The Hatch, Hatchlands Road, Redhill.
Is there a more perfectly placed RH pub than the Hatch? Opposite the War Memorial on Shaw’s Corner and eminently walkable from Redhill, Reigate and beyond. The announcement back in May that it would become the first Pilgrim Brewery Free House was no surprise.
Its former incarnation attracted ‘regulars’ who enjoyed its quirky charm, hidden nooks and crannies, cosy fires, as well as the beer. It was a long wait this summer, watching with bated breath as the scaffolding came down and the skips filled up.
Since opening its doors it has as one of the friendly bar staff confided, ” been very busy.”
Strolling up on a Sunday lunchtime it was pleasing to see a microcosm of the RH population enjoying a pint in the September sun; cyclists cooling off with a Pilgrim ale, families with kids enjoying a lemonade, couples reading the paper and twenty-something’s nursing a hair of the dog.
The Hatch is tardis-esque and first-time customers may miss the side passage to the left of the bar, complete with its gorgeous fireplace which leads to another lounge space ‘out back’.
The refurb has been done with sensitivity and style – the quirkiness still intact, all those nooks and crannies to tuck yourself away remain. But now with a contemporary fresh feel, the slate-grey and deep-blue hues and mixture of painted and original panelling resonates with the Pilgrim Taproom in Reigate.
Popular Pilgrim Ales are on tap, including The IPA and the Saxon. I opted for a pint of Somers, great value at £5.35 a pint, my friend forewent her usual gin and plumped for a half of Crumbs sourdough ale. Malty and satisfying was her verdict. Who needs Sunday dinner?
Should you not drink beer then fear not! There is Original garden cider on tap, as well as a selection of local gin from Batt’s Hill distillery and wines sourced by Reigate’s Vineking.
The kitchen isn’t operational at time of writing, however there are a range of weekend pop-up vendors should you feel peckish. Check the socials for further details.
We managed to squish into one of the comfy sofas, sipping our beer as a retro playlist took us back to the ’90’s. Radiohead, Blur and more. I thought of the Hatch legend – how it inspired former Redhill resident Paul Heaton (Housemartins, Beautiful South) to write ’80’s classic Happy Hour.
Pub ‘Happy Hours’ were big back in the day. The Hatch has made a great stab at creating a constant happy hour, with its excellent selections of locally brewed ales, gins, wines friendly bar staff and welcoming vibe.
And as its signage says, a Hatch visit is…
‘Well Worth The Walk.’
Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 23.00
Sunday 12- 22.00.
Further information on the Pilgrim Brewery can be found here.