If you’re seeking the best restaurants in Surrey, take a look at these fab five…

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As top restaurateur Serina Drake recently commented, diners are “spoilt for choice” when it comes to places to eat out in Surrey. While the region certainly isn’t exclusively limited to fine dining establishments, the standard of cooking in some of the area’s kitchens is incredible, aptly demonstrating the modern chef’s aspiration to deliver the best local produce to diners. This list, then, while far from being comprehensive, features five establishments that are more than worthy of your time and a table reservation.

Drake’s Restaurant, Ripley 

Considering they know so much about the area, it’s no surprise that Serina and Steve Drake’s eponymous restaurant should feature in this list. Steve’s recipes make use of lesser-known ingredients; small-scale, quality produce; and even some vegetables from the restaurant’s own garden. In turn, his food has a real emphasis on flavour and texture. Menus are thoughtfully constructed to cater towards every type of guest, from those who would like to nip in for a set lunchtime offering, to the foodie who wants to sample as many delights as possible with the nine-course Flavour Discovery tasting menu.

The Oak Room Restaurant, Cobham 

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Handpicked Hotels, who were named Hotel Group of the Year 2012-2013 by the AA, are a group fast becoming known for their portfolio of historic properties that have been renovated to the highest modern standards. The Oak Room Restaurant at Woodlands Park Hotel has certainly benefitted from the Handpicked treatment. Set in a building that dates back to 1885, The Oak Room’s period decor and furnishings contrast against the exciting, modern creations of chef Alec Mackins. Take, for example, his main course invention of venison chop with girolle mushrooms, potato gnocchi, pickled red cabbage, red onion shells and pumpkin purée. Top notch.

The Gallery Restaurant, Dorking 

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You’ll find The Gallery Restaurant at Denbies Wine Estate: a gorgeous, 265-acre vineyard. That’s a lot of beautiful greenery to appreciate, so The Gallery takes full advantage of its location by offering diners panoramic views of the acreage beyond. Hence, The Gallery. See what they did there? You’d also be right to guess that this restaurant serves a range of the Estate’s own fine wines, all of which superbly accompany a menu that showcases British cooking at its best. The crab and avocado starter, which comes served with micro leaves, wasabi mayonnaise and a seaweed biscuit, in particular, is an absolute highlight.

The Inn, West End 

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Together, Gerry and Ann Price run The Inn West End: a rather fashionable restaurant with rooms. By my reckoning, if this boutique rest stop happened to be just a little further east and into the capital, their services would cost a small fortune. Lucky for us, The Inn is reasonably priced, affords guests four-star-rated lodgings, an almost daily changing modern European food menu, and two very affable owners. With a separate wine shop, too, there’s little here not to like.

The Dysart, Petersham 

Expectations are naturally going to be high when a Roux Scholar is in the kitchen, but head chef Kenneth Culhane heads up proceedings at The Dysart Petersham with admirable confidence and skill. Culhane and his brigade source seasonal ingredients from their local gardener, but also take the time to ensure that anything that can’t be found nearby will meet strict quality standards. Meanwhile, owner Barny Taylor runs front of house and looks after everyone in the dining room.

If that’s got your mouth watering, check out these tasty establishments and don’t forget to enter the competition to win a meal for four!
Win a seafood meal for four here 
Cosmopolitan dining in a world famous heritage site 
Are you more of a sea view or river view kind of diner? 

Dominic Stroud

Dominic Stroud

Dom is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker who has now been released into the wild.

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