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The Queen’s Head – A Gem in Dorking’s Crown

4 March 2020

A gem in Dorking’s shining crown and a place we can lay our hats and feel at home. 

The Queen’s Head, owned by The Little and Large Pub company, comes to Dorking with a host of global experiences, string of awards and a couple of Michelin stars for good measure.

As Hello Dorking gets settled around the table ready to find out more about The Queen’s Head, it is very apparent that the talent around the table is exceptional.

Manu Bhatt and Adam Simmonds who met a few years back at the Albion in Islington are a phenomenal team, with a vision to create a chain of pubs that fill a gap in the market.  This is more than a gastro pub; The Queens Head is an experience.  A pub that is about quality, sustainability and turning the classic British pub menu into a refined dining experience.

With a fantastic vision for Dorking, what else do these boys bring to the table.  Manu’s background is vast and global. Having worked his way around the world in hospitality, Manu settled for a while in North London and Islington.  Here Manu made a bit of a name for himself working and running the famous Albion Pub, which saw him collect an award for The Best British Pub of The Year in 2019.

Adam’s experience covers thirty years within industry.  Having graduated from Luton College, Adam walked straight into the Roux as a commis.  From here Adam’s culinary expertise grew and saw him collect two Michelin stars. His first was at the Ynyshir Hall in Wales in 2006.  His second star at Danesfield Hall, Marlow in 2010.   You may also know Adam from winning the Great British Menu in 2014. 

With such a wealth of combined experience why did these infamous boys move to Dorking?

“We knew that one of Fullers pubs was on the market and it just so happen to be here in Dorking.  Researching the town, we saw a hole in the market between Cote Brasserie and Sorrel”

“We don’t want to create a pretentious environment, but a pub for everyone.  We want people to feel at home here, but offer them something different”

As we soak up the atmosphere at The Queens head, a sense of calm is very noticeable.  The atmosphere is relaxed, but the staff are attentive. As we look around, the attention to detail in the deco is something else.  This pub is about an experience. The menu too reflects the environment.  This classic English pub menu is refined, elegant and carefully sourced.

We ask – With so much focus being on sustainability, something that Dorking is very proud about, how does this affect your menu?

“Everything is ethically sourced from the local area.  We collaborate with Hill House Farm, Chimney Fire Coffee, Kingfisher Farm and Albury Vineyard.  We also stock Gin Kitchen and Silent Pool and because everything is sourced locally, our menu is seasonal too.  We have refined the pub menu, elevating the quality, whilst keeping it classic and simple”

“We know that Vegan food is very much the now and a growing trend, as a result we are currently designing a standalone menu, which compliments the classic British pub menu”

With the guys looking to open up a pub in Tunbridge Wells too, The Queen’s Head looks set to be the next big thing in Surrey, with the focus on Dorking.

To help celebrate the arrival of Manu and Adam, they would like to invite local residents and businesses for drinks and canapes on Monday the 23rd of March from 6pm – 7:30pm. Click here and tell us if you are coming.


It is with great pleasure and excitement that welcome The Queens head to join the fun and frolics of Dorking Town.

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