food&flavour find French classics in an English pub, situated on Downside Common in Cobham, a quintessentially English village
The Cricketers pub and brasserie is situated on Downside Common in Cobham, a quintessentially English village green, complete with pretty cottages, cricket green and children playing out until dusk.
The pub has been given a complete makeover in the past few months. But as well as the tasteful upgrade, you can still enjoy inglenook fireplaces, comfy chairs and the oldest part of the pub (just inside the main door) that dates from the 17th century, is perfect for nestling down and having cosy drinks fireside as the nights draw in.
In the restaurant, the menu is a mix of traditional pub and French brasserie that certainly covers all the bases – from classic comfort food through to more exotic ooh la la! Everything is cooked fresh to order using seasonal ingredients and all meat and fish is sustainable and bought directly from suppliers.
From the à la carte menu we started with cheese soufflé, which was light and crisp on the outside and oozed cheesy loveliness from the middle. From the specials, the crayfish and mango salad was delightfully light and refreshing. Sticking with the specials, we went for the hake fillet with new potatoes, kale, squid and mussels in saffron sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked which, combined with the saffron sauce, provided a fine evocation of French living. Extending the fishy theme, the grilled salmon, pickled vegetables and mashed potato is an always popular feature on the menu. The 2014 La Redonne Viognier / Roussanne blend from the southern Rhone is highly recommended and its exotic mango, apricot and tropical fruit flavours ideally matched the hake and saffron main.
We finished, as we started, on the specials with a delicious summer berry pavlova that bucked current trends by reconstructing the typical Eton mess.
On Sunday the Cricketers serves roast with all the trimmings for £14.80 and, if you fancy a celebration, The Oval is a semi-private side dining area that’s perfect for a friends-and-family gathering.