<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

The Stephan Langton Inn: restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 11:15 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 30 August 2017

The Stephan Langton is named after a former Archbishop of Canterbury

The Stephan Langton is named after a former Archbishop of Canterbury

Archant

Winner of best pub and best local menu at last year’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, the Stephan Langton Inn has long been a popular escape to the country. Matthew Williams discovers whether it has maintained its award-winning touch

Some pubs throw their specials up on blackboards, while others showcase the latest witticism from the ‘Great Big Book Of Clichéd Quotes’ that so many landlords must receive at Christmas...

...The Stephan Langton Inn at Friday Street, however, uses their humble wallcovering to proudly chalk up all the local food and drink producers that weave their way through each day’s menu.

They’re going to need a bigger one soon by the looks of things too, and it goes some way to explaining why they picked up best local menu AND pub of the year at 2016’s Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards.

Having long lived in the area and enjoyed the pub previously as dog walking punters, Anneliese Cameron and Lee Nicholls took over the country retreat in 2015. As a free house, it has enabled them to establish a tap room of sorts for Lee’s Tillingbourne Brewery (found a 15-minute drive away with Albury Vineyard and Silent Pool Distillers as neighbours – who are both found behind the bar too) but they’re also firmly focused on a taste of Surrey within their food offering.

A fairy tale place

I’m sure many of our regular readers were already well versed with this pub even before its double award-winning performance last year. Certainly if you live around the Reigate or Dorking area, it’s an almost fairy tale place that is passed down through the generations.

Turning off the A25 at Wotton and making your way down the winding lanes that lead you into the heart of Friday Street, it’s not hard to see why. There’s the tree-lined pond, gnarled ‘Lord of the Rings’ roots, charming cottages and a standalone wooden sign conveniently providing a sense of relief for any baffled sat-nav owners or weary walkers frantically double checking their route…

They keep things simple and focussed on high quality centrepiece ingredients They keep things simple and focussed on high quality centrepiece ingredients

It’s a quaint little hamlet and I later discover that an owner of one of the neighbouring cottages even provides homemade preserves for the pub and the local gamekeeper is often found popping in with his latest finds – his dogs happily joining the pub dog, Teasel, at the bar.

It’s a place that offers its own smooth take on the rural idyll, and you can pop into the snug and bar or more expansive restaurant depending on your whims. To come clean, we’d actually made a sneaky visit a few weeks before with our French relatives after a magical trip around the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Ockley – they loved it and even tried the Tillingbourne rather than Leffe!

We arrive on review night to blue skies and the sun burning into the trees that dominate the valley.

Anneliese greets us and, after we’ve enjoyed a quick tipple outside, leads us into the dining room. They’ve kept things fairly simple décor-wise, offering splashes of colour with arty takes on rural life. The atmosphere is steady rather than bustling, but then it’s a week night and there’s no such thing as ‘passing’ trade in these parts.

Seated in a comfortable alcove with views out through the leaden windows, we order a bottle of Albury Vineyard’s delightful Silent Pool Rosé and take a glance through the tantalising menu. Settling for seafood to start, Sylviane’s scallops are fresh from Rex Goldsmith (aka The Chelsea Fishmonger, who lives down the road and has his own blackboard quotes to brighten any day! Make sure to check out his social media). They’re served simply with the salty crunch of bacon and fresh pea puree to accompany and who can argue with that?

My salmon, smoked at Tillingbourne Trout Farm in Abinger Hammer, doesn’t play about either. It’s a really good bit of fish with classic accompaniments.

Sylviane can’t resist the temptation of their signature, The Archbishop’s Pie, which is chock-full of succulent steak, pheasant breast, mushrooms and a thick Tillingbourne ‘Black Troll’ ale gravy. It’s comfort food done well and makes me look forward to returning in venison season.

As it is, I opt for the pan-roasted cod, smoked hollandaise, thick cut chips and summer stems off the specials board. A very decent portion of more lovely fish.

They keep things simple and focussed on high quality centrepiece ingredients They keep things simple and focussed on high quality centrepiece ingredients

To finish, I can’t resist the comfort food nod of the crumble with ice cream from St Joan’s Dairy in Leigh and Sylviane heads straight for the cheese selection, which proves to be a real winner – there’s a charcoal cheddar that, while not from the area, is absolutely unbelievable.

All in all, this is a lovely little pub that’s championing Surrey at every turn and I can’t help but encourage and applaud their efforts. Long may it continue.

Need to know

The Stephan Langton Inn

Friday Street, near Dorking RH5 6JR

Tel: 01306 730775

Web: stephanlangton.pub

Make sure to plan your journey beforehand - it's a beautiful little enclave when you find it Make sure to plan your journey beforehand - it's a beautiful little enclave when you find it

What we ate

Starters

Rex Goldsmith’s scallops of the day, £8.95

Tillingbourne Trouth Farm smoked salmon, dill blini, avruga caviar crème fraiche, £7.95

Mains

The Archbishop’s Pie , mash and vegetables, £14.95

Pan-roasted cod, smoked hollandaise, thick cut chips and summer stems, £16.95

Desserts

Crumble of the day, £6.95

Selection of Surrey & Sussex (and Lincoln!) cheeses, £8.50

Drinks

Bottle of Albury Vineyard’s Silent Pool Rose, £18.50

TIP: Pop down for Tillingbourne Tuesday every week when all Tillingbourne beers are £3.50 and under.

A note on those Surrey suppliers...

Fish from The Chelsea Fishmonger (…lives in Wotton)

Meat from Rawlings of Cranleigh

Smokery at Tillingbourne Trout Farm at Abinger Hammer

Game from The Wotton Estate

Bread from Chalk Hills Bakery, Reigate

Watercress from Kingfisher Farm, Abinger Hammer

Asparagus from Sondes Place Farm, Dorking

Salad leaves from Secretts Farm, Milford

Ice Cream from Gray’s Dairy, Bookham and St Joan’s Dairy, Leigh

Wine from Albury Vineyard

Beer from Tillingbourne Brewery, near Shere

Cakes and chocolates from Homemade by Hannah, Westcott

Preserves from Pond Cottage Preserves, Friday Street

Note: depending on seasons!

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 15:26

As warmer months approach, women and men alike commence the search for innovative and non-invasive ways to sculpt their bodies in time for summer. Medical Director of award-winning Surrey-based Health & Aesthetics clinic Dr Rekha Tailor explains how to look good, feel great and stay natural this summer

Read more
Tue, 10:56

The RAF is 100 years old this month. Ken Delve, who served with the RAF for 20 years, explores Surrey’s airfields and the parts they have played in the history of aviation over the past century

Read more
Tue, 10:03

Bassist and songwriter Jean-Jacques Burnel is a founder member of the band once known as The Guildford Stranglers. He speaks to Duncan Hall

Read more
Tue, 09:40

One of the biggest foodie events in the Surrey calendar is back for 2018! Voting is open and this year’s event will take place at G Live, Guildford on Thursday 13 September 2018

Read more
Tue, 09:35

Is there anything Mel Giedroyc cannot put her hand to? Despite parting ways with the Great British Bake Off when it moved to Channel 4 last year, she’s barely been off our TV screens; hosting Let It Shine, and Eurovision, as well as The Generation Game alongside her best pal and comedy sidekick Sue Perkins.

Read more
Mon, 11:34

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Surrey County Show has been an annual fixture since the 1950s and the 2018 show is set to be the biggest and best yet

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Whether it’s coronation chicken on sliced granary or a gluten free Victoria sponge, no sandwich works without the all-important filling!

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The vegetarian and vegan offering in Surrey seems to be improving by the week. Here are nine of the best restaurants and cafés for vegetarians and vegans in Surrey

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Small Designs is a collaboration between Ewhurst-based husband and wife team Deej and Small Carter, creating unique objects from reclaimed wood

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Surrey-based Love Water has produced a water cooler for supporters of every 2018 World Cup team and Surrey Life readers have the chance to win one

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cranleigh Preparatory School has announced its new Headmaster will be Neil Brooks, current Principal of Fulham Prep Schools and previously Head of Cothill House

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

Surrey, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit. Throughout the open garden season you will find an array of stunning choices, many also serving delicious home-made teas to complete your visit. Gardening editor Leigh Clapp picks out a selection of her favourites

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search