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Tickle your tastebuds! It’s a foodie newsflash

Surrey's hottest new openings - from a relaxed Aussie-style rivers café to a gastronomic pub in the Surrey Hills, plus the arrival of celeb-magnet Scott's. It's all going on in Surrey.

Star studded team take on The Star

Roomy pants on! A new gastropub is opening in Surrey this summer. The Star in Witley is being relaunched by the star-studded James Lyon-Shaw and chef Jamie Dobbin – owners of Brucan Pubs and formerly of The Ivy’s parish. This will be their fourth pub – they own the Drumming Snipe in Mayford (read my review here), the Greene Oak in Windsor and The Greyhound in Finchampstead.

In preparation for the opening, The Star is undergoing a £400,000 nip and tuck – to bring the Grade II-listed, 17th century pub back to its former glory. Outside, a new dining terrace is being added with a heated pergola and pods, for year-round alfresco dining.

The menu will be seasonal and focus on British game, meat and fish. overseen by executive chef Jamie. No tiny portions, deconstructed dishes, frills or foam – just superb food. Watch this space, a review will be coming soon – the opening is expected towards the end of August.

Dan Britten comes to Godalming

In Godalming, Masterchef finalist Dan Britten is opening a café and restaurant called simply Brittens. He’s taking over the former Cafe Mila premises in the heart of the town and will focus on great coffee and great food – classic breakfast brunch and lunch dishes and few little twists – using fresh local ingredients as much as possible. Coffee will come from specialty coffee roasters Rockhill Brothers Coffee who are based in Dorking. As well as the day-time offering, the café play host to pop-up set-menu supper clubs. Fri 5 Aug is the target open day – watch this space!

Chef Tony Parkin leaves the Tudor Room

The Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham.

Michelin-starred chef Tony Parkin is moving on from the Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham after three and a half years at the stoves. No word yet on where he might be going – but we’re told he doesn’t yet have anything lined up and will be pursuing new challenges. His last service will be Sat 6 Aug. Before his stint at The Tudor Room, Parkin was head chef at The West House in Biddenden, Kent.

Smoque in Warlingham

Fans of Turkish meze, it’s time to get excited! Smoque, the meze bar and restaurant is coming to Warlingham – opening in the former La Botija Spanish tapas on the Warlingham Green. Smoque specialises in food cooked on an open charcoal grilled fire, alongside traditional hot and cold Turkish meze dishes. There’s also a cracking cocktail and drinks menu! This will be the third Smoque to open, following on from branches in West Wickham and Bromley in Kent. It’s expected to open in Warlingham in mid to late August. Watch this space!

New riverside dining in Richmond

A brand spanking new riverside restaurant is due to open in Richmond – on the restored Jesus College Oxford barge, now known as Peggy Jean. The new restaurant, which opens on Wednesday 27 July is by the Daisy Green Collection, which sets out to bring the relaxed and buzzing Aussie food and coffee culture to London. The Peggy Jean has been totally transformed and now includes an intimate bars and dining space – looking very retro glam – as well as twin Gozney clay ovens. The menu includes freshly baked pizzas, fresh calamari and day boat fish, and sharing Tomahawk steaks – all cooked over fire, Aussie BBQ style. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile, also in Richmond, news just in about the planned autumn opening of Scott’s fish and seafood restaurant. Promising to be a glittering heritage of the famous Mayfair original, a magnet for celebs, the Richmond venue will open in the former Revolution Bar, which has panoramic views of the Thames from its outdoor dining terrace. Scott’s will be set over two storeys, and will feature a dining room with a marble-topped Champagne and oyster bar taking centre stage – and a DJ bar upstairs.

Lythe Hill Hotel sold

Lythe Hill Hotel and Spa, the country hotel and wedding venue just outside Haslemere has been sold to a mystery buyer. Set in 22 acres, The Grade II-listed Tudor House which has 41 en suite bedrooms and two private suites, function rooms including a ball room, a restaurant and a lounge dates back to the 1400s. The hotel also includes the Amarna Spa, which includes a 16-metre indoor swimming pool and health club with a gym and fitness studios. The hotel has recently been pimped and preened, and apparently the new owner intends to continue with the investment.

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