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May 8, 2008 08:35 AM

[Surrey, Woking] Lunch and/or casual dinner?

As mentioned on another post, I'm visiting the National Archives at Kew for a few days.

I've decided to have a break from research and, as I'm a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, thought I'd have a day out to their gardens at Wisley.

Any thoughts for lunch nearby - or possibly a very casual dinner (jeans & trainers permitted)? Is the caff and/or restaurant at Wisley itself any good?



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  1. John, you will almost, but not quite, be in my territory if you're at Wisley. Sadly, we've never gotten there as yet, but we often walk along the Wey Navigational System which is right down the road past Wisley. There's a pub on the canal which is a nice place to sit and watch the barges go past. I can't vouch for the food, and it may be part of a chain, but it attracts hordes on the weekends. All we've had there is a drink.

    I was once recommended to a Chinese place in Woking - Chu Chin Chow. I was told it's fantastic, but we haven't gotten there as yet either. Most places in that area are very casual so I wouldn't worry too much about dress code, especially for lunch.

    There are some nice-looking places close by in Ripley and Byfleet. Maybe a Google will come up with something of interest.

    I'll keep thinking.


    3 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      The one on the Wey navigation, is it the one in Send? The New Inn?

      1. re: nanette

        I don't think it's the one in Send, although I've been to that one. It's down the road from Wisley (same road one enters to reach Wisley). Ah, I think it's called Pryford. It's hard to come up with worthy places down here, isn't it? I got depressed. We like The Bear in Oxshott, but it's not exceptional. Our favorite, local dinner still remains the one at The French Table in Kingston/Surbiton.

        1. re: zuriga1

          I'm holding the French Table for another trip when Mrs H is with me. I think it might be more fun than a solitary dinner.


    2. You might have better luck finding something in Guildford. I'm rather partial to Bar Centro which is an Italian just off the high street and tucked away. The specials board is usually pretty goood. Down to earth casual place and a good spot for lunch.

      I can't think of anywhere nice, this is my stomping ground, but I can't say there is much aside from pub food and the usual chains out this way. I'll have an ask around about a good country pub out that way, I know there are some.

      1. "The Inn at West End" which in in West End, a village just outside Guilford (A322,near J3/M3). We had a very good lunch there approx 6 months ago - it was good, with excelant service - owned by an importer of Portugese wine. No obvious outside area.

        1. I have been to Wisley several times. I really can't recommend the restaurant for anything more than a cup of tea. I found the food very overpriced and not great quality. Wisley itself is lovely especially at this time of year.
          About 15 minutes away is Esher, where I have really enjoyed the Sherpa Kitchen Nepalese restaurant. Its a couple of years since I have been as I no longer live in the area but the food was delicious and the staff very friendly. I reckon it would still be as good - it seemed pretty established and popular.
          Good luck, hope you have nice time and happy chowing!

          1 Reply
          1. re: claireh

            That's a good suggestion! We've eaten there several times in the past two years or so and always enjoy the food. Being near the A3 really does make Wisley close to quite a few Surrey towns. For what it's worth, the Ghurka Kitchen from Reigate now has another branch in Dorking.

          2. John, I thought of another place that serves very good gastropub food. It's probably only a 15 minute drive from Wisley using the A3 and M25. The Running Horses in Mickleham has a great reputation in these parts and is a casual place in a charming Surrey village near Leatherhead and Dorking. It does get crowded, especially on sunny days... and now I've reminded myself to get there some time soon!