There are pros and cons to being down South, as much as I miss Leeds it does being much closer to people who we’ve not been able to see as often as we’d like, so for that it’s all good. A couple of Saturdays ago a catch-up was planned with relatives in Farncombe, for anyone who hasn’t heard of the place or know where it is, it’s basically a village in Surrey. We were crashing a 40th birthday party later that evening and were in need of a quick feed to line the stomach, readying ourselves for the inevitable. A local pub called the Charterhouse Arms in Godalming had been talked about as a stop-off for a bite to eat, once well known in the area for a being a decent boozer serving curries, but a few months ago the team behind the curries decided to move and open their own place elsewhere. It’s since taken on new management, undergone a makeover and brought in a new evening menu serving tapas. The pub’s found on the corner of a fairly busy road that runs along the edge of Godalming and knowing it was a popular spot, took up one of their outdoor tables – perfect on what was a lovely sunny evening.
The menu offers a decent number of small tapas plates, ranging from £3.25 – £5.25, a couple of sharing platters, plenty for both carnivores and veg lovers. Orders were taken at the bar and after a reasonable length of time we were brought a steady stream of dishes.
NB: apologies for the quality of the photos – all taken on my iPhone.
Of the eight dishes my favourites were the seafood – think beautifully cooked prawns, all the better for being messy and juicy with loads of garlic and a little background heat from chilli. Also a generous portion of soft squid, lightly covered in a crisp batter with a large dollop of garlicky aioli to dunk them, the meaty, smokey chorizo was a bit of a winner and the patatas bravas were decent, but could’ve been a bit chunkier. For me, the other dishes were a little hit and miss and would’ve been helped along with more accurate seasoning – both the Spanish omelette and the pork cheek could’ve done with a pinch of salt, the omelette’s texture didn’t live up to others I’ve had and I wished the pork cheek had been left whole, so we could find out for ourselves how tender it was rather than being served already shredded up. A sauce would’ve brought it to life more too.
Overall I liked the Charterhouse Arms – the staff were lovely and we got really friendly service, the menu isn’t too pricey and the place has a relaxed setting. They’ve been open since June and even though it certainly wasn’t perfect, I’d go again and would love to see how it improves.