(01306 885550 - www.littledudleyhouse.co.uk)
The first proper outing of the Old Horses for some time - Paul, Chris and Lyn painting Dorking red. Well, maybe a deep pink.
Starters: Crab cakes; Ham hock terrine with pear chutney and Mussels with aeoli.
Mains: Sea bream x 2 and Smoked haddock risotto, plus an extra portion of 'Hand Cut Thrice Cooked Chips'.
Desserts: Ice cream and sorbet x 3 (various combinations of Cassis and Apple sorbets and Horlicks, Caramel Ripple, Strawberry and Vanilla ice creams).
Drinks: Caipirinhas x 3; water.
Cost: £112.75 (inc discretionary 10% service charge).
Everything about this evening was practically perfect. We were greeted at the door and offered the choice of going straight to our table or having a drink at the bar. The building is a delightful mix of the old and the new - though Paul and I were not convinced by the white leather pouffes.
The caipirinhas were excellent - tart and refreshing, with a whole (though cut up) lime in each. And at just the right point, halfway through the drink, we were escorted up to our table. Again, a choice. Did we want to be in the main room or in the Glass Room. We chose the main room - principally because it was a little cool and cloudy. We'll save the Glass Room for a warm, bright day, I think.
Basically, every mouthful of food was excellent. It was well presented and perfectly cooked. The crab cakes were wonderful, the mussels were excellent (Paul tells me - not my thing) and the thrice cooked chips were crisp and delicious. Best of all, the sorbets and ice creams (which were an unplanned indulgence) were just that - indulgent, mouth-watering and a reason in themselves for a return visit.
For us, this restaurant was a real treat. A lovely building, friendly staff who gave excellent service, wonderful food and even enjoyable background music.
Our rating: FIVE STARS