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The White Horse, Dorking, Surrey
You'll be in good company at this historic 13th-century coaching inn. Novelist Charles Dickens resided here in the mid-19th century while writing the Pickwick Papers, as memorabilia on the walls testifies. A £4 million refurbishment in 2017 has brought the Grade II-listed building bang on trend with retro furnishings, vintage sofas, throne chairs and tastefully styled bedrooms. The cosy oak-beamed bar and lounge is a relaxing place to enjoy a local Dorking Brewery ale or glass of wine from Surrey-based Denbies or Greyfriars vineyards. Vintage pictures of England's oldest breed of chicken, The Dorking (named after the town), provide more local charm. The food is delicious and most of the meat, vegetables and cheese are sourced locally.
We love the inn's traditional black-and-white façade which is slap bang in the centre of the bustling town.
By car: around 1 hour from London, 2 hours 20 minutes from Birmingham and 4 hours from Manchester. Parking is available at £10 per day.
By train: there is a direct line to Dorking station from London Victoria and the ride takes around an hour. From the station the hotel is a 15-minute walk or 3-minute taxi ride. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel suits couples, business people, friends and inter-generational families with older children. We love the warm, cosy and homely ambience and good old fashioned hospitality.
Service & Facilities
We love the electric-blue buttoned throne chairs which are perfect for reading the papers.
On-site coffee house
24-hour front desk
- Free Wi-Fi
- Paid private parking
The vintage signs such as 'one night at the inn one shilling 2d' are a great feature. The Indulgent room with original beams in the bathroom, roll-top bath and large rain shower is a favourite.
Cosy, Comfy, Spacious, Decadent
Facilities include: double bed, ensuite bathroom with shower, free Wi-Fi, TV
Food & Drink
We love the emphasis on food provenance: steaks, chops and bacon shoulder are from Hill House Farm, Dorking; sausages, vegetables and cheeses are sourced locally. The chicken with hispi cabbage, bacon and peas is full of flavour and delicious.
The Dozen: relaxed, local and seasonal produce, modern British cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner. Two course £22.50, three courses £27.50.