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      22.10.2002 19:02
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      NB: I know this is not in the most appropriate place for this opinion, since this pub is in Eashing, a mile from Godalming. But the new dooyoo design is awful: I spent 30 minutes trying to find somewhere to put it, and this was the best I could come up with. Why can't we browse categories anymore? I work in web usability, and dooyoo could be held up as an example of notoriously poor usability. Shame. Anyway, the opinion: ============================================================= A couple of weekends ago I found myself walking down the A3, cowering from 80mph traffic and wondering how the vast array of discarded clothing in the hard shoulder actually came to be there (and how come there were only three shoes?). I was on a country walk with a couple of friends: it had started well, through twisting lanes and wooded footpaths in the nice little town of Godalming in Surrey, where one of my friends lives. We were looking for a place called Eashing, about a mile away, but we'd got a little lost; walking alongside the A3 - a busy dual carriageway - was the only way we knew to get ourselves back on track. Eashing is a small Surrey village set alongside the River Wey. Quiet and picturesque (oh, and hard to find if you take the wrong footpath), it seems unaffected by the busy road on its border, and could almost be lodged in a different century altogether. The Stag is its only pub. It is a 16th-century building (it used to be a mill) and has been an inn since the 17th century. There's a lovely garden and patio overlooking the river, and the interior - which was refurbished in 1998 - retains many original features for a comfortable, atmospheric feel. We visited this pub for Sunday lunch. I don't always enjoy Sunday lunches in pubs: all too often they are characterized by overcooked veg, gravy with a skin on it and tough, gristly meat. I wasn't overly keen, therefore, but the Stag's menu did look
      a little different, so I chose Pork with rosemary. The service (at the bar and at the table) was excellent, and very friendly. Food was delivered quickly, but not *too* quickly (I always worry when it comes out five minutes after you've ordered it!). The pork was nothing like my view of a traditionally stodgy Sunday roast but more like something I'd expect in an upmarket restaurant: delicious, tender meat seasoned with fresh herbs, served with crisp vegetables and a sauce that was a far cry from the bog-standard gravy I might have expected, and the presentation was excellent. One of my friends chose the beef, which was similarly lovely, and my other friend - a vegetarian - had a mushroom risotto, which also got the thumbs-up. For dessert, two of us had mango cheesecake: made that morning and served in exquisite little portions, with fresh mango at the side and home-made mango sauce drizzled over the top. The third person had a banoffee chocolate torte, which was so rich ... and so wonderfully naughty! Two courses cost us just under £15 a head, which is perhaps a bit more than you'd expect to pay for standard pub grub, but if you think of the Stag as a restaurant set within a pub (which it is, really) then it's a fair price. I'd definitely recommend a visit. We intend to go back soon - if you do go along, then inside you'll see memorabilia from various different films: the landlord Rocky Taylor is a stunt man, and he's been in Titanic, several Bond films, all the Indiana Jones and Highlander films and also The Young Ones. Further information: Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.00-23.00; Sun 12.00-22.30 Food: Bar meals for lunch (except Sundays, when you get the menu I've described), À la carte dinner Credit Cards: Visa, Access, Delta, Switch Accommodation: 2 double rooms, 1 twin room all en suite Facilities: Riverside garden and patio, Car parking, Functions catered for Entertainment: Pianist and singer every Friday and Saturday evenings and special occasions Address: Lower Eashing Road, Eashing, Surrey GU7 2QG, Tel: 01483 421568, Fax: 01483 861112

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