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Date for Summer 2022 crawl in Winchester. with Strongers on the Pub Forum

Ramblers Rest, Coulsdon

Pub added by Nick Davies
Outwood Lane
Postal town: Coulsdon
Phone: 01737552661

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Pub Type

Premium Country Pubs (Mitchells & Butlers)

Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about Ramblers Rest

This pub has a great location right next to Chipstead Common and Banstead Woods, making it, as its name would suggest, the ideal place to retreat after a walk around the area. However, don’t expect to find your typical rural pub once you get here, as this place has been given a posh gastro-pub makeover by owners Mitchell & Butler, making it the sort of place that attracts a mixed clientele who are almost entirely here for the food. It’s a shame, as the pub, set across several old former farm buildings, has a fair bit of character on the surface, although this rapidly dissolves into corporate blandness as soon as you step inside. There are a couple of different seating areas, each furnished with colourfully upholstered comfy chairs and decorated with half panelled walls sporting art prints and elaborate light fixtures. The bar is towards the rear of the pub and has a counter and bar back that have been painted in the staple gastro-grey colour scheme, with a large bouquet of flowers on the end of the bar doing its best to brighten things up a bit. There’s a separate dining room to the left upon entering, which you would think would free the bar area up for drinkers, but folk seemed to be eating everywhere we looked and it was difficult to imagine getting settled down for a few drinks in such an environment. The pub’s greatest asset appears to be the large, split-level bee garden which is well stocked with just about every type of garden furniture you could ever need, set out amongst colourful flower beds and rockeries, with views across to the Common for those sat up on the highest tier. Visiting on a late weekend afternoon, the garden was over quota on screaming kids and howling dogs, making for anything but a peaceful drink in the sun. There’s a large car park around the back of the pub and as if to highlight the pub’s idyllic rural location, we spotted two rabbits sunning themselves on a grassy verge at one end of the car park.
I didn’t expect to find any ale here, but the waitress informed me that they had Sharps Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute on handpull, so I ordered a pint of the Tribute, which was very refreshing in the late afternoon heat and in reasonably good shape too. We decided to join the masses and order some food, which was decent enough although not really able to justify the hefty price tags on some of the meals.
Here we have an interesting building in a perfect location with a great beer garden that has essentially been converted into a pub-style restaurant, thereby losing much of the character and potential of the place in favour of a safe, identikit format that’ll keep the crowds packing in for the food but offers little to the drinker, especially when the weather prevents use of the garden. We enjoyed our meal out in the sun, but I wouldn’t come back for a drink and would suggest the place may merit a quick look for the curious but is otherwise best left to the diners.

On 17th August 2021 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2785 recommendations about 2785 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about Ramblers Rest

Little has changed and it remains one of M&B's unbranded pretend gastropubs majoring on Brake's horsemeat lasagne. A recent visit produced a nice pint of Betty Stoggs (M&B must have bought a tanker load, it seems to have suddenly materialized in all their pubs in the south east) and the opportunity to grumpily decline a bucket sized portion of peanuts thanks to M&B's policy of not selling them in packets. You're better off carrying on to the Hungry Horse down the road. That's rubbish too but at least they don't try to pretend otherwise.

January 2010

Another pub which given the location and age of the building should be a rural classic. Sadly repeated refurbishments by Whitbread and now M&B have lobotomised it totally and left a characterless chain restaurant with not an ounce of pubbiness remaining.

It remains very popular with Croydon middle managers taking their in-laws out in the company car for Sunday lunch but then you are on this website looking for a pub, not that: there are two far superior alternatives within a couple of miles of here.

On 20th February 2013 - rating: 2
[User has posted 552 recommendations about 544 pubs]