I visited the new hidden gem pub near Hampton Court Palace and found the perfect sunny courtyard

I ate oysters at the foundry
An oyster eating amateur -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

Tucked away in a leafy suburb separated by the River Thames from the grand Hampton Court grounds, is a gorgeous pub with a perfect garden for soaking up the sun. After falling into disrepair, The Foundry in Thames Ditton is a community hub with glowing reviews.

Run by a team of seven who came together to transform the empty restaurant into a high-quality eatery, The Foundry has become a hidden gem villagers love.

Known for its delicious stone-baked pizzas, the pub also offers a varied menu boasting fresh food with unique specials. The Foundry is one of a kind, blending a high-end dining experience you can tell staff are passionate about while remaining unpretentious and welcoming.

Reviews from customers have been consistently complementary since the pub reopened in December 2023, one wrote via Google: “What an absolute hidden gem. Top quality front of house backed up by literally the best quality food at the most competitive prices you can hope for. I can’t speak more highly of The Foundry.


Lauren poses wearing a brown shirt with her Labrador puppy Rupert
I visited the dog friendly pub in Thames Ditton -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

“Absolutely loved our first visit there and it’s now a regular for sure. Service is nothing short of fantastic and the food is off the curve. Pizzas especially delicious and the cream of cider soup is THE best soup I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring. Bravo!!!”

It’s dog friendly, which is a big draw, and I was invited to visit with my boyfriend, and we brought our puppy, Rupert, along too. We had a table booked inside, but when I saw the garden I decided we couldn’t pass an opportunity to catch the rest of the evening sun.

Surrounded by a red brick wall, the garden felt enclosed and private, with patio seating and the option for sitting undercover with heaters. Once sat down, I felt instantly relaxed, despite the busy atmosphere.

Octopus platter with oysters on ice
I had three delicious Irish oysters served on this grand platter -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

Despite the pub’s high-quality status and celebrity chef Lawrence Keogh at the helm, I thought the menu was very reasonable. I could tell a lot of effort had been put into running the pub and sourcing fresh ingredients.

I opted for a cheerful glass of prosecco, it cost £6 a glass for the Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry and had sparkling water to accompany it. Lawrence brought over the specials board, and I was impressed by the seafood offering including, Irish oysters for £3 each, Devonshire crab claws starting at £17.50 and seabass for £24.50.

After deliberating I ordered three Irish oysters with a bowl of Spanish olives at start with, and chicken schnitzel as a main with a side of fries. Served on a gorgeous stand with bronze-coloured octopus legs, the oysters rested on ice with a dish of mignonette sauce.

Chicken scnitzel with paremsan and chips
Chicken scnitzel with paremsan and chips

The oysters tasted like they had been plucked straight from the sea, and arrived shucked. I tipped a drizzle of mignonette into the pearlescent shell and slurped the mollusc, and made sure to chew - it’s a common misconception that you simply swallow the oyster whole, which seems like a waste to me.

Three felt like the right amount of oysters that paired well with the chunky Spanish olives. I was glad I hadn’t had a huge starter, because the portion of the main was very generous.

I’d never seen chicken schnitzel that almost completely covered the dinner plate, the portion was huge. The crisp chicken was served with melted parmesan cheese on top, house dressing and a bed of peppery rocket.

Guests walk through this fairy light covered archway to the seating area
Guests walk through this fairy light covered archway to the seating area -Credit:Lauren Cole-Lomas

The succulent flattened chicken covered in the golden breadcrumb coating, was divine and the chips were served with cute sealed Heinz mini pots of ketchup and mayo. It was a dish I didn’t want to end, and I savoured every mouthful.

After finishing dinner, the outdoor air started to feel chilly, so we headed inside and sat in a cosy nook by the bar area. The open brick fireplace was lit, and we warmed up in front of the flames.

I finished my drink whilst sinking into the comfy leather chairs. Rupert stretched out and warmed his paws by the fire, it was the perfect way to finish off the evening.

To visit The Foundry, check out the website here to make a booking.

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