Pubs are back – in an open-air capacity, at least. There’re still some weeks before we can sway at the bar to get a round in, but we’ll settle for pints in a pub garden for now
Pubs are back – in an open-air capacity, at least. There’re still some weeks before we can sway at the bar to get a round in, but we’ll settle for pints in a pub garden for now. It’s difficult to put into words just how important pubs are to the fabric of British identity. Their significance is readily apparent in the way they are preserved – old, darkwood décor and brass fixtures come to mind when that three letter word is uttered. In such a fast-developing world, the pub seems to remain stubbornly antique.
Besides the buildings themselves, what make pubs memorable are the colourful characters that run them. Take the landlady of Spitalfields pub, The Golden Heart, for example. Sandra Esquilant has been a pillar of her community for nearly 40 years and prides herself on having created a cultural hub.
Her pub is a place for all walks of life and connects them together in a way only a great pub can.
Sandra never wanted a pub, but 40 years ago, her late husband asked her to simply take a look at one he had his eye on.
“As I walked into the saloon doors, I simply fell in love with it,” says Sandra Esquilant, wide eyed. “I never stopped having that love.”
That sums up the general sentiment for these communal watering holes. It’s a simple, powerful fondness that may as well be etched into our DNA.
Pretty much any occasion or mood is a good excuse to visit your local. We’ve picked out a handful of Guildford pubs that you can support with your much-missed patronage this summer.
The Central All-Rounder – The Drummond (Guildford Town Centre)
A conveniently located town centre all-rounder. Classic in style, with some quirky features, including a nice rear garden, it creates an all-round warming atmosphere. True to the old way, their selection of tipples solid: some scotch, dependable stouts and a fridge full of bottled beers. The Drummond is a great start off point for that long-awaited first pub meal and pint.
The Atmospheric One – The Grantley Arms (Wonesh)
To kick off our village pub recommendations, think exposed brick and wooden beams in an all-round warming atmosphere. The Grantley Arms has served Wonesh for almost 500 years. You will be warmly greeted by its lovely staff and can rest assured that every member of your group will find a meal choice to excite them.
The Countryside Foodie Secret – Red Lion (Shamley Green)
A short drive beyond Wonesh, beautifully set in the heart of Shamely Green, is The Red Lion, a firm village favourite amongst many Guildford locals who don’t mind a nice 15-minute drive. Their menu does not disappoint. While renown for their Sunday roasts, their menu features many great pub classics and never disappoints.
The Fun One with a twist – Five & Lime (Town centre)
The line between a pub and a bar has always been a grey one but the Five & Lime does a great job of crossing it. More of a late night haunt; expect inventive cocktails and an ever-changing line up of live music in this swanky venue. They’ve got a wonderful outside area but the action’s inside, close to the stage.