At the moment I live in Surrey and I have lived here for nearly ten years. Surrey is 20 minutes south of London, where tubes turn into trains and the green leafy suburbs house thousands of commuters. Surrey has a reputation of wealth, prestige and an upmarket feel. Although predominately true; (known as the Beverly hills of the UK), like all places there are rough areas, though I use the term “rough” loosely here as never have I found myself worried about my safety anywhere in Surrey.
Surrey, I would say is mainly full of middle class and upper class people. A town I used to work in, Cobham, is always busy because no one actually works. It is full of yummy mummies who drive around in their hummers to their various beauty appointments, shopping trips and light lunches, as well as stock brokers who work from home. To highlight how posh this area is, the town petitioned against Marks and Spencer’s being there, rather than Waitrose.
However, many tourists flock to the city (apparently it is a city because it has a cathedral- but really it is the size of a town) of Guildford in summer to see how “quaint” Surrey is. A short train ride away from London, Guildford is a great escape for London tourists, and Shere being used for the movie “The Holiday”, has put Surrey on the tourist attraction list. Guildford I feel, has little attractions though, what you see is the natural beauty of the surrounding areas. Surrey is filled with rolling hills, cute cobblestone towns, meandering brooks and patchwork fields. A must is to visit Denbies in Dorking, a local vineyard producing a vast amount of wine. Or have a picnic at Boxhill, or head to Polesden Lacy to escape, row a boat on Guildford river, or get lost in Hampton Court’s maze. It is the perfect place for picnics and strolls through the forest, to explore winding paths and row small wooden boats to secret spots on a river- or the nearest pub, Surrey is filled with them. Guildford is a great town to soak up the atmosphere of a British town so with that in mind, I give you a list of my favourite bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants in Surrey, predominately Guildford (as it is the main place to go!)
1. The Queens Head is my favourite pub in Guildford. It is hidden through some back alleys and is perfect for a pint.
2. The Boatman is great in summer as it has a prime location by the river, where many can sit and revel in the sunshine or hire out a boat for an hour or day and attempt to row down the river.
3. The Good Earth in Esher is an incredible Chinese restaurant that fully embraces a dining experience resilient on the food that they serve. My favourite restaurant in Surrey, although I can’t afford to foot the bill myself!
4. The Legion is the best club in Guildford, (although it isn’t that great anyway) as Casino is full of under-age people and Cameo being recently refurbished, still hasn’t attracted a large amount of people.
5. On a night out many people start drinking in Wetherspoons, where they even have their own DJ and dance floor- unusual to other Wetherspoons, so check this out for a cheap drink.
6. Recently I went to Turtle Bay, a Caribbean restaurant that serves amazing cocktails with a great happy hour and has a large variety of rum- this place is heaven!
7. 5 Guys is a greasy burger joint straight from America which serves burgers how you really need and want them to be.
8. The Onslow Arms is a gastro pub just outside of Guildford that combines fine dining with British pub grub. Most pubs in Surrey are now upmarket pubs so don’t expect anything less.
9. The Cricketers in Downside Cobham is the only pub that still looks like a traditional pub although the menu is being updated to a gastro pub style of food. Perfect to sit by the fire in winter, or out on the green in summer.
10. The Kirthon in East Horsley is the best Indian restaurant in Surrey, hands down!
Although sharing my favourite places to wine and dine in Surrey, I would also advise any tourists to check out Thorpe Park; a water and amusement park, Richmond Park, where I was able to feed deer’s, as well as Hampton Court, where Henry 8th lived with his wives. The maze is a lot of fun and you can easily spend some time feeding the ducks by the river.