Muddy eats: The Seven Stars, Leigh
You know when you’re planning a lovely family walk…
The wellies are packed. The kids are in the car. And then the grey clouds roll in. It gets misty. Then it rains. And rains. And rains. A bit like this!
Mr Muds notes (to those of us who like our slouchy Sunday mornings) that if only we’d got going earlier we’d have managed a walk in before the rain. Pah! I don’t think so buddy!
And then, The Seven Stars in Leigh appears, only just, through the mist. Mr Muds pulls up by the front door so I can run in and check it out, and I come out beaming because it seems I’ve made a good save. Instead of that flipping walk, we’ll have a lovely Sunday lunch in a cosy 17th century tavern with the fires roaring. And the rain sloshing down the windows.
It was already busy when we arrived, but there was a table for four available. Yup! I felt smug.
This is a beautiful and historic pub. From the front door you go left into the bar, and right into the pub restaurant. Apparently there’s a pretty beer garden out the back, but I can’t say I ventured that far.
The food is sourced as much as possible from local suppliers. Meat from a local butcher in Cheam, eggs from the local Ash House Farm, cheese from Norbury Park Farm at Mickleham, and the ice-cream from St Joan’s Farm in Reigate. The menu reflects the season – game in the winter, seafood in the summer.
To start we ordered the crispy calamari with a gorgeous salt and pepper coating and a sweet chilli sauce (£6.50); and, from the specials, a potted shrimp and crab with chunks of bread which we greedily scoffed.
For mains I went for the fabulous fish pie (£10.95), which was, indeed fabulous, and also rather filling. Chunks of haddock, cod and salmon in a creamy white wine sauce, topped with mash… it don’t get much better than that on a soggy day out people. Mr Muds chose the fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce (£11), which left him warm, toasty and happy.
Muddy 11 doesn’t often pass on a burger, and so burger it was, this one a homemade cheese and bacon burger (£10.95). He was happy. As was my miniest Muddy who went for the chicken goujons (£6.50) from the Little Stars Menu.
While we stuck with water, there is a good selection of ales from micro and local brewers including the Surrey Hills Brewery in Dorking, and the Hogs Back at Tongham, plus favourites such as Cornish Doom Bar and London Pride.
I really only glanced at the wine list, but there’s a selection by the glass (depending how you’re feeling there’s a choice of 125ml, 175ml and 250ml – no prizes for guessing which would have been my choice!!), and the bottle.
A notice in the ladies’ room alerted me to various events at the pub. Check their website for future events if you’re interested.
And if it’s not sloshing down outside, you could combine a trip to the Seven Stars with a local walk, or pop across the road to the adventure playground. There’s Highridge Wood nearby, and a suggested walk here.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Couples, families, groups of friends, Sunday lunchers, walkers, dogs are allowed in the bar.
Not for: There are no cosy nooks here, so this probably isn’t the place for romantic trysts.
£££: It’s pretty good value. Most main dishes hover around the £10 mark, with the 8oz sirloin steak the most expensive at £18
The 7 Stars, Bunce Common Rd, Dawes Green, Leigh, RH2 8NP. Tel: 01306 611254.