Surrey Bites

Calling all foodies… Maxine Briggs enjoys and savours in all the latest Surrey food and drink news this August

Master Chef
Alberto Crisci MBE, the chef behind The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down in Banstead, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize. Crisci has been named among 20 chefs worldwide who are being recognised for their commitment to making society a better place through gastronomy. The winner will receive a €100,000 (£76,000) award.

Vive La Difference

Surrey bites 2
The word in the Surrey countryside is that our sparkling wines are now giving Champagne a run for its money. Surrey always had the chalky soil and terroir for successful viticulture – but now we have the weather too, due to global warming causing the temperatures to rise, making France’s climate too hot for the grapes but creating the perfect conditions over here.

This all bodes well for newly-launched Surrey based English Sparkling Wine Tours. So I hopped on board the tour bus for the day. Our first stop was Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, England’s largest vineyard and after a very informative guided tour I enjoyed a glass of crisp Whitedowns. Next we popped in to High Clandon, founded in 2004 by Sibylla and Bruce Tindale. Their small hand-manicured vineyard has 1,250 vines producing the Celebration vintage – a wine with a rounded flavour and almond notes. Then it was off to the 12 acre Albury Organic Vineyard in Albury. Owner Nick Wenman believes organic viticulture produces better fruit and better wine and with his mounting awards this is one to watch.

Right next door to Albury Vineyard is Silent Pool – a gin distillery which draws water for the still from a pool fed by fresh water springs. Mixed with a complex combination of botanicals, the gin has a pure fresh taste and is drinkable on its own or over some crushed ice. A great way to finish off the day and my top tip – leave the car at home!

It’s Summer… Get Outside – 3 Top Riverside Spots

The Weir, Walton-on-thames
The Weir pub is situated three miles down from Hampton Court Palace and attracts walkers, cyclists, boaters, families and dogs looking for good food and views.

The Old Crown, Weybridge
This pub boasts a patio and riverside garden which can be enjoyed in the warm summer months and a bite to eat.

The Anchor, Pyrford
Nestled right on the lock on the River Wey, this pub offers plenty of riverside seating to enjoy a glass or two.

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