REVIEW: The Drumming Snipe near Woking

PUBLISHED: 11:08 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:08 23 June 2020

The Drumming Snipe exterior by Matthew Williams

The Drumming Snipe exterior by Matthew Williams


Matthew Williams took a pre-lockdown trip out to The Drumming Snipe, a pub on the outskirts of Woking at Mayford

Article originally published in April 2020 issue of Surrey Life

While I gave a nod to The Drumming Snipe in February’s SL, tempted by its ‘nose to tail’ promise, it was Grace Dent’s frustration at a tambourine playing child while on a rare restaurant trip to Woking that helped leap them to the head of the queue.

Welcome to the country, Grace! But then why shouldn’t families be welcome in potentially top dining spots? And is it really the restaurants fault if people can’t look after their kids? Questions, questions, questions…

The fact is though; she was 100 per cent right with the gist of her piece. It is unusual to see cods’ tongues, celeriac fritters, cuttlefish Bolognese, cockerel with gizzard sauce and kid goat rack on a Surrey “pub grub” menu.

While we’ve brought our five-year-old with us for lunch, we’ve conscientiously asked her to leave her tambourine and kazoo at home, just in case any sensitive national reviewers are in attendance. She concentrates on a rather epic kid’s fish and chips instead, while we get down to business.

The beef shin croquettes with truffle mayonnaise are an immediate hit. In fact, I wish they were available in the office vending machine.

Intrigued by the cod tongue and cheek on toast, I order it on impulse. A touch rubbery at times, my curiosity is satisfied but I can’t say it’s a dish I’ll return to in a huge hurry.

To be fair, I could have played it much safer with either of the pork and green peppercorn terrine or the steak tartare.

The trout is a fresh plate that could have done with a slightly heavier hit of horseradish to our taste. That would have really made it pop.

While I attempt to persuade Sylviane to go for the shared butcher’s plate (kid goat rack, cockerel thigh, Iron Age bacon chop, Longhorn beef skirt steak, Portland lamb leg, trencher... anyone?!), we share the Torbay gurnard and Cornish cockerel. The first is a fine plateful.

While I’ve had better cooked fish, it’s all tasty enough and the shellfish sauce is lovely. The Cornish Cockerel is an absolute flavour bomb with its roast gizzard sauce bordering on addictive.

The desserts feel a touch unloved in comparison but I’d happily return to the sticky toffee pudding again, just to double check.

I admire the ambition shown and, while the menu may challenge some people, I welcome a few more venues like this who are willing to push buttons while still offering a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday lunchtime experience – and one that can be enjoyed with all the family...

The Drumming Snipe is a classy joint with some really interesting ideas and I will return soon for that butcher’s plate. Who fancies joining me?

Starters: Beef shin croquettes with truffle mayonnaise, £7 / Cured and smoked Hampshire trout, pickled cucumber with horseradish, £ 7.50 / Cod tongue and cheek on toast, £8.50

Mains: Torbay gurnard, Devonshire crab, Pink fir potatoes with shellfish sauce, £17.50 / Cornish Cockerel, truffled parsnip, kale with roast gizzard sauce, £16.50

Sides: King cabbage with hazelnuts, £4

Dessert: Cornflake milk crème caramel with chocolate crisp, £6 / Sticky toffee pudding, honeycomb ice cream with butterscotch, £6

Drinks: Les Mougeottes, Pinot Noir, Languedoc, France, £28

The Drumming Snipe, Guildford Road, Mayford, Woking GU22 9QT.


FOOD: 7.5/10

VENUE: 8/10


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