Over the airwaves
BBC Surrey’s Mark Carter can’t quite get enough of his ‘ hometown’ and thinks everyone should pay a visit
Mark Carter fills in for James Cannon
Godstone is a truly splendid village. Okay, so I may be a tad biased, as it’s been my home for the past six years but in that time I’ve been constantly in awe of not only the stunning scenery and the range of fabulous pubs, restaurants and cafés but also a genuine sense of community.
First, the food. Many years ago, long before moving to Godstone, I was told by an old work colleague that The Coach House was the place to really impress a potential partner. While it might not have delivered on the promise of unrequited love, I’ve been back to this traditional dining establishment on numerous occasions. The Steak Diane, cooked at the table, tastes sublime. Then there’s the newly refurbished White Hart overlooking Godstone Green. Until recently, this was part of the Beefeater chain and while always a friendly atmosphere, it was in desperate need of a facelift. This year, that wish was finally granted, and £2million later, this gem of a building is now once again back to its best. The former coaching inn, dating back to the 16th century, has been meticulously renovated whilst maintaining many original period features. And for daytime dining, I’ve also got to mention the magnificent Green Rooms, where you’re always guaranteed a warm welcome from husband and wife team Jeremy and Sylvia. They were worthy finalists in the 2017 Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards too.
As you can tell, food plays an important part in my life, although you’d never tell from my svelte figure. That said, Godstone is also the perfect place to walk off all of those extra calories and each time we venture out as a family, we’re still discovering as yet unexplored public footpaths and bridleways. There’s a wonderful jaunt, for example, that takes you from Godstone to the neighbouring village of Tandridge. Or, if you’re feeling fit, make your way to the top of Tilburstow Hill for a commanding view over the Weald.
Godstone is also a great place to bring up a family. My children Lily and William are members of the local Beaver and Cub packs and participate in a wide range of activities, from countryside rambles to the moving Remembrance Day parade, where each November they march from the scout hut on the Green to the historic St Nicholas Church, paying their respects to the Godstone men and women who lost their lives in conflict. In fact, there is a very informative slot in the local Parish magazine each month, which focuses on this aspect of the history of the village. This delightful little booklet also highlights just how many other clubs and organisations there are in the vicinity, enabling you to really immerse yourself in local life.
To quote that overused cliché there really is something for everyone in Godstone, from the Womens Institute through to clubs dedicated to photography, clocks, walking and much more. Not so long ago, we even passed an enjoyable Saturday evening in the White Hart Barn, savouring the delights of the “Pudding Club” – I kid you not – and everyone clapped as a range of delicious desserts were brought in from the kitchen. We seem to be back on the subject of food once more... There’s a pattern emerging!
“As you can tell, food plays an important part in my life, although you’d never tell from my svelte figure”
*James Cannon is on holiday
- Tune in to Mark Carter’s Laid Back Sunday, each Sunday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm on BBC Surrey. Listen on 104/104.6FM, DAB, Online and Freeview 722 and don’t forget to vote for your BBC Surrey Community Heroes 2018 - email heroes@ bbc.co.uk before midnight on October 7.
WITH MARK CARTER