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BITE user comments - mpr2andgreen

Comments by mpr2andgreen

The Fox on the Hill, Lower Kingswood

It occurred to me once that of the owners were to knock down the Fox on the Hill they would have space for a larger carpark...

i didnt finish the rancid pint i'd been served, nor did i give them the opportunity to change it was so poor.

5 Jun 2009 11:31

The Sportsman 'Time Well Spent', Mogador

Every silver lining has a cloud, and the Sportsman is no exception.

The downside to running a pub as good as the spotsman is that unless the service is scalable, its enevitable poularity begins to impact the enjoyment of the place.

Go on a weekday lunchtime and after a pre-lunch amble around its beautiful setting, settle into a chair of your choice and sample a really well kept ale and some simply stunning food. The restaurant isnt cheap but is great value none the less, or maybe try the bar menu which is cheaper and simpler which you can eat in the garden on brighter days.

However the Sportsman gets exposed on Sunny days and weekends in particular when its tiny cramped bar (all 8 feet of it) struggles to cope with the sheer volume of punters and you will wait 10 deep to get served amongst the throng before turning uncomforably pint in hand wondering how on earth you are going to get back to the door without spilling the lot.

A simply brilliant place in many ways - but on those glorious summer days when you sponaneously think to yourself "lets go an sit in a beer garden for the day" go somewhere else...

because about 2000 people thought of it before you did!

5 Jun 2009 11:26

The Angel, Reigate

By weekday, this slightly grubby looking boozer is bzzing to the sound of local office workers grabbing a lunchtime pintsandwich, Whilst this place is never going to be The Clarendon Hotel the quality is acceptable enough to warrant a lunch hour supping a pretty decently kept pint and trying the basic but reasonable fare that's served here.

Friday night however is a whole different ballgame with its bawdy clientel of regulars. I was told that there is never trouble in this pub since the latest landlord got on the scene and laid down the law. Nevertheless we felt there was an agressive undertone that left us feeling uncomfortable and out of place.

If i "worked at Cannons" I would lunch in the Angel too - but only because by the time I'd walked to Reigate town centre there would be no time for a pint before i had to head back again!

5 Jun 2009 11:07

The Venture Inn, Reigate

A far better pub than its rating suggests, and in my oppinion, also a much better pub than when it was the Desert Rat. Although it did initially through a short phase of having an almost brothel-like feel following some ill-advised interior design choices!

With the colourful walls returned to a more conservative hue, the environment is now pretty good, with 2 bars of very differing character - one, quieter with carpets and comfy leather sofas and the other slightly more bar-room like with wooden floors and more traditional pub furniture + the obligatory big screen.

A pub for the real ale purist it is not. But as a lively, friendly clean and well run establishment it is perfectly suited to the slightly well heeled area it sits in.

The selection of beers is large and varied, the wine lists are imaginative and very well priced, and to top all that they serve an extensive menu of authentic Thai food which is the best of its kind for many a mile. (I paid a fiver for my Thai green curry and it was simply brilliant!)

The venture inn will not be what everybody is looking for but for the 30-40 somethings of Reigate it fulfills exactly what it sets out to be. Good fun at good prices and run by a good team with good staff.

5 Jun 2009 10:42

The Dolphin, Betchworth

At the time of writing this pub rates at 5.4 out of 10. Frankly I think this is generous and is obviously a reflection of better times gone by.

The pub itself is great. Fabulous, kooky building with real character, nestling in he sleepy village of Betchworth right accross the road from the local blacksmith. But there the romance ends...

The problem for this pub is that turnover is and always will be, low in comparison to its town centre cousins. As a result the brewry appoints inexperienced and mostly innadequate landlord teams to it .

What it needs most is an experienced hand on the rudder and someone who can wrest control back from a belligerent group of locals who have been there so long that they (almost literally) think they own the place.

Overall, we had a very dissapointing return to what was once one of Surrey's finest spots. The beer, actually was ok. But we were served food so ordinary that you could be forgiven for thinking that the kichens had simply unwrapped petrol-station cheese sandwiches and served with a garnish...

5 Jun 2009 10:25

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