The Angel Dining Rooms

The Angel Hotel 91 High Street Guildford Surrey GU1 3DP

Guildford's Angel Hotel is a funny old place. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the undercroft underneath the hotel has been in use since the 1300s. It's still a hotel, and a classy one at that, but two restaurants operate completely independently within the fairly small building, and they are a serious study in contrasts. There's Bill's downstairs in the highly atmospheric old undercroft – a relaxed and everyday joint with zero pretentiousness – and upstairs there's a sophisticated restaurant housed in the hotel's old ballroom, serving proper fancy-looking food on large white plates. The real surprise, however, is that the prices are much the same in both places. It's a bit of a shame, actually, that you can't get the food from upstairs served in the 14th undercroft in the basement, as the gravitas of the menu would better suit the gothic atmosphere of the surrounds, but hey ho, that's the way the garlic focaccia crumbles. The lofty ballroom setting anyway is great, with sympathetic lighting creating a nice ambience, and the food is top-shelf, with meat procured from a butcher just around the corner and other produce similarly locally sourced. Service is friendly and the prices really are surprisingly reasonable – plus, they do beer-tasting nights, matching food to ales - Charcoal-grilled pork tenderloin and baby apple, accompanied  by a (glass of) Little Tenderness anyone?

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