A real guide to living in the ‘posh’ Surrey town of Reigate
“You’re from Surrey?…But you don’t sound posh?”
For the first few weeks of University, everyone had stereotyped me as being a little bit posh and who could blame them. Surrey is infamous for its private boarding schools, expensive cars, and all the yummy mummies attending morning yoga classes. Reigate can be the perfect example of all of those things, yet not many people see outside the box. So I’m here to show you that “posh” Surrey is actually more than the middle class utopia that many think it is.
Hills, lakes and even more hills
The rolling countryside and landscapes are definitely a major bonus. I can literally walk one minute from my front door and be surrounded by fields, woods and the open air. Maybe it’s just me, but the countryside is definitely what makes me proud to be from Surrey.
Also, the view on top of Reigate Hill is worth the trek, just make sure it’s not a cloudy day or you can’t really appreciate it. On sunny days you can see all the way to Gatwick and watch planes landing and taking off, as well as the faint outline of Brighton in the distance. But don’t gander up here on your own in the late hours, some dodgy stuff happens in those dark, strange cars. However, you can’t really beat a good view like it when you need it.
Mishiko = Boogie central
Amongst the pretty little town of Reigate, boasting high-end shops like Whistles and Laura Ashley, and stylish restaurants like Valentina and La Barbe, you’ll find the diamond in the rough, Mishiko. Formerly known as JJ Whisper’s, I guarantee you won’t find another place to have a reunion with old school friends and shake your booty without having to trek to Croydon and back. With entry being free before 10pm, it’s a pretty cheap night out.
Summers in Reigate are just a weekly countdown to Thursday nights, the highlight of our week. Here, we queue for half an hour and to get into a cramped nightclub which closes its doors at an early 2am, but that doesn’t stop us from loving it even more.
Reigate College is the best thing about Reigate
Mishiko’s Thursday is the best place to boogie, and who better with than your Reigate College squad. We could go to Joules but no one ever really goes to Joules. Aside from the partying, normal days at college pretty much only involved buying the £3 chicken and chips meal deal from Morrison’s or those greasy curly fries from the refectory but avoiding, at all costs, setting a foot anywhere near the “rejectory.”
Smokers went to “smokers” area at lunch, and in summer everyone usually made the twenty minute walk to Priory Park and munched on sweets and ice lollies bought in Morrison’s. Summer meant exams and deadlines so if it wasn’t procrastinating in Priory Park like we usually were it was spent in the ILC where, if you made one sound, you’d be told to be quiet as if you’d been screaming at the top of your voice.
But now, as we’re all at university or jobs, we just spend most of the time reminiscing over those couple of years that just flew by.
It’s not all fancy and high-end
If you think you could take away the M&S Food, La Barbe, Valentina, Laura Ashley and Carluccio’s and be left with an empty shell, you’d be very wrong. We’ve got more choices to cater for all needs. Need a quick pizza fix? There’s a Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut Delivery all in the town centre.
Fancy some high-street shopping? Redhill is only ten minutes away and boasts a shopping centre with Topshop, Topman, New Look, and Poundland to name a few. Plus, there’s three McDonald’s within a 15 minute drive from Reigate centre, including a drive-thru so really, you’ve got the best of both worlds.
Can there be any more pubs?
Reigate and its surrounding country towns and villages like Dorking, Betchworth, and Leigh all have a bit of a reputation with the mass of pubs they boast hidden within the country lanes. It’s like a maze trying to find somewhere specific to eat, then coming across a completely different pub and preferring to go there instead. Obviously, you get the traditional pub food like Sunday roast, fish and chips, and pies, and all the good local ales, but being in a new pub makes it all the more special.
But, the best of all and again, being in the countryside, you still can get all the good views of the Surrey Hills without the need for a trek. So you can sip your Doombar or latte just by sitting down, eating a classic Sunday roast, and looking out to the fresh countryside as you sit in the warm, cosy atmosphere of your local pub.