Category Archives: Food

King Bill Bombs It

You really should be careful when on line that the person you are really speaking to or about IS ACTUALLY who you think you are speaking to or about.

Last Sunday we went to the King William IV, a pub in West Horsley to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. It was not a particularly inspiring evening, which resulted in the management discounting the bill because both the food and the service were so poor. Later that day I posted the following review on TripAdvisor:

“Mediocre (at best) food at exorbitant prices and served extraordinarily slowly. Certainly would not recommend.”

To which MarkF849, General Manager at King William IV, responded:

“Hi – well we were expecting this from you. As discussed with you we do realise that 1hr and 15mins for 8 people to have a 2 course lunch is slightly longer than expected but it was a very busy day and at no point did we know you were in a rush!
One thing we do not accept is the foul language thrown at our staff (within reach of many children, including your own ) and the threat of violence towards us and the kicking of furniture across the decking.
Our prices are consistent, and even lower, than the majority of other offers in the area and our food is cooked fresh.

So let’s do bit of forensic examination of this, shall we?

“Hi – well we were expecting this from you. (Somehow don’t think so!) As discussed with you we do realise that 1hr and 15mins for 8 people (We were a party of 14.) to have a 2 course lunch (We went for dinner.) is slightly longer than expected (We didn’t complain about the delay so much as the poor quality of the food.) but it was a very busy day (Didn’t look that busy, plenty of empty tables.) and at no point did we know you were in a rush (We weren’t)!
One thing we do not accept is the foul language thrown at our staff (At no point did any member of our party swear at any member of staff. In fact, my pension-age aunts had a whip round to tip the waiting staff because we knew that it wasn’t their fault.) (within reach of many children, including your own) (the only children within earshot of our complaint WERE ours.) and the threat of violence towards us (Just didn’t happen, and if that were so I would have expected a call to the police.) and the kicking of furniture across the decking (That didn’t happen, either. We were inside and never went anywhere near the decking.).
Our prices are consistent, and even lower, than the majority of other offers in the area and our food is cooked fresh.

There are only two possible explanations for this. Either MarkF849 has decided that the best form of customer relations is to lie through his teeth and invent a load of slanderous nonsense, or more likely, he’s confused us with another party of dissatisfied customers who were somewhat more forceful in their objections. Either way, this post stays put until he removes his unwise comments on TripAdvisor.

That being said, this is my gaff, so my rules and I can say exactly how I feel about what the King William IV calls “a modern quality offer”.

The pub has most of what you’d expect from Ye Olde Englishe Pubbe, although this is a mid-19th century copy. Parking seems to be adequate, although it wasn’t all that busy when we were there, so it might be a nightmare for the neighbours. Garden seemed to be OK from what we could see on the way in. The décor was reasonable, although there was an element of just plonking car-boot pictures on the wall without thinking about relevance or context – I’m thinking in particular about some rather naff butterfly prints which could so easily be replaced with something local from Francis Frith. The toilets were adequate, although probably hadn’t been cleaned since the morning and were therefore a bit whiffy.

The menu on offer that night is not extensive and doesn’t cater well for vegetarians or vegans.

The starters were nothing really to write home about. I’ve seen a better prawn cocktail in a high street café, my potato skins were soggy and seven quid for five (not very big) king prawns is more than a bit steep. Added to this was that the salad garnish accompanying all these both looked and smelled off. It was wilted and rotting and seemed to have come out of a bag of Florette.

As far as the main courses were concerned – the haddock and chips looked competent, although the portions were on the small side as was the case with the pie of the day. Never trust somewhere that serves everything on the plate in bowls, they’re just trying to hide how little they’re giving you. The “ploughmans” amounted to a few slices of bread, a mound of dry cheese, a stick of celery and some pickled onions. There was no salad, no coleslaw and was served on an old cheeseboard.

The ham in the ham egg and chips appeared to be boiling bacon and had a large lump of fat and gristle attached to it. The steak was also small and somewhat fatty. The fisherman’s platter consisted of a breakfast bowl with a small starter portion of whitebait, three breaded prawns, a small piece of smoked salmon and a shallow dish the size of a small coaster filled with what I would call shrimp (advertised as Atlantic prawns) swimming in a vapid and watery attempt at Marie Rose sauce. This was also served on an old cheeseboard (just WTF is wrong with a plate??) and was accompanied by two pieces of pre-sliced bread and a single small knob of butter.

Alex fared even less well with the “Sizzling Fajitas with Quorn vegetables”. The fajitas were undercooked and there were only about three small lumps on Quorn in it. There was a small dish of tired looking grated cheese, but the sour cream never made an appearance. At nearly thirty quid for those two dishes alone I felt like we’d been mugged. Especially when the same money in other gastro pubs buys you a gammon steak and trimmings that can barely fit on a fifteen-inch dinner plate.

I’ve had pub food all over this country. Most of it is good, or at least competent. This wasn’t either. It was the first time the family had been to the King William IV. It will be the last.

A Loopywish!

We’ve been out to Effingham Village Day today. It’s your usual summer fete type thing – a few stalls, dog obedience displays, a hog roast and pony rides.

Now, I admit that I’m a glutton where cake is concerned. I’m also quite particular and it has to be GOOD cake and, preferably, delivered in gob-sized portions.

Oh, be still my beating heart – a stall run by “Loopywishes”. Sounds bloody daft, I know, but the cake is to die for.

Here’s the Facebook link. (Clicky) They taste every bit as good as they look!


Ker-Pow – China in your tummy

It’s not often that I use this blog to sing praises. It’s more common that I’m using it to slag off some politico or god-botherer for their latest act of stupidity.

A pleasant change, then, to recount a more than pleasant experience.

The in-laws were over this way last night. They venture to this end of the county every now and then to see granny and buy us a curry. This time they fancied a Chinese and asked himself to find an “all you can eat”. The only one we could come up with was tucked down a backstreet in Reigate –  China House in Holmesdale Road in Reigate. Parking is a nightmare as it’s in a one-way street, right opposite the station, outside the town centre and a decent walk from the nearest public car park. But the effort is more than amply rewarded.

If I have any complaint it is that the ambience is a little bit lacking. It’s furnished rather like a slightly upmarket office canteen, but that is the only downside.

The single biggest asset to any restaurant is its chefs, and China House gets this absolutely spot on from the start. It is tempting to go into a paroxysm of allegory – “It exploded on the tastebuds like a symphony in flavour” – but Jilly Goulden I aint! Suffice to say that I like my food and I know what I likes and this was, possibly, the best Chinese meal I’ve ever had. I’m trying to recall a better one and currently failing.

You can select from the main menu, but I would strongly recommend the all you can eat version. Starters are nice and varied, the crispy duck was knockout and the vegetarian platter had tofu and a Chinese salad to die for! There’s a big selection of mains, served in our case with a small bucket of egg fried. Portions are small(ish), but this is an advantage. If you like something you can just order some more. If you don’t (and I couldn’t find anything that I didn’t) then wastage is minimal. The bill? Just under £15 a head with drinks and tip!)

Sunday night treat from now on!