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Wanna know the latest goss in Surrey? It's right here, hot off the press - gastropub openings, new wine bars and artisan bakeries, plus Crowded House are coming to Surrey.

NEW OPENINGS: Gastropubs and wine bars

The Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrey
The Running Horses in Mickleham

The Running Horses – the lovely 16th century pub with boutique rooms in Mickleham – has been undergoing a few nips and tucks since being taken over by the team behind the Queen’s Head in Dorking and reopened this week. Formerly part of the Brakspear stable, it’s been taken over by the Little and Large Pub Company run by Manu Bhatt who used to be at The Albion pub in Islington. Islington’s loss is Surrey’s gain.

Major changes going on at the The Watermill Inn in Dorking, with plans to reopen after extensive renovations at the end of the November. The pub, which has gorgeous views over Box Hill, will offer brunch through to supper, craft beers, an eclectic wine list and cocktails. Outside, they’re expanding the garden creating year-round seating with booths next to wood burners and fire pits, while inside will be a cosy and snug, with views over Box Hill. There will be a private dining room on the first floor. The official opening is 30 Nov.

Dorking is where it’s at! The Grape Variety is opening a brand new wine bar and merchant in the heart of Dorking’s old town, with an expected opening in the first week of December – just in time for the Christmas drinks! If it’s anything like it’s sister venue in Chipstead, bookings will be a must!

Clock House

The Clock House, Ripley, Surrey

We already knew that Ripley’s Michelin-starred Clock House restaurant was among the best in Surrey, but more accolades have been coming their way with the addition of a third AA rosette. It joins Stovell’s in Chobham as the only other Surrey restaurant with three AA rosettes.

Wine winner

If it’s an award-winning wine you’re after, Denbie’s Cubitt Blanc De Noirs 2014 has won both the Decanter and WineGB Gold awards for 2021. A bright sparkling wine, it’s described as full and fresh with excellent fruit expression on the nose and strawberry and raspberry on the palate. Priced at £34.95, it’s available from Denbies.

Hoxton Bakehouse opens in Farnham

Hoxton Bakery, bread, Farnham Surrey

People of Farnham, pull on your stretchiest pants – the artisan bakery Hoxton Bakehouse has come to town. It is the seventh incarnation of this popular bakery across the south-east and the first in Surrey. Famed for their fresh-baked croissants, caramel brownies, signature sourdough and cinnamon buns, the bakery also caught the attention of top shelf restaurants and now supplies 60 hotels and restaurants including Angela Hartnett’s Lime Wood, Chewton Glen, The Pig, Four Seasons and The River Cottage, among others.

Meanwhile in Farnham, self-serve frozen yoghurt venue Myfroyoland has opened in Downing Street. Offering a choice of 150 rotating flavours, and oodles of toppings, there are also fat-free and vegan options.

Creative, cool… and made in Croydon

The Cronx Boutique pop up shop, Croydon, Surrey

On a post-pandemic mission to champion local creativity, The Cronx Boutique returns to Croydon for two months this year offering up an alternative and artistic festive shopping experience. The boutique is made up of a collective of three local brands – The Croydon Photographer, East Croydon Cool and the Johnny Howl Club – with a shared passion for all things Croydon. The pop-up boutique will be in Caithness Walk, part of the Ruskin Square development, and will feature the works of Croydon creatives each week. Expect to find vintage clothing and vinyl, handmade dresses, vintage vibe jewellery, floral bouquets, candles, photography and more.

Crowded House headline

Crowded House, New Zealand pop band, Hampton Court Palace Festival

Don’t dream it’s over – because Hampton Court Palace Festival will be back with a bang in 2022, and a hefty dose of melodic Antipodean pop songs thanks to headliners Crowded House. Also on the bill are George Benson and Lionel Richie. The alfresco summer concert series is on throughout June against the backdrop of King Henry’s magnificent Tudor Palace. The full line-up is yet to be announced, but tickets are already on sale for Crowded House who play on June 25; Lionel Richie on 8 and 9 June; and George Benson on 16 June.

Limnerslease reopens

Limnerslease, Watts Gallery Artists' Village, Compton, Surrey
Limnerslease, the former home and studios of GF and Mary Watts, in Compton. Photo by Andy Newbold

Calling all art lovers! After being closed for more than 18 months, the former home and studios of artists George Frederick Watts and his wife Mary is to reopen to the public on 6 Dec. Limnerslease – part of the Watts Gallery Artists Village in Compton – is where GF Watts painted some of his more important works. The closure, initially due to the first Covid-lockdown in March last year, was extended when an electrical fire in September 2020 cause damage. Now fully restored, the house and studio will be open in time for Christmas. The reopening exhibition will include pictures that GF Watts is known to have created at Compton which date back to 1849.

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