IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Want to know where to eat, drink and cycle in the Surrey Hills? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you.
We scouted out all the best routes, restaurants and refuelling spots in Surrey with Johan Museeuw and Rory Townsend. Knowledge is for sharing, so we’ve compiled it all into one handy guide with help from our friends at Specialized and the Michelin Guide to combine our pro cycling and local foodie know-how for all to enjoy.
Have a read of the guide, and then recreate a weekend of Joyriding in Surrey with an exclusive offer, read on to find out more.
FIND YOUR PERFECT JOYRIDE BY RETRACING OUR ROUTES BELOW
Cycling is the ideal way to see and experience the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The huge success of the 2012 London Olympics has seen an influx in cyclists visiting the area. Whether you are a hill fanatic or a rolling expert, the Surrey Hills has something for all abilities.
Sold? Discover our routes and recommendations below.
— Sophie Power, LeBlanq Guest
Retrace the routes and take in all the beauty of our Surrey Hills Joyrides. We use Komoot to plot our rides, so you can export a GPX file for your device, or amend the start and finish as necessary.
If you feel up for a challenge then try this special route and see how you compare to the pro-cyclist and LeBlanq ride leaders.
This is a route designed by Rory Townsend and was ridden in preparation for one of his target races in Belgium. The route is to be ridden in a race simulation style effort, which means a controlled pace on the flat terrain and maximum on the gradients.
HARD WORK DESERVES A REWARD.
INDULGE IN SURREY'S FINEST RESTAURANTS.
Steve Drake and his team at Sorrel Restaurant in Dorking played host to our Surrey Joyride. The 40-cover restaurant is situated in a 300-year-old building and focuses on seasonal modern British tasting menus - artisan cooking with multifaceted influences.
Perhaps we are a little biased as it’s our favourite restaurant in the area, so here’s the Michelin Guide’s point of view:
“Dorking is home to this delightful restaurant, named after the chef-owner’s favourite herb. Sit on the cosy ground floor or in the intimate upstairs room, where beams divide the area into three, and a glass-walled kitchen provides a modern contrast.
Having worked in the area for many years, Steve Drake understands what the locals are looking for. He has also built great relationships with the local producers and suppliers, and their seasonal ingredients form the backbone of his menus. Don’t be fooled by the simple descriptions, as these belie the complexity of the techniques used in his creative modern dishes, where flavours, textures and temperatures come together in perfect harmony. If you want to know more about how each dish was crafted, ask one of the keen young team.”
— Michelin Guide / Sorrel Dorking
Originally a 16th-century Almshouse (a charitable form of self-sufficient, low-cost community housing), The Anchor became a cycling ‘mecca’ in the 1870s as cycling became popular. Cyclists referred to the London to Portsmouth road as the ‘Ripley Road’. On Whit Sunday 1894, the police estimate 20,000 cyclists passed through Kingston on their way to Ripley. It’s no coincidence that such a fine, flavourful, filling and well-priced pub is still a second home to hungry cyclists. The Michelin Guide’s point of view: “Despite its name, this pub is nowhere near the water. At 400 years old, it retains an appealingly rustic feel, but it also has a modern edge and a friendly, laid-back vibe. Cooking is full of flavour, with enticing snacks on offer alongside good value modern dishes of local ingredients.”
— Bib Gourmand, Michelin Guide
The pub is named after Queen Anne, a pretty ordinary British monarch who ruled for a short period. Throughout her life she only had one hobby, eating and drinking - a fitting name. The Queen’s Head is a cosy, warm and quintessentially English pub with a leafy garden, that serves seasonal and wholesome British food using top-quality ingredients. Michelin Guide’s point of view: “Look out for the unusual steeply sloping, red-tiled mansard roof of this smartly refurbished 18th century coaching inn. You’ll find drinkers in the front bar, tables spread about the place and, out the back, a decked terrace and garden. Classic pub dishes take on a refined style and cooking is fresh and unfussy.”
BUT FIRST, COFFEE. NO RIDE CAN BEGIN WITHOUT A GOOD CUP.
Giro Cycles in Esher has long been the caffeinating hub for Surrey and London cyclists who are escaping to the Hills. Their expert baristas pull perfect shots of coffee all day long and swirl graceful latte art with smother technique than Johan Museeuw pedal stroke.
We recommend you visit Decamps Maison Gourmand armed with a musette bag, as you’ll want to take home a fresh baguette, a boule of sourdough and as many pastries as you can manage. Vincent Decamps provides baked goods to Sorrel, so it must be good with Steve Drake’s seal of approval.
Vincent has done the bakers ‘Tour de France’ - learning from the best bakers of each region before developing his own recipes; none of which have any additives or preservatives, and are composed of wheat grown exclusively in France and stored without any pesticides.
The humble loaf is fine fuel, indeed. You’ll find Vincent at Squires Cobham Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings or if you want to enjoy a pastry and coffee with your ride companions, head over to Vincents French Cafe & Bar Brasserie at Pachesham Golf Club, or simply order online.
Nest is a quintessentially English café nestled in the village of Ripley, with charming teapots and chinaware. Nest became the café of choice for the 2012 Olympic Road Cycling team while staying in the Olympic holding camp in neighbouring Foxhills. Sir Brad, Cav, Ian Stannard, David Millar, Froomie, Lizzie Deignan, Emma Pooley, et al., all sipped cappuccinos on the terrace on training rides, before the race came through the village. There's even a picture of Cav hanging in the toilet. Lovely.
Our friend, LeBlanq ride leader and Irish National Champion, Rory Townsend, can often be found at Nest and highly recommends their brownies. To plan a ride around a brownie is a perfectly ordinary thing to do, right?
Is Destination Bike a café or a bike shop? Does it matter? Cycling and Café Cultura go hand in hand. Destination Bike sits atop Box Hill, Surrey’s most iconic climb, but certainly not the toughest.
Run by James Dear, an old friend of our Directeur Sportif, Sean Yates. Purveyors of fine classic and modern bikes and handy mechanics, if you need a mid-ride tune-up, spare inner tube, coffee or some Veloforte pocket fuel.
HANG YOUR BIKE UP AND MELT INTO RECOVERY MODE
DESCEND INTO DECADENCE
Beaverbrook is nestled at the bottom of the descent from Box Hill to Leatherhead - a quintessentially English Country House estate imbued with a romance and style that pays tribute to its glamorous past. Whether you’re dressing up to celebrate or dressing down to unwind, the elegant surroundings have every indulgence to help you unwind: spa, bars, restaurants and grounded hot air balloon dining, cinema, wine discovery, masterclasses and tours, cooking school, gym, gardens, and even e-bikes if you haven’t quite had your fill of riding, but your legs are saying “no”.
Beaverbrook is full of places to dine and drink. The Japanese Grill is our personal favourite.MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View: “Have a drink in the elegant bar of this historic country house before heading for the delightful dining room with its bold décor, impressive ceiling and huge windows overlooking the estate. Extensive Japanese menus mix the classic with the modern, and flavours are appealing.”
Denbies Vineyard Hotel is located in the heart of Denbies Wine Estate with outstanding views across the 265-acre estate and rolling hills. Offering 17 ensuite rooms with a new Vineyard Restaurant and bar area. The original Farmhouse, built in the 1850s, has been newly renovated as part of the expansion into a vineyard hotel. Inspiration for the signature vine wallpaper is drawn from the Jane Austen House Museum, which dates back to 1805. On a warm summer's day, it almost feels like you are in Bordeaux or Champagne. It’s a great place for a cycling staycation - and the start of our Joyride routes, so you don’t have to think about a thing.
Enjoy wine tastings, great food, long walks on Denbies many acres, guided tours, and the farm shop.
The climb from Denbies to Ranmore Common starts on a white road among the vines, then twists and turns through a tunnel of trees before revealing a hillside suntrap with neat rows of vines basking in the light.
It’s possibly Surrey’s most beautiful climb. The views are stunning and it’s hard to believe you are in the UK. The climb has two gates which are open on weekends, you just have to dismount and open them if closed.
Be the first to hear about new experiences and receive exclusive content from our chefs and riders.