Sumptuous African hunting-lodge style accommodation, at the feet of the Surrey Hills, above an English Village pub. Don't leave without trying the African breakfast.
75 Dorking Road Chilworth GU4 8NP 01483 561 765
You don't generally expect to walk through a door from a vibrant village pub in the Home Counties and find yourself in a little corner of South Africa, but that's exactly what you will experience if you stay at the Percy in Chilworth. And if that description sets off warning bells, fear not – the South African influences on this once quintessentially English inn have been introduced with taste and style, and it adds up to a unique sleeping experience. The five rooms all have a distinct colonial theme, and all are named after one of the 'Big Five' game animals in Zulu and other African dialects. There are two superking en-suite rooms, massive Ndlov (elephant) and Ingwe leopard) – both with gigantic double beds and roll-top slipper baths – plus two double ensuite rooms: Tau (lion) and Nyati (water buffalo), with kingsize beds. The last room, Tshukudu (rhino), is a twin, which can be converted into a double. Both Tshukudu and Ndlov can accommodate families of four, and Ingwe has wonderful views of the Surrey Hills walking spot, St Marthas. Despite the popularity of the pub and restaurant below, noise isn't an issue in your room, and everything is kept spotless. Rates include breakfast, which also comes with a South African option – think boerewors (super-meaty sausages) with chakalaka (spicey veggie relish) – or or you can be boring and just have eggs and bacon or a continental option. Likewise, if you choose to grab an evening meal at the bar and restaurant downstairs, you can look forward to steak cooked to South African standards (which is melt-in-your-mouth brilliant). Room facilities include flatscreen TVs, wifi, goosedown duvets, egyptian cotton linen and tea and coffee. Chilworth itself is a medium-sized village that sits just below the Chantries and St Marthas, both very popular with walkers, and close to the beautiful village of Albury. There are myriad hiking and biking trails around this scenic area, and you're only a few miles from Guildford, the county town.
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Twin en-suite bedrooms from £65 a night, Executive en-suite double rooms from £95 – both including breakfast.
- Pub with Rooms
From Guildford, take the A281 and hang a left at the roundabout in Shalford onto the A248. Take the first major left (still the A248) into Chilworth, and the Percy is on the left as you go through the village.
Open all year.