Evaluation: The Talbot Inn, Ripley, Surrey, UK


Passengers usually wrote their will earlier than endeavor a stagecoach journey. Not solely had been the flinty roads harmful, however they had been additionally beset by ruthless highwaymen.

There was a training inn on this Surrey village since 1453. Christopher Columbus was merely a two-year-old toddler, and the Wars of the Roses hadn’t even begun.

Passengers risking journeys on the London to Portsmouth Street, had been relieved to reach on the cosy Talbot Inn, 25 miles from London. Pulling in by way of the tall carriage archway, for the horses to be modified for the following 10 to fifteen mile leg, friends could be relieved to really feel the nice and cozy, cosy hug of The Talbot. They wanted a pint of ale and a hearty meal.

Guests arriving on the Talbot Inn right now, with its historic beams, some sourced from ships’ timbers, and darkish wooden panelling, nonetheless sense a sanctuary.

The welcome

Though parking is a problem in busy Ripley, the lodge has loads of areas for patrons.

At reception, our restaurant dinner reserving is checked, and the important thing handed over.

The room

Trafalgar, in any other case generally known as Room 1, is without doubt one of the fourposter rooms, up creaking stairs, on the primary flooring of the unique inn. A darkish wooden fourposter mattress matches the antiquated colors of the ceiling beams. Ivy fringes home windows that are actually doubled glazed.

Two armchairs sit both aspect of what was as soon as a chimney breast, now full of a small decorative trunk. Prints of pencil-drawn grand buildings of The Regency period, held on pale cream partitions, take friends again to the stagecoach period.

Fourposter rooms are geared up with each kettle and a coffeemaker.

The lavatory

Stagecoach passengers who had endured chilly bone-shaking travels may solely have dreamed of sturdy stainless-steel faucets shelling out lashings of scorching water into an extended tub.

For extra twenty first century cleaning tastes there may be additionally a bathe. Sustainable aloe leaf toiletries are by Eco-Boutique.


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The amenities

Giant walled gardens, stylishly furnished and shaded by giant umbrellas, are excellent for espresso and afternoon tea.

Heading indoors, the low-timbered bar with pints of Hogs Again beer on faucet, is quintessential Merrie Olde England.

The restaurant slides from book-lined, uncovered brick, copper-ceilinged historic to a up to date shiny conservatory overlooking the backyard. Softly furnished chairs – aubergine, mustard, sage, and russet – wait at gentle picket tables.

With small plates on the menu and plenty of dishes provided as both starter or foremost dimension, it’s tempting to go tapas fashion. Maybe the shichimi squid or ham hock fritters. Perhaps mixed with a pear and Stilton salad or a Caesar or Niçoise salad.

Grilled sea bass is without doubt one of the stars of the menu’s classics part that additionally consists of hen supreme and fillet of beef.  A sea bass fillet, agency and succulent, rests on a compote sea of tomato, fennel and capers. A cautious scattering of capers ensures that the light flavour of nonetheless crisp fennel comes by way of.

These days, the dessert menu is a little bit lighter than it might have been within the days of hearty teaching puds. There are ice lotions, lemon posset and sorbets. As well as, friends are tempted by heat chocolate brownie or a scrumptious baked peach and raspberry tart with shortbread overtones.


With pubs referred to as The Ship and The Anchor within the village, although it’s nonetheless a full 50 miles to the ocean, there isn’t any doubt that Ripley, on the Nice Portsmouth Street, was interesting to the maritime yearnings of travelling seafarers. Listed buildings with their timbers and bottle-glass home windows create a way of historical past.

A mere 5 minutes drive takes friends to the gardens of RHS Backyard Wisley and it is just eight miles to the Nationwide Belief curated historic home of Polesden Lacey.

Landscaped gardens, within the fashion of the 18th century at Painshill, add to Surrey’s grand gardens assortment.

Different good touches

All through the historic inn, the art work focuses on The Talbot’s wealthy previous, there are portraits of naval battles and of Girl Emma Hamilton, a frequent customer.

A web page on the web site tells of the visits of Girl Emma Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson, of a Daisy Wheel carved into the banister to thrust back evil spirits, and of the ghost of a drunken sailor and a girl in black.

The associated fee

4 poster rooms, together with breakfast, start from £149.

Extra up to date rooms, past the principle constructing, begin from £89 per evening, once more together with breakfast.

The very best bit

Emma’s room celebrates the scandalous conferences of Girl Emma Hamilton and Lord Horatio Nelson that befell in a secluded nook by the hearth. They had been each married and society was outraged.

When Emma moved to Merton and Nelson was travelling from Admiralty Home to Portsmouth, the Talbot Inn turned a handy rendezvous for his or her liaisons,

Later, although each nonetheless married, they lived as a married couple and had their daughter Horatia. Though Nelson’s will requested for Emma and Horatia to be cared for, after his loss of life at Trafalgar they weren’t.

The ultimate verdict

A delicate mix of Merrie Olde England allure and up to date consolation. The Talbot Inn instinctively is aware of when to lovingly protect and when to tastefully modernise. Teaching inn fare by no means regarded nor tasted so good.

Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by The Talbot Inn.



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