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Stepping Stones, Westhumble

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user reviews of the Stepping Stones, Westhumble

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

Country Dining Pub, primarily set out for that purpose.

Four real ales on and a sample was allowed on request. However, after 10 miles in the summer heat, I had to go for a San Miguel.

Nice beer garden and perfectly positioned for the railway station after a days walking in the Surrey Hills.

Visit blogged at http://bit.ly/2KUei5w
Mappiman - 15 Jul 2018 09:56
Popped in here for a swift one earlier this evening (6:50-7:40ish). The ownership arrangements are that Punch Taverns own the freehold and lease it to the landlady, with some conditions as to choice of beers etc. Mixed impressions. Decor warm despite some grey pastel paint. Reasonably well-stocked book-case with an interesting range of reading material and a large flat-screen TV in the middle. Tastefully furnished, with some very crashable leather sofas. Landlady's dog ambling around, friendly and well-behaved - there was a water bowl on the floor. No fire, despite the freezing weather outside - would have been a nice touch. Not much choice for the cider drinker - Stowford Press on tap (from a metal chiller thingy, along with a couple of lagers) and bottle (which I had), plus Kopparberg fruit flavoured 'ciders'. Beer - Sharp Doombar (which says it's from Rock, Cornwall, even though it's brewed in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire), Hogs Back TEA, Tillingbourne Falls Gold and Hardy & Hansons' Rocking Rudolph (a Greene King beer). My father went for a half of Falls Gold. We both had Tavern crisps - I the beef & mustard, my father the salt & vinegar - both poor, a bit upmarket Walkers. There are far better crisps available... Dad also pronounced himself unimpressed with the Tillingbourne, which he said tasted flat. However, the landlady and her gentleman friend/partner (who apparently is a flying instructor) were friendly, and the food menu looked good - reasonably imaginative and using the local Norbury Blue cheese in some things. Had we had more time, and had he not been driving, Dad might have explored the other beers. Didn't check to see what wines they had, but would be surprised if Denbies, the vineyard next door, didn't feature. OK, it was a January evening in an out-of-town pub, but I thought it seemed very quiet - there were about four other customers in the pub in the time we were there. No special events, live music or anything to drag the punters in. This isn't some massively-out-of-the-way rural pub like the King William IV at Albury Heath - it's a handful of car-lengths off the A24. I would have thought more could be done to make the most of this promising pub - why has it got this reputation for poor beer? Is it down to cellarage, or just an inadequate rate of consumption? I would also have thought more could be done, outside the dead hand of Punch Taverns control, to support local brewers like Surrey Hills (based next door at Denbies now). Kitchen open from 11:30 to 9pm according to the menu (I think!), so if you've walked through the afternoon to get there, you shouldn't be left hungry at 4pm! I'll give this pub a reasonably generous 7/10, but it could be better. A good local, but not yet worth a lengthy journey in its own right.
EccentricRichard - 15 Jan 2016 23:24
Remarkably good! Needs to have more internal nooks and crannies to create a better and more intimate atmosphere, in many other respects much as before though smells of new paint. Keep it going and get more customers in!
nicktheflick - 23 Nov 2012 18:01
The recent facelift to the inside of the pub has wrought quite a remarkable change. The place is much brighter with light oak type wooden flooring and new furniture. The bar area has improved a lot and has lost that rather bare village hall effect and the restaurant now looks very inviting.

I tried the Falls Gold ale (4.2 abv) from the local Tillingbourne Brewery which was quite a light refreshing beer.

This pub is well worth a visit.
redbarrel - 15 Nov 2012 11:33
Under new management and, as previous posters have noted, the main menu now seems to be written in hieroglyphics on a backboard. The is also a bar/snack type menu on a laminated sheet if you look around which is a bit more user friendly. Having said that, the food was good and served quickly, the only complaint was that the ploughmans came with just a couple of pieces of sliced bread rather than something nice & crusty. Beer was Doombar, London Pride or Youngs, all seemed fine. Seems to be much more walker/cyclist friendly than before with a notice at the entrance offering to refill your water bottles rather than throw you out if you walked in with boots on! Quite an improvement but do something about that menu!
alan_From_SAWW - 25 May 2012 10:35
I Visited The Stepping Stones on Sunday, and was quite surprised by the nonexistent customers service I received from the rude Eastern European(?) lady who owns the pub.
She was visibly annoyed that I walked in before 11.00am, stating that I was too early and she had plenty to do. I asked for a coffee which she made and took payment for it without another word or even eye contact (I felt that was very rude). I didn't feel welcome at all, but still asked if it was alright to book a table for lunch and she said that they were fully booked. I walked in later on anyway at about 1pm and it wasn't that busy. When I confronted her, she said " this is my business and I do whatever I want". No further conversation, I just walked away never to come back again.
dorreen - 24 May 2012 15:07
This pub is under new management since April. They still have some great beers with plenty of guest beers to try as well as regulars like London pride. The new management have seen fit to do away with a written evening menu, you now have to read the blackboard style menu on the wall, of which there is only one and so much is written on it that its hard to read. Hopefully you won't get to sit at the table below the menu, otherwise your privacy will be nil.
If the management read this, please bring back written menus, its pants having to read from the wall before sitting down. The food is lovely, although no fish n chips with mushy peas on the menu :(
The beer is well kept, the service is good and I enjoy a weekday evening in this pub, just need the menu back :/
sc0ttie - 23 May 2012 20:46
Food fine but starters was being cleared away the same time as main course was being served. We had no cutlery and this was being placed as main course was being served. We felt we were being watched throughout main course and should leave as soon as possible as we were the only table left in there and they appeared in a rush to get rid of us and go home....this was around 9.15pm.......most uncomfortable, will not return. Most embarrassing for us all when our friends had travelled from Devon to meet us at what was, there favourite pub/restaurant. We will not be returning. An expensive meal with an awkward atmosphere.
JDLPAL - 7 May 2012 22:29
We called in at the Stepping Stones with 22 cyclists from our club on a very wintry Wednesday. On the plus side, a roaring fire in the dinning room area was most welcoming, the service was excellent and lunch was over in less than an hour.

However when we had lunch on the preceeding Sunday, my husband's TEA beer was cloudy and as mentioned on other reports below, there seemed to be a problem with beer quality sometimes. Regarding the request not to enter with muddy boots, since the area is frequented by so many walkers/cyclists, it does not make sense to have a carpeted floor.

Nonetheless, we were made welcome and we will use this pub again when cycling in the Dorking area.
Francoise - 2 Feb 2012 08:33
Having had a strenuous walk in the morning around Denbies and Ranmore Common and with Boxhill to come, the Ramble Then Lunch team decided to take lunch at the Stepping Stones.

An unusual looking pub from the outside, with a slightly classical appearance. Inside it's a large pub with tables spread like scatter cushions throughout the available space. Large signs at the entrance telling customers that muddy boots are not tolerated so be warned. Quite a few people in here which makes a nice change.

Beer - usual suspects of TEA, Doom Bar, Ringwood IPA and GK London Glory. I started with TEA but it wasn't the best pint I've ever had so switched to London Glory which was in much better condition. Others have commented below about beer quality here, so maybe it is an issue. At least TEA is relatively local though, unlike Doom Bar !

Food - an extensive menu and not particularly expensive. Portion sizes equivalent to price though so if you're really hungry you'll need to order two. My beef lasagne was fine. Curry of the day was...Green Thai. Isn't it always, wherever you go.

Staff were friendly and provided good service.

The Stepping Stones was an acceptable pub which served its purpose for us. Would probably visit again if walking in the area.
ramblethenlunch - 22 Aug 2011 10:57
Haven't visited here since the mid-70s when it had two bar billiards tables in the main bar, side by side. Ind Coope in those days, and the pub was on our ale trail. Revisited afterwards with my brother and sister.
tommo5 - 9 Aug 2011 21:51
now on the market.
laughingduck - 19 Jul 2011 05:31
Strange sort of feel to this place, more restaurant than pub. There is a bar area but it's in no way "cozy" like a traditional pub. Beer is all good, Doombar, London Pride, TEA and Ringwood on when I was there. Food is also good and very reasonably priced. Bar service is friendly but slow, they seem to have some weird system whereby they disappear into the kitchen after serving each customer. Somewhat intimidating notice on the door if you're a walker.
alan_From_SAWW - 9 Jun 2011 17:41
Ringwood Best (3.40), Pride, TEA and turned around Doom Bar. Looks like it is going to be more of a restaurant from the outside but light and airy inside. Ok.
GuideDogSaint - 17 Apr 2011 12:40
Every time I go to the SS, the beer tastes off - I think they don't sell enough on a day to day basis to keep this amount of availabilty - maybe they need to clean the lines more often? But the food is good and the Sunday lunches are well worth giving a try. Staff and locals are friendly and a nice location near Box Hill.
fetchman - 7 Apr 2011 15:00
I know the 'Stones' is not a place you would immediately think of a place to venture out to. And yes it's not the cosy up characteristic kind of place you may want to disappear into but do give it a go. The service is with a smile, the selection of ales is great, and while small you'd not want more from a great pint. Also the food is great, fresh and not too expensive. What else can I say but well done, keep it going as there seems to be fewer out there by the day!
nicktheflick - 25 Feb 2011 18:17
good pub but i hope they are not too fussy about walkers and cyclists!!
drinkers_paradise - 31 May 2010 19:02
The notice on the door claims that the pub welcomes walkers, yet a) it is closed between 3-5 on a Saturday, when most walkers will be in need of a refreshing pint, and b) there is a snide notice saying that muddy boots must be removed before entering. As the pub was shut I didn't get to see the floor but I'm guessing it's not solid Spanish oak parque, or Italian marble.

Apparently they sell plastic over-shoes for 20p behind the bar to assist you in complying with their regulations! Nice little earner, that.
kid_b - 4 Apr 2010 15:26
Went in Saturday evening with dog and 3 teenage children. Sat in area of bar confined for dogs. Ordered drink and the rather terse Landlady said that "we" had a problem; children could only be in the pub if they sat in the restaurant, but dogs couldn't leave the bar area, where children weren't allowed. Absurd! "They" have the problem. There are loads of other pubs in the locality which welcome both, try the Running Horses less than a mile away. We took our money elsewhere!
MiddleC - 28 Mar 2010 22:11
The beer and food is absolutely to die for. Sorry that people are peed off with the car park management but there are a lot of people that use their car park when they are walking and don't use the pub. Most country pubs close at lunch time on weekdays. So sad that people leave negative reviews when don't check the pub is open when they want to visit...
Buster211009 - 18 Feb 2010 19:24
I was skeptical about this pub as first because although the decor is fine, it doesn't feel tremendously authentic. for example there are leather sofas and a gas fire as opposed to wooden benches and a log fire, and it does feel more like a restaurant than a pub, but there's nothing wrong with it.
My wife and I went there on a weekday evening recently and i have to say the food was great. I had a chicken pie and she had the steak pie, both were really good and I honestly could not fault them. Drinks were a little pricey which is a shame because it means we won't be going that often but I guess that's to be expected in Surrey.
ilikeanicepint - 12 Feb 2010 17:30
The Stepping Stones is the kind of pub that; to the rest of the world; keeps alive the British reputation for serving bad food. The pub itself is like stepping back into the 1970's. The huge echo-y dining room would benefit with something to cover the silences. The sticky dark wood tables only add to the dry atmosphere. The menu is stock old school British fare... There is no option for a light meal; only pies and the such like with 3 veg or chips.
Our starters (which arrived after a 20 minute wait) were adequate... my salmon and crayfish was good which cancelled out the tinned quality of the Broccoli and Stilton Soup of my husband.
Another lengthy weight for our main courses.... Barbecue chicken for him and goats cheese lasagne for me... These were terrible. Tim's chicken looked exactly like the Findus version; complete with frozen chips...My lasagne looked like the ready meals that are so reviled in todays society... and was so hot that I still couldn't eat it after 10 minutes. I asked for it to be taken away.
The pub was good enough to have the item taken off the bill - but this gesture was accompanied by a speech from (I assume) the landlady that she had never in the 28 years she had served this dish had anyone sent it back... I think that is because the majority of the clientele of this pub will tolerate anything in stoic English silence.
This could be an amazing pub... and should be...


The_Dorking_Chicken - 12 Aug 2009 11:27
Beer was fine...nice local choices......friendly vibe but don't even think about allowing the kitchen to ruin your appetite. 'Cause they will....had the single most bland meal ever.....would have been a good substitute for hospital food.....it's a shame too because the location is lovely and the potential is there but apparently no interest on the owners part to provide decent food......it will be many moons before we go back there again.


timtouring - 12 Aug 2009 11:08
Love this pub, have enjoyed many pleasant evenings here!

Very pleasant welcome, beer well kept and nice atmosphere too.

Not sampled the food yet but definitely on the to-do list!!
Simonkey7 - 1 Jun 2009 22:16
Good enough. Food plentiful and good quality. London Pride was exellent. Shame the other barrels had just finished.
martins2 - 17 Feb 2009 15:52
I have been reading the comment on this site with reference to this wonderful country pub.

I have visited this pub on more than one occasion and in the past year have always received promt and friendly service from Roger, Sharon and there team. The Liver and Bacon is to die for and would recommend to everyone. With referance to Trevs comments. i visited on a sunday and when pulling in to the car par i was feeling the pub might be busy, i walked into the pub and found it to be relatively quite in comparison to the number of cars in the car park. i made a brief comment to Sharon and was informed that this is due to the walkers who would rather park in their carpark than the FREE car park by Ryka's!(she said i'm all for the walkers and bikes to use the car park when they use the pub, but as space is limited it doesn't help our custom when people use it as a public carpark).

And on this visit i had the chicken, ham and leek pie great food as always, followed by a pefert lodon pride.

Keep up the good work guys this is defintely a great pub see you soon.


dorset1980 - 31 Aug 2008 19:15
Enough said Trev, you are a walker and expect free facilites where ever you go, Do you live in the country?? Sharon is not rude, they are fed up with people using their car park when they don't buy a drink. There's a car park at the station if you want to go for a walk but hey you have to pay for that.
lolo9801 - 26 Jun 2008 21:09
Oh dear. I've reviewed 107 pubs on this website (and visited many more) and never met such a rude landlady. She stormed out to the car park as I was parking, and said I couldn't because they weren't open yet. I explained that the plan was to do what we've done half a dozen times before: go for a walk, return at opening time and then have lunch. Amazingly she said no way can anyone park a minute before opening time, however much they're planning to spend there; and in any case you're not allowed to go for a walk from their car park. You can only park for the amount of time you're inside spending money! I pointed out the implication: that we'd therefore eat and drink at another pub on our route in future. But her attitude was that walkers aren't welcome anyway. What a missed opportunity - given that this is a perfect setting for walking. I shall now amend my Surrey Walks guide to recommend a different pub, and I shan't come back here. Part of me is sad because, on 6 visits in the past year, the menu's been interesting; the beer and food excellent; and the staff friendly. But this unpleasant woman doesn't deserve my custom - nor anyone else's.
Trev - 6 Jun 2008 18:40
In reply to lolo1981 I think the problem was that the opening hours weren't displayed anywhere - a bit of a bummer if you went off for a walk first, then came back to find it closed. But I'm pleased to say this has now been rectified. Eating and drinking hours are now separately displayed in the front porch - and adhered to.
Trev - 29 Mar 2008 18:38
Went for a meal last Friday and still can not fault this pub, the food was really good. Roger and Sharon are wonderful hosts, the beer is well kept and there is a good choice. Can't understand why there is such a problem with the pub be closed at 4.00pm as this is quite normal with country pubs especially when there is limited passing trade.
lolo9801 - 12 Mar 2008 11:13
Went to this pub on a Saturday afternoon - turned up at 3.30 and had two beers - lucky as the bar was closed between 4 and 5pm.

Recently refurbished, comfortable seating, quiet area and a short three minute walk from the nearby station.

Twiglets served here, so very happy at this.

Toilets were clean but no baby changing area for any visiting family groups.

Staff were helpful but not overly friendly.

Overall, like this pub and will return.


anonymous - 27 Jan 2008 17:31
I was a bit puzzled by the mixed reviews this pub has recieved before visiting on New Year's day, but now it all makes sense. Staff seemed friendly and approachable, took a reservation for lunch, and agreed to let us leave a pram in a backroom while we went for a walk in the area.

On our return, admittedly rather later than we had planned, we were at first seated and given menus. But after 15 minutes, the owner came over and told us that she couldn't serve us as the pub would be closing in about 30 minutes, and we had missed the cut-off for last food orders by about 2 minutes.

She didn't explain why they had made us wait 15 minutes just to be turned away. Very un-enterprising management; why turn down 50-75 in business just so you can leave on the dot of closing time? Why not offer us something quick and easy to prepare? Pure laziness, as far as I can tell.



sa89 - 11 Jan 2008 14:12
I spotted the same as vicdakin: no opening hours or food hours displayed. Went in for lunch and they were certainly serving about 2. Had an excellent liver & bacon: very tender meat and delicious rich sauce. A bit skimpy with the veg though. Three regular real ales and an interesting guest one.
Trev - 31 Oct 2007 19:02
Walked North Downs from Guildford to this pub which is a 14 mile trek, got to the pub at 4pm on a Monday and it was shut. No opening times displayed so not impressed.
vicdakin - 28 Apr 2007 20:11
This place was a frequent visiting point on a recent North Downs Way hike and we were also well received as long as we didn't wear muddy boots inside. Once they took 8 of us for lunch (better value than the dinners), and all liked the food as far as I know. The landlord let us park outside pub hours when we asked nicely. Seems very welcoming, with a pleasant atmosphere. Good marks from me.

Also a different class of staff. I once overheard them discussing genomics. No, really.

arkaye - 6 Jan 2007 17:45
We visit this pub late most Sunday afternoons after an afternoons hard cycling. We are always welcomed and the beer and service is always excellent. We always have the extra cold Guinnness which is always perfect. The staff are very friendly so I was surprised at the other comments about cyclists.
There is no football shown which is also an attraction in my opinion.
Highly recommended !
TonySmith1302 - 12 Dec 2006 13:47
Took advice from friends that this pub is a little gem. Absolutely fabulous Sunday lunch and cheap as well. Can't fault the bar and waiting staff as they are so friendly as well as being so good at what they do. Well kept real ales but sadly lacking on good cider. Only downside of the day was a very rude female cyclist who wanted a portion of mayo for her picnic in the pub garden yet she didn't even buy a drink. The manager told me that they have major problems with walkers & cyclists using the facilities especially the car park and yet do not spend a penny in the pub. Shame on the walkers and cyclists as you are ruining a fantastic pub by your obnoxious attitude and disregard for the pub. I sincerely recommend this pub so visit it soon, you will not be disappointed.
lolo9801 - 17 Aug 2006 22:19
Love this old fashioned litle pub. Real homely feel to it!! Lovely selection of beers, spirits and soft drinks. Great deco too!
switch83 - 10 Jul 2006 11:10
Good old fashioned type pub with good beers and food especially Sunday roasts. Large bar area with lovely comfortable leather sofas and chairs. Really enjoy the guitarist on Sunday nights. Recommended.
Ciderbabecindy - 24 May 2006 12:54
A great pub to visit just after a bike ride or walk. Near denbies the vineyard. The only problem is that it takes ages to get served during the summer, still if you want to stop for just a snack and drink this is a good place with a little garden outside for sitting in
aleman - 28 Feb 2006 21:30
I agree wholeheartedly with Nick, (below). I came to this pub about a year ago to find that it was undergoing refurbishment following a fire. At that time it looked like a cosy country pub from the outside. I vowed to return and did so recently. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. First off, the barman was v unfriendly. This was probably down to boredom (which I suppose was understandable as the place was almost empty) but it was enough to put me off. I did not eat myself but I guess the food must be good here given the comments below, booking is essential (in the past at least?) and the massive dining area. Nevertheless the whole place lacks ambience (I would imagine it would be the same, even when busy). The area for non-diners is miniscule in comparison and it is so open that it feels completely wrong uniniviting and even unnerving! In a nutshell, might be ok in London but certainly not in the countryside!
anonymous - 4 Sep 2005 11:19
Yet another unfortunate refurbishment. All opened out and painted in stupid pastel colours which were trendy for ten minutes a couple of years ago. Trying to be a gastropub where it ought to be a village local/walkers pub. Nice pint of Ringwood Best mind you but far better pubs than this locally to try first. Five points, would be an eight pointer if it went back to being a proper pub.
nickdavies - 20 Aug 2005 11:16
I am guessing that it has had change of hands since all the last comments because I went there last week and I have to say the food was probably the best food I have ever eaten in a pub!!

It was very much a gastropub but the food and wine were good value for what you got and the service was with a smile!!

Highly recommended for food!!!!!
theyoungster - 2 Jun 2005 17:09
Its a pity they did not announce that it had closed for refurbishment. Still the burford Bridge proved a better option
Ken Saunders - ksaunders@uk2.net - 17 Nov 2004 15:06
Closed for refurbishment! It looks like this pub is being completely gutted - thank goodness! Hopefully, when the refurb is done this place can be more a traditional, country public house, rather than a sparse saloon bar which was unwelcoming at times. And, hopefully the food can be a little more traditional and less expensive as well, please.
Claire - 10 Nov 2004 15:51
Dire -- for the lovely location of this pub, this could be a much better watering hole! Pub needs to be refurbished and needs a decent bar menu rather, than an overpriced, upmarket menu. How about keeping it simple - burgers, steaks, sandwiches rather than rabbit, duck in orange sauce etc. Good selection of beers and lagers tho' the wine list is extensive - I have never heard of any of them! Must do better, very expensive and lacks any sort of atmosphere, which should be expected from a rural pub!
AleMan - 26 Sep 2004 11:15
Used to be run by great management in the mids 90's. They refurbished it and made it into great pub. I feel from other comments that it has slightly gone down hill, but nevertheless a nice pub, in a fantastic location!
anonymous - 16 May 2004 11:20
Great place to eat, they do an amazing Steak & Kidney pie to die for, food resonabaly priced, alot cheaper at lunchtime, i would recomend it to everyone. Selection of real ales excellent
Sally Walker - 10 Apr 2004 16:45
Friendly, Traditional Pub atmosphere. Good food and reasonable range of ales
John Gates - 8 Dec 2003 14:25
Pub is in dire need of refurbishment, although the beer is well kept. The food is like the place it is situated in (Westhumble) -- very expensive, tries to be posh but isn't!
Dorking Dave - 1 Sep 2003 15:39
Like it hear. Restaurant is a little expensive but very nice. Very relaxed. Nice to walk to in the summer.
Matthew - 20 Apr 2003 17:54

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