Surrey Hills Coffee Update

Details from the A-board outside the new home of Surrey Hills Coffee on Jeffries Passage in Guildford.Surrey Hills had a legitimate claim to be first speciality coffee shop in my home town of Guildford when it opened on Chapel Street in 2016. That shop is no more, Surrey Hills moving in the summer of 2018 to a much larger space a few streets over on Jeffries Passage. Since then, Surrey Hills has gone from strength to strength, including opening a second outlet in London Square.

When Surrey Hills moved into Jeffries Passage, it initially only occupied the downstairs, although even this was far bigger than the Chapel Street original. However, there is a bonus upstairs area which close to doubles the available space and which has been open for some time now. I popped in at the start of April to check it out before leaving on my latest trip. I also caught up with the latest developments in Surrey Hills’ on-going desire to reduce waste.

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • Surrey Hills Coffee on Jeffries passage, as seen approaching from the High Street...
  • ... while this is the view coming the other way from North Street.
  • The view from just inside the door. Little has changed since June 2018, when it opened.
  • However, that's only downstairs. In the far corner, steps lead tantalisingly up...
  • ... to an additional seating area which was once a work-in-progress...
  • ... but which now looks like this. What a transformation!
  • The view from the right-hand wall.
  • There's a pair of four-person tables along the back wall...
  • ... and another pair with a padded bench running along the front wall.
  • There's also a three-person bar at the far (left-hand) end.
  • The tables along the front wall, seen from the far side...
  • ... and the tables along the back wall, seen from the same vantage point.
  • All of which leads us back to the door, where you'll find this neat mirror.
  • There's a small water station at the front on the right-hand side...
  • .. while the walls are lined with works of art.
  • It's an eclectic collection...
  • ... with lots of different styles...
  • ... including photographs.
  • All the works are for sale...
  • ... so if you like anything you see...
  • ... you know what to do.
  • Back downstairs and the well-stocked retail shelves are on the wall by the door.
  • Like most roasters and retails, Surrey Hills used to sell its coffee in pre-packed bags.
  • However, in an attempt to reduce waste, coffee is now sold loose in tubs.
  • I'd only popped in to drop off this Chinese coffee, a gift from my recent trip to China.
  • However, I was convinced to stay for a creamy flat white...
  • ... and to try the avocado and feta toast from the new (to me) breakfast menu.
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If you are familiar with Surrey Hills on Jeffries Passage then you’ll know that not much has changed downstairs since it opened in June 2018. Indeed, if all you do is pop in for coffee and aren’t very curious, you might not even realise that there is an upstairs, particularly if you’ve never needed to use the toilet.

However, an upstairs there is, a simple, open rectangular space that provides a quiet, secluded seating area, doubling as an occasional function space. Accessed via a doorway in the back left-hand corner downstairs, an enclosed flight of stairs runs from left-to-right along the back wall of Surrey Hills.

These lead to a single door opening in the back right-hand corner. Two square windows in the corners at the front, are joined by two long, narrow windows running just below the ceiling. This makes for a fairly bright space, aided by the white paintwork and blonde wood furniture, all contrasting with the dark wooden floorboards.

The layout’s fairly simple too. There’s a pair of four-person tables along back wall, with two more along front, where there’s a slightly raised, padded bench. Finally, a broad, three-person bar runs along the left-hand wall. The walls, which could be rather monotonous with their white paintwork, are enlivened by displays of artwork, all of which is for sale.

The changes aren’t restricted to upstairs. In an attempt to reduce waste, Surrey Hills no longer sells pre-packaged bags of coffee. Instead, the retail shelves are lined by tubs of coffee, with a scoop and scales at the end. This means that you can buy as much or as little as you want, plus you can reuse your own bag or container.

Not that any of this is particularly new. Coffee Charisma on Guildford’s North Street Market has been selling coffee this way since opening, while Workhouse Coffee has also used an identical model since day one. However, far too few coffee shops/roasters operate this way and it’s excellent to see another joining the ranks.

Surrey Hills has also started serving simple breakfast and lunch menus. Originally, I’d just dropped in to deliver a present, some Chinese-grown coffee from Mellower Coffee, spoils from my previous trip to Shanghai. I ended up staying for a rich, creamy flat white, plus breakfast, avocado and feta on sourdough toast. This was excellent, my toast loaded with both avocado and feta, a perfect combination.

There’s a full write-up of Surrey Hills Coffee, including a complete gallery, in its main entry. You can also see what I made of it in my original write-up, from June 2018.

12 JEFFRIES PASSAGE • GUILDFORD • GU1 4AP +44 (0)7951 203640
Monday 07:30 – 17:30 Roaster Surrey Hills Coffee (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:30 Seating Tables, Bars
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:30 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 17:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 17:30 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 09:30 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 11:00 – 17:00 Power Limited
Chain Local Visits Original: 30th June, 17th November 2018
Update: 4th April 2019

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