership or management - see website.

4 May 2010 15:51

The Mint, Banstead

I notice that one or two Vintage Inns have been taken over by another group and have gone more up market, namely The Derby Arms on Epsom Downs and just recently one near me i.e. The White Hart at Brasted, Kent.

The Derby Arms is now really a 'no go' for the casual evening drinker and so I suppose the White Hart will be the same.

13 Apr 2010 15:38

The Bell Inn, Outwood

I wish that someone else would take over this pub. We've not been there much since Fullers (was it?) revamped the place.
In some ways it was better for that although the pub food on offer is unremittingly dull and over-priced in my opinion. amd wasn't always very well put togehter. Any atmosphere it once had, has disappeared.
I don't know whether Sian and her husband are still running this place?

13 Apr 2010 15:32

The Spotted Dog, Penshurst

Someone told me last week, at the Bottle Hse Inn just around the corner, that The Spotted Dog was now owned by the chap who owns the Bottle House. I do notice some similarity in the menu which may support this information.

13 Apr 2010 15:24

The Padwell Arms, Seal

I don't understand the last poster's comments about the kitchen. Admittedly as once regulars before Dougie and Jane departed, the kitchen was revamped and was quite capable, with the requisite number of staff, to provide quite quick service to the bar and large restaurant extension (which never suited the original building). Parties of people were always booking tables for lunch when we were there, before the decline.
We have never dared to venture back there now that those good old days are past. When I go to a pub for lunch I like a nice, friendly atmosphere and plenty 'going on' which clearly, unless I'm wrong, isn't the case now, unfortunately.

13 Apr 2010 15:20

The Queens Head, Downe

According to my local rag, this pub had been shut recently for refurbishments but is to open again on April 1st 2010. I don't go there often because of parking facilities but it would be interesting to see what changes there has been.

31 Mar 2010 10:04

The White Hart, Chipstead

Well, this pub is certainly better than the Blubecker's travesty that it was, however, well done for charging the most expensive price, I've ever paid, for a bottle of J2O - 2-45p.
It may have been a mistake but my shock stifled questioning the price.

Otherwise, not bad although the original decor and fire is still missed.

7 Feb 2010 09:31

The White Hart, Chipstead

This place has closed again and is surrounded by metal fencing. Does anyone know what is afoot or whether anyone else has taken it over - has Blubeckers washed their hands of this place?

23 Oct 2009 09:16

The White Hart, Chipstead

I have nothing against this place purely as a place for meeting friends a few times a year but I can't believe it is going to be refurbished yet again because it was the Blubecker's Group that stripped the soul out of this pub when then took it over a few years ago!
A few minutes away is the much better Well House at Mugswell although you've got to be careful how you negotiate the twisting country lane that leads to it.

23 Jul 2009 15:53

The Harrow Inn, Warlingham

"Moaning about cold plates is overly picky."

No it's not. Any eatery can be judged by its ability to use hot plates and it is obviously a 'fault' of the management here, as other Vintage Inns can manage to at least give hot food a fighting chance if it is served onto hot or warm plates to begin with.

23 Jul 2009 15:42

The Beachy Head, Eastbourne

I visit quite a few Vintage Inns especially in the London Home Counties, where I live.
I often go down to the S.Coast and visit the Golden Galleon at/near Seaford, Sussex.
However recently and belatedly I discovered that the Beach Head was now a Vintage Inn and we went there for a change.
My first impressions weren't very favourable and the place seemed dingy and need of a makeover or refurbishment. The windows affording excellent views of the Chalk downs were murky, dirty and in need of replacement in all probability. The staff behind the bar seemed a bit understaffed and overwhelmed and there was no defined area for ordering food rather than drink.
Despite this, our food came quite promptly and the Cob Salad was very acceptable however our views out of those grubby windows was disappointing.
Then came the toilets! Probably the worst I've seen in any Vintage Inn. Some tap heads were missing and the hand dryer was not functioning.
I could go on but I think that you must get the general idea of my experience. Not one of your better venues and this is so surprising considering its flagship position right up there on beutiful Beach Head.

25 Jun 2009 13:27

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Drinks at this pub are expensive. My J2O last night was 2.35p!!! and the pub had very few clientele - I wonder why.
To my mind, the pub seems to be somewhat down in the dumps at the moment.

12 Jun 2009 20:51

The Fox and Hounds, Walton On The Hill

Can confirm that this pub is now open again and has been since May 29th. I passed by this pub last night on the way to The Chequers to meet friends.
Do a Google search for the Fox and Hounds, Walton-on-the-hill and you'll see info. on the pubs website.

12 Jun 2009 20:47

The Crown, Bromley

Not any more, it ain't. It closed for a while and has reopened as a Toby Carvery - it used to be a Beefeater.
The Crown to which I allude in on the main A21 Hastings Rd, just on leaving Bromley towards Sevenoaks.

1 Apr 2009 16:37

The Bottle House, Penshurst

Went there today for the first time since opening last week.Wow, what a change but not, necessarily all for the better.
It was apparently bought by a local multi-millionaire who has spend quite a mint on the pubs refurbishment and nothing has been spared, it seems
Everything inside has been stripped down and 'modernised'. No more carpets or old pub flim flam. Beautifully clean and modern toilets - probably the best I've ever seen in a pub/restaurant.
I did miss the red carpet which also helped to absorb noise and the colourways on the walls and in those alcoves are somewhat modern and reminiscent of those seen in the themed pubs belonging to the large pub chains - dare I say vintage Inns and their ilk. However I was personally glad to see that all that cricket paraphernalia has gone along with the retiring previous owner.
Foodwise, menus have been reorganised and shortened but the smoked salmon starter we had was excellent and ample, although the bowl of chips was strange and was not sure how the chips had been prepared as they were very dark and soft with the interior potato looking somewhat wet.

A nice dessert was followed by ample filter coffee and truffles.

The worst aspect the refurbishment is the old fireplace which at the moment looks very odd and naked but plans are afoot to remedy this.
All in all, then I am pleased, although it takes a little getting used to as it has lost its old pub feel in its current state of 'newness' and new paint smell!

13 Mar 2009 16:05

The Well House Inn, Mugswell

Well, last night at about 8pm there were more staff than customers and we were the only occupants in the side bar. Also the conservatory was empty.
However when we left at 10pm there were some more people in the bar where the fire is.
I do hope that this nice pub doesn't go down the pan.

6 Mar 2009 18:30

The Bottle House, Penshurst

This place has just re-opened after a refurbishment and their new website shows some changes to food available and some simplification of the menus.

6 Mar 2009 18:27

The Fox and Hounds, Walton On The Hill

This pub has now closed. I Passed by it last night on the way to the Chequers but did not really see it as it was blacked out.

Was informed by a nice old boy, in the bar of Chequers, that it had shut about two months ago - another one bites the dust!

30 Jan 2009 10:38

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

I really find the comments, including my own, so dispiriting as this place could have great potential if only they'd address the food problem which seems to rear its ugly head time and time again.
The pub has a lovely situation and is usually nice and clean and warm inside although the wooden chairs, in the general pub area, play havoc with my bony spine!
Somehow this place just misses the boat and it is such a shame and I wish the owners/managers would read the comments on this site.

23 Jan 2009 16:15

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Oh dear, if the last poster is correct then I was correct in some ways in predicting that this pub was going to be in dire straits.
There must be many of us sorry to see this pub deteriorate in the way it has, over the last eighteen months or so.
Personally speaking, I don't think Doug or Jayne help matters as it was never quite the same after they took it over as their hearts did not seem to be in the place, what with their poor efforts in keeping a half decent fire going and as a fairly regular visitor, I could see that the writing was on the wall, as the numbers fell off one by one.

30 Dec 2008 19:40

The Harrow Inn, Warlingham

Oh dear. This place seems to be less than average nowadays and the management and staff look a bit jaded. And sins of all sins, they serve their hot food (not always all that hot) on cold plates! The table staff are able to carry all that hot food in their hands without any protection!

One thing I can't stand is hot food served on stone cold plates - ughhh!
I heard a couple near me, the other night complaining of that very problem and when he paid the bill the senior staff member was completely disinterested of his complaint about hot food on cold plates.

15 Nov 2008 18:26

The Mint, Banstead

Kaktus. You say "Open a tab and they will not take your card but operate on trust. Says a lot for the management but the type of regular is not liable to run away without paying. Definitely worth a visit."
Well, for starters I would NEVER, ever leave a card of mine with a stranger! All the pubs I visit, operate on trust and lallow you to open a tab without confiscating a credit/debit card.

From a security aspect I would not dream of giving over my card to anyone.

11 Oct 2008 09:16

The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone

I really wish that Nigel, who is/maybe the current owner/manager would come to this website and read some of the comments about 'his' pub. Sometimes I think that he, or his successor is in denial.
This pub could be so much better than it now has become.
The bar menu has been changed recently and their nice open sandwiches have disappeared and been replaced by ordinary one with not so much filling, as a result. This is accompanied by quite an ordinary salad garnish.
Less than 5 years ago the open sandwiches were delicious and appetising to look at also looked as though some effort had been put into the preparation.
The garden courtyard is now very shabby and it would not take too much effort to have a firm in to pressure clean the brickettes. As for the plastic table and chairs, well least said. However I do prefer a proper backed chair to those ubiquitous and uncomfortable picnic benches.
The prices of the now quite ordinary pub grub is very expensive and I never have coffee because of the absurd prices charged for what is ordinary machine-produced liquid.

15 Sep 2008 16:02

The Bucks Head, Godden Green

I have been here again but have not seen Helen recently but instead a chap who seems to get rather flustered and hot under the collar rather too quickly (he says he comes from Corfu).
I am altering my opinion of this pub ever so slightly in that I think that the food, whilst good, is expensive, what with sandwiches averaging out at 6 and a cup of filter coffee at 2.
At the moment it is still preferable, however, to the ailing Padwell Arms not so very far away.

6 Aug 2008 16:59

The Bell Inn, Outwood

"Still nice enough" just about sums it up but that's about all.
Prawn sandwiches now cost 6.25p, which is ridiculous for sandwiches now offered with a door-step type image with not too much filling either!
Granted, the place is nice and clean and others will vouch for the quality of the beer, no doubt.

17 Jun 2008 15:06

The Padwell Arms, Seal

This will be my last entry concerning this pub - need I say more? Well, yes, I feel I must.
Despite my partner not wishing to come here any more, I persuaded her to at least go for lunch and see whether it was now better and had managed to attract more clientele since our last visit about 6 weeks ago.
Well there were certainly quite a few cars in the car park (closely parked) and this indicated to me, that some walkers had parked and would return later for some lunch.
We arrived at midday and an hour or so later, only a total of five people, including ourselves, were present.

There now seems no longer to be a printed menu, at least when we were there, only some items listed on a blackboard and two of these were wiped off whilst we were there! Our Avocado and Prawn starter was quite acceptable, eaten in the main bar with no one else there, just some fairly loud 'pop' music.

A lady popped in and asked if she could see a sample menu as you wished to bring some friends for a Sunday lunch. She was told that roasts were available and that what other food there was, was on the board. A question about vegetarian dishes did not seem to elicit much of an answer (if my hearing was up to scratch). At about 1-15pm, the walkers started arriving and seemed quite pleased with what was on offer on the blackboard although I'm not quite sure how the kitchen would cope with their many orders.

In all honesty, I don't think that we'll be returning, as there is no atmosphere and none of the old regulars appear to turn up now. It really is such a shame to see this pub end up like this, although others who appreciate the beer on offer, may be perfectly happy with the status quo.

28 May 2008 16:56

The Change of Horses, Farnborough

Went here today after an absence of nearly three years. We stopped going then, as the food was awful and the pub seemed to have gone done the spout.
However, on the recommendation of some friends, went back there today and found everything to be first class for the type of establishment. The unpretentious menu and food were very good and my jacket potato with prawns was excellent in fact the salad garnish was almost overwhelming!
Thank goodness I have found an old favourite that has, like the Phoenix, risen from the ashes.

28 Mar 2008 15:24

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Easydrinker, you have got me wrong concerning this pub. Believe me, I have a fondness for this pub and hope that the present encumbents make a success of it. However, I remember better days here when Bridey was in charge and it was thriving with plenty of luchtime atmosphere and bon viveur and very warm to boot.
Since her departure it has never really been the same and has lost many regulars some of which, no doubt may be the result of the no smoking ban.
I still go there hopeful that each visit will see some improvement and a bit more life because lunchtimes, in recent times, have been pretty dead with practically no one using the restaurant.

28 Mar 2008 11:31

The White Hart, Chipstead

As Nickdavies says below about Bluebeckers. It is strange why they ripped the character and soul out of this place. It was not done sensitively and what is now left is a bland, echoey establishment whick does not seem to identify what it is supposed to be.
On the other hand their alteration to the White Hart at Sevenoaks has worked rather better, in my opinion

22 Mar 2008 12:25

The Padwell Arms, Seal

I have a feeling, in my bones, that this place, unless I'm very much mistaken (and I hope I am) will still be open as a pub, in say, 6 months time. I hope I am proved wrong and the present encumbents can somehow bring this place back to life again but so much needs to be done.
I wouldn't know where to start but I know that more staff are needed as mother and son alone cannot manage on their own with both the bar and kitchen demands if and when demands materialise.

21 Mar 2008 14:32

The Derby Arms, Epsom Downs

Good no doubt that this refurbished 'pub' is for eating, it is obvious that the amount of space allocated for those wishing to meet up with friends for a chat and drink is now much reduced.
Went last night (not the best night accepted, before Easter weekend) but at 8-30pm there were no tables available in the 'drinking' area and so myself and my friends left - we weren't allowed to enter the eating area other than to eat.
Shall not bother to go to the Derby Arms again at least not for meeting up with my pals, for a drink

21 Mar 2008 14:23

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Under new management/ownership? again?

Went there today for lunch and observed that all the kitchin equipment had been turned out into the restaurant area.
Went into the bar at midday and saw a new bloke behind the counter. I asked whether food was being served, in view of what we'd just seen and were told that the kitchen was being fully cleaned and that the pub was under new management. We left and went elsewhere hoping to return when things have settled.

Such a shame to see, what was such a nice pub has deteriorated but here's hoping that things will get better in the not so distant future

14 Mar 2008 16:14

The White Hart, Chipstead

This is really a soul-less place with no atmosphere at least not in the bar area (if that's what it is suppose to be. What a shame. Still, it is a place for a meet up with some friends from outlying areas - they like it, however!

9 Mar 2008 17:01

The Kings Arms, Leaves Green

I believe this pub to be shut now. At least I drove past the other day and saw a 'To Let' sign there.

9 Mar 2008 16:46

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Oh dear oh dear. This pub, now just hasn't got the sort of atmosphere that I'd expect from a country pub in this area. The new manager is trying, I suppose and the food is good and cheaper but the atmosphere today was pretty dire, in my opinion.
The manager/landlord keeps caged birds in the bar area (in adjacent room) and they created a racket most of the time. That allied with the over loud music coming through the loudspeakers doesn't make for a relaxing lunchtime.
Last week, one of the regulars even asked for the 'music' to be attenuated to a reasonable level. Why, or why can't landlords realise that their musical taste (or rather lack of it) isn't to everyone elses taste?

13 Feb 2008 15:54

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

Went to this pub yesterday for the first time since reopening and it was nice to see the new cheerful staff and owners on duty. I also heard the sad news about Roger's death, which, apparently is why the pub eventually shut down.
The once grotty upholstery in the pub bar was apparently restored whilst Roger was still alive and it is nice to see the bar area so fresh again and the new pub menus so enticing.
We'll now be going back frequently to have a pub snack before going on to the nearby Sheffield Park.

10 Feb 2008 12:15

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Where have all the customers gone? Very quiet last Thursday evening but they are at least stocking J2Os again albeit at a somewhat elevated price.

2 Feb 2008 12:17

The Derby Arms, Epsom Downs

Went there last Thursday (19th Jan) to meet my regular friends but found the recently opened 'pub' seething with people. The place is vastly different inside, now, with more eating area than drinking area. However, I found that I had obviously gatecrashed, what was an invitation only evening, celebrating this recently refurbished venue.
When all my friends had arrived we decided to decamp to the Olde Kings Head in Epsom, although to be fair some of the staff said we were welcome to stay and sample the copious bubbly and wine on offer and a sort of buffet.
It remains to be seen whether The Derby Arms will be a suitable venue for us, on a 'normal' day.

19 Jan 2008 11:53

The Old Jail, Cudham

Whoever owns this pub, really aught to spend some money on the kitchen, as it appears that it is not always capable of meeting the demands made upon it. It would be such a shame if the clientele were kept waiting, for long periods of time, for food ordered, especially when very busy - as this deservedly popular place can get.
In all other respects this is an excellent pub.

16 Jan 2008 17:43

The Padwell Arms, Seal

I think that the new manager is now getting improvements under way but it remains to be seen whether it can retrieve those lost souls who have gone elsewhere.
Today, the menu and food was much improved and cheaper than it used to be and the price of the coffee has been reduced by 50p a cup. We still need a better fire/s here as there is no central heating and sometimes the place feels very chilly.
The toilets need some attention especially the drying facilities.

16 Jan 2008 17:34

The Rose and Crown, Fletching

It appears that this pub is now open again for business (new management/ownership) after having been shut for some time, due to bereavement.
I look forward to visiting this friendly pub again next time I visit nearby Sheffield Park.

10 Jan 2008 15:20

The White Hart, Chipstead

Well, I'll repost the comments I made recently, under its former name, and these are as follows:

Went there last night for the first time since the takeover. Well, it certainly is different but is not really a pub, in the true sense of that word, any more.
It's not bad for someone like myself who does not drink beer but the decor, whilst fresh and clean, is very bland and cold looking. The walls are finished in white or pale grey and there is no semblance of warmth therefore - cold and clinical. I don't like the downlighters either.

As I entered the main entrance I was approached by one of the reception staff but quickly avoided him by doing a left turn and heading for what was once the nice warm carpeted bar area which is no more -just a tiled area full of tables and chairs and not all that warm, either. The fireplaces have gone and the bar here is really dominated by a large coffee machine.

I'll be going back as it is a place to meet up with friends and there are fewer places around, these day, for doing just that.

29 Dec 2007 16:16

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Oh dear! I don't know where this place is going. Today, it lacked a fire and atmosphere and the chef and menu had been changed but not necessarily for the good, perhaps. Prices of the food had come down but maybe at the expense of quality.
Will have to see how it goes during the next month or so and if it stays as it is, then I'll give it a miss in future.

28 Dec 2007 15:51

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Went there today and learned that Dougie and Jayne are taking over another pub in Yorkshire but are apparently keeping the Padwell with a manager in charge!
Very busy today, also which is nice to see although, unusually the kitchen were having some difficulties coping with the orders for food. Otherwise nice but I wish someone would get that log fire roaring away as it used to.

7 Dec 2007 16:43

The Derby Arms, Epsom Downs

What's happened to this place. Went there last night to meet with friends, from various regions, only to find it in darkness and closed! Is it closed permanently or being re-furbished, yet again?

16 Nov 2007 10:43

The Well House Inn, Mugswell

This pub must try and address the problems it has been having with car thefts and breakins. Perhaps better lighting and/or CCTV. I don't feel too comfortable going there and having a drink and wondering if some oik isn't trying to get into my car.

2 Nov 2007 10:51

The Red Lion, Bletchingley

This place was buzzing last night and at last seems to be attracting a lot of people (unless it was a one-off).
It deserves the clientele, however, as it is clean, airy and the food looks good, if a bit on the expensive side not that it was discouraging people from eating late into the evening. Mind you the car park was a tad full when I arrived at 8pm on Thursday evening - shall definitely go there again as the other high st. establishments, were rather quiet

7 Sep 2007 09:41

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Well they've solved the problem of expensive J2Os.Yes they don't sell that brand any more but have replaced it by some other 'fruity' drinks costing 2.60p a bottle (375ml, however).

I think that I'll try a still mineral water next time or a ginger beer! Otherwise a comfortable and now smoke-free establishment for the forthcoming cold winter nights - Brrrrrrrrhhhhh!
I'm marking this pub down for the price of its drinks.

17 Aug 2007 17:25

The Blacksmiths Arms, Cudham

Superb. Unique in the quality of food, politeness of all the staff and the atmosphere generated. And the gardens and flowers - well find out for yourselves!
Compare and contrast this with the once nice Padwell Arms at Stone St. near Seal.

17 Aug 2007 17:18

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Went there last night for the first time since they opened about a week ago? First impressions, when I stepped into the front bar, was one of surprise in that so little had apparently changed here - keeping a lot of the olde worlde charm. However it looked a bit plain and dull. The carpets and curtains had been changed but were a trifle under-stated but thankfully, as is common with all places now, the stench of cigarette smoke had gone.
The bar staff, bar one (excuse the pun) did not seem very clued up as to prices etc. and I fear I may have been overcharged for by J2O and half of Fosters (3.80p!). It is early day so perhaps allow a little bit of latitude.
We had a look around and found the back bar, once a horrible place, much more open but had a 'corporate' look about it (someone suggested a Harvesters)- may be so. Anyway we sat in one of the smaller rooms, which was comfortable and now free from the draughty Vent Axia fans in the windows (no fug to remove).
I'll be going back, as it is one of our Thursday night haunts where I occasionally meet up with friends from all over Surrey.

20 Jul 2007 14:40

The Bucks Head, Godden Green

Went there, last week, after an absence of almost 18 months and was very pleasantly surprised. Found the lunchtime menu quite adequate and tasty and Helen (landlady?) charming and chatty.

Definately an improvement on another pub, a few miles away, which was once a favourite of mine, but which now seems to be on the decline.

1 Jul 2007 15:33

The Red Lion, Bletchingley

This is strange, you know. Went there last night but found this refurbished pub very quiet. Are all the pubs in Bletchingley likwise - I know the White Hart is, and the refurbished Albert has been of late. Where do all the drinkers go then?
Back to the Red Lion, however. Nice clean and refreshed pub but little atmosphere at the moment, although it has got a lot going for it, it would seem.
Felt a bit underwhelmed, to be honest. Bletchingley has become a bit of a ghost town/village.

9 Jun 2007 14:05

The Bell Inn, Outwood

Went to the Bell, yesterday after many months absence due to having gone off this place for various reasons. Today the place has not appeared to have changed much other than the prices of the pub grub on the table menus and on the Fish and pub 'specialities' seem extortionate in contrast to what I usually pay elsewhere. Additionally, there is nothing special about the food as it does not seem to have been prepared with love, so to speak.
My jacket potatoe was warm rather than piping hot and the whole presentation was very average considering the price paid - did want a prawn jacket but objected to paying nearly 7 for the privilege.
The coffee too, at 1.75 is nothing special and is only served up with a jug of milk and not cream - mind you a mint cream is included.
No, this place is now far too expensive for what you get and either Sian or Jason should take this to heart if they ever get to reading these comments.

1 Jun 2007 19:25

The Blacksmiths Arms, Cudham

This is one fantastic pub in all respects. If only other pubs could take a leaf out of its books and try and emulate just one or two of the aspects which make this pub tops, in my books i.e. Atmosphere, good food,cheerful staff, lovely garden etc.

30 May 2007 16:56

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

Visited this pub, post refurbishment, the other night. Oh dear! what has happened? It was very quiet and the interior decor, whilst clean, leaves something to be desired. It looks as though someone has gone over all the interior surfaces with a paint roller dipped in some sort of pallid green/grey giving a very bland appearance.
I know it's early days and perhaps some wall artefacts may brighten things up! Also, the prices seemed very high, although I don't drink beer but I was somewhat surprised, nevertheless. Perhaps we've got to pay for the extensive rewiring?
Initially, then, a disappointment and I can only hope that the months will prove me wrong.

25 May 2007 16:41

The Bottle House, Penshurst

Well, I think that the food here is first rate and good value for money, especially the wide-ranging starters which are enough for my appetite.
Someone, below, said that, in order to have such a large selection, the food must be frozen, well, so what? Better that, than food poisoning.

Went down last Friday at midday, to find all but one table, reserved.
Food-wise, this pub is miles ahead of the Spotted Dog nearby.

10 May 2007 15:26

Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood

Used to visit this friendly pub every first Friday in the month during the early sixties and seventies as a fervent member of the Southern Counties Sprite Club when mine hosts were the late, now, (presumably?) Mr and Mrs Longley.

Had great times there, when the only food on offer, usually, were great bangers between two slices of bread, the former cooked on a frying pan on the bar - Oh happy days.
Have been back in my older age to try and recapture those times but have found the lunchtime pub food a trifle too intimidating for someone just after a simple sandwich or jacket potato or even a nice starter. Will have to check again what is on offer and perhaps try again and then imagine the car park full of Sprites again

26 Apr 2007 14:45

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

And hopefully non-smoking as well, which will make it an improvement on the old smokey Joe's it was before - but there again I'm a non-smoker!

20 Apr 2007 16:34

The Prince Albert, Bletchingley

Went to meet up with some friends for a drinks on Thursday, only to find it closed for re-furbishment! All the lights were on and one could see all the ladders and dust covers inside the bar area. Strangely, perhaps because it was now light in the evening I noticed a Fullers pub sign on the wall - has it always been a Fuller's pub?
Anyway we went, instead, a few yards up the road to the Whyte Hart. My god they don't half charge for the drinks there. There were more people behind the bar than there were clients.
Where was everyone?

16 Apr 2007 17:06

The Padwell Arms, Seal

Goodness me! Doug has thrown away the all purpose coffee maker and is now serving Cona-type filter coffee at 2 per cup and with no cream (assuming you want a white coffee). Don't think I'll be having coffee there, again.

25 Mar 2007 11:37

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

Went there last Thursday evening and the place was almost empty. Despite what I might have said, previously, the place was warm and clean but this does not seem to attract much clientele.
Also, the drinks, generally, seem to be on the expensive side compared to other establishments

25 Mar 2007 11:33

The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone

To me, this is a pub for summer months, when one can sit in the covered courtyard (which is in need of a bit of TLC). I find the interior bar area rather dull and not very cosy in the winter and so avoid it at that time of the year.
The pub food is rather on the expensive side and the menu has been pared down recently, but one can look at the activities of all those kitchen staff who have to be paid and then realise why prices are so high and quantities often on the small side - particulary the set price luncheons they have on offer! Even with my small appetite I think that I'd come away from a 2 course set lunch feeling like eating a bag of chips (they don't sell chips at the Castle, by the way).

I don't have coffee there either; it is very expensive for machine produced coffee and one apparently pays the same price whether you ask for a small or large cup, which I have never understood why.

Will have to see what this Spring and Summer months bring is terms of quality and possible price increases

27 Feb 2007 16:57

The George, Hayes

Apparently now closed (as a Beefeater) for refurbishment and then re-opening under the Ember Inns group (or something very similar) and so changes are afoot.

27 Feb 2007 16:33

The Botley Hill Farmhouse, Warlingham

In the two occasions that I have gone there for pub lunch-type grub, I have been appalled by the quality of what was served.
I do remember a prawn sandwich with salad garnish which had to be seen to be believed. The sandwich was tasteless and 'mean looking' and the garnish comprised one cherry tomato and a sprig of lettuce.
On another occasion I asked for a portion of chip but didn't expect these to be of the 'oven' variety - if they were deep fried then I'd be very surprised.

The Chef (then) should have visited, say, the Padwell Arms at Stone street, or the Old jail at Biggin Hill to see what a sandwich should be like.

24 Feb 2007 12:12

The Chequers, Walton On The Hill

Agree with the prices of drinks here. An Orange and lemonade for me was about 2-30 and nearly made my friend faint when he'd asked me what I want to drink. Anyway, I gave him a pound towards it.

Not quite sure whether this place is going to shut completely for its forthcoming refurbishment - neither are the staff too sure, either.

23 Feb 2007 11:20

The Bell Inn, Outwood

Used to visit The Bell a lot and found it a lovely comfy and homely pub but since that takeover it, to my mind, seems to have lost something.

The food, too, is rather a disappointment in that the bar food is very expensive and lacks the finesse that I know see elsewhere. However, it is always served by friendly staff, nevertheless.

I'm not a beer drinker and so cannot judge the pub accordingly although I believe that it has won awards for the quality of its real ales.

6 Feb 2007 16:07

The Padwell Arms, Seal

I like this pub very much and the food is good although has become somewhat expensive since the present encumbents took over i.e. Jayne and Doug.

Also on a winter's day their efforts at maintaining a decent warming fire aren't a patch on their predecessors and this is exacerbated by the fact that there does not appear to be any form of central heating throghout the establishment - however, a favourite of mine.

5 Feb 2007 22:18

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