CuVée VIII: Modern British Dining in Surrey – A Review

The Restaurant

So, I don’t do this that often, but sometimes a place just deserves a full review!! In fact, last night’s visit has inspired us to create the “Surrey Mumma Recommendations” lists and CuVée VIII will certainly take a spot on the “Night Out” category!

Nestled in the heart of Esher, CuVée VIII is a modern British wine bar and restaurant with a stylish feel and welcoming atmosphere. Last week, the team at CuVée contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming along to sample their menu with my family. They suggested the breakfast, Afternoon Tea or A La Carte menus would be the best choice with young children, so we opted for the A La Carte menu at 4:30pm (as most parents will attest, nights out are often now planned around bed-times).

With Elmbridge now being in Tier 2 due to Covid, restaurants have had to adapt to the new requirements and CuVée were happy to let us know their arrangements in advance – they are adhering to the rule of 6 and do not allow mixing of households indoors at present. They also ensure social distancing within the restaurant and when not seated at your table, masks must be worn. On arrival at the restaurant, there are hand sanitisers placed at the entrance and the front of house staff take your temperature before showing you to your table. All staff in the restaurant were also wearing face masks.

We were made to feel so welcome with our two young children – our toddler who is nearly 2 and our newborn who is 6 weeks old. They asked whether we would feel more comfortable in the restaurant (tables with individual chairs) or the lounge area, which was a little more casual. We went for the lounge and were shown to a corner table, where we were able to seat our toddler between us (so he couldn’t run off!!) and there was plenty of space for our daughter to stay in her pram beside us.

After we were seated, Vincent, the General Manager, came and introduced himself and provided us with the menus. He arranged some champagne and a bottle of sparkling water for us whilst we looked at the menu. As our table was booked for 4:30, they offered us a choice of their set menu, which runs 12noon-5pm (consisting of 2 or 3 courses) or their A La Carte menu. Whilst they don’t have a specific children’s menu, they advised we could order whatever we wished for our son and they would make a children’s portion (and should any food be left over, they would arrange a take-away box for us too!).

Starters: Goats cheese with red onion, baby beetroot and mille-faille and Home-cured salmon with cucumber and creme fraiche

Main Course: Fillet Steak for two with mushroom tart, tomato & peppercorn sauce; Fish and triple cooked chips

Sides: Summer truffle mash potato; Petit pois a la Française

Dessert: Rum Chocolate fondant and ice cream

The verdict

Since our son was born at the end of 2018 and with no family local, meals out to nice restaurants have been pretty much non-existent. We’ve had the odd date night here and then, but Covid and a number of other circumstances have seen us order a takeaway as a treat more often than dining out in a restaurant.

We were delighted to be invited to CuVée VIII and the fact we were able to take the children was such a bonus for us as we don’t have any grandparents/babysitters on hand to give us a ‘night off’ (and even if we did, the current Covid regulations in Elmbridge wouldn’t have allowed this).

The atmosphere was lovely and Vincent and Javier made sure we were well looked after and our glasses remained full – they even attempted to entertain our toddler at a social distance to allow these tired and hungry parents a few minutes to enjoy our meal and drinks. I can’t emphasise enough how welcome they all made us feel and this is always important to us…so a big, big tick on that front from us!

The food was outstanding. Having been pregnant for 18 months out of the last 3 years, there were many of my favourite foods on the ‘can’t eat’ list and so Goats Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Steak were the obvious choices for our starters and main courses. I’d not had a medium-rare steak in such a long time (due to pregnancy) and so this was such a welcome treat and was cooked to perfection – really tender and so full of flavour. The side dishes suggested by Vincent were the perfect accompaniment to our meals.

We almost passed on the dessert as it seemed our toddler was about to have an epic meltdown, but thanks to Disney+ and a well-timed gingerbread man, we managed to order and enjoy a delicious melt-in-the-middle chocolate creme.

Our verdict:

Food5/5Excellent menu choices and so much variety of food
Atmosphere5/5Wonderfully opulent and luxurious setting with soft background music and welcoming staff
Cost4/5This is always a hard one, because I definitely believe the quality of food and service is worth every penny. All I’d say is it would be a little pricey taking your tiny humans if having to order from the full menu.
Covid safety5/5Temperature checks on arrival, QR barcode test & trace on entry, face-masks worn by all staff, customers to wear facemasks when not seated, hand sanitiser available throughout the restaurant
Overall5/5We had a great visit and would definitely recommend if you’re looking for somewhere new to visit in Surrey – our advice would be, leave the tiny humans at home if you can! This definitely makes the top 5 of our new “Surrey Mumma Recommendation List”.

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