This historic pub restaurant has had a refit. Steve Drake, owner of nearby Michelin-starred Drake's, has taken on the historic pub and transformed it into a foodie mecca for bicycle owners.
The pub was formerly used as a resting stop for thousands of 19th-century cyclists on rides from Thames Ditton, and this is reflected in the decor and plans to install cycling racks outside. If you know this part of England, you'll know this is one of the most picturesque villages replete with a carved-out cycling path in the UK. With that in mind, you can imagine my joy when a friend and I were cycling by and found The Anchor.
Once we'd parked our bikes on the grass (with the assurance of the staff that they'd be fine), we placed ourselves on the seats which felt all too plush after an hour-long ride, and perused the extensive menu.
There were impressive-sounding vegetarian options like the butternut squash crumble, but I wanted meat, so opted for the Citrus Salmon Skewer £10.25, which was a fillet of salmon marinated and grilled with citrus fruits and came served with a parsley & pepper leaf salad and a fresh sweetcorn salsa. It was delicious.
If you'd prefer something more traditional try the pollock croquettes (£8.00), and roast saddle of venison (£7.00), which my friend tucked into (and who couldn't stop saying how good it was). My friend and I weren't drinking, but the guest ales, from Dorking Brewery and Tillingbourne are suitably local.
Only when we raised our heads after inhaling the incredible food, did we take in our surroundings; slab flooring, wooden beams, and a fireplace in the middle of the room. The Anchor was rustic, quaint, and well-lit, as well as boasting large windows either side of the dining rooms. It was country-chic at its best, with a clear contemporary quality which made for a young to middle-aged clientèle.
The Anchor is certainly more than your average country pub, but whilst the title suggests it will weigh you down, don't let that put you off - we left full and satisfied, although admittedly we didn't want to leave - perhaps that's the reason behind the title.