Down our local Tandridge pubs

With so many picturesque villages in its midst, it's no wonder that Tandridge has such fantastic pubs. MATTHEW WILLIAMS brings you a few recommendations

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2010

With so many picturesque villages in its midst, it’s no wonder that Tandridge has such fantastic pubs. MATTHEW WILLIAMS brings you a few recommendations

The White Bear, Warlingham

Neil Rowlands has been the owner of The White Bear for over ten years.

About the pub...Nestling between two farms in the tiny hamlet of Fickleshole, The White Bear comes complete with not one but two resident ghosts. The pub was once several little cottages and a small inn on the end of a terrace.

Food and drink...The White Bear is renowned for its succulent fillet and rump steaks served on hot skillets. There is also a daily specials board, often with fresh fish on offer, and the pub has its own wine club, too.

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Most looking forward to in 2010… Biggin Hill Air Show sees the Red Arrows fly directly over the pub. They also host their annual beer and food festival on the same weekend. In addition, they will be starting a weekly farmers’ market every Saturday.

Visitors to the area should…Check out All Saints’ Church in Warlingham, which dates from the 13th century and is believed to be where the Book of Common Prayer was used for the first time, in a service attended by Archbishop Cranmer.

The White Bear, Fairchildes Lane, CR6 9PH: 01959 573166 The Inn on the Pond, Nutfield

In 2008, current owners Jane and Peter Eyles carried out the biggest refurbishment of the pub since its extension in the mid 18th century.

About the pub...In its lifetime, this grade II listed building has been a lampshade factory, a tannery, a guest house during World War Two, and a sports and social club.

Food and drink...The menu changes quarterly – and currently the homemade game faggots are very popular. They serve DB1 ale from the Dorking Brewery, among others.

Most looking forward to in 2010… The marshes that surround the pub were once worked for sand. Today, Surrey County Council is restoring a 2.5km section to create a nature reserve for Surrey Wildlife Trust. There is also an annual pond restoration, where volunteers come and clear the pond, which is usually held in January to avoid disruption to wildlife.

Visitors to the area should… Pop along to Nutfield Cricket Ground to watch a great local village side or visit nearby Priory Farm.

Inn on the Pond, Nutfield Marsh Road, RH1 4EU: 01737 643000 The Crown Inn, Oxted

Landlord Alan Percival has been a well-known fixture in Oxted since he came to the pub 21 years ago. About the pub...The ghost of a former chambermaid, who worked there in the 19th century, was featured on a Paul McKenna TV show a few years back.

Food and drink...They say the homemade Sunday roast lunches are the best around! Plus, there’s always four well-kept real ales on offer – perfect in front of the log fire!

Most looking forward to in 2010… Apart from the green shoots of recovery, the most anticipated local event is always the annual charity Pram Race in July.

Visitors to the area should… Take a short walk up the old High Street with its Tudor cottages and pubs and then a country ramble through the fields past the Pond and the Burial Mound to the home of the area’s most famous local resident, Mohamed Al Fayed.

The Crown Inn, 53 High Street, RH8 9LN: 01883 717853 The Red Barn, Lingfield

Opened by Geronimo Inns in 2008, Stuart Kemp is the manager of this converted barn with its own farm shop.

About the pub...They have just found out that the dates inscribed in the fireplace are not of when the place was first built but instead simply when the fireplaces were re-done – circa 1689!

Food and drink...At the moment, the eight-hour slow roasted pork from the Aga is the top tip. Drinks wise, their wine list is chosen by master of wine John Clevely.

Most looking forward to in 2010… The biggest issue around the area has been the ongoing battle against development on the area’s Green Belt. In October, hundreds of local residents gathered to protest against proposals, so expect further developments. On the flip side, a new hotel being built on Lingfield Park racecourse should attract more people to the area.

Visitors to the area should…Pop over the border to Hever Castle or take advantage of the lovely countryside walks, local horse riding or village shops of Lingfield.

The Red Barn, Tandridge Lane,  RH7 6LL: 01342 830820 The Bell, Godstone

General manager Ivan Pedorski has just taken over, having arrived from another pub in Thames Ditton.

About the pub...In the early 19th century, The Bell was used as a staging post – with six coaches a day travelling through the village to Eastbourne and Brighton.

Food and drink...Their spit chicken and succulent steaks are particularly highly regarded.

Most looking forward to in 2010… The outbreak of E.coli at Godstone Farm started a national debate and saw the ever-popular petting farm voluntarily shut in the latter months of 2009. While the tearoom, playbarns, playgrounds and gardens have reopened, many will be hoping to see contact with the animals become possible again.

Visitors to the area should…Try to catch a show at The Orpheus Centre, an inclusive performing arts centre founded by entertainer and musician Richard Stilgoe in his former family home, or pick up a bottle at Godstone Vineyard.

The Bell Inn, 128 High Street, RH9 8DX: 01883 743216