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Restaurant Review: The Grantley Arms, Wonersh in Guildford, Surrey

The Grantley Arms

From the outside, The Grantley Arms steeped in history, oozes charm and character with its original 17th century architecture. This historic pub is located in the sleepy village of Wonersh in Surrey and boasts an enviable spot in the center of the village.

If you’re familiar with the district of Surrey, Wonersh is located in the Surrey Hills area which is well known for its areas of outstanding natural beauty.
The pub itself is a Grade two listed building dating back to 1590, although fully renovated with modern adaptations, take one step inside and you’ll feel right at home in this cosy, country pub. Staying true to character, restorations included restoring original wooden beams and log fireplaces. The previous original 16th century bakery building also now houses a glorious private dining room which can generously seat up to 20 guests.

The Grantley Arms is now under a new management team including locals, Richard Cryer, Chris Frederick and their new head chef Matthew Edmonds (if your familiar with the food industry you may recognise this name as Matt was previously head chef of Searcy’s restaurant in the Gherkin, London). Matt has brought along his respectful team of assisting chefs to help him craft indulgent elegance on a plate.

The Grantley Arms has enjoyed a full renovation
The Grantley Arms has enjoyed a full renovation under new ownership

Unknown to most visitors, The Grantley Arms’ now transformed restaurant space unassumingly used to house a skittles alley, once popular with the locals. After our arrival, we were greeted and were lucky enough to share a warm natter with the new owners. You can sense the new owners have encountered some uproar with locals, who have expressed their concerns that the new landlords have spoiled what the existing pub had to offer, however, upon entering the pub I’m certain you will immediately cast a blind eye to any previous comments.

Nevertheless, despite natural hold-ups with any restoration project, the team at the Grantley Arms experienced a quick turnaround on the redevelopment with a successful initial opening launch.

Decor and themes
The cosy bar area remains largely a traditional space well catered for customers who fancy popping by for a drink in the bar, whose food needs are also well catered for with the ‘bar menu’. This menu features more traditional hearty ‘pub grub’ options such as fish and chips or sausage and mash, alongside the A la carte menu.

As we were sampling the A la carte menu we were led past the bar / informal seating areas and seated within the main restaurant area, which was furnished with the most luxurious dining chairs. This renovated section of the building features elegant interior design touches of shiny oak flooring, stunning wooden beams and beautiful decorations throughout. I’ll willingly admit that I found myself taking pictures just to capture the luxurious flower bouquets which graced each window sill.

The Grade two listed building also features a small outdoor terrace accessible via the indoor restaurant area, which would indeed be a treat on a warm summer’s evening.

Our Food and Drink Experience
Upon first glance at the menu, you’ll notice the A la carte 2 and 3 course options are very reasonable in price, with 2 course at £28 and a generous 3 course for £35 per head.

Wine was an easy choice; with me and my partner both preferable to white wine, we selected the New Zealand Coopers Creek, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which I can admit is one of the best wine’s I have tasted to date.

The Grantley Arms has enjoyed a full renovation
Head Chef Matt Edmonds is a firm believer in cooking with British produce wherever possible

I learned that the carefully crafted and hand-picked wine list was the responsibility of Plamen Yankov from DSTRKT, the Mandeville Hotel, and Searcy’s The Royal Opera House and also features the very local Albury Estate, Cornwall’s Camel Valley, Kent’s Chapel Down and Essex’s New Hall. This explains why I found it hard to locate this wine in any of my local supermarkets or wine shop.

After carefully studying the food menu I chose to start with the Savoy wrapped Pernith Chicken Ballotine served with apple, sweetcorn shoots, wild rice and rapeseed – which proved a perfectly light and tender dish – the perfect starter to get the taste buds flowing. The Pernith chicken was tender and moist and balanced well with the sweet apple sauce.

My partner opted for the South Downs Venison Carpaccio with hazelnuts, truffles, beetroot leaves and coal oil.

For mains, we were concerned about picking the same dish, however upon reflection the Herdwick Lamb Cannon with braised belly, truffle potato and three-cornered garlic was the highlight of the night for both of us! Our dish arrived, beautifully presented and carried a combination of flavours so beautifully rich and delicate. The accompanying sauce packed a punch which paired well with the crunchy truffled potato. We were both as close as we could be to food heaven!

We both couldn’t resist ordering a portion of triple cooked chips for an additional £3 to accompany our mains. The chunky chips did not disappoint, filled with crisp, fluffy centers.
At this moment in time I counted myself as ‘extremely lucky’ purely because I had ample room left for pudding! We were clearly counting our lucky stars as we were able to enjoy not just two, but three of the desserts from the current 5 dessert menu option.

food at The Grantley Arms
The food is simple and elegant, and will showcase the best in British produce

The dessert’s certainly had the wow factor when it came to presentation, all featuring an array of colourful and some, exotic displays. The three desserts we tried and completely devoured were the ‘Opalyse Creameux’ which was served with blackberry, pistachio and anise. If you’re a chocolate lover, the creaminess of the white chocolate shards paired with the fruity, sharp blackberry and the added crunch of pistachio was a clear star of the show in the dessert category.

Also, an incredibly exotic and palette-cleansing option is the Blood Orange Curd served with jelly, sorbet and meringue – this was another firm favourite of mine was packed with an array of radiant flavours, which was the perfect finish after my starter, main, sides and two other desserts!

The third dessert, which my partner chose, was the Carrot Cake with walnut praline, creme fraiche sorbet and coconut.

Upon reflection, the Herdwick Lamb Cannon main was certainly a highlight for both of us and the Blood Orange Curd with exuberant exotic, fruity and sharp flavours was a firm favourite both in taste and visual appearance!

Portions were ample in size, every dish was well-balanced with fresh local produce, nothing proved too overpowering, with just the right amount of every unique ingredient included.

Food at The Grantley Arms
The Grantley Arms offer a cosy pub experience based around local and seasonal produce offering a new take on proper pub food

Previously described as “elegance on a plate” by getsurrey.co.uk’s resident reviewer Laura Nightingale, I can firmly nod my head and agree. I’m looking forward to re-visiting and seeing what the bar menu has to offer.

In a nutshell
The Grantley Arms culinary style is simple, elegant, yet accessible food for all. With Matt Edmonds, head chef a firm believer in cooking with British produce wherever possible, get ready to be ‘wowed’ with his culinary delights – packed full of flavour in a simplistic, pure form. With regular changes to the menu to reflect the daily deliveries and seasons this ‘hidden gem’ is a must visit for anyone local to, or those wishing to visit the Surrey area.

Address: The Street, Wonersh, Guildford, Surrey, GU5 0PE.

thegrantleyarms.co.uk

Bio: Becky Armstrong
Becky runs a blog called Rightupmystreet that documents her indulgent pursuits; with a passion for all things luxury, be that the latest stylish restaurant or cocktail haven, or a recent tale of her latest city-break or country retreats. Find Becky’s blog at right-up-my-street.co.uk or alternatively on Twitter @Bekkiii_19 and Instagram rightupmystreet.