Famed as “the best restaurant in Surrey by miles”, The Clock House in Ripley (with head chef Fred Clapperton at the helm) occupies an imposing Georgian building that has been jazzed up with contemporary flounce and clean, modern lines. The dining room’s classic, yet contemporary look is unchanged, while the food revolves around a choice of menus and high-end combos that are all focused intensely on flavour.
Simple and sometimes unusual ingredients (but largely British and locally sourced) are united to create something magical, delivered with bags of technique and innovation. Think Norfolk quail with fennel and ‘black curry’, Isle of Wight tomatoes, smoked eel and nasturtium, or lamb with aubergine, shiso and ewe’s curd. It clearly works as one diner said: “Excellent Modern British cuisine in a friendly and relaxed dining room with a great value set lunch”. The lunch also showcases more traditional dishes such as hanger steak with beetroot and roscoff onion and desserts of the lieks of strawberry, clotted cream and elderflower.
Other fans say The Clock House is “consistently entertaining” and “outstanding in every respect”, with “just fabulous” service and some “dangerously generous” wine pairings. Speaking of wine, the list has been created with care and shares the same philosophy and passion as the food. Expect classics as well as some exciting serves from smaller artisanal winemakers.
On top of that, one visitor said the restaurant was “very accommodating for allergies and had fantastic food”. Still not convinced? A trip to the Lounge Bar beforehand for an aperitif (or after for a night cap) should do the trick. So will sitting outside in the garden on warmer months do: with outdoor terrace heaters in place, it means to can enjoy the area long into the summer evening. The garden even has its own gardener – Alistair – who has tended the garden since the restaurant opened 16 years ago, so rest assured the flowers and greenery will be on point.