Peter de Savary and his team have made lots of noise about the new rooms at The Merry Harriers near Godalming in Surrey.
So I’m surprised to be ushered into one of the old ones at the back of the pub.
‘This must be a new room?’ I say.
‘No, they are all in the main building.’
The Merry Harriers near Godalming in Surrey which has opened up new rooms for guests
‘You’re busy tonight, then?’
‘No, you’re the only person staying, actually. Will you be wanting breakfast in the morning?’
‘Well, that would be nice.’
Perhaps I should insist on at least seeing one of the new rooms, but it’s late and I’m hungry.
There’s nothing wrong with my sirloin steak, unlike the dreary prawn cocktail which preceded it — tiny, tasteless prawns and nothing like enough Marie Rose sauce. My glass of cabernet sauvignon is almost undrinkable, but the barman doesn’t quibble when I ask to swap it for a Rioja.
Still, I like the surroundings of this 16th-century boozer. There’s a huge inglenook fireplace and the names of former landlords are written on the walls. Locals are in. You get a pie and a pint on Wednesdays for £10.
As I finish up, the chef comes out and orders meat and veg on the telephone from her suppliers. Disconcerting.
My cramped room, which looks out at a herd of grazing llamas, has one of those electric showers that are economical for whoever is paying the bill, but unsatisfactory for those standing underneath.
It’s only me for breakfast (which doesn’t start till 8am), but I could do without all the stools stacked on the bar while someone mops the floor with pungent cleaning fluid.
The Merry Harriers could be so much merrier.
The Merry Harriers
Godalming GU8 4DR
01428 682883, merryharriers.com
Doubles from £125 B&B