The Richard Onslow

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Dec, 2014

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Reasons for trip

Personal / family celebration

We needed a bed for the night after attending my god-daughter’s 18th birthday party and the Richard Onslow in Cranleigh was the nearest place. When we rang, we were told they were fully booked: we felt like Mary and Joseph. However, the helpful girl said that one room had only a provisional booking until the following day (there are only 10 rooms). We rang again and felt like gazumpers as we quickly gave our credit card details to secure the room as the provisionals had failed to confirm.

On arrival we entered via the front door directly into a lively bar and was quickly checked in and shown to room 7 on the first floor (note there is no lift).

The room was fine with a cosy tartan rug on the end of the bed, a squashy, battered arm chair, tea and coffee making facilities and simple hanging space.

The white-tiled bathroom was spotless although I have two minor gripes. Firstly there is a lack of ledges to put out any toiletries and secondly, although the window, looks out on to roof tops, it feels rather disconcerting not to have a blind or curtains.

Having quickly unpacked, we ventured downstairs for lunch in a small informal dining area which can be hired out as a private room (separated by a curtain from the adjacent bar). There’s a great all-day menu featuring mains and steaks but we settled simply for a fish goujon sandwich and the hot meat roll of the day – both came with chips and salad.

Cranleigh is the self-proclaimed largest village in England and the Richard Onslow is situated in the middle of it with reserved parking in a small rear courtyard. A walk around the one-street village revealed a number of fabulous independent shops including Manns an old fashioned department store with impeccable service. On return, we had a mince pie and warming mulled wine, served in a clever, insulated plastic glass (if that’s not an oxymoron) which kept the wine warm, but hands cool.

Breakfast the next morning is open to the public and served in the main restaurant from 7.30am on a Sunday. Unfortunately the night before had been rather too good and it was a struggle to eat the Jimmy Butler’s free-range bacon muffin. Individual pots of tea, with milk served in miniature bottles and sugar lumps in old golden syrup tins, helped rehydrate us.

This is obviously a very popular place and one that attracts a diverse range of people for coffee, drinks, nibbles and main meals. It has a very country, rural feel and welcomes dogs. Yet if you’re dressed up for a night out, you’ll feel equally comfortable and welcome. We now can’t wait for the god-daughter’s 21st birthday.

Helen Jackson

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