Every now and then you get to rediscover a restaurant that you love all over again like it was the first time. Which was exactly what happened when our family recently visited the newly refurbished Ramblers Rest in Coulsdon, Surrey.
A restaurant that holds fond memories for us because it’s where we had Ella’s first birthday one summer six years ago. It was a beautiful restaurant when we first discovered it back then, but it’s even more wonderful now. We visited The Ramblers Rest on a wet and windy Sunday afternoon in February on the week that it re-opened and this is our review.
As soon as you walk into the restaurant the first thing you notice and feel is the buzz and energy of the place. When we went there were families, couples, young people, older people, people with children and people with dogs. It is very much a family (and dog!) friendly restaurant and pub and everyone is welcomed.
The next thing you notice is the beautiful and tasteful transformation of the restaurant. The Ramblers Rest has cleverly created different types of spaces and areas for guests to enjoy. There is a beautiful, modern Instagram worthy bar, a few rustic crackling fireplaces, tables with plush velvet sofas, large opulent tables and even a table set in what I would describe as a hidden garden. It’s fun to explore and an absolute pleasure to dine in.
The restaurant has a huge range of menus. From a la carte to Sunday lunch, afternoon tea, vegan and children there is something for everyone. I make no exaggeration when I say everything sounded amazing. From the sharing platters through to the desserts there is a nice variety of delicious, seasonal dishes featuring the best ingredients the UK has to offer.
As we visited the restaurant on a Sunday, Chris and I choose meals from the Sunday lunch menu. I find it pretty impossible to go anywhere on a Sunday and not choose a roast. Although there were so many delicious sounding dishes on the a la carte (all day) menu that we almost chose differently.
Our shared starter of truffled honey baked Camembert was wonderfully gooey and our roasts (lamb rump for me, rib of beef for him) were cooked perfectly, incredibly more-ish and very generous. We just about managed to squeeze in deserts of sticky toffee and apple, plum and damson crumble which were as delicious as the rest of our meals.
One of the things I loved about the restaurant is the great range of options for children. Like the adult’s menu, there are lots of choices and not just the usual stuff. The thought and care the chefs have put into creating well balanced and well presented meals for children is fantastic. It’s rare to find a restaurant that creates children’s meals that look as good as the adults.
All that being said, both our children couldn’t resist a classic mac n cheese. Which I was helpfully told by them was way better than mine as they devoured them before happily moving on to ice cream sundaes. Both children including our fussy eater were very happy with their meals and soft drinks which were incredibly reasonably priced and well proportioned.
I love a good drink recommendation from waiters and waitresses because they very rarely disappoint. When you have as many amazing sounding drinks on the menu as there are at the Ramblers Rest, getting a recommendation really is the best way to go.
The drinks menu at The Ramblers Rest is as wonderful and as wide ranging as the food menus. We couldn’t resist trying a few cocktails and gin based drinks which were all very good. Chris had a couple of gin and tonics whilst I explored the cocktail menu and had a very good Pornstar Martini followed by a watermelon and orange gin on recommendation from our waiter.
Our meal for four came to around £130. This included starters, mains, desserts and around two drinks each. The children’s menu, in particular, is very reasonably priced and makes it very affordable for families to eat here. For the quality and quantity of food, this is pretty much what I’d expect to pay.
What to eat; For Sunday visits definitely try one of the restaurant’s roasts. They are so well cooked and very generous in portion size. I highly recommend the lamb rump which was cooked to perfection.
What to drink; The Watermelon and Orange Gin that I tried on a recommendation from one of our waiters is a must. If it’s not quite to your taste ask for a recommendation as the staff are fantastic and very knowledgeable!
Where to sit; the beautiful oval table for large parties or the very Instagrammable secret garden table for more intimate affairs. The sofa tables which we sat on are perfect for families. But wherever you sit you won’t be disappointed as there’s a table to suit every party.
Food & Drinks Score: 5/5
Adults Score: 4/5
Children’s Score: 5/5
If you’re in the Surrey, Kent or London area The Ramblers Rest is a family friendly restaurant well worth visiting. We definitely won’t be leaving it another five years until our next visit!
If you’d like more family friendly restaurant inspiration check out our post on Sunday lunch at The Wotton Hatch.
Disclaimer; our meal was gifted to us as part of an invitation from The Ramblers Rest to try their new menu. However, all opinions are my own.