Dorking is a food enthusiasts dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your mood. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops and market stalls to ensure you take some fabulous local fare home with you. We asked a local world traveler (seriously, she's traveled the globe) to share her favourite itinerary with us and here it is, a day-in-the-life of a food and drink enthusiast in Dorking…
Start your day with a Mullins Coffee Shop breakfast, on a site where food and history combine. It’s the only remaining Pilgrim Home in the whole of the UK, and a beacon of the local and historic life of Dorking Town. Well worth a visit. If freshly baked macarons are your thing, head over to Cosy Moose on Pump corner (they also make wonderful smoothies)! Dorking is also the proud new home to Putty Cakes and Coughlan's Bakery. You really are spoilt for choice here - it is a bit of a bakery haven.
Get in the foodie mood and pick up some of your own fine local produce at the unmissable Dorking Butchery. Alex, Gary and the team have created THE most fantastic multi-award winning butchery for miles. Their outstanding service and first-class produce means that this shop is packed out 24–7. If you’re really lucky, they might have their cheese & marmite sausages on, but if not, splash out on the Cote de Boeuf. It is to die for…
And don’t forget the drinks! Pop into The Vineyard, Dorking’s independent wine merchant, where John and the team stock a variety of wines, gins and spirits. If it’s Saturday there are usually a couple of treats open for tasting too. Or if you’re more of a brewery fan get over to Cobbett’s Real Ales, where you can sample some of Dorking’s finest offerings in their cool micro-brewery at the back - and then buy in the shop to re-sample later!
Or you could head across the road to The Star pub, a real Dorking institution which is tiny, quirky and almost always packed with locals spilling out onto the pavement tables. The King’s Arms is just down the road on West Street and is the oldest, most fabulous spot for live music in the evenings. For more of a restaurant experience, walk a couple of minutes to Rialto on South Street to sample some delicious Italian cuisine for all the family. If you feel more like a local, ethically-inspired menu with a focus on sustainability, freshly sourced ingredients and excellent wine and beer menu, cocktails too, you can’t get better than Holme Stores. This independent local favourite is also a destination spot on the region’s food map. It's a kitchen, a cafe AND a deli.
In the afternoon, take a trip around Dorking’s very own, Denbies Vineyard, home of some of Britain’s award-winning wines. Take a tour, learn about the estate, and then join a tasting session - we love the “Wine and Food” experience. Perfect for locals and visitors alike, we never tire of a wander through these impeccable British vineyards (eat your heart out Bordeaux!).
Dinner in Dorking can go one of many ways; for incredible, fine dining, Michelin star, award-winning food head to Sorrel. Treat yourself to the a la carte or go for the straight luxury of their tasting menus. The food, customer service and attention to detail is spot on. Just make sure you book well in advance! Just down the road is the award-winning and historic Queen's Head, now locally famous for it's fabulous tipi in the back garden. For something a little livelier, there's 45 Dene Street. Tucked away in Dene Street you’ll find incredible flavours in this atmospheric bar and restaurant, and it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed but fun night out.
Or if you just want something a little more spicy and aromatic, take your pick from The Dorking Brasserie, Sang Thai, Chinese Fountain Garden on West Street and Chifan Restaurant. We are also fans of Roosters Kitchen or Arto if you're feeling the Mediterranean vibe.
And finally, if you’ve space for a nightcap or if you want to dance like no one’s watching, you have options: Dance the night away at Knox, enjoy a cocktail or nightcap at The Grape Variety, and finally, there’s the White Horse Hotel on the High Street. Warm, welcoming, with a rich history dating back as far as 1278, what better way to round off your day in Dorking.