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The Dining Room restaurant in Hersham to close after 30 years

PUBLISHED: 11:57 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:59 16 January 2014

The Dining Room, Hersham to close

The Dining Room, Hersham to close


One of the longest established restaurants in Surrey, the ever-popular The Dining Room in Hersham is to close its doors for the final time in February.

A quirky, colourful place full of olde English nostalgia, the restaurant was opened in 1984 by Barbara Charnleybeal.

“Back then Laura Ashley wallpaper, fireplaces in every room, scrubbed pine tables, church pews and an all British blackboard menu were radical ideas,” she says.

“My biggest good fortune was to meet Richard Moore; a man not phased by the lack of floor in the kitchen when I interviewed him. He joined as head chef and stayed 23 years! His cheese and ale pot, lamb & mint pie and spotted dick and custard have become legends in their own lifetime!”

In 2006, The Times voted The Dining Room one of the top 10 places to eat British fare in the south east, placing them alongside the likes of Heston Blumenthal’s The Hinds Head in Bray.

Chef Trevor Ogden has been in charge of the kitchens since 2008 and made a further name for the restaurant with pudding nights, weddings in the garden, Mad Hatter vintage events and Food Festival demos. Surrey Life visited in April 2011 and gave it a more than respectable eight out of 10.

“30 years is a good run,” explains Barbara. “The wrong side of 60 is a good time to retire and move on to something new. Mid life crisis?”

Whatever the future holds for Barbara and her family, their place in Surrey’s dining heritage is secure and the restaurant itself will, of course, be forever presevered in the television archives thanks to masquerading as shopfronts in TV sitcom Never the Twain in the late 80s.

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