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William Bray , Shere Guildford Surrey

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user reviews of the William Bray , Shere Guildford Surrey

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

Now changed hands, according to the local press, and has undergone something of a redecoration, although I don't like the look of the new decor any more than the old! Remains to be seen how well it will fare - I have yet to return in person.
EccentricRichard - 29 Dec 2015 14:48
Another expensive Surrey pub that seems ideal for the local yuppies. The interior is quite impressive with an imposing mirror behind the bar. There is a separate dining room and an outside drinking area. Beers on were Wychwood Hobgoblin, Brakspear Bitter & Surrey Hills Shere Drop. Nice pub in an equally nice Surrey Hills village. But I don't think I could afford to drink here regularly.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Aug 2013 18:44
Take a full wallet before venturing in - cheese sandwich £5.60, shot of gin over £4. This is pricy even by Surrey standards. During a half-term holiday visit, the place was heaving with young families and dogs. Food servie slow as kitchen can't cope with covers, and one dessert was forgotten.
prmantel - 21 Feb 2013 16:39
Crickey. We rolled up here on our bikes from doing the 2 pubs in Gomshall last Saturday. It was heaving with diners. Despite that, as EccentricRichard says, it lacks something like homely warmth. We stood at the bar to have a drink but were very much the odd ones out in this place. Surprised to see 2 Brakspears beers on alongside a Shere drop. The Brakspears was very ordinary, nothing wrong with the quality, just boring and tasteless. The Shere drop was again (see The Compasses, Gomshall) not up to what it used to be. Looking around at the clientele I got the feeling that this place is THE place to go, for the moment, for the Surreys. And yes my wallet felt pleased I was drinking beer and not NZ sauvignon blanc.
Steamer1 - 9 Nov 2012 09:40
Has anyone else tried a GLASS of the New Zealand Sauvignon blanc at 11.40 a pop (ELEVEN POUNDS & FOURTY PENCE)
thisistrue - 12 Jul 2012 13:08
Looks nice, I assume this pub has been recently renovated. Lovely outdoor tables, although slightly chilly still year!! However, I ordered snack food and half an hour later it had not come - I went to check to find it had not even started to be cooked yet! TO be fair, I was given a full refund when I asked as I said to cancel the food then but there was no automatic apology.
pinga - 8 Jul 2012 15:33
Good pub which sells Surrey Hills
EyeOfTheTigerBeer - 5 Jul 2012 18:48
I normally like this place BUT on my last very recent visit I asked for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and was offered a choice of 2, French and a 'Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, I opted for the second one, 'small
or large sir' the barlady asked so I said 'large please' 175ml I was told but no mention of the price, 'please put it on my tab' I said. On receipt of my bill which I duly paid, the price of the glass of wine 11.40 pence I asked for that to be checked and 'yes sir that is the price' and yes the bar lady was also astounded.Just for the record on searching for a bottle, purchase price, about 9 to 10 a bottle.
thisistrue - 18 Jun 2012 13:24
An interesting gastropub. Not really a walkers' pub, but long popular as a gathering for car clubs due to its capacious car park (on our arrival at lunchtime on Wednesday 15th, we could only park as a newish Aston Martin V8 Vantage departed - there were NO other spaces, and they weren't strung out either, but the place was very busy). The building is large and essentially Georgian in character. Decor a bit characterless, but some interesting motorsport-related photographs hung on the walls, and a poster bearing all the usual slogans at to what Some Say... the Stig is (Top Gear's home is close by) hung by the entrance to the gents' toilets. The reason for this is that the owner of the pub is Julian Bailey, some-time Formula One driver who claims (and is long reported) to have been the Stig at one time. To cut to the chase: once a table was cleared for us (the place was EXTREMELY busy, as I said), four of us after a quick lunch, taken from the bar menu. One had fish (pollock) and chips with mushy peas (yes, even in a place as posh as this!). Excellent chips - hand-cut potato wedges, really. Lovely tartare sauce. The other three had the Bray's famous beefburger, served between two slices of toast with bacon and cheese, with a tomato sauce, more potato wedges and salad. Really, really EXCELLENT. My mother drank some sort of beer, can't remember what, she liked it. Dad and I went for Aspall's cider, which was nice enough, though it came from one of those machines you usually see dispensing Pepsi - didn't taste the same as if it had just come from a bottle or a barrel somehow! Maybe it's just my imagination. One of us is too young for alcohol. Service was good and prompt, though there was one member of bar staff I thought a little cold, but he was always helpful. Pricing was not cheap (neither was it heinously expensive) but very reasonable for what you get. What this pub is missing, though, is atmosphere. The decor is all essentially pale grey: the log burner nearby did little to lift the spirits. It DESPERATELY needs an injection of character. Some more colourful, distinctive, warm decor would be enough to turn this into a 9/10 - the remaining 1 being that it still wouldn't really be a dogs-and-boots sort of place, but it's not meant to be that anyway. There are other pubs in the locality which do that sort of thing.
EccentricRichard - 17 Feb 2012 08:50
took the parents out for a meal in the restaurant section of the pub and everything was exemplery, more expensive than most pubs, but with the quality of food, it was good value for money, a definate recommendation here
bluebirdtheunbitter - 7 Feb 2012 12:02
Day 2 of my return to the village and a visit to the Bray after being treated like a lepper at the one down the road. Very bright and brash but surprised to get a very good pint of Doombar after my last trip here. Still noisy and overpriced but friendly staff and a good atmosphere including some locals who for some mad reason are no longer allowed in the other pub. This is a strange village.
The food was however brilliant
oldhippybeer - 6 Dec 2011 10:44
not very good. just because you can drive a racing car does not mean you can run a pub. much better pubs around the area.
neil10 - 28 Sep 2011 19:28
Although the staff were friendly the prices and portions are certainly not. The beer Shere Drop was good but might as well call itself a restaurant rather than a pub. If you like to nedlessly spend money then this is the "pub" for you......
ghuznee - 18 Sep 2011 12:13
Up it`s own backside, not welcoming.
This village needs a family run pub.
ThePilgrim - 29 Apr 2011 12:52
A large pub which sits above it's patio which was previously a car park. There is a large garden at the rear. The rooms are large with a high ceilings with a large mirror dominating the back of the bar. It was selling a good range of Surrey Hills Brewery beers including Shere Drop and Ranmore Ale. Seating was comfortable.
boozers_knows - 17 Feb 2011 13:52
Expensive drinks and economical food portions! Having paid a small fortune for a couple of drinks we sat down for our roast dinner, which likewise was not cheap. We then had to ask for the roast potatoes as they had not been served only to find that we had two small ones each...so we asked for some more only to be told that "two is the allocation, otherwise we might run out tonight!" Call that a chef and a kitchen that cannot knock up a few roast spuds before the evening session!
Overall impression...over priced and over rated for a few bits of racing memorabilia on the walls...will not be rushing back.
Woodsta - 6 Feb 2011 10:29
Visited here for a friends 30th birthday, 6 of us in total. It's a great looking pub and ambiance is good. Friendly barman and good banter.
The menu isn't too large which is great, with some innovative dishes alongside gastro pub favourites. Wine list is good too, with Lan Rioja always a star.
The food and service however is really dissapointing. The starters were particularly poor, crispy mozarella was greasy and fried in dirty oil, the goats cheese salad was appalling - i think it was Boirsin with overly dry beetroot slices - obviously pre-prepared. However one highlight was the crab and scallop tempura salad - which was fabulous.

With the mains 4 had steak, as one of the ladies was pregnant she asked for well done steak, which seemed to piss of the chef - the steak turned up half the size of the other steaks which were cooked medium rare, however they refused to replace it with another steak of same size [this wasn't shrinkage, just a tiny steak], the other steaks were just tasteless.
2 of the other girls had fish [sea bass] which they commented was very nicely cooked and tasty.

I don't know what the policy is at the Bray, but you would expect better, especially when the restaurant wasn't that busy [maybe this is the reason why?] All in all we left very dissapointed. Service was lousy and a certain amount of arrogance.

with the dessert we had treacle pudding which had to be sent back as had gone hard in the micro-wave! The cheese board was pretty good though with good choice of ripe cheese etc, and chocloate brownie a real sensation.

Don't know if other diners have had the same experience, hopefully it was an off night?
jonblis - 22 Dec 2010 12:00
Several of my friends who are local have now reverted to the White Horse as the beer in the Bray is so poor. They would not have made that move lightly!
GGG - 22 Nov 2010 11:15
Enjoyed a couple of pints of Shere Drop from the Surrey Hills Brewery. Good job, as it's not the cheapest place to drink.
Very much a gastropub, rather than a place for a session drinking, so pop down the road to the White Horse if you just want to sit and drink.
duchyjim - 21 Nov 2010 21:15
Come back again for the mighty bray Sunday lunch!!!!!!! What's happened.it was really poor, you could not get served.and from the last comments on here I even managed to meet the sour bar man. Be meeting and eating somewhere else next time. Oh and 17 for a roast ha!!
dace331 - 8 Nov 2010 02:43
Gasping for a pint last night, took my wife to this pub, not having tried it since its redesign and rebranding. There was a strong smell of fish in the bar, not an attractive smell at the best of times. One pint of a weak local beer and one small glass of wine came to 8.50. 8.50! We sat outside in the light drizzle and cold of a typical August evening to escape the fish smell. Came away feeling raped, pillaged and disappointed. This used to be a pleasant Young's pub. No wonder people increasingly prefer to drink at home if this is what pubs are being turned into. My first visit was my last visit.
Jacquot - 27 Aug 2010 11:09
Back in my old haunt of Shere for the first time for over a year and thought I would try the new kid on the block. Very nicely done compared to its days as the Prince of Wales. Bright, sharp and crisp with an interesting menu. I had a very nice well presented piece of fish and the wife went for the Bray burger which looked fantastic and got a good report from her, all served by very attentive and friendly young ladies. It is a shame the same friendliness does not extend to the bar where the rather gruff barman seemed totally disinterested in our enquiries regarding the ales. Shere drop was barely drinkable and as for the normally reliable and rather wonderful Doom Bar this was cloudy, sour and rather unpleasant exactly matching the character of the barman. It is a shame that a place with such potential is let down in this manner. Oh for a pub that can do both beer and food.
oldhippybeer - 6 Jul 2010 08:03
Surrey Life's Pub of the Year apparently. It is a good gastro pub but the emphasis on the gastro. Eaten well here but beer and service could have been better. What does make me laugh though are the peole who inhabit this site: Group 1- Walkers, Whingers and CAMRA Beardies who think every pub in Surrey that sells more than chicken in a basket is 'overpriced' and a 'restaurant'. Group 2 - Country Life readers who want all pubs to be overpriced restaurants and make ludicrously overblown claims and are assumed by Group 1 to be staff. This comes up at pub after pub. As an ex-landlord let me tell you all something: (a) Landlords simply don't have time to keep going on here and they all regard the site as something of a joke anyway and (b) most staff are transients who couldn't give a monkeys about what customers think of them or the pub they work in, as long as they get paid every week.
exguvnor - 5 Jul 2010 18:42
My first visit to this pub a few evenings ago. Excellent meal - all 3 courses were brilliant. The beer was OK (Surrey Hills brewery) but really this is a top-notch food venue and I wouldn't recommend going for a booze-up.
rentfield - 11 Apr 2010 17:32
I went to the wine dinner they put on last week and it was so good I went back again with friends this week. I must say I thought the food was really great. A monkfish wellington starter on the first visit was as good as anything I have ever tasted anywhere in the world. Will give Sunday lunch a go next based on the comments below.
hads - 11 Feb 2010 17:22
Having been to this pub again, I have to change my mind about what I said previously, I must have been on a good night last time. Completely different standard of service and food. Perhaps they have become complacent.
donnadonk - 3 Feb 2010 12:47
Came here on a Sunday as refugees from the White horse Inn down the road. Food a bit pretentious and quite expensive. Risotto was fine but could have done with a bigger helping or maybe two helpings. They have a different bar-type menu for weekdays/Saturdays. Had Doombar on which was OK, not great. Also had Shere drop & Ranmore ale on from Surrey hills brewery.
alan_From_SAWW - 24 Jan 2010 19:20
A gastro pub its certainly not a village pub, it is what it is nothing special quite expensive,a couple of real ales on Doombar being one,food was ok agin nothing to write home about. 5/10
Got to say it looks like the staff get on this site (dace331 fot one )
anonymous - 6 Dec 2009 20:25
come for sunday lunch again great
dace331 - 6 Dec 2009 17:46
This place is great and I cant beleive what some people are saying. Clearly they have not been there or maybe they have had too much of their fine ale that their judgement has been clearly impaired. I was so happy to see a great new pub that serves great food and has a nice place to sit out side with kid facilities in Shere.. Shipsteps cant wait to see how your pub is doing as you are such the expert..
martyblue - 26 Nov 2009 08:48
I am amazed at a few of these coments, sounds like a witch hunt.
We just keep going back, food is delicious and the staff are great.
briony - 25 Nov 2009 20:07
Oh....deary me ! donnadonk, your loyalty is admirable but please do read what experienced BITE contributors have written about this pub. It's average in most ways but the staff are better than average. Please read what username 'shipsheps' has written - it's spot on in my humble opinion. In rating terms, it's a genuine 6 - rising 7 and no more.

FAB1 - 24 Nov 2009 21:19
Called in here to see what all the hype is about. What did I find - a fairly average village pub selling not bad food. It is better than the abomination that used to be the Prince of Wales, that's for sure. And it is imuch better than the dreafdful White Horse just down the road. But is certainly not a great pub. Beer was OK (from just the other side of Shere), and the service was pleasant. But I got the impression that if you don't dine then its one pint and you're out.
mrgrumpy - 24 Nov 2009 18:16
I love this pub, it's so clean and smart, the food is great - and the toilets are so clean which makes a lovely change! Much better than the other pub in Shere which I have no time for.
donnadonk - 24 Nov 2009 16:52
Dace331, best to give up your quest for this pub, you're up against seasoned 'battle-hardened' BITEs ! They have had more reviews deleted than you'll ever write !

Sorry, this pub is nothing to shout too loudly about but the staff and service are better than average. We much prefer the Hurtmore, Grantley or Three Compasses.
FAB1 - 23 Nov 2009 08:43
GIVE US A BEER.. YOUR RIGHT IT IS NOT A TRADITIONAL VILLAGE PUB.FOR ME I DONT CARE.NOT REALLY MY CUP OF TEA. BUT YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A SCAMPI AND CHIPS LADY BECAUSE WHEN I WAS THERE IT WAS BUSY ON BOTH DAYS. STOP PUTTING PEOPLE DOWN. NICE TO SEE PEOPLE DOING WELL. MAYBE IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER.HAVE YOU GOT A PUB?
dace331 - 23 Nov 2009 01:41
Sorry dace331 I must have missed something !!
Whats the name of this site ???
No need to shout either.
anonymous - 22 Nov 2009 19:35
CLEARLY NOT WHAT YOU WOULD CALL YOUR AVERAGE PUB. BUT IT MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT. COME TO GUILDFORD TO SEE MY FOLKS ON SATURDAY AND WENT INTO THIS SO CALLED PUB. HA! TO GET SOME FOOD. BUT IT WAS RAMED. COULD NOT GET A TABLE. SO WE COME FOR SUNDAY LUNCH INSTEAD( BOOKED A TABLE THOUGH). AGAIN WE WERE HERE FOR 3 HOURS AND THE PLACE WAS FULL ALL THE TIME. AND THE ROAST BEEF WOW . DESERVESE TOP 20 FOR FOOD ALONE. DID NOT SEEM TO BE ANY DIRECTION OUT IN THE RESTAURANT THOUGH. TRYING TO GET THOUGH THE LAUGUAGE BARIER WITH SOME OF THE WAITRESS WAS A BIT OF A DRAG. LONG WINDED!!!!!. DON'T CALL THIS A PUB THOUGH. RESTAURANT MORE LIKE. GONNA GIVE IT 9. FOR THE FOOD NOT THE SERVICE.
dace331 - 22 Nov 2009 19:24
This is more foodie than a good true village pub,its also quite an ugly building for this village.
The Doombar was on good form and there were a couple of other real ales on, we did not eat here as the menu was very average and nothing on it we fancied. 6/10
Wealdman I think your spot on ol chum.
giveusabeer - 22 Nov 2009 19:18
Thank you rach and marco. We had a bet that - after the two earlier accurate (but slightly negative posts today), 2/3 more new 'joined today posters' would give maximum 10's. Its an old ploy by mates etc. - but it gives us all a gigle. There's been lots of that on the BITE forums; have a look! Best pub 'in the area'...'I have ever frequented'...You should get out more.
wealdman - 22 Nov 2009 18:42
I have now eaten at this pub 4 times and every visit has been a great success, staff are great, food excellent and look out for the 'new discoveries' on their wine list! The Bordeaux Beusejour 2005 i think it was was great value!! Well worth the drive.
marco10 - 22 Nov 2009 17:08
Previous comment - bereft of his senses. This pub is fantastic. I have no idea if it is the best pub in England but it is the best pub I have ever frequented and there have been a few. Keep it up. No idea about celebrity involvement!!! Fantastic burgers and bring back back the liver and bacon. So far I have no complaints so it gets full marks from me and my family.
rach2 - 22 Nov 2009 16:49
'by far the best pub in the area?' The area being East Surrey (home to 100's of fine old country pubs) and only after a few months trading; NO way.

Effort is certainly being put in, but a lot - understandably - needs improving; expensive food (mediocre) and average beer is on offer.

The celebrity connection has impressed some, as have the contrived/inaccurate BITE ratings - putting the place as the No 1 pub in the UK !!

Rubbish - its not even the best pub in Shere.
elfhelp - 22 Nov 2009 14:27
This is by far the best pub in the area. Great food, great look and feel. Interesting photography on the walls - especially if you are a bit of a motorsport fan! Staff really friendly. Kids, dogs, horses (outside) cyclists, walkers all welcome. Really looking forward to trying the Sundy roast tomorrow! Its about time we had somewhere so good in this area. Hurrah
deborahclarke - 21 Nov 2009 12:12
Looks like pub from the outside, but the main door takes you directly into a restaurant. However, a quick right turn (or the side door) leads to a smaller room featuring the seperate bar. All done up in a light modern style, with the bar having a slightly more rustic feel than the restaurant. Three real ales on when I visted, including two (Shere Drop and a decent pint of Ranmore Ale) from the very local Surrey Hills brewery. Appearing (at the time of writing) as the supposed top-rated pub in the country on BITE is clearly ridiculous, but if you like this sort of place (which I don't really) then at least it is well done.
rpadam - 21 Nov 2009 10:40
Average pub, average (catering) food and telephone number prices. Very good staff though and service is better than average, beer horrible. 6 / 10
FAB1 - 20 Nov 2009 16:51
what a delightfull pub this has turned out to be the staff are so frendly polite helpfull make you very welcome as soon as you walk in the door. also children are very welcom there are high chairs for the younger ones. i have made this my regular pub as i walk in my beer is ready for me at the bar with a nice smile . the beer and the food are excellent. the cheff is so helpfull its unreel never been to a pub like this before its great
PAULMINNS - 8 Nov 2009 15:15
Only 3 out of 4 ales on at lunch today (Friday ) Shere drop, Ranmore ale & Doombar. The Doom is a long way from home but was very well kept. Shere drop equally as good. Quite busy for a village pub & food looked good, better than i originally expected. 8/10
foobared - 6 Nov 2009 18:31
This place deserves its rep for good food ! My wife & i popped in recently with our two teenage children, we were pleasantly surprised, One of the best meals i have had in a pub in a long time. A little heavy on the wallet but would return.
jasonK - 31 Oct 2009 18:30
Kudos on the bike racks. Nice touch.
cycle70 - 23 Oct 2009 11:06
Cannot really fault this pub. Speedy, friendly service and good range only downside its very busy we & we couldnt get a table for dinner this time. Will be back soon for a HUGE burger .
amsterf - 22 Oct 2009 18:31
As already said its a "gastro pub" so expect to pay. Local beer fine (Surrey hills brewery) menu average does not have a great choice ie no chicken dishes for a main course.
Alot of money has been spent on doing the place up its clean and tidy which you`d expect from a refurb. Because of the high ceilings its hard to get a cozy atmosphere .
All in all not bad, far better than down the road.
stroller - 21 Oct 2009 19:03
I like it. Ok its a gastro pub but then thats why we go out to a pub/restaurant( this place is more the latter) ........ to eat. Food is of great standard, unlike down the road. Its nice to have this on our doorstep. Its not the cheapest place i know but then you get what you pay for. House wine is 15 or so a bottle, my beer 3.20 ( Shere Drop) & was really good. finally a decent pint of ale in the village.
Keep up the good work.

andy62 - 21 Oct 2009 18:47
I was happy to discover this place , it was late sunday afternoon a tricky time to find a place who still serves food , ( we were heading for William 4th in Little London - but unfortunately arrived late in the day and they stopped serving food and recommended we try Wiliam Bray in Shere) I haven't been to Shere in a while , so was glad to see that the pub has changed hands and got a much needed lick of paint , the food looked very appatizing and the fire place was warm and inviting , although the whole place was a tad souless like so many gastro pubs these days. the guy (who turned out to be the bar manager) was standoffish and rude , while we were looking at the menu he had a very nasty go at one of the waitresses , which made me feel uncomfortable. the menu is normal gastro pub fare with prices to match - i had a brie ploumans , plenty of nice granary bread , butter and okish chutney ( very heavy on the star anise) but only a very modest sliver of brie , for the price they charge i expected more , my partner had a sandwich which was rahter bland. whatever, would have left satisfied if it wasn't for the amount of money i paid for a glass of red wine !!! i asked for a small glass of red - the choise was good , and they also had an open bottle of Chteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Cristia 2006 (France) , which now i realise they don't usually sell by the glass , that was not mentioned to me at the time,Chteauneuf-du-Pape vary in price , from reasonable to the rather expensive , i honestly believed that they would offer a reasonable Chteauneuf-du-Pape by the glass ( that would match prices of the other sold by the glass wines) around 6-7 for a small glass. I really didn't expect to be charged 12 for a small glass of wine in the middle of a recession !!! the bar manager didn't mentione the price when the order was placed , and i learnt a lesson in never assume.......
i found his service to be arrogant and unhelpful ( the other bar staff were pleasant enough) the whole place is fine , nothing more - a cheery friendly face behind the bar could make all the difference.


ilovebread - 18 Oct 2009 21:03
9.4 off 5 ratings - that's my 7/10 and 4 x 10/10s. It's good but not that good.
alecstewart - 13 Oct 2009 22:16
Great pub. i hear its owned by someone from top gear
justjane - 8 Oct 2009 10:48
Pleasant bar and very smart dining room. Food is either ploughmans / sandwich or 10+ main plates. There is a middle ground that could be filled especially on a weekday lunchtime.

Shere Drop was very good.

alecstewart - 7 Oct 2009 17:20

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