• 08Dec

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    This is one blog I have wanted to publish for a very long time. That said if you know that it has changed since my visit then please do say so but you need to be qualified!

    I had two very good friends over from Switzerland back in February 2008 and they stayed with us for a long weekend. Its a standing joke that we cannot take these people to places local to us because nothing compares to that of Switzerland (German part).

    It was a crazy warm, yes warm February day and I wanted to show John how incredible Pitch Hill is for the views on beatifully clear crisp winter mornings. This went perfectly to plan with me managing to show someone who is used to Swiss mountain views, how wonderful the Surrey Hills are. After the relatively short walk we got back in the car and made our way down the hill and I suggested we stop at the Windmill pub/restaurant. I really wanted to try this place as on several other attempts I had been abused in terms of wallet, pallet and service. I knew it had been taken over since my last abuse and as always I will give new blood every opportunity to show how much it has changed for the good. Oh dear!

    We turned up and neither of us were hungry but we thought lets just have two swift halfs and share something light. We ordered our drinks at the bar and because it was so unusually warm that day we took our drinks outside with a menu. We were not the only ones to do this as several others were eating outside too. 

    For those of you who do not know about the Windmill the new owners have spent a lot of money installing a terraced hard wood deck as the pub is perched in the middle of the Surrey Hills in pole position over looking a wonderful country valley scene. What could be more perfect!

    Having looked through the menu my friend and I decided to share a ploughmans lunch as we were not too hungry. It is perhaps important to note that this ploughmans was £12.95, yes I’ll repeat that’s £12.95. We waited for a waitress to pass and then ordered.

    “No problem Sir” came the waitress “but you you will need to move table to the lower deck.”

    I then explained that we were quite happy where we were.

    “Sorry Sir we cannot serve you here.”

    “Why?” I asked

    “Its because we are only serving on the lower deck.”

    “No” I said “as we do not want to move as we are comfortable here.” and especially as there were so few people so what is the problem. She did not know what to say and agreed we could eat where we were were sitting.

    Now you would think that would have been the end of it. Oh no, as the manageress came over and said “Sorry sir you will have to move table and eat on the lower deck.” I again explained that we did not want to move but she was having none of it.

    Perhaps it is worth pointing out at this stage there were probably as many tables with people eating as there were waiting staff so the restaurant was not rushed off their feet and neither were they likely to be as the time was approximately 13:30. At this moment I had had enough, here I was trying to order a plouhgmans lunch for ONE for £12.95 and the staff could not be bothered to bring the dish up two very short flights of stairs when the place is virtually empty. I cancelled my order and the waitress looked very upset.

    It is perhaps worth pointing out that with virtually the same ingredients AND cooked I could have gone home, ordered a pizza and had it delivered to my house for £8.

    When oh when will businesses ever learn!

    We left and have never been back since.

    Improvement Opportunities

    1. It is not enough to renovate a restaurant and expect to be a successful business. This place needs to completely rethink how it interfaces with its customers. I have spoken with local people who have had similar experiences.


    Would we go back? Certainly not as the prices were as outrageous as the staff.

37 Responses

  • I had the misfortune to actually workfor these people and can only comment that what happened to you would be typical of The Windmill!!
    A most embarrassing place to work,,,
    I have heard from a reliable source that it has changed owners as the idiots that did own it went broke (NO suprises there then!!) Only hope the place and customers finally get the owners this lovely place deserves…
    Maybe I will try it myself one day………..

  • The Windmill now has new ownership but the old owners are now the managers of it. The setting and scenary for a drink will always be stunning and the staff have been attentive. There is a new menu which is now greatly reduced in price, however the food tasted very boring on my last visit. The Wotton Hatch is much better than here. Only been open a few weeks so perhaps the food will improve.

  • well what can we say half of the customers were 14 .. 17 ( known as my daughter is the same age as the landlords daughter ) food .. 70 mins later no food lost the order yet again .. faulty towers comes 2 mind young barstaff great older waitress no idea never again

  • i agree with my wife what a shame such a great pub and outlook .. but must b local youth club … used 2 b such a good place .. never mind ….

  • we found the windmill in the summer we love it food good staff attentive, things must have changed

  • i have to well and truly agree with my wife we love the windmill we have always had fantastic food and service their, never had need to complain about anything infact the staff have always bent over bavkwards to plese us ,we take all our visitors their and my brother that has eaten in te best of places raved about it , so it has top marks from us

  • It is the place where the owner would get pissed and fall asleep anywhere, Grant I seem to remember.
    I worked there for a while around 2004 and it was always a pretty high standard although disjointed to say the least.
    It was a bit of a hide away for local celebs including the hidious Jim davidson and his even more pathetic son!
    Does any one know of any of the old staff from that time? especially the head chef Alan (cannot remember his surname)


  • Saturday 24.04 10
    Walked down from friends property to find out if this pub was open as tried last year on a week day only to find it closed.
    Found it to be open, went to the bar and a man reading a newspaper went to the other side to serve us. Unfortunately he only had one bottle of Corona beer, we asked for two, at least he had fresh lime!
    Food menu not cheap for what it is, just as well we had already eaten. Lovely terraces and view! quite a few people sitting outside as it was a beautiful sunny day.
    Would visit again, hopefully he stocks a few more Coronas next time!

  • Went there yesterday.

    It was a beautiful day, sunny, clear skies. We parked up in the front, next to some really nice cars. Made for a good first impression, at least.

    The view is simply amazing. There were rabbits on the grass below.

    The landlady was very nice and friendly. The food took a little longer than expected, but then again we were a big party and there was only one chef in the kitchen.

    The quality of the food was excellent. I had duck confit, which was yummy. Most of the others had the lamb shank. They were equally impressed. Good presentation too.

    The fact that Eric Clapton’s back garde is only a stone’s throw away, together with the posh cars out front, makes you feel you’re part of something special.

    Definitely recommended. Will go there again next time we’re down in Surrey.

  • Pulled over as views looked amazing, very impressed with the aesthetics inside as well.

    Shame about the food, they had 2 goes at cooking our sunday lunch and both were stone cold.

    Will carry on driving next time!

  • 31st October – stunning location and great first impression with an open log fire and big comfy sofas. Greeted by a rather stressed bar lady who didnt smile easily but we were hopeful.

    All four of us decided to have the Sunday roast dinner and a few chose the asparagus starter (although thought we were pushing our luck with it being out of season already). We were right to be concerned, the asparagus was overcooked and tasteless and the ‘crispy bacon’ was soft.

    Next the Sunday roast beef arrived and the entire plate of food looked insipid in colour. Carrots and beans overcooked, potatoes and yorkshire were tough as bullets and obviously cooked earlier or even the previous day and then reheated and the beef was tough and dry. Such a disappointment. We started to look around the restaurant at the only 4 tables which were occupied (at peak Sunday lunch time) and noticed everyone had left some food, there were dry sandwiches on the table next to us. We were all hungry however and didnt want to spoil a special occasion so we tried to eat what we could.

    When clearing the table, our waitress didnt ask us anything – our plates were whisked away without any questions so we said that we were really unhappy with the food. She did apologise.

    One of us had the Tart Tatin and it was equally poor so we also left this. 10% was removed from our bill (still highly overpriced) and the Tart Tatin was taken off as a token gesture.

    The waitress admitted the chef was on holiday this week as we were leaving and this seemed a poor excuse as surely if you are charging the same prices the food should always be of a high quality?

    A big let-down and not somewhere we will be returning to. Keep driving!

  • I believe the owner is now in chefs clothes!!! Would I want to spend my hard earned money having dinner cooked by a bloke who has no training as a chef!!

  • surprised this pretentios place is still there….wouldnt go ther if u paid me…i have never met such rude arrogant people……..unfortunetly i am related to one of them…..,,went there for new years eve some time back….and had the audasity to charge his own family to dine there……….staggering…..no wonder grant and therese are bankrupties…………not surprised……….may the pretence and arrogantcy choke them………………….



  • Barney if u read this………my thoughts exactly…………shame nice place shame about grant being pissed at the bar every day and most evenings,,,,hardly good advertising for a place thatn is supposed to be classy…………….i dont think so………….do you…….


  • No grant and therese do not own the windmill anymore(not surprised)as they are now both bankrupt and broke…….they still work there as staff only……and grant is now in chefs clothes i hear……and as for his pow two faced cow of a wife……….she is so miserable and rude,and so pretentuous its unreal……..looks down her nose at everybody.she is ugly enough without having to do this to her customers…….is she still messing around behind grants back!!!!!!!!!! horrible horrible people that i have had the misfortune to ever meet…………id stay away from this place,at all costs as u dont know what u might catch….vile vile place and people YUK…………..

  • Years ago, I worked in Cranleigh, and for a change, went to the “Windmill” for lunch, as I was getting up from the table to order another beer, Eric and Patti walked in with a Great Dane, when I returned to the table, I found the rest of my lunch had been scoffed and their Great Dane was sitting by my table licking it’s chops. A real gentleman, he did apolgise and buy me another dinner. A nice pub then, no fissed as a part landlords snoozing on the bar anyway.

  • Another time, friend Terry W, who was a marvelous mimic and impersonator was sitting on a window seat in the “Windmill” when an “Old Duffer” came wheezing into the pub, he shuffled over to the bar as the landlord was attending to the optics. He asked the landlord..(wheeze)… “landlord”,…(wheeze)…”do you happen to sell”…(wheeze).. (Terry, in exactly the same voice) “blow up dolls”? The landlord spun around and glared at the old man. Terry, eyes blazing with disgust, downed his beer and walked out !!!

  • Just had dire meal at this pub. Looked nice enough but wish I’d done some research beforehand! Waited 90mins for mediocre lunch. Prices on website not correct. Paid £14 for burger,£14 for tiny fish & silly stacked chips with peas like bullets and tartare sauce out of jar. My husband had awful roast beef and over peppered veg for £16. Won’t be going back but garden and deck nice enough if you just want a drink.

  • Have just read all of your comments..all I can say is what a load of RUBBISH! The Windmill is a fantastic pub! Me and my friends absolutely love it there! Always superb food and a lovely atmosphere.. The owners and staff are honestly some of the nicest people I have ever met! I don’t know what your all going on about…obviously some personal grudges going on there..I can’t see why as grant and therese are lovely people and I’ve known them for around three years now! Don’t listen to any of this rubbish if you are thinking of going to the windmill.. By far the best pub in surrey!

  • dont know any of these people so my view is totally unbiased…had lunch there very recently.we were only people there.stunning place and views albeit tatty at the moment.needs some paintwork and the decking could benefit from a power wash and picking up the tat lying around.food was average and service was slow given we were only ones in the whole establishment.the people serving,running this are not natural hosts.i think some cleaning up and the right personnel could probably make this place something special

  • We went to the windmill as its been ages and hoped that the owners had speeded up things After 1 hour we finally got our fish and chips. The service is still ridiculous and the chef tries to be far too clever when all we really want is fresh food prepared simply and in a resonable time .The staff were very friendly but this is not enough Im afraid. Great location as it always has been, but it needs owners who listen to their customers. Its up for sale as well and I wonder why? We will not be going back again for a year osr so when hopefully it will have owners that know how to run a country pub.

  • My name has no connection with the producers of the Windmill website. A group of six of us had the misfortune to enter the Windmill dining room.A bling encrusted article appeared at our table to take our order for starters and after an hour, and several prompts, they eventually appeared. After that It took another hour and a half for our main course to arrive.The response to our complaints was,”The chef is busy.” As the restaurant was only about a quarter full I assumed that the chef was probably nipping out and working part time in the local chippy.
    The food was mediocre, the service unbelieveably bad,the attitude of the ‘bling’ was total apathy and the price stratospheric. Would I return? Never.
    Be warned,DO NOT GO THERE under any circumstances,it’s awful.

  • The two of us went for a nice Saturday lunch – so we thought. There were only 3 more tables (out of 25ish?) occupied when we arrived. The drink took a while to get to our table. The asparagus soup was the worst soup I had for years I am afraid to say. The main course arrived after 1h and 20mins. It was `decorated` with nice shavings of sea salt all over – looked good but obviously made the entire dish extremely salty?! Also, the owners puppy was running all over the restaurant. Don’t get me wrong I love dogs but this one was licking peoples feet and was begging for food and at the end ran a kid over. The emphasis was on decoration of food and the place but not on quality or friendliness. I have to say this was the most disappointing lunch I had for a very long time. What a shame. AND it’s not cheap either!

  • Had lunch here today. Fancied a country drive and lunch in the sun with a view and found this pub on a Google search. Having read these reviews I almost gave it a miss, but decided to see for myself. Delighted I did. The view is incredible, the staff were great and the Ploughmans to share – with a massive pork pie, cheese, ham, bread and pickles – was ample for two people and, I think, good value at just over twelve quid. A great little find and I will definitely visit again.

  • My husband and I went here for a meal last night and had a wonderful time. I am so pleased I did not read these reviews before I went as some of them are extremely personal and unfair. The female owner (Therese) was attentive and polite and the food was beautifully presented and tasted divine.

    I have to admit though that the prices were very steep and I wonder if that was the reason why we were the only diners at peak time (8pm Friday night) however if you fancy a little luxury it is worth it.

  • Wow – there are some bitter people on this thread. I’ve been drinking in the Windmill for 20 odd years, I love the pub. We ate here yesterday as a family and the food was fantastic, beautiful log fire burning and good atmosphere. I would always recommend this pub.

  • Some of the comments are crass and rude, I can only imagine these people have some hidden agenda. I have had nothing except good food and excellent service. I and my friends have been there many times and will continue to do so. I have meet some rude people there, on occaision but they were customers. Prehaps they were the ones that wrote the ridiculous comments. Guess they have all gone back to Mac Donalds!!!

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