Editor Linda Duberley takes a trip up river to visit a family favourite which has undergone a £400,000 re-fit.
It is not always easy to find a really tasty bite to eat right beside our beautiful river. Quality is inclined to rise and fall along with the tides. Often you can get a great view –and sometimes food that makes the grade – but it is often a tall order to end up with both.
The Anglers at Walton-on-Thames ticks both boxes. The food is great tucker and the view from right by the edge of the Thames is very hard to beat.
I know the pub and restaurant relatively well. My daughter rowed for Surbiton High School and we ate there as a family after the Kingston Regattas. It was always a treat – a rare and lovely spot – but the inside was the downside of a potentially great establishment.
Things have changed. Stonegate – the owners of the pub – have spent some £400,000 on a re-fit and it has made all the difference. The interior designer, Edwards McCoy, has done an excellent job in delivering an interior which is characterful while comfortable – a great combination which should make customers happy.
My recent visit to the Anglers was another family affair. This time my daughter was off the Thames and in the exam room – so I took my Mum who always enjoys a spot of supper in my neck of the woods.
We chose honest-to-goodness starters which had a 70s-retro vibe which worked for us and were a definite attraction going down well with our conversation which covered all things nostalgic. I had whitebait and tartare sauce and my Mum had a giant prawn cocktail that could have been served as a main course.
It was a Friday and having worked up an appetite over a week of carefully controlled salads, I chose a Wagyu Burger and chips at a reasonable £15.49. All I can say is that it was like the desert needing rain and I wolfed down the lot in no time. Mum chose a rib-eye steak which she described as delicious. That came in at £17.99 with a Stilton and peppercorn topper at £1.79.
By that time, we were fully satiated and found the prospect of a pudding hard to imagine but The Anglers does a very clever line in micro-deserts they call mini-puds. This is perfect, not just for those who are replete come the third course, but also for someone like me who likes to pretend they have enough self-discipline to ignore such indulgences yet often resorts to stealing a spoonful from the plates of others. We chose a tiny Tiramisu cheesecake which allowed us to leave the table guilt-free. You can buy one for £1.49 or four for £4.99. It is a clever idea.
Throughout the meal I drank a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at £6.90 a glass and Mum drank home-made lemonade. The sign said made by Isabella and I am reliably informed by Manager Martin Slowe – a veteran of riverside and waterside pubs – that a different member of the kitchen crew makes it every day and is accordingly credited on the bar-side blackboard. As a suggestion, I think it is worth trying the Chapel Down, from Bacchus in Kent for a zesty white which should give the New Zealanders a run for their money.
For value and ambiance on a fine summer’s evening this place deserves to be front of mind for everyone.