What to do on a glorious autumn day, when the sun shines with that amber glow only seen at this time of year?  Well, the best answer is a hearty walk followed by a big lunch in friendly pub, preferably with a blazing log fire thrown in (the weather has turned nippy after all!).  So this weekend we headed to Box Hill in Surrey.

View from Box Hill, Surrey

View from Box Hill, Surrey

We found the route of our walk in a wonderful old collection of walks published by the AA in 1975 called ‘No Through Road’.  We’re always surprised that despite the age of the book, many of the walks remain exactly as described and we can complete the walks with no difficutly.  

'No Through Road'

This weekend we commented on this very fact, only to find that the last loop of the walk had become completely overgrown and we found ourselves clambering round the side of the hill, under and over fallen trees and frequently losing sight of any path!  We eventually emerged, somewhat dishevelled at a gorgeous set of stepping stones over the River Mole.  We called our lunch reservation and warned them we’d be late…

stones over the river mole

Stepping Stones over the River Mole

Fortunately, our reservation was at the Star pub in Leatherhead, who had already proved themselves friendly and accommodating.  Not only did they have a couple of veggie options already on their menu, but when quizzed about any wheat-free options when we booked, they rustled up a Nut Roast with roast veg and a veggie gravy!  The roast was a lovely herby concoction with chunks of nuts and the gravy complemented it well.  Mr Offmotorway had the baked field mushroom filled with garlic cream cheese and spinach and wrapped in a pastry lattice.  The filling was delicious with just the right amount of garlic.

And yes, they did have a log fire!