Does a particular restaurant hold special memories for you? Surrey-based La Barbe asked its loyal clientele to share their favourite recollections in celebration of the French restaurant's 35-year-old reign of Reigate
Since it opened 35 years ago, Surrey’s oldest French restaurant, La Barbe in Reigate, has been the setting for marriage proposals, wedding receptions, special birthday dinners and anniversary celebrations.
For Ella Hulbert of Redhill, it is where fiancé Alex proposed and where she later celebrated her 30th birthday. Her heart-warming story was one of many special memories shared by customers as part of a competition to celebrate the restaurant’s 35th anniversary, and won her a meal for four.
“It was the perfect setting for a proposal causing plenty of bubbles and smiles all round – my favourite place, my favourite man and some of my favourite memories!” says Ella, who married Alex in April last year (2016). “Since we first visited, it's felt like a home rather than a restaurant with friendly, attentive staff and incredible food.
“I also celebrated my 30th there recently, and it never fails to impress with the food and service! So many memories...”
The contest attracted scores of entries with diners sharing happy memories and recollections of first-class customer service. But it was Ella’s story which clinched the overall prize of a dinner for four.
The restaurant also decided to award a special highly-commended prize of a bottle of French Crémant to Jenny Moxham, of Dorking, who recalled happy memories of a special evening with friends. The group had held their own Come Dine with Me competition and were celebrating the results – which saw the chef come out to present the awards.
Long a destination for fervent Francophiles, this bustling bistro has a loyal following locally, many of whom have been visiting since the very start.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent us stories and photographs of their most magical memories at La Barbe, which can be read on our Facebook page, and we very much enjoyed each and every one,” says owner of the restaurant, Serge Tassi, who has been at the helm from the beginning. “We appreciate all of your continued support, and hope to see you soon.”
Looking to the future, the restaurant continues to evolve with more exciting events in the pipeline, plans to introduce a Surrey wine and creative new additions to the menu – so it’s no wonder that the customers keep coming back.