Mostly when my husband and I go to the cinema we have dinner beforehand - we've found that if we drive to Epsom town centre after dinner to watch a film around 8pm, it's very hard to find anywhere to park! It also makes it more of an evening out if we have a meal as well, though as we don't tend to have a lot of time, we choose places that are near to the cinema.
This time we were walking down the street and I spotted a place I hadn't noticed before, though apparently they have been there a while! The Caballo Lounge is part of a chain but has quite an independent, quirky feel (obviously a result of meticulous research and planning across the chain!).
You'd be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into someone's living room (if their living room had a bar) - there are walls lined with books, sofas as well as tables and chairs, lampshades, board games - it looks like somewhere you could while away an afternoon with friends or children or go out for a drink in the evening.
Caballo Lounge offers everything from breakfasts to burgers, by way of paninis and pastries. They even have separate gluten-free and vegan menus which is something you don't see very often. As we went in the evening we wanted dinner; I love macaroni cheese so I ordered the mac and cheese (£8.95) which came with roasted butternut squash and tenderstem broccoli and garlic bread.
I was a bit disappointed that the cheese sauce was a bit thin and didn't have a strong flavour and that the whole dish didn't come together particularly well - it was basically some pasta, some chunks of butternut squash and a long piece of broccoli in a dish, as if each element had been cooked separately and then just put into the dish to serve. I would have preferred something baked in the oven with a crispy topping and a thicker cheese sauce. It was a shame as I really liked the place otherwise and I'm not sure whether I would go back or not.