A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city.
Published January 12th 2016
A real country pub
Every now and then a few of us from work gather together for a lunch date. We choose someplace where we can eat our meal in a leisurely fashion, talk shop and things not-so-shop (ok, I'll admit it - gossip) and generally end with a relaxed tea. Sometimes we make an occasion of it, like we did this Christmas when we also threw in a 'Secret Santa' gift each. We chose a newly opened country pub in the heart of Reigate countryside.
Newly rechristened 'The Pheasant' but standing tall for over 2 centuries !
As most English pubs go, this one though recently taken over and rechristened 'The Pheasant' by the Brunning and Price group, has been standing strong since the 18th century. We were lucky to be sat at a table by the window where picturesque views of verdant green country around us. The decor and ambience had the perfect blend of the old and the new.
The staff seemed an energetic and friendly lot. As for the bill of fare itself- there was an eclectic mix of sea bass, turkey with all the trimmings, beef wellington, roast pork at our table. I enjoyed my beef that came with the complete package- yorkshire puddings et al. My colleague Belinda who sat next to me said that her fish was delicious. There were the usual choice of accompanying alcoholic and non alcholic drinks too.
For puddings, there were the usual festive ones like yule log, mince pies, Christmas pudding etc. but we decided to skip that part as most of us felt like a tea or Irish coffee.
We had a relaxed time laughing, talking and exchanging our 'Secret Santa' stuff that we quite forgot about the walk we had thought we'd take around the country path that the pub itself has chalked out and put up on its website. Eventually, we did try and make a somewhat half hearted effort at it but aborted the plan half way up a narrow bridge when we realised that there wasn't much light or road ahead (am guessing this was not their mapped out route!).
On the flip side, it was somewhat of a 'mare getting there by public transport on a Sunday. You are best placed to drive down. Parking is ample. As far as costs go, I would peg it down to approximately 25-30 quid per per person (starter, mains, drink, pudding and all). Not cheap, but then again that's probably the going rate in most such places.