The Running Horses Hotel

Running Horses, Old London Rd, Mickleham, Dorking RH5 6DU

There’s been an inn on the site of The Running Horses in Mickleham since the 16th century, welcoming travellers or hosting jockeys en route to Epsom – its name today celebrates the dead-heat derby of 1828.
One half of the downstairs is given over to the sort of country pub people dream about walking into on a wet November day; the other is a restaurant serving elegant comfort dishes along the lines of calves liver, rib-eye steak and cheddar soufflé. We enjoyed confit duck with a rich port sauce, and a brilliantly unfussy lemon sole. Desserts are pure 1970s, in the best way possible – think treacle tarts, cheesecake and crème brûlée. It’s the sort of food we all secretly admire.

There are five bedrooms that strive for understated comfort over style. If you had a rich great-aunt, this is what her spare room would look like, and as soon as
you sink into the gloriously soft beds you don’t care either way. This isn’t the sort of place the office trendsetter boasts about but a weekend here will leave you with the sort of good feeling that gets you through to at least Wednesday. A stable condition, if you will.

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