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The Darlington at Redhill Review 23rd February 2016

 The Darlington at Redhill Review
The Darlington at Redhill has had a complete makeover and has been brought up to date in the best way possible, combing the homeliness of a good old fashioned pub with the bright and airy bistro style restaurant made cosy by many white candles. We loved the dove grey interior, heavily beamed ceilings and bright scrubbed tables with everything as fresh as the spring we all hope we are going to have after our winter of dank gloom. The menu is tempting, with a nod to traditional pub food (scotch eggs on the list of starters!), and a good choice of both plain and more exotic dishes. The restaurant was busy and we were rather heartened to be told some of the dishes had sold out, as this signs they are freshly prepared and nothing is retrieved from the bottom of the freezer for the unsuspecting diner.

To begin we ordered Estrella lager attractively served ice cold in Estrella glasses, and looked through the menu. I chose honey and thyme box baked camembert with toast and chutney and my husband the whitebait with baby-leaf salad and toast. To follow for me, beer battered cod with hand cut chips and bashed minted garden peas, and for him ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce (there is a choice of sauces with the steak), accompanied by roast tomatoes, portabella mushroom, and chips. The short wine list is good; we toyed with Zinfandel rosé, but in the end fell for a Kleine Zalze South African Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our starters arrived looking splendid; it’s great when a restaurant doesn’t stint on the small things – my camembert, served hot and bubbling in the box on a large wooden platter, came along with three slices of crusty toast, large triangles of butter and a goodly dish of chutney; a meal in itself really but luckily I was hungry enough to do it justice. The crispy whitebait were nicely fried but not overcooked and they disappeared in seconds.

We really enjoyed our main courses, my cod was a delightful piece of snow white flaky fish, spilling out of its crispy batter, in perfect harmony with the fragrant minty peas, and the ribeye steak proved tender and succulent and cooked blue as ordered. The staff, a husband and wife team, are delightfully friendly and efficient and we finished our lovely evening by having a double espresso delivered to the bar where we hogged the rather comely sofa for two, in front of the log fire which was very relaxing and the perfect way to end the evening. This pub is definitely worth the trip out of town!

Jacquie Vowles

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