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Stephan Langton Inn, Abinger Common

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user reviews of Stephan Langton Inn, Abinger Common

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

It's seems a shame to moan about this place because it's in a beautiful location, there were loads of people enjoying the bench-tables and things appear to be going well for the place. Good looked reasonably priced and good quality. My problem is solely with the utterly boring choice of drinks. As an ale drinker I am always gutted to see that handsome country pubs are forced (by some a-hole pubco, no doubt, I'm not blaming the landlord at all) to see the ubiquitous Fuller's London Pride and Doom Bar, and some other uninspiring beer from Sussex. This is the Surrey Hills! Why not stock any of the numerous real ales from local breweries (Surrey Hills, Hogsback, Pilgrim, Dorking Brewery, Dark Star [ok that last one is JUST over the Sussex border but it's great beer]. I'm afraid I chose my pubs on their drinks more than I do on food. Gotta also say that the pub as lost its cosy atmos from when I was last here about 3-4 years ago. Shame.
Ali_Brent - 31 Aug 2014 18:01
Calling during a walk, I was sad to see that Old Rosie cider is not longer stocked.
The staff I asked didn't seem to know what it was or that they had ever stocked it.

They told me they had no real cider, but then I spotted that they did in fact have bottles of Hazy Hog tucked away behind the bar (its a cider made by Thatchers for Hogs Back brewery) so all was not lost, although bottled Hazy Hog is a long way short of the former attraction of draught Old Rosie.
jgurney1 - 19 Jan 2014 22:51
Was there on a beautiful sunny bank holiday Monday. Sitting outside, the trees are full of birdsong, and hardly anyone can get a mobile signal - bliss!

Ordered the Arch Bitter of Canterbury beer. Bog ordinary Greene King bitter. Slightly sour tasting, wondered if they sell enough bitter for the choice they offer. Perhaps fewer bitters better kept would be a better approach.

Looked at the bar food, but the prices kept my hands in my pockets.

Looked in the dining room, very nice rebuild done there. Unfortunately nearly empty at 12:30 on a Bank Holiday Monday. Maybe it picks up in the evening.
DOK - 28 May 2013 22:01
Went there a few weekends ago on a Saturday night. Pub is lovely inside cosy bar and nice Resturant area. Beer was ok ring wood best normal price; thumbs up wine quite pricey though. Food was unfortunately a bit hit and miss I had a very nice steak and chips and the misses had an over cooked prawn risotto dish!! All in all will return at some point but not in a hurry
RolfHarris - 6 May 2012 08:55
Visited the pub last week. Beautiful setting, brilliant construction work since I last visited and very friendly people running the pub. Downside; tried two different beers that were just about drinkable (perhaps I was just unlucky), food that even by the elevated levels of this part of Surrey was expensive.

Having said that I wish the pub and those who run it well. Nice pub and nice people, my suggestion - get a bit closer to reality in this very rural setting.
Surreyyokel - 2 Apr 2012 11:23
Don't want to start a contest here, ChrisL, but I went back here today for the first time since I was definitely under 17, so that is more than 36 years. I was probably about 10 and had had a walk around the lake and got sat out side with a bottle of Coke, a straw and a packet of crisps with the little blue screw of salt where you sometimes got two, and sometimes got none.

I'll be dead soon, so you won't have to read all this rubbish :-)

Anyway, the pub: A very pleasant experience as we passed. A wonderful pint of Shere Drop at 3.80 I think, with Ringwood Best, T.E.A., and Youngs ordinary also on the pump. Guinness, Fosters, San Mig, and Tiger, plus some ciders (three, I think)

If it's crowded at Saturday lunchtime in January, it'll probably be hell when the weather gets better and the fair-weather walkers get out, and the 4x4 P.I.T.A. lot ('actually, my drive *is* quite steep') turn up. But a pleasant place if it is not too crowded, you can work out when it is actually open, and you can find the place (Dorking-Guildford road, about half way follow Friday Street signs and turn down by the side of the lake)

I don't mind telling you where it is, it's too crowded now so a few more won't make much difference.
Gzornenplat - 28 Jan 2012 15:40
For me to notice the price of the food in a pub, it's gotta be pretty darn expensive and so it is here - although the food being wheeled out did look delectable - that is, from the glimpses I gained of it when standing on tip toe to peer above the belly of a gruff old gent complaining about his 4 by 4 being hemmed in. Best thing about the place? Unquestionably the pub sign that depicts the eponymous bishop. It's also in the midst of great walking country.
BoehmBawerk - 30 Dec 2011 20:29
Being refurbished on my visit on 19 June. Main bar open and dining room at the back. Shere Drop, Pride, TEA and Ringwood Best. Not the easiest to get to but worth the effort if you fancy some walking.
GuideDogSaint - 27 Jun 2011 23:09
I can beat that, 36 years since my last visit and it's still an excellent pub. A good drop of Shere Drop and a fine meal, really large mussels in the moule marinier. The cheese board tho' a tad pricey was well worth the cholesterol attack. A fine pub and a fine host.
ChrisL - 27 Sep 2010 16:08
Recently been to this pub for dinner on a Friday night. The overall impression was pretty good. It's a pub of two halves - there is the proper bar area which is as authentic an English country pub as you are likely to find, then there is the dining area which is nice, but a little too trendy for my liking. It's a pleasant place to sit and have your dinner, but with fairy lights, lime green trim and R&B gently playing in the background it's not my personal cup of tea. The bar area is great though, the staff are very friendly and the location of the pub is wonderful - tucked away up on Leith Hill in a world of its own.
There were three proper beers on tap, I had the Shere drop which was fine and my meal was really nice. Decent portion size and delicious. My wife's paella was not bad although a touch bland. The puddings were also pretty good - nothing momentous but good, and the coffee was as it should be. Main course, pudding, drink and coffee for two people - 56 quid. Not bad given the standard. Overall I would say this is definitely one of the better pubs I have been to in the last six months, it would just be nice to be a touch more authentic and if they could elevate the food from being very good to excellent, they would have something really fantastic going.
ilikeanicepint - 6 Aug 2010 21:16
Paid this one a visit after no less than a 12.5 year hiatus - not because I had deliberately avoided it, but through sheer lack of opportunity to drive out there. It's not easy to find but after a couple of twists and turns it came back to me and I pitched up in the capacious car park opposite. Had to wait 15 minutes as although the Beer Guide suggested a 5PM opening time, it seemed to be half-five. But I won't judge too harshly on that as it isn't the first error I've encountered using said tome.

Contrary to the earlier comment which suggests this isn't cosy in Wintertime, I would disagree; it felt warm and was subtly candle-lit in the main drinking area and was welcoming (although things have taken a somewhat stark and contemporary turn in the adjacent dining area which would've been less alluring at this time of year). The traditional elements have broadly remained intact, despite its obvious leanings towards being restaurant first, pub second. The 3 pumps are still in use, with Shere Drop sampled in reasonable (though not impeccable) form. Service was efficient although no efforts made to chat despite being one of only two people in. Perhaps I can be a tad unapproachable....
One would imagine from the ambitious menu and gastro-bound price tags that the Langton would excel in the food stakes; I didn't stay to find out as I had other fish to fry but judging by earlier comments since the recent takeover, one wonders whether one's wallet would be walloped unjustifiably... I do hope things return to the former glories alluded to in previous years. The potential for excellence as a pub and restaurant - ideally in equal measure - are both still there, despite the obscure location. Don't waste the chance to prove it, folks....

TWG - 23 Feb 2010 16:59
Went there yesterday after a great bike ride. A friend had recommended it and i was looking forward to teh homemade pork pie. The place was busy , but no pork pie. new tenenats is what I was told and didnt know about. So we ordered teh " Beef and Horseradish " sandwich for 6.
It was the worse I have ever had. Silce of old dry beef, no horseradish at all and tons of butter , accompanied by a welted tastless salad.
While there we witnessed utter confusion , with people who had sat doen and already ordered being told that their table was booked and they had to go.
Not a good start new landlord and if you carry on like this you wont last long.
casbar - 18 Jan 2010 14:56
There's new tenants here now. Hope they keep up the good work of the previous people.
tadbrown - 20 Nov 2009 15:05
Ate here a couple of Saturdays ago. Tried the Pilgrim and the Surrey Hills which was as excellent as when I buy it direct from the brewery.

Food was fantastic. Superb quality and although not cheap, great value. A real find.

If you go in the winter and need to park in the overflow carpark, you'll be glad of a torch.
alecstewart - 4 Nov 2009 20:16
An old pub in a lovely looking location by Friday Street. So quite glorious in that respect. Inside it feels more like a Tea Room than a pub with the wooden floors. Not an especially warm feeling in the Winter i'd imagine but just fine for summer.

Ordering drink was no problem and there was indeed 3 ales on tap which were Pilgrim, Pride and Surrey Hills.

The food was a big disappointment and I would not plan to eat here in future for main meals which come in small portions and really are very poor overall. Standards Standards!
BigAleDrinkhead - 3 Aug 2009 10:21
It had been years since I'd visited the Langton (at least 10) so I organised a little trip down there with some friends. I must say I was happily surprised, the beer was in excellent nick (and local brews too, Pilgrim and Surrey Hills) and the landlord was a very pleasant and chatty chap.

The decor and general atmosphere were very welcoming even though it was early on a Saturday evening (so a little quiet), the 'break glass in case of morris dancers' wall hanging cracked us all up! Well worth a visit, if you can find it!
Schooner - 13 Jul 2009 18:22
Just remembered another thing i love about this pub: the bread and butter. If you're eating, you always get a bowl of it, usually without asking. Always tastes home baked and is delicious. A nice touch. Still a lovely pub. Keep it up!
properpublover - 15 Jun 2009 21:40
oooo err..a little gem I think..not quite there yet but the licensees are certainly heading in the right direction..lets's hope they get there..and deserve much support otherwise another great pub could vanish....but so good..local beers..home made pork pies,,now that's really trying...chips cooked in beef your talking...this is a difficult pub to make successful because of its location..beautiful without doubt but tricky nevertheless...I get the feeling that the current incumbents might just have the right mix...given support and time...fingers crossed..,,oh and the Surrey Hills beer was pretty good..locals go there....please.....pubs like this need you so people like me can go out and about and find joys like this...mid week food must be the the choice as weekends are BIG!
Insearchofthebestpint - 22 Apr 2009 22:23
This is sometimes my favourite local pub. Sometimes it's the Seven Stars at Leigh. I live in Dorking so they're about the same distance away from me. Here you get an arts-and-crafts building which looks older, real ales well kept, fine wines, the best selection of single malts locally (probably about 30) and food which is always a cut above most of the local pubs without being overly gastro-pubby. It's family and walker friendly and situated in idyllic Surrey Hills countryside close to Leith Hill. In fact you could cunningly contrive a ramble-cum-crawl involving the also-good-but-not-quite-as-good Plough at Coldharbour, which again is beautifully situated with even better views. This place changed management a year or so ago but this has changed it very little really - maybe a few more single malts, but the food remains as excellent as it's always been and the real ales are well kept. Great selection of pricey wines. I spent new years eve here the one before last and there was a folk gig and a bunch of locals and it was one of the loveliest New Years i've ever spent. Aided by a couple of Lagavulins. I stopped going a while ago as i had exhausted the menu. Now i've exhausted the menu at the Seven Stars so i go here again. This is my walking pub, Seven Stars is my cycling pub as i don't do hills! Decor basic but ok with borded wood floors. Nice log fires. Especially busy with walkers on those first sunny and unseasonably warm days of the year, be it February or April.
properpublover - 22 Feb 2009 13:11
What a curious place. I went in one evening earlier this week to find a very small group huddled round the fire, it transpired the landlord and his family had gone out for the evening and turned the heating off on one of the coldest nights for a long time. No small wonder the faithful few were so close to the fire.

Come on landlord, surely you can do better that that?
Reasonedview - 11 Jan 2009 12:34
What better a location than in the lovely hamlet of Friday Street, to ask the barman for a pint of tea! Always makes me smile.
Great place for a beer during a long hike. Restaurant been done up recently and looke dvery Christmassy upon my group visit in early December 08.
lolwood32 - 22 Dec 2008 11:02
Family-friendly pub, food-orientated. Pleasant relaxed atmosphere on a Sunday lunchtime, but it does get busy so be prepared to wait for a table. The beer was well kept, the food was very good, if a little pricey, and the staff were professional and friendly. Beautiful location, with good walking nearby for those with the energy. Parking is restricted, and finding the pub is quite difficult (even with sat nav!).
Marlow - 16 Nov 2008 12:25
A little tricky to find on an overcast Saturday afternoon, but well worth it. The open fire in the bar was a magnet for the mrs. and myself and the pints of Hogsback TEA were tip top. The food was quite nice as well. Between the two of us we had the rosotto and guilt head bream and would recommend both. Welcoming barman and friendly patrons, too. A really great pub tucked away in the hills and I am glad we made the trip.
whateverdrew - 9 Nov 2008 07:19
We had our Christmas lunch here and found the whole experience very enjoyable. The staff were very friendly indeed and coped well with our rather large and boisterous crowd. Service was a little slow, but the food more than made up for it.
Highly recommended.
JoL66 - 5 Aug 2008 16:36
This was a great place to come for a Mother's day meal out - buried in the Surrey countryside we nearly got lost trying to find the place but it was well worth it. The food was lovely and although the pub interior is nothing special, the location is wonderful with lots of gentle (and more challenging if you're up to it) walks nearby. The pub car park was packed but you can easily get to the pub from the nearby national trust car park. The lamb and beef roast were wonderful - very tender meat and both came with a delicious swede and carrot mash amongst the usual trimmings (btw the Yorkshire pudding wasn't anything to write home about). The apple and raisin crumble was surprisingly good - light and satisfying it had exactly the right texture and taste - this was definitely not your average stodgy fare - and it us all up wonderfully for an afternoon's stroll. Staff are young but very friendly and helpful! Its so nice to find a pub which is dog friendly too!
WomblingWalker - 2 Mar 2008 18:01
Great pub with really decent food. I know that as it is a walkers pub the decor can seem a little bit rough and ready but thats what you get for being in the country. Well worth a visit and I would recommend that you book on a Sunday. The food is worth the effort of getting to the place.
epsomwinedrinker - 9 Nov 2007 09:08
Fine pint of Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale in a pleasant setting next to a large pond. Food very popular with what looked like a menu changing daily.
MrLloydEvans - 10 Sep 2007 14:43
Nice local pint - can't remember the name of it, but think they had Pride too, which is never a mistake in my book....Absolutely delicious Pork pie (clearly homemade) & picallili - we have dropped in for lunch twice in the last few months, and had the same thing both times, but the kids murdered the sausage & mash. Dinner looks a decent bet as well - the menu isn't huge, but they seem to be concentrating on doing what they do do, well (if you see what I mean). No chips on menu which shows where they are pitching the food. We chatted with a nice Irish chap, told me they were planning on launching better soft drinks/juices which as occasional designated driver & dad seems a good idea. Open fire in bar too - which was lovely especially considering the foul weather outside last week. I give it an eight, as I'm a bit of a sucker for the decent restaurant with a bit of a proper pub as well set up... maybe I'm getting old, but there you go!
Breezy - 29 Jun 2007 09:19
I can only assume that anonymous of 15 Feb is confused.
It is a actually a very typical food pub; whether or not that is a good thing depends on your personal viewpoint. I think it is a very good and correspondingly expensive restaurant with a bar attached.

I am equally surprised at the mentioning of a warm welcome at the Wotton Hatch, which is very much a family dining establishment where the beer & beer drinkers are certainly not top priority.
GGG - 19 Feb 2007 15:22
Would love to know if the last poster actually ate at the pub as they have merely said it is 'not a food pub' and have not gone into detail as to why they think that.

I don't believe that once having eaten here, one could really justify that statement.
chris.west - 19 Feb 2007 10:10
Went there in January. Cold, cheerless and almost empty. Certainly not a food pub . Had indifferent pint and moved on to warm, welcoming Wotton Hatch.
Will not return
anonymous - 15 Feb 2007 15:01
Nice pub in a lovely was a bit shoddy, and not much space...a lot of space given over to the was great but expensive. Unfortunately not much on offer for real ale enthusiasts...again the emphasis is on food here. I would give this pub a 6-7 out of 10. There are better pubs in the area for real ale if that's what you are looking for.
wonderkind - 28 Aug 2006 14:07
Spot on pint of Adnams.
Perfect main course of slow roasted pork.
Cracking crackling on the pork.
Lovely cheese and biscuits - Cornish Yarg.
Attentive and considerate bar maid.
Not very attentive and polite waitress.
Decor and paintings in restaurant a bit dodgy.
Beautiful walking country.
Bar busy-ish at 7 pm on a Wednesday.
Restaurant 75% full by 8.15pm.

anonymous - 28 Jun 2006 08:45
Boooootiful. Michellin star cuisine and good beer. tasty!
chris.west - 16 Dec 2005 13:41
Have dined there a couple of times and food has been very good.

Staff pleasant and attentive.

Well worth trying to find.

Minor criticism is lack of variety of real ale on tap but you can still get a good Adnams there.
mikey64 - 1 Jul 2005 18:12
Sorry, the folk session mentioned earlier will not now be taking place.
fiddlersam - 20 Mar 2005 19:29
Traditional Folk Session planned for the 4th Sunday of each month starting on 27th February 2005. Great pub!

fiddlersam - 27 Dec 2004 19:24
We have been there a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed the menu (which changes from month to month). Staff are relaxed. Could do with a lick of paint mind you. We actually managed to park in the few (about 8) parking places - otherwise it's a bit dodgy walking along the unlit road - particularly in the dark. Got the details from the Good Food Guide. I'd give it 8 out of 10
Ray - 26 Oct 2004 16:56
Well off the beaten track, set in gorgeous surroundings. Not as olde-worlde as you might expect, but nothing wrong with it for that. A bit on too restauranty, but there is a proper bar area as well. Don't attempt to drive up the lane to it, use the public car park further back.
Nick - 2 Aug 2004 14:20

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