BEDA: Secret Guildford

A blog for every day in April is the same as blog every day in April, right?

I know this post is late… the truth is I’ve been very sociable this week having done something every night. It feels like my Easter holiday is going on in parallel with my work, which is great! On Thursday I went to The Keystone with a few mates for Pie Night, where they serve two pies for £10. I’d never been before and heard it was good. Turns out so did everyone else in Guildford! The place was packed, and we ended up sitting outside because there was literally nowhere else to go. I really want to be able to recommend it, but in reality the portions were smaller than I expected (not a problem, as I’d been to a Chinese restaurant for lunch) and we had to wait ages for our food – and even then I’d finished my pie before everyone else got theirs. Not cool.

There are however some really great places in Guildford that I’ve found over the years of living here.

Tudor Lounge Jazz Night Tuesdays. The Tudor Lounge is a tiny bar that can be found down the small alley at the top of the high street, the one where Fahrenheit 55 is. It has enough seating for about 20 people, and because of this it has a great cosy atmosphere.On Tuesday nights in particular they have a small, 3-piece band playing soft jazz music that will really mellow you out if you’re feeling stressed. It’s in a stark contrast to Tickled Ivory Student Tuesdays, a piano bar next to the cinema that gets packed to overflowing (literally) every Tuesday with students getting free entry (before 10pm) and abusing cheap drinks deals (a £3.50 Mojito being my tipple of choice almost exclusively). While Tickled has the party and dancing side of the Guildford jazz/piano scene, Tudor Lounge caters for those who want real jazz and a chat with their mates. Don’t expect to get a seat if there’s more than four of you though! However, if you still crave the Tickled dance floor and music but without the crowds, then try going on a Sunday night – it’s free to get in, the music is great, and you’re far more likely to make it back to your table without someone else’s pint down your shirt.

My next suggestion is Roots bar on campus. Located between the hall and Hillside it’s quite popular with sports society socials. But other than that, the place is usually very quiet or empty. They serve cheap drinks (and cocktails!) and have comfortable seating. It’s a great start to a night out instead of being drowned out in Channies, and the bar staff are better than Wates. All Roots need to do is start serving food and I’d never go anywhere else.

The Stoke pub is just a gem. Great stone-baked pizza, good selection of drinks and ales, plenty of seating, great atmosphere… everything a gastro pub should be. On Monday’s they have 2 for £10 pizzas, a complete steal considering how incredibly tasty they are – they are seriously not your average pub pizza! Thursdays is pub quiz, with it’s regulars and newbies, one of the better pub quizzes in Guildford. Friday they have local bands playing their own music (no covers), a great way to experience the big indie music scene that Guildford has thanks to the ACM in town. Sunday roast is also good! Literally, any day is good for The Stoke. Go if you haven’t, and go again if you have.

The Drummond. Much closer to the train station and town than The Stoke, another great pub with a good atmosphere and good food. Again, the Sunday roast is impeccable. They serve lots of cider, which I consider a massive plus. There pub quizzes are on Sunday evening. During the winter months they serve hot mulled wine or mulled cider that is to die for. It is a bit on the pricey side, but again, go. You won’t regret it.

Steering away from pubs, Glutton and Glee is a small coffee shop near the castle that serves really good organic food and cake. The entrance reminds me of the door in Alice In Wonderland, you’ll see why when you get there. Great place to go for a coffee instead of fueling the corporate overlords of Costa or Starbucks and instead supporting local businesses.

Lastly, in the inevitable event that you find yourself searching for a kebab shop at 3am after a particularly heavy night, do your hangover a favour and get a kebab wrap from Nuro – opposite The Slug and Lettuce, next to Cath Kidson at the top of town. They are highly regarded by those in the know as the best kebabs in Guildford. Prepare to be disheartened though when you’re in the queue and you realise that they play better music in the kebab shop than in the club you just paid £5 to get into.

I can think of many more, but that’ll do to get you started. If you do try any of these out on my recommendation I’d be really interested to hear what you thought. Also check out Alexandra Wilk’s post about her “Hidden Guildford”, as it was the inspiration for this post. Until tomorrow x