February, for many of us, has been full of torrential downpours resulting in severe flooding across much of the UK – thanks to Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis.
So, when the lovely Nicola reached out to me about The Kingfisher pub in Chertsey, which was about to undergo a new transformation just in time for Spring, I decided to find out more.
On Wednesday 5th February 2020, my husband Alex and I set off on a 22-mile trip down the M25 up to the town of Chertsey in Surrey, where we were immediately greeted with the soft glow of the outside patio lighting at the Kingfisher. Despite the darkness that surrounded us we could also make out the nearby river Thames just across the road, thanks to the lights reflecting back. One can only imagine how relaxing and magical this must be on a warm summer evening with a glass of gin in hand.
After parking in the spacious car park we made our way up to the main entrance where, after crossing the threshold into the cosy surroundings, we were welcomed by smiling faces, a gorgeous gin garden and an interior that can only be described as every blogger’s dream.
A Cosy Countryside Pub
If you are seeking a pub that feels like a warm embrace on a cold Winter’s day, then the Kingfisher is the perfect cocoon when stepping outside the comforts of your own home. Think warm tones, soft lighting, roaring fireplaces, velvet seating, sofas that can be sunk in to and corners where you can escape the everyday bustle of the world around you and catch up with your nearest and dearest over a glass of wine or perhaps a saintly sip from their drinks menu.
Gin Infusion Garden
Being the cheeky lady that I am, I decided to have my five a day in a glass with some Tanqueray gin much to Al’s amusement, who watched me as I struggled to pick up the raspberries from the beautiful display of gin garnishes. Luckily for me, one of the lovely staff immediately came to my rescue and provided me with some tongs so I could resume my quest to fill my glass with as much fruit as humanly possible. As for Al, he decided to opt for his traditional choice of beverage – an ale from the bar.
After admiring every last detail from the opulent furniture to the glossy bar area, we decided to make our way through to the main dining room where we were given a little tour of the private dining room with its incredible bi-fold doors that lead out to its very own terrace area overlooking the river Thames. It would make the perfect space for a wedding reception, business function or even a special celebration such as a baby shower.
Inspired by the Seasons
Al and I often visit some of the other local pubs in our area that are a part of the same chain, so we were naturally drawn towards our favourite dishes, namely camembert and steak. However, as Dom Boyes the general manager pointed out, there are a couple of dishes that are unique to each establishment and every season they switch up the menus, so you can enjoy a dish that had been inspired by the seasons, meaning even if you are a regular, you will never get bored, as they are constantly reinventing the menu and dishes.
As Al knows all too well, I’m not always the most adventurous when it comes to trying new dishes, but even I couldn’t resist the sound of the irresistibly cheesy truffled baked camembert, which comes with walnuts, fig and slices of rye and sourdough bread, perfect for sharing and dipping. But I will confess, the earthy flavours from the truffle did have me wishing I had room to eat more.
The Main Event
Now as I mentioned before, Al and I love a good steak especially one that is cooked well. Whether you like your steak cooked rare like my husband or medium to well done like me, the head chef Ben Phipps and his team cook every dish to perfection. The chips are crispy, the spinach is seasoned well and the peppercorn sauce is incredible. Every single element of each dish is put together like a masterpiece on a plate and tastes like heaven leaving you wanting more.
Freshness, Freedom and Fun
Another thing that I particularly enjoyed, was the new menu now pairs a unique wine with your choice of steak which is designed to complement and enhance your experience. Thanks to the innovative Coravin technology, you can now enjoy a glass of your favourite premium wine such as Premier Cru Burgundy, Amarone Della Valpolicella or Rioja Gran Reserva without splurging on a whole bottle, as the new system preserves each bottle by resealing the cork when required – helping to lock in the freshness. So if you want to enjoy the freedom of trying out a new wine or simply want to see if it compliments your choice of dish, without having to commit to a whole bottle, then now you can. Both me and Al were so impressed by the Coravin experience that we have agreed to add it to our list of things that we want to invest in, but with the basic option starting at around the £200 mark I think perhaps we will pay The Kingfisher another visit in the Spring for now.
Despite my protests about being completely full, Al insisted that we try the iconic birdcage sharing dessert and I have to admit that iconic it truly was. Each decadent dessert is displayed in a beautiful golden three-tired birdcage. The blackcurrant mouse and mango coulis was particularly Instagram-worthy, as for the vanilla cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate and pistachio smash it certainly wasn’t what one was expecting, but it tasted very moreish and lastly but not least my favourite one of them all has got to be the moist home-baked brownie with a french almond macaron and pecan praline ice cream – all I can say is wow!
It was such a lovely and relaxing midweek treat and both Al and I didn’t want to leave. The pub has an ambience that leaves you feeling relaxed and the staff were incredibly helpful, informative and friendly without being intrusive. The Kingfisher is perfect for those special occasions when you are seeking somewhere with a luxurious look, dishes that are both comforting for the soul and appeal to the senses and staff that welcome you like family but who also offer the perfect balance of expertise and knowledge.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching on Sunday 22nd March, I can highly recommend the Kingfisher as the perfect venue if you are looking for somewhere to treat mum, whether you want to pop in for a Sunday roast or perhaps you want to sample their new afternoon tea menu which starts at £15.95 pp for a range of loose-leaf teas or £18.95 pp for a glass of Prosecco and of course for the ultimate experience a glass of Champagne or perhaps a cheeky cocktail for £22.50 pp. Whatever you and mum fancy, this countryside pub is guaranteed to tick all the boxes!
*This experience was kindly gifted to us by The Kingfisher, Chertsey. As always all thoughts and opinions remain my own.