Muddy eats: The Angel Upstairs, Guildford
I’ve been eyeballing The Angel Upstairs for a while. It only opened in February – funnily enough, upstairs at the Angel Hotel, on Guildford’s gorgeous cobbled High Street.
Finally, last Friday, I had it sorted. I got myself all dolled up. Mr Muddy took the day off. And we arranged someone to come sit with the puppy. Off we went, down the A3, chattering excitedly about angels and other such things, only to discover en route that a truck carrying a light aircraft had overturned, littering the A3 with body parts. Light aircraft body parts.
Four hours later, having missed the lunchtime service, we arrived back home to collect the youngest mudlet from school and wave off the puppy-sitter. Harrrumph
So this week I tried again. With my eldest mudlet already off school for the summer (yeah – let’s not go there already) I decided to ditch Mr Muddy and take junior instead. And while The Angel Upstairs, isn’t the usual place you’d traipse off to with a kid in tow – I have to say, I had a marvellous day out with my boy. There was even a tiny (okay, not tiny in my mind) moment when he conceded that I wasn’t as uncool as he originally thought I was. Hoorah to that!
We arrived at TAU, running a little late (me, never!!) and frantically trying to find the front door. FYI, it’s via the hotel’s front door, not down the little alley to the right.
I needn’t have been frantic. We found our way upstairs (natch), met Sarah, the charming front-of-house, as well as Danii, head chef, and were shown to our table, and handed the new summer menus. The restaurant is in a cathedral type room with amazing lead light windows down one side, and a fabulous arched ceiling. There are fabulous original features, and yet this is a cool and contemporary setting.
Food wise, me and junior were in our elements. For starters, he went for the chicken liver parfait with toasted brioche and clementine jelly (£7), and I went for the sashimi tuna with avocado mouse (£7.50). We did a little swapsie and each tried the other’s, and I can report that both were divine. That’s saying something, since I’m not much of a meat eater – and he doesn’t like avocado! But the mousse was subtle and completely complimented the tuna, and the parfait, while certainly rich, was also light and very tasty.
For mains, I went for the sea bass with new potatoes and broccoli, from the specials menu, and Muddy Junior chose the rump of lamb with pea and feta salad. It was quite funny, but lovely, to see a 12-year-old so obviously enjoy his food.
The best, though, for a 12-year-old, was still to come. He was like a kid in a sweet shop when it came to choosing a pudding – the options were so enticing. Chocolate semifreddo with raspberry coulis? Strawberry and mint Eton mess with a Pimms reduction? Peach and raspberry deconstructed trifle? Choices, choices.
We went for the first two – and shared them down the middle, switching plates halfway through. The Eton mess was probably the best I’ve ever had. It was that good. The chocolate semifreddo was gorgeously silk and utterly chocolately. I felt a bit sad at only eating half of each, but perhaps, that’s the greedy monster in me.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Foodies, couples, special occasions, gatherings. At lunchtime, business or work lunches.
Not for: I can’t think of who might not like this. But those who want a more cosy, rustic environment, may want to fin a a local pub. It’s probably not the type of place you pop into for a quick bite, either. This really is food to be savoured.
££: Lunch and dinner, starters from £6-£7, mains £11.50-£20, or £56 for two for the chateaubriand, desert £6.50-£8.