Wonersh's The Grantley Arms to be sold to Surrey pub group
PUBLISHED: 17:46 07 November 2016 | UPDATED: 07:03 08 November 2016
A whirlwind year in Wonersh is set to see the future of The Grantley Arms take another dramatic twist, with the surprise sale of the independent pub to a local group.
Explosive ambition saw the historic village inn quickly hit the headlines, thanks to a stylish overhaul, laid-back atmosphere, a lot of hard work and the hugely exciting creative talent of head chef, Matt Edmonds.
Having thrown themselves in at the deep end, friends Chris Frederick and Richard Cryer, who live locally, transformed the establishment despite having no background in the industry.
It proved a steep learning curve but they blazed something of a trail, while balancing their ‘career’ jobs, and only last month they won best turnaround pub at the Great British Pub Awards 2016.
Now though, The Grantley Arms is set to be added to the portfolio of Pearmain Pubs, an independent Surrey pub company founded in 2008.
Surrey Life readers will know the group best for the Red Lion in Horsell, Three Horseshoes Laleham, Onslow Arms in West Clandon, Old Plough in Stoke D’abernon and The Wheatsheaf in Esher.
The eagle-eyed among you will recognise the Onslow Arms from that list - it was named pub of the year at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2015.
Handover in Wonersh is expected to take place around the New Year, and we’ll update you about the group’s ambitions for the place soon.
For chef Matt Edmonds, it sadly marks the end of his short stay in Surrey.
Having left a high-profile role at Searcy’s at London’s Gherkin to take over the kitchen at The Grantley Arms, Matt’s confident cooking immediately struck Surrey Life on our first visit back in January 2016.
He was only part of the way through his project to create a must-visit dining destination in the countryside, with eyes originally on recreating a Hand & Flowers in Marlow, The Hardwick in Abergavenny or The Sportsman in Whitstable for Surrey.
Among a group of chefs that I’d tipped for big things, he will now sadly be leaving the pub and our county to pursue ventures elsewhere.
When Surrey Life first reviewed the pub, we concluded: “It’s early days yet for The Grantley Arms but all the signs point to a very exciting future ahead.”
Little did we know just how fast the rollercoaster would be. We look forward with interest to discovering what the future holds for a place that, at least outwardly, seems to have all its building blocks firmly in the right place…