We look a bit suspiciously upon all of those decent pubs that quite suddenly go posh and aspire to becoming restaurants, but here’s one going in the other direction. This interesting 16th Century building, part of the Titsey Estate, was a tea shop for nearly 50 years and has recently begun striving for a new identity. One big problem is that it’s hard to find. It’s tucked away off the Limpsfield Road quite a way out of Warlingham so most visitors will need a duty driver to get them there. We were told, however, that it’s very popular with cyclists and hikers. One inside we found ourselves in a quite charmingly genuine farmhouse conversion, struggling a bit to decide whether or not it’s a pub or a restaurant. It was very quiet on the night we went in and like us the only other people there had come to eat, although three or four drinkers came in much later. There’s quite an extensive, reasonably priced menu and all of our choices were well prepared and generously served. There’s a good choice of proper beers and we were recommended the local Pilgrim’s Progress, a bitter from Reigate, which was absolutely first class.
And just when we thought we were beginning to understand how the pub was establishing itself, they started to tell us about their entertainment. At the back of the pub, as it turns out, is a huge permanent marquee in which they major on tribute acts. Everything from Pink Floyd to Frank Sinatra by way of Elvis and Freddie Mercury. All this in a remote corner of the Surrey countryside.
On a quiet night the Farmhouse lacked a little of a proper pub’s atmosphere, but this gave our hostess the opportunity to tell us more about the place and its history. Now that we’ve found it, the good food and the excellent beer will make sure that we go back again. Well worth the visit.