Muddy eats: Blue @ The George, Old Oxted

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I went to Blue @ The George a couple of weeks ago, on the dirtiest, rottenest Sunday night you can imagine. The wind was howling. The rain was coming down in sheets. And the wind was howling. Oh, I said that already. You get the picture.

It seems a strange evening to head out. But, you see, most of the weekend had been pretty grim weather-wise, and I’d spent a good chunk of it at my desk, so it was a bit of an end-of-weekend treat, if you like.

I’d been wanting to go to Blue @ The George for quite some time. It was taken over by new owners about six months ago, had a little refurb, got a new name (it used to be The George Inn), and had a radical menu overhaul. Gone is the standard pub fare, and in it’s place is a unique Spanish-influenced gastropub and steakhouse. Intrigued? I certainly was.

The George is a beautiful Grade II-listed building. It still has plenty of character, with rustic oak tables and gorgeous historical pictures of Old Oxted on the walls in the dining section, while the oldest part of the pub is a stylish bar with cosy alcoves and roaring fires. The only thing I’d question is the use of blue lighting, it felt odd in such a rustic and characterful pub.

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They’re serious about their steaks at Blue, with a steak list that changes regularly. Steaks are sourced directly from London’s Smithfield Market, and include Aberdeen Angus and Wagyu cuts. The Iberico pork comes directly from Sierra de Gredos in Spain.

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On Sundays, there’s still the traditional roast, with beef, lamb, venison and chicken. I was there with Mr Muds and the two mini muddies. Mr 11-and-three-quarters is quite the meat eater, and was eager to try the cured meat platter (£12), so we shared that as a starter. It comes with Serrano ham, Chorizo, Lomo Cabazeda, as well as Manchego cheese, pickled chillies, green olives and a lovely tomato and plum chutney. We also shared the artisan bread board (£4.50) – a selection of four breads with oil and balsamic – which worked pretty well with the platter. So far so good.

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Moving on to mains, I went for the grilled halloumi with sundried tomato and basil risotto (£12.95); Mr Muds chose the roasted butternut squash and red pepper cake (£12); Mr meat-lover and his sister both had the burgers from the children’s menu.

We were all pretty stuffed after that, but felt I felt I’d be neglecting my duties if I didn’t sample at least one pudding, and so chocolate ganache and marshmallow tart was ordered. And what a freaking lovely pud it was too (so lovely, we tucked in before I took a picture – oops – but here’s a pic anyway!). Worth the calories. And worth the slight feeling of pigginess. Part rich chocolate ganache, part goey marshmallowy rocky road. Need I say more.

THE MUDDY VERICT

Good for: Families, large groups, couples.

Not for: those looking for a fine dining experience

£££: This is pretty good food for the price. The Sunday roasts hovered around the £12 mark, with a roast sirloin of grain-fed beef at £16.50; a whole oven-baked sea bass was £18.50

Blue @ The George, 52 High Street, Old Oxted, RH8 9LP. Tel: 01883 713 453. thegeorgeoxted.co.uk 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Surrey