Taking on the appetites of Surrey one ceramic plate at a time, Sophie Ritchie pays the newly-opened The Guildford Townhouse, Coppa Club a visit as the hospitality brand continues to expand its South East empire
Joining the existing duo of Surrey restaurants in Haslemere and Cobham (with a further nine dotted around the South East and West of England) Coppa Club’s latest opening is situated smack bang in the town centre with an envious location on Guildford’s historic high street.
Aiming to deliver the same all-dining meets co-working experience that the other venues offer, the new townhouse is split into three different levels – where staircases lead guests to differently decorated worlds of chic interiors (and enough seating to squeeze in half of the ‘ton).
Step off the cobbled street for The Guildford Townhouse’s ground floor workplace meets cafe area, which is already impressively buzzing with guests and people trying to nab a last minute space – despite the restaurant only being open for a couple of weeks.
The main action happens on the middle floor – where a brasserie and private dining space awaits with comfortable interiors, the friendly hum of chatter and poised pastel-hued wallpaper that will leave you feeling like you’re dining in someone’s rather lovely home.
Keep climbing upwards and you’ll find the destination cocktail bar with its own carefully-designed cocktail list, decorated even more sumptuously than the other spaces with a stunning centrepiece bar, velvety sofas, tropical-esque potted plants and luxe counter seating with matching stud decoration. Guildford is a town known for its evening tipple scene, and I can’t help but giggle at the idea of tipsy locals trying to make it back down the flights of stairs after a few cocktails (or five).
The Food & Drink
There’s little chance of going hungry at Guildford Townhouse. The main brasserie is open 7 days a week, delivering an all-day dining menu that serves everything from brunch and lunch through to late-night dining. I visit for lunch, hungry from a morning of running, and waste no time in scouring the menu whilst settling into the swish surroundings with my friend. We haven’t seen each other in quite some time, so chatting takes precedence – and I notice the team make no effort to hurry us along with menu choices and instead allow us to natter for as long as we wish.
I eye up the Zucchini Fritti (my edible obsession, where the average serving size for a party of four becomes a solo snack) but sadly the venue is sold out. We start with some sharing nibbles instead – a bowl of Nocellara Olives and a plate of Warm Seeded Sourdough with a whipped date and sea salt butter.
I like that the menu notes clearly what’s ‘PB’ for plant-based, ‘V’ for vegetarian or ‘N’ for dishes that contain nuts, making it easier for guests to order without querying every ingredient. The olives are plump and juicy, but it’s the warm bread that steals the show – the kind you can rip apart with your fingers and enjoy the sheer fluffiness, the light bouncy innards juxtaposed with a crunchy seeded layer. Dipped in the sweet date-flecked butter which melts as it makes contact, it’s very good (so much so that our server tells us how much she loves the stuff too).
Whilst the Baked Spiced Aubergine with whipped ricotta, za’atar and pomegranate salad sounded absolutely divine, sadly the venue is out of this too. I swap the healthier choice for something decadent and order the Plant-Based Coppa Burger – featuring a juicy vegan patty, lettuce, tomato, dairy-free cheese slice and yes, more bread in the form of a seeded bun.
A burger just wouldn’t be a burger without fries – I also order the sweet potato variety alongside, which arrive delectably crunchy with a burnt orange shade plus a hint of thyme and lime. My friend orders the exact same and soon the table is almost silent as we make our way through our identical feasts. It’s a hefty plate for lunchtime but no match for a runner – and soon I’ve conquered the majority of the bun-based bite.
Dessert sounds tempting but the extra bread has finished me off. Puddings are of a classic variety – think Sticky Toffee Pudding, Creme Brulee, Cinnamon Doughnuts – all the good stuff, basically. I order a frothy oat cappuccino smothered in chocolate instead and continue to chat with my friend – surprised at how quickly three hours has absolutely flown by.
Much like the ordering, the team makes no attempt to hurry us up and instead I feel like I could linger in my chair until the doors shut. I don’t, of course, but such an atmosphere already has me checking my plans for the next visit to Town House’s welcoming surroundings.
Make it happen
Where: 58-62 High St, Guildford GU1 3ES
How: Find out more and make a booking via visiting coppaclub.co.uk or phoning 01483 339290
Words by Sophie Ritchie, Editor