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The George Abbot (Guildford)

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Address: 7-11 High Street / Guildford

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      09.04.2013 23:05
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      The George Abbot Pub, Guildford

      About the Pub
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      The pub is located at the bottom of the main High Street in the town centre and although the pub is now named the George Abbot, it's previous names included The Row Barge and The Jolly Sailor. The pub was renamed The George Abbot in the 1990's to reflect the historical importance of this site. The pub is named after George Abbot whom was born into a well off family. His father was a local politician in Guildford and also a successful merchant in the wool trade. George Abbot was a great scholar who rose to be a Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, then Bishop of Lichfield & Coventry, Bishop of London and was chosen to be an Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held for 22 years. As head of the Anglican Church, George Abbot also crowned Charles I in 1625. George Abbot was born in a cottage at the west end of Guildford High Street, across the road from St Nicolas Church and just west of the Town Bridge over the River Wey. It was this church that George Abbot was baptised in 1562. Although the pub is located at the bottom of the high-street this is a little confusing as you actually have to go over the bridge which goes over the River Wey in order to get to it. Some people may know where this pub is from shopping in the main town is they have ever been to Debenhams which is very close to the pub.

      The Pub
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      The pub is open 7 days a week and serves a great range of different food and includes a menu for kids. As well as serving food, they also have TV's to show all the latest football matches and different games. The pub has a large range of beers, wine's, spirits and soft drinks available for purchase. There is an ATM available to use in the pub as well. When approaching the pub it looks welcoming and very clean with no litter or other rubbish round the outside of the pub. The exterior is very clean with signs advertising food deals and drinks that they sell here. As I entered the pub it felt really cosy and very family friendly. The pub is quite large and on the left hand side as I walked in there was an area with sofa's and tables, perfect for socialising with friends. The bar is located right in front of you and stretches literally from one end of the pub to the other. Over on the right hand side is a range of different sized tables, some high with bar type stools. The pub has various different areas and alcove type areas which have different sized tables in where you can sit and enjoy a meal or quiet drink with friends. The pub isn't particularly modern looking but it's very clean and is much cleaner than your standard looking pub which has been around for a good few years. There are various signs in the pub advertising different drink and food deals which are visually appealing as some of them are done on chalk boards. I did notice a few fruit machines located in the pub over to the right hand side. You can tell that the staff and management here do a fantastic job in keeping the pub very clean and tidy as nothing seemed out of place. I don't remember hearing any music when walking in but the general atmosphere was really welcoming. I visited the pub after 5:30pm with my boyfriend during the week so it wasn't too busy during this time. There is a very small seating area outside the pub; how-ever this only includes approximately 2 small tables as they don't actually have room for a pub garden.

      Purchasing Drinks
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      I went up to the bar where I was greeted by the staff member who was very well dressed and polite. I asked what soft drinks they sold and he told me which one's were available, so me and my boyfriend ordered a drink. The drinks were served in nice, clean glasses to match the drink that we were drinking (Coke served in a Coca Cola glass, etc.). I wanted to set up a tab as me and my boyfriend were going to be eating here as well so I asked the bar staff about this and he set up a tab for me within a few minutes. My boyfriend was driving so he had a glass of Coke and I don't drink during the week so I purchased an apple & Raspberry J20. In terms of value the drinks were very reasonable as the round was under £5.00. We thanked the bar staff and took out drinks to a table in one of the alcoves which had a table suitable for 4 people. As we walked to our table I noticed that all the tables were very clean and free from any dirty plates or glasses.

      The Menu
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      Each table had their own menu including a Kid's menu and there was also a drinks menu which contained wines and a range of different shots and cocktails. The pub is part of GreeneKing which some of you may be familiar with if you happen to visit pubs on a regular basis. There was so much delicious looking food on the menu that me and my boyfriend found it very hard what to choose to eat. I have listed and example of some of the food available.

      * Starters - Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta, Soup of the Day, Crispy Torpedo Prawns.
      * Share It - Nachos, Chicken Platter, Mucky Chips, Burger Platter, Giant Sharer.
      * Mains - Lasagne, Mac & Cheese, and Roast Beef Yorkshire Wrap, Chicken Tikka Masala, BBQ Ribs.
      * 100 Calories or Less - Chicken & Bacon Salad, Pasta Meatball Marinara, Vegetable & Cashew Nut Paella.
      * Jackets - Oven Baked Potato with salad garnish Coleslaw and your choice of topping.
      *On the Grill - 8oz Rump Steak, Gammon & Eggs, Burrito, Chicken Fajitas.
      * Burgers & Hot Dogs - BBQ Pulled Pork, Black 'n' Blue Burger, The Tower Burger, The Classic Dog, Hunter's Dog.
      * Delicious Deli Deal - Choose your filling, Chose your bread, Chose your side, and Chose your drink.
      * On the Side - Coleslaw, Baguette & Butter, Onion Rings, Mixed Salad, Hash Brown Bites, Half a Rack of Ribs.
      * Sweet Dreams - Vanilla ice Cream, Pancakes & Ice Cream, Jam Roly Poly, and Banoffee Bash.

      Although the menu contained lots of delicious items I really fancied a Curry so I went for the Chicken Tikka Masala and my boyfriend had the Chicken Your Way in which you can choose the level of spicy sauce for the chicken. This also comes with Mexican Rice and a Corn on the Cob. My Curry should come with Pilau Rice, Poppadoms and Mango Chutney. I went to the bar and ordered the food and the bar staff asked if I wanted any starters such as Garlic bread or Soup, I refused this offer and stated that I just wanted main meals and he put my order through within a few minutes. Shortly after ordered the food the member of staff came and put a plate on a table which contained salt, pepper and other condiments and cutlery along with napkins. The price of the food was very reasonable as it cost approximately £8.99 for each meal.

      The Food
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      We didn't have to wait very long for our food and I was impressed and also surprised that we received our food within 20 minutes of waiting which I thought was very good. The food looked delicious and was very well presented on the plates. The staff member asked if we wanted any additional sauces and we said no and he told us to enjoy our meals. Me and my boyfriend tucked into our meals. My curry was lovely and warm and tasted delicious. In my local pub I have had curry a few times and the chicken has been overcooked, how-ever the chicken in this curry was perfect along with the rice. I didn't eat the mango chutney as I'm not too keen on this. There were 2 large poppadoms with the curry which were lovely and crispy. My boyfriend enjoyed his food as well and said that the chicken was moist and delicious. When we had tucked into our meal a few minutes later the member of staff came back to check everything was ok, which it was. The portion of the food was very good sizes and definitely represented value for money. After eating the meal me and my boyfriend were both full and very satisfied.

      The Atmosphere whilst in the Pub
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      As me and my boyfriend had been in here a good half an hour so far I had another brief look around. There were a few more people in the pub now and a large group of what looked like students whom were all enjoying a drink and catch up together. The pub has such a lovely, warm and welcoming atmosphere and is perfect for families due to the amount of space in the pub and around the tables which means you could easily take a pushchair in here and it's also very suitable for wheelchair users as well. During out time here we interacted with 2 members of staff whom were very professional and looked very well dressed.

      The Toilets
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      I visited the toilets during my time here which are located upstairs. This is a little bit of a walk and it's then that you realise how big the building actually is. The toilets were in immaculate condition and were the cleanest toilets I have ever seen. They looked very modern and they were well lit with working lots and plenty of toilet tissue. The floor area was also very, very clean and was almost shining. The toilets not only looked clean but they smell pleasant and fresh as well. I was very impressed by this. I didn't notice if there was a disabled toilet downstairs but I'm guessing there is due to laws about having them in pubs, etc.

      The Staff
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      During our visit we interacted with 2 different members of staff one which I presume was some kind of management. Both members of staff were male and were very well dressed in a shirt & black trousers and looked very presentable and professional. Both members of staff were really polite and made us feel welcome in the pub which added to the atmosphere and the feel of the pub. The staff were very helpful and really went out their way to ensure we had enjoyed our meal and to check if we wanted anything else before we left the pub. I found the staff a lot friendlier in here than some of the other pubs that I have been to.

      Leaving the Pub
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      Shortly after I got back to the table our plates were cleared and we were asked if we would like any desserts or Coffee. We refused this offer and thanked the staff member for the lovely food. We left our table and went to the bar to pay our tab. A different member of staff now served us who I presume was management as he looked very smart but was wearing a different coloured shirt to the other staff member whom served us before. He asked if everything was ok with the meal and if we wanted anything else such as more drinks or desserts, we again refused this offer and thanked him. I paid the tab that I had opened earlier and as we left the pub the staff member said goodbye and thank you. We left the pub feeling very satisfied with the food and also happy that we had received such good service here.

      Overall Opinion
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      The pub is in a lovely location not far from the River Wey and I found it very welcoming as I entered the pub. I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of interior and the food quality, how-ever the pub is much more modern looking than other most pubs and the food quality was fantastic. I enjoyed the time I spent in here and I couldn't find anything to complain about as the service, along with the food was fantastic. Although this is the first time I have eaten here in at least 10 years, I would definitely eat here again as I loved the feel and the atmosphere of the pub. I think they have a brilliant menu with a great range of items on and all at a fairly reasonable price as well. The pub has an interesting background which may mean that it attracts tourists slightly more than some of the other pubs and bars in the local town. In terms of access the pub is a short walk from the main train or bus station and there is plenty of parking outside the pub, how-ever

      Other Information
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      The George Abbot Pub, 7-11 High Street, Guildford, GU2 4AB
      Tel: 01483 456890



      (review may also appear on ciao)

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