The Tea Shop: A cultural coffee break
The tea shop was a welcome stop during our visit to the Watts Gallery. It was raining, so to be inside and dry was a blessing. It was busy and the staff seemed quick, friendly and professional.
They have a good menu and they also do event catering on site too.
Favorite Dish: The cakes are excellent. the savoury products are good too.
The Bombay Spice: Curry? It's the British National Dish - isnt it?
Anyone who has been to Britain or knows any of us Brits will know by now that we are curry addicts and if you work in IT then curry is a way of life. You commiserate and celebrate with a curry - it's a tradition! Apparently, the Chicken Tikka Masala is so popular amongst British people that it's now considered a national dish (although this dish is certainly not recognised in India - it's definitely Anglo/Indian cuisine).
Anyway, I know every curry house in Guildford and the surrounding areas, there are many, we love curry but my favourite is and has been for years the Bombay Spice in Park Street. The food is divine, the menu will suit anyone (dont worry if you dislike spicey food - its not all about HOT) and the service is possibly the best I've known in an Indian - the staff are lovely.
It's also conveniently opposite a decent pub (the George Abbot) which is convenient for meeting up before you go for your curry.
As a footnote to this tip. I've had to change, edit and remove many of my eating out tips from this site due to changes, progress, regress and closure of some of my favourite eateries in Guildford - or as in some cases the chef has left and the standard simply hasnt been as good. The Bombay Spice however has always been on my site and from the first time I ever frequented this restaurant more years ago than I care to mention (when it was in the High Street) it has always been and hopefully always will be one of the best curry houses I've ever eaten in.
Favorite Dish: I'm a sad English person and love Tikka Masala but instead of chicken try the lamb - its the best! Spicey, sweet, creamy and very moreish. I have the vegetable rice which is delicious. The side orders I would recommend are the onion bhaji, the saag aloo (spiced potato and spinach), cauliflower bhaji and saag paneer (potato, spinach and indian cheese) - share these with your diners, they are yummy!! My boyfriend recommends the mustard chicken and jeera rice. My best friend Paul recommends the Indian mixed grill.
Ha! Ha! Bar & Canteen: A casual start for your night
HA! HA! is a bar and restaurant in one. It's very casual: you do not need to dress up. The venue is split over two floors with tables and chairs both downs stairs and upstairs. The upstairs gallery is soundproofed, allowing customers to enjoy two different types of music.
The food is freshly prepared. The kitchen is open from breakfast till late and the dishes on the menu include meat, fish and pasta that change according to the seasons. Their open plan kitchens allow you to see and smell the various smells as food is being cooked.
There is also a wide range of wine, beer and cocktails on the menu. The surroundings are comfy and trendy, although it does get very noisy in there in the evenings and weekends, as it is a rather popular place to start the night. There are DJs on the weekend. In addition, they also organise salsa classes, live music and speed dating.
You can also buy a range of condiments that are used not only in the cooking, but presented at the tables. They are all sourced from small dedicated suppliers. The products on offer include nibbles such as crisps (or chips as they say everywhere else except the UK) (Flavours include curry flavoured parsnip, root vegetable, sea salt, cheese & onion crips), hot chilli crackers and pistachios; spicy salsa, chilli jam, Thai dipping sauce, onion relish, tomato & pepper ketchup and double chocolate brownies.
- Women's Travel
Loch Fyne: Fish and seafood
Loch Fyne is not entirely particular for Guildford, since there are 38 establishments throughout Britain. Despite that it is a very nice and relaxed place to eat - if you enjoy your seafood. The restaurant is furnished very rustically with lots wooden materials on the walls and heavy wooden tables.
The menu includes lobster, crap, shrimps, kippers, oysters, smoked salmon... You name it. What's pretty interesting is that they are more or less committed to sustainable development in the use of natural resources and abide a set of environmental principles devised by the original founders of the company.
Even if you didn't go for crazy for sea food they do serve meaty stuff such as Scottish prime sirloin steaks and smoked Islay sausages. There is an extensive wine list available which is sensible, both in content and prices. However, there is not very much choice for vegetarians: only 1 dish on the menu!
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Women's Travel
TGI Fridays: Steaks, ribs, burgers
If you are into American food, there are quite a few places in Guildford. I think TGI Fridays' fillet steaks are the best steaks on offer, so I'd choose this restaurant because of them. Portions are very generous though not very imaginative. The whole menu screams "American" all over it. Everything's big, comes with something extra (e.g. cheese, sauce, fries, hamburger... should you so wish!) and the desserts are over the top - way too sweet and almost scary or what do you think of 'Chocolate Fudge Fixation', 'Brownie Obsession' or even 'Popcorn Brownie Sundae'..??? My gosh.. you probably need to go on a diet for a week to shed all those pounds after eating at TGI Fridays..
Anyway, if you decide to go, you shouldn't be disappointed though, since if it's American you want, that's what you get. Very tasty and usually of good quality as well.
Mon-Thu: 12:00pm - 10:30pm
Fri: 12:00pm - 11:30pm
Sat: 12:00pm - 11:30pm
Sun: 12:00pm - 10:30pm
Old Orleans: Cajun, creole, French, Italian & W Indian flavours
Old Orleans is an American style restaurant that serves typical American food accompanied by Jazz and mellow rhythm & blues based on the spirit of New Orleans street party, Mardi Gras. The menu features flavours from Cajun, creole, French, Italian and West Indian cooking. The deco is a bizarre mixture of old style American signs and voodoo.
Signature starters include Voodoo Chicken and Cajun Crabcakes, mains menu parades traditional ribs, steaks and burgers. The portions are generous.
OO has a wide range of specialty cocktails of which many come also in 1 litre quantities.
Favorite Dish: Chicken scewers
Chez Gérard: French with a global blend
I'm telling you 'French' is a big thing in the UK. There are quite a few restaurants/brasseries serving French cuisine in this country and Brasserie Chez Gérard is not an exception. However, Chez Gérard is not entirely traditional French, as it serves French cuisine with influences from Morocco, Canada (Montreal), Italy and even the States (New Orleans). The restaurant is open from midday to late evening for lunch, dinner and drinks at the bar.
They boast with “the best steak-frites this side of Paris”. Although the restaurant's image and the menu is essentially French, locally sourced ingredients include Angus and Herefordshire beef and potatoes.
I’ve only visited once, but the food was excellent and the service was very professional and friendly. Most of the waiting staff happened to be Italian on that particular day and their happy faces and can-do attitude brightened up the rainy and windy day.
Fri - Sat 12.00-11.00pm
Jo Shmo’s: Slick American
Although Jo Shmo's oozes increasing sophistication of the mid-market chain-restaurant industry, it is really nothing special since the food can be a bit of let down if you are unlucky. I’ve been to the restaurant at least three times and out of these three visits, I’ve had only one really great meal. I had a huge salad and I loved it. The other two times, I didn’t think the food was that special. The worst ever meal I had in Jo Shmo’s was their rump steak. It was such a poor quality meat, I will never ever order a rump steak in a restaurant, but only choose a steak if it is proper filled steak.
The menu includes burgers, steaks, ribs, salads and sandwiches. Pricing is about average, with most main courses around £7. Three courses and drinks about £20 a head.
The restaurant is often full in the evenings. So if you do not have a reservation, you might be able to have a drink in the bar while waiting for a table. They have a decent choice of drinks and milkshakes available. We were given a seat in one of the booths which is nice and sort of out of the way of all waiting stuff rushing by. You have a view to the kitchen over the dining area although you cannot really see your meal being prepared – You can just see the staff slaving off in the heat of the stoves and ovens.
The service is not bad at all and the portions are very large - almost too large, so you’ll be absolutely stuffed afterwards - if you are able to eat it all. The interior consists of dark wood walls and dark slate flooring. It is trendy if nothing else.
Mon - Sat: 12:00 - 23:00
Sun: 12:00 - 22:30
Favorite Dish: The salads haven't been disappointing. However, on the whole, I've had 2 out 3 not so great meals.. Not a great thing..
The White Hart: I live in a Village therefore I have a local!!
The White Hart (just like the Brit) has seen many ups and downs since I've been drinking there (too many years ago to mention). It has recently been taken over again and I truly believe it has re-entered the local village pub era.
We have no idea exactly how long the White Hart has been a beer house but there is evidence that it may have first sold ale or at least applied for a licence in 1877. There is however speculation that there has been a coachhouse, hunting lodge or similar there since Henry VIII's time (it is rumoured that he hunted here) - hence the name - hunting for the illusive White Hart. The surrounding area could certainly support that as the pub is surrounded by common land and farmland which makes the area perfect for horse riding and country walking. There still are a lot of deer in the village which sometimes makes driving through the village at night hazardous!
Anyway, back to the pub. It serves a selection of local and popular real ales. Has a good wine list and has an menu which includes snacks to a full roast on Sunday.
There is a decent size garden, a post to tie your horse on and is on a very popular public footpath walk but best of all it's about half a mile from my front door!!
Favorite Dish: The roast is to die for! That's what British Sundays in the pub are all about!
The Brittania: The Brit! A true English Pub!
I have been frequenting the Brit virtually all my drinking life and it's been through many styles and owners (even changing it's name to Scruffy Murphy's at one time). It's gone from grumpy local pub to students hang out but in my mind still remains the best pub in Guildford.
The Brit sits on the River Wey just across from the Yvonne Arnaud theatre. In the last six months it has been though a full makeover and we were all waiting with baited breath. Were they going to take away the pool tables, were they going to stop handing out papers on Sunday, were they going to stop showing the game on large TV's - were the burgers going to be as good? We needn't have worried. The decor looks amazing, the food is even better, the game still shows on the TV screens. The only diffference is that the pool tables have gone.
This pub has a walled garden out the back to sit in when the suns out or you can sit out the front looking over the river.
The service is very attentive, the menu has a good choice and there are some decent beers on tap.
When the weather is wet and grey and typically British, I love to hang out in the Brit!
Favorite Dish: It's hard to beat the Aberdeen Angus burgers! They also do fantastic chips - not french fries!! Good old fashioned British chips!!!
Cafe in the Shambles: Great cafe, quiet atmosphere
After spending the entire night on the plane, my friend Sylvia and I were looking for a quiet place to eat, drink and catch our breath. We found the ideal place in Guildford, at the Cafe in the Shambles. This charming little cafe is located right off High Street and its secluded sidewalk terrace makes it the perfect place to unwind and, in our case, start planning our day in Guildford. The staff was very friendly and the light fare menu was just what we'd been looking for.
Yellow River Café: Hoangho
Chinese/Oriental restaurant with colourful interior decoratings, mostly red and bright yellow. One of several restaurants of the Yellow River brand in the country. Fast service, good food.
Favorite Dish: The cuisine is of mixed East Asian origin. Among other things: Thai Green Curry, Cashew Nut Chicken, Lemon Grass Chicken, and Indonesian specialities like Nasi Goreng and Mee Goreng.
The Weyside: By the river
The riverside location is unique and the environment stylish. Seats both inside and by the river on a terrace.
Favorite Dish: The say that the menu changes daily. A cold lightly smoked breast of duck on a bed of green mixed salad was excellent.
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