Villagers Inn, The
Taps: 4 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 2 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
4.06/5 rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
By now, BA RichLightWeight and I had traversed a several miles of the Surrey Hills and sampled a few beverages at three of the areas finest licensed establishments; with the Compasses in Gomshall, The White Horse in Shere and the stunning William IV in Aldbury Heath under our expanding belts, we headed off towards the setting Sun and onward towards the next village of Blackheath.
Yet again we found ourselves deep in the Surrey Hills and amongst trees with its dark green foliage tinged with a rusty tone signaling the coming of Autumn and Winter. Soon we found ourselves swapping soft sandy soil for the solid but faded grey tarmac of Blackheath Lane, though we were still surrounded by the Heath all around.
Set back a little from the Lane, this offers out front parking for Motorcycles, and given the outstanding natural beauty of the country lanes round here you will often the two-wheeled motorized traveler stopping by here. Cream washed exterior is nicely matched against dark green painted window frames and accentuated with hanging baskets and windows boxes, both well stocked with flowers. The two storey main building which forms the core of the Villagers, seems to have had a single floor extension set around the front and side, but this is a faithful copy of the central building including its moss covered pitched tile roof. A traditional framed hanging Pub sign colorfully depicts a bunch of Villagers; the whole presentation is nicely coordinated.
Once inside, it opens out into the Public Bar area. A gorgeous looking real log brick fireplace has a massive beam set atop. The bar is of similar construction, stone built with a thick wooden top, the low overhead oak beams and flagstone floors add a terrific ambience. The Public Bar allows Dogs, as indeed many of the *real* Country Pubs do around these parts, and is well stocked with Board Games as well as a Darts Board and small looking Pool Table. From here the interior expands off to the right, and into what is referred to as the Saloon Bar. The décor is a little more coordinated and the red pastel walls blend with lighter cream and dark oak wood beams. Tables and chairs offer seating for a couple of dozen and it is this part of the bar where the five Beer Engines live, so you will have to walk through the Public Bar to peruse the offerings. Further to the right, the No Smoking Restaurant area opens out, it seats around 30 or so and the formality is in stark contrast to the Public Bar, but the Country décor theme continues throughout. Between the Saloon and Restaurant, you can hook a left and imbibe al fresco, as we did. A covered Patio is decked with more tables and chairs all surrounded by plant clad trellis work which offer some protection from the wind, whilst propane Heaters can bolster those cool English nights. Beyond this is the Garden, raised up slightly with a handful of picnic tables and this is where RichLightWeight and I sampled our fine Hand-Pulled beverage whilst catching up on life.
This is a true Free House, so the Bank of Four Beer Engines, flanked on the left by a lone Fifth Wicket, take pride of place on the bar always offer locally produced and/or microbrewed beers often from small Independents. On my visit they had Hogs Back Brewery TEA (Tongham English Tea), Timothy Taylors Landlord and Surrey Hills Brewery Shere Drop along with Ringwood Bitter; I opted for a Pint of the latter, surprisingly passing over the Taylors and finding the quality of the Pint very good.
With a Restaurant, it is no surprise that the Food Menu is much more than the usual Pub Grub. The depth of selection is very impressive, I didnt eat here but the culinary side of the business is obviously very important. I noticed on my visit that they had lots of specials, fresh country meats and fowl, together with fish advertised as delivered fresh daily.
Holds regular Quiz Nights on Tuesdays and monthly Live Music Nights, the Villagers Inn also offers limited accommodation, and given its lovely setting and locale this would make an excellent base camp for exploring the Surrey Hills.
The Villagers Inn could not be more aptly named, full of locals but always ready with a warm welcome for the passing walker, cyclist or judging by the Car/Horse Park sign, even passing Equestrians. The large garden and covered patio at the rear make for a wonderful place to supp that thirst quenching perfect Pint of Real Ale whilst reflecting on some fine Walking Country.
Last Visit: Sunday 29th October, 2006.
11-10-2006 06:24:46 | More by TheLongBeachBum
More User Reviews:
Villagers Inn, The in Blackheath, United Kingdom (England)
- out of 100 based on 2 ratings.