Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Cock Inn, Headley


Another day. another excellent Surrey pub.
The Wheatsheaf in Farnham is our go-to pub for excellent food in the perfect setting, so when we found out they were part of a small collective, we were keen to find out more. The Red Mist group includes seven Surrey and Hampshire pubs, all boasting fresh ingredients often locally sourced, great beer and comfortable but attractive settings. This was the first time we'd visited The Cock Inn, but after hearing good things from friends living locally, we had high expectations.

The Cock Inn is perched up high just outside of the Surrey hills, making it the perfect venue for a cheeky pint and a good meal after walking the Headley Heath circuit. With Box Hill and Epsom Downs a short drive or a hike away, it is well placed and dog-friendly - my kind of pub! I love nothing more than a quiet weekend where a walk through beautiful countryside accompanied by a good pub meal is the order of the day. Crisp November weather just calls out for a cosy pub to retire to. 

One of my favourite things about Red Mist pubs is the gin. Oh yes, they know their gin! At The Cock they offer three local gins, my choice being the Twisted Nose - a Winchester gin, and totally delicious with Fever Tree Tonic (as standard). Every Wednesday The Cock (and other RM pubs) have their G&T club where you can get any G&T for £5. Making humpday bearable! The boyfriend favours a pint or two of Hogstar lager; brewed in Farnham's Hog Back Brewery, it makes a nice change from your standard lager on draught. 

So we started with an old favourite of ours - baked camembert. Cooked with garlic and rosemary and served with breads and chutney, it was divine. Perfectly gooey, melted in the middle and with a crispy top, I could quite easily eat one of these to myself... but that's just greedy, right? (wrong). The charcuterie board with duck liver parfait, rare roast beef, ham hock terrine and grilled chorizo was temping; I love how it's moving away from the typical prosciutto and salami and taking a more rustic and British approach. They also do an impressive looking ploughmans which is by far my favourite post-walk pub lunch, but find so few pubs offer it these days. I just love proper pub food, executed well, with a modern twist. The Cock Inn does just that. 

Next up, baked fillet of hake with champ mash, wild mushroom and Hazy Hog (a Hogs Back cider) cream sauce topped with crispy parma ham. At home we eat fish, but usually in curry or fishcakes rather than a fresh piece of fish as the main event - it can be so hard to cook correctly, and so often is bland if not jazzed up in some way. And I was so pleased with this hake; cooked to perfection, it fell apart with my fork, and the sauce made the perfect accompaniment without overwhelming it. And lets be honest, anything with chantenay carrots and I'm sold! Delicious. Rich had the rolled pork belly with black pudding - 'nuff said. Throw in smoked bacon mash and a perfect shoestring of crackling, the only criticism he could give was that there wasn't more perfectly porky crackling. He loved it. 

After what felt like a lot of food for a Saturday afternoon, we couldn't fit a pud in. And in hindsight, whilst writing this, I feel like I need to have a word with my former self! Nothing haunts us like the things we didn't buy eat... and if I were there right now I would go for the pear tart tatin. Caremalised fruit, pastry and the cheeky addition of butterscotch sauce? Heaven. 

The Cock Inn has got it so right - even if you just pop in for a pork belly ciabatta or flat white. 'Cos yeh, even the sarnies are on point. So get outdoors; don those walking boots, go for a stroll and reward yourself with a stop off at The Cock Inn afterwards. Thank me later. 

The Cock Inn (website).
Headley, Epsom, KT18 6LE.


Thank you to The Cock Inn for welcoming me to review their pub. All views my own. 
Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

© blue october | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig