Your favourite blabbermouth reporting for duty - yes ma'am. Here's the latest superflashy newsflash.
END OF AN ERA: La Barbe closes
Heartbreaking news just in that after almost 40 years in Reigate, French restaurant La Barbe will be closing its doors for the final time on Christmas Day. Owner Serge Tassi made the sad announcement yesterday saying the time was right for him to retire from restaurant life. The restaurant, overlooking Priory Park in Bell Street, has been been long regarded as one Surrey’s top French restaurants. But where one door closes, another opens. And local couple Marc and Joelle Cullender, of Cullenders Deli, are taking over the premises with plans to reopen in the new year. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime au revoir Sergi and all the team at La Barbe.
NEW RESTAURANT: Lebnani, Reigate
Our ears pricked up at the news that Yalla Yalla founder Jad Yousseff is opening a Lebanese restaurant in Reigate this January. Yum! Expect a Lebanese menu that is inspired by Jad’s childhood memories of Beirut, all created with local ingredients including meat sourced responsibly from farms in Surrey and Sussex. Lebnani’s menu is all about mezze, charcoal-grills, wraps and signature Lebanese dishes, including roasted cauliflower, beef roasted shawarma, sticky jawaneh, Beirut fattoush, Lebanese wine, beer and arak – Lebanon’s national drink. Sign us up!
NEW OPENINGS: Design Vintage, Guildford
Pay attention, lovers of chic Scandi homewares! A cool new interiors store is coming to Guildford’s Tunsgate Quarter in the new year, and it’s all about unique vintage furniture and accessories with cool lines and modern elements. Design Vintage was set up by interiors addict Lisa Brass, starting life in a small Brighton shop in 2012 and later moving to a larger showroom in Chichester. The Guildford store with be the third store, to be followed quickly by an opening in London. Oh la la. We can’t wait to pick up some goodies for our homes! designvintage.co.uk
JANUARY OFFER: Half-price mains
No need to plan for a frugal January! Thanks to the generosity of a group of Surrey pubs which is offering 50% off all a la carte menu main meals from Thur 2 Jan to Wed 12 Feb (excluding Sat nights and Sun lunch). Simply sign up to the White’s Brasserie newsletter by 2 January to receive the offer – then enjoy a meal at any of these lovely pubs: The March Hare in Guildford, The Queen’s Head in Weybridge, The Victoria in Oxshott, The Black Horse in Reigate, The Sun Inn in Chobham, The Cricketers in Cobham and the Barley Mow in Englefield Green. whitebrasserie.com
NEW RECRUITS: Merry Harriers, Hambledon
We were sad to hear the news that husband and wife pair Sam and Danielle Montgomery-Page are moving on from the Merry Harriers. With Danielle as front-of-house and Sam wearing the chef’s whites, the Merry Harriers pub, inn and llama trekking centre has been a favourite of both locals and city visitors. The 16th century pub was taken over by Peter and Lana de Savary in 2017, and they’ve invested heavily in that time renovating the pub’s rooms and adding luxury shepherd’s huts. But under new recruits Jake Andreou as manager and David Totterdell as head chef, there are plans to continue developing the appeal of the pub. Stay tuned for new seasonally-changing menus, an even better Sunday roast offering and overnight packages. merryharriers.com
CHEF NEWS: Matt Worswick moves on
Sad news has reached Muddy Surrey HQ. Michelin-starred chef Matt Worswick is departing the Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot after almost four years at the stove. He’s leaving to take up a position at The Shanghai Edition. But the news is not all bad – it’s been announced that former Bohemia chef Steve Smith will be stepping into the role. And with an impressive CV that includes working with Jean Christoph Novelli Shaun Hill and Paul Heathcote – we think exciting time are to come at the Latymer.
OPENINGS: Redh, Haslemere
The upstairs bar at Redh in Haslemere is officially open! Situated in an Edwardian Post Office building, Redh is now a shop, bar and function venue. The bar is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm-11pm and in addition to a range of delicious alcoholic beverages, will also serve up delicious platters and locally produced dishes.
Redh is working hard to keep its eco-footprint to a minimum, reducing food miles, cutting back on the use of plastics and recycling/upcycling where possible. redh.co.uk
FESTIVAL NEWS: Tickets on sale
Who loves wine? Me me me! Oh, you too? Then you’ll love this festival dedicated to the stuff at the Guildford Harbour Hotel on Sat 21 March. Tickets are now on sale. There’ll be wine tasting, a wine walk and a wine masterclasses, giving you the opportunity to discover more about wines both local and from afar. Tickets are £20 for a session from 1-4pm or £25 for the 5-8pm session. lovewinefest.co.uk