A couple of weekends ago I was in Brighton celebrating a good friend's hen do; drinking too much prosecco, eating ice cream on the pier and making new friends.One such new friend was Molly, who is the manager of Dorking's Two Many Cooks - a little cafe and catering company based in Surrey. We got a date in the diary and I made the trip to visit her and check out Two Many Cooks.
Living in Surrey I'm totally spoilt for pretty towns to visit at the weekend. Farnham itself, where I live, is beautiful with cobbled streets, great pubs serving delicious (often local) food, and it's very own castle. Guildford, Haslemere, Godalming and Dorking are all great towns of varying sizes in Surrey - the latter being somewhere I'd not visited before until I visited Two Many Cooks and my new friend Molly last week!
Two Many Cooks is a Surrey based catering company that also boasts two cafés in Dorking and Reigate. Just off the high street, the Dorking café is a hub of activity - this is the sort of place where they remember the regulars' orders and you really get the impression it's a firm favourite with the locals. And why wouldn't it be? The coffee is good. Like, proper coffee. Molly told me they source their coffee from Coffee Real; based fairly locally in Horsham, but who work directly with coffee farmers worldwide. Popping in to Costa for a flat white just doesn't hit the spot anymore! We enjoyed a couple of iced coffees that were that perfect balance of rich, creamy and cool. We also sampled a deliciously smooth flat white and saw some pretty impressive latte art in action - these guys know how to win us over!
When we visited, on a sweltering twenty-seven degree afternoon, there were people dropping by for lunch - and boy do they do it well! As well as sandwiches (chicken, bacon, mayonnaise with no avocado on white for one regular, duly memorised by the team) they have an impressive selection of salads, quiche and tarts all cooked and prepared in Brockham at the 'basecamp' of the catering element of the business. There was some particularly impressive looking giant couscous being dished up which caught my eye! And the selection of cakes and tray bakes will be sure to sate an appetite for something sweet.
As well as the two cafés, Two Many Cooks also offer event and wedding catering - I spent a good ten minutes leafing through their catering portfolio, drooling over expert snaps of a mini sausage and mash served in tiny copper pans and the scaled-down thai curry in individual miniature woks. The food here is made with love, locally and expertly.
Dorking town itself is known for its vast selection of antique shops; at one point it was claimed Dorking had the most antique shops per square mile outside of London! So if, like me, you enjoy a bit of interiors browsing be sure to check out some of the independent shops lining the high street and surrounding roads.
And of course, I couldn't leave without getting the Dorking low-down from Molly. I asked her for her must-visit local haunts; perfect if you're new to the town and want to get a real taste of Dorking life.
Calliope Gifts for Dorking-themed gifts and nick naks.
Dorking Butchery for local meat accompanied with recipe suggestions from the in-the-know butchers.
The Quilt Room for all your crafting needs.
Victoria's Little Bra Shop for premier award winning lingerie.
Style Connect for a beautiful selection of second-hand clothes.
Cobbetts for specialist, good quality beers and ciders.
Shrewd for vintage clothes, jewellery and accessories from the 20s to the 70s.
Check out the catering gallery here for drool-worthy snaps.
There is further information here about their two Surrey cafés.
Shout out to Molly for inviting me to visit Two Many Cooks, and to Kat for lending her photography skills along the way,