The Sun Inn, Chobham
A few weeks ago I was coming back from an appointment with my eldest Mudlet, and we somehow found ourselves in Chobham, that lovely village not far from Woking. It was all a bit of a happy accident, actually, after I took a wrong turn and then left it to the cross-your-fingers-and-hope-we-end-up-somewhere-I-recognise school of navigation. It’s turned out to be the start of something wonderful, and I’ve been back since to explore Chobham more thoroughly. You can read about that here.
But getting back to the day we got lost. It was long past lunchtime, me and the Mudlet were both a bit famished, so we pulled into the first pub we saw with easy car parking, and that just happened to be The Sun Inn. Another happy accident.
The Sun Inn is a Grade II-listed pub that underwent a major spruce up about a year ago, which saw the addition of a new dining room. The result is a pub that offers the best of both worlds: a smart dining room and an old pub that is full of character, with lots of nooks and crannies and gorgeously warming open fires for cold winter days.
And for the sunnier weather, there’s outdoor seating at the front, as well as a cute courtyard.
It was a Tuesday afternoon when we popped in, and the restaurant was bustling. I was surprised by how much so, actually, as there are several pubs and restaurants in close proximity. There was a definite air of ladies who lunch, although I did spot a couple of fellas out with their ladies too!
Food wise, it’s a combination of French classics and British pub favourites: slow-cooked Boeuf Bourguignon with creamy mash (£16.50), free-range Cornish-bred steaks (£13-£24.90); slow-braised Lincolnshire pigs’ cheeks (£15.50) and traditional homemade pies (£12.50), to name a few. There’s a good choice of fish dishes too, which includes steamed Shetland Isles mussels (£6.90 starter, £13.90 main), and roasted hake fillet with poached Shetland mussels and squid (£15.50) and baked queen scallops (£8.50 starter).
There’s a good value set menu, at £9.95 for two courses, a bar menu, and a full a la carte. We opted for the a la carte (because that’s just how we Surrey Muddy’s roll!), and Mudlet 11-and-three-quarters went for the award-winning burger on a brioche bun with Comté cheese and chips (yep, he’s a burger boy!), and being a but of a sucker for mussels a la marinière, I chose that.
My boy scoffed his burger, and despite not being much of a fan of chips (I know, weird right!) he scoffed those too, declaring them the best chips he’s ever had. I enjoyed my mussels, they were well-cooked and tasty. If I was being picky, I’d say that I’d have liked a little more of the marinière sauce. But perhaps I’m just greedy.
The menu caters for children, with a dedicated menu for the little ones, as well as a for older children, a half price, half portion on selected items on the main menu. That’s a good one for me because Mr 11-and-three-quarters doesn’t often go for the children’s menu these days.
As it was a late lunch, we skipped pudding and I ordered coffee while my boy had a hot chocolate. But there’s plenty of the sweet stuff to entice, from an apple and almond cream tarte (£5.90) to marinated blackcurrants and blackcurrant mousse with a cat’s tongue biscuit, which sounds delish, if not a little intriguing (£5.50).
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Ladies who lunch, couples, mothers and sons, families (there are baby change facilities), groups of friends, Sunday lunchers, walkers, including those with dogs.
Not for: The food is firmly in the gastropub sphere, so if you’re after something more high-end, this is probably no your place.
£££: Mid range. Starters are around the £5-£8 mark; mains were £10.50 for the pearl barley risotto up to £23.90 for the 8oz Cornish filet steak. A two-course set menu is £9.95, add £3.50 for three courses.
The Sun Inn, High Street, Chobham GU24 8AF. Tel: 01276 859 190. suninnchobham.com