The Running Mare has long been a Cobham landmark nestling in its picturesque location on the Tilt, but the current owners have really turned ‘the Runner’ into a destination for all ages and tastes making it a vibrant social hub for the Cobham community and beyond. The family behind the success of the Running Mare has a fascinating background which is evident throughout. At the helm is Adrian Bailey, who has been the licence holder for over 20 years. He is now joined by his son Oliver who spent most of his life in the Cobham area being educated at Parkside and Reeds schools just up the road; Oliver is now running the kitchen and the social events – which are many and various.
Whilst Adrian comes from a hospitality background – he has run successful pubs and bars before the Running Mare – he spent a large part of his life supporting and travelling with his younger brother, the racing driver Julian Bailey, on the route to Formula One. The influences from this part of their lives can be felt everywhere but most especially in the Small Bar where there are numerous photographs reflecting not just Julian’s career but his friends and other members of the family who have followed in his footsteps.
Famous names from Damon Hill to Wayne Gardner are regular customers and the ‘Runner’ has hosted a number of events and private parties for stars of four and two wheels. Julian also went on to win the FIA World Sportscar Championship amongst other great achievements, but he probably receives the most acclaim for being Top Gear’s STIG for many years! Thus as you can imagine the Running Mare carpark has hosted an extremely interesting collection of supercars in its time!
The pub’s proximity to the Chelsea FC training ground also makes the Running Mare a preferred watering hole for players, their families, pundits and media which makes for interesting ‘people watching’ and indeed it is a popular spot for many of Cobham and Oxshott’s celebrities from Andy Murray to Jimmy White to ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and from the music world Rick Parfitt and Paul Weller.
The warmth and character of The Running Mare is reflected in its prevailing popularity. Other bars and restaurants come and go in the area but the ‘Runner’ remains a staunch favourite amongst locals and newcomers alike. The ‘Bailey’s’ work hard to maintain the feeling of a traditional pub while evolving and moving with the times which is reflected in the great variety of food and drinks on offer and the festivals and music events which populate the pub’s calendar and never fail to disappoint.