It has been five weeks since I reported on a number of food and drink venues in Farnham. Today an update on one long-established, and two forthcoming – all positive I am pleased to say.

The Luxe

I previously mentioned this restaurant which will be in the former Laura Ashley shop in Lion & Lamb Yard on November 9. I said that it was planning to open towards the end of November as a fine dining, demonstration dance, music and art venue. 

I was wrong, it has taken longer than they said it would to complete the refurbishment. They want to get it right, I was told, and should be open by the time you read this article. I do hope so. Looking back I first reported in May 2022 that the unit was let as a Mediterranean restaurant. A lot has happened both to the tenant’s business and in the town since then.

Fit-out expenditure 

Talking to the business owner of The Luxe, Jan Hegan, last week I discovered that he is originally from Turkey and that expenditure inside has exceeded one million pounds. Quarried marble from Turkey and Italy is in abundance – table tops, flooring, staircase and back-lit bar front. Other prominent features include a life size statue, busts and extensive classic plaster mouldings.

‘Why Farnham?’ I asked. He told me at the time the town only had Italian restaurants, no Turkish or Greek restaurants. Obviously, things have moved on since then, thinking of the Greek restaurant Yiayias in The Bourne and B’elicious in town.


Jan and The Luxe have an association with the Mayfair restaurant Bacchanalia. Look them up.

The restaurant is divided into a number of spaces, two spaces upstairs named Van Gogh and Delle Grazie, and one main space downstairs called Botticelli, each having its own particular theme. The main dining spaces upstairs will total 85 covers, 40 covers downstairs.

Menu and cooking

The menu is Mediterranean, Turkish, Greek and Italian, with several hints towards the top end. I was told that one particular feature in the kitchen was the Josper cooking equipment. This results in the meat retaining its natural juices and tenderness, being succulent and perfectly cooked every time. 

Some of the head chefs are from the Mediterranean countries and will have worked in the Mayfair restaurant originally while some staff are local, living within ten miles of Farnham.

He promised a superb wine list sourced from around Europe together with some wines from around the world, also promising some great cocktails.

Jan’s aim

Asked what his main aim of the restaurant was, Jan replied “firstly to become the finest dining and entertainment experience in Farnham, then Surrey, then the South East”.

The interior designer, Baron, is similarly excited by what has been created showing me ‘visuals’ of what final fittings were due to be installed before opening. Breathtaking is an understatement.

I will be popping in to have a look at the completed fit-out during the course of this week.


COOK has opened at number 88 East Street, Seven Stars House, as reported last week.

I asked Ed Perry, CEO of COOK what, if anything, would you do differently in hindsight? He told me: “I had just turned 26 when the shop opened, and I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing so I would do almost everything differently, but the most important thing to do when you have an idea for a business is to just do it. You learn on the job.”

COOK's new larger premises in East Street has opened
COOK's new larger premises in East Street has opened (David Howell)

As to ‘How hard was it to move on from Downing Street?’ he replied: “While it was emotional to leave a shop that I love dearly, it was ultimately an easy decision. Like a teenager trying to fit into toddler’s clothes we had simply outgrown it. Now we have parking and space to display the full range of food for customers and, most importantly, a much easier and nicer shop for the team to work in.”

I am hearing whispers that the space adjoining them is close to being let. I have been promised details as soon as legals are complete.

Borough Beer House

This opens today, Thursday, December 14, in the former Ruby La La shop in the Town Hall Buildings, next to Jack and Alice. Talking to Joe I learnt that they plan to accommodate up to 100 customers although, as he says, this is a guesstimate as they are finalising the layout of tables. There is a timber theme enhanced by appropriate lighting all very sympathetic to this historic building. 

The Borough Beer House
The Borough Beer House (David Howell)

Asking about food that would be available he told me that food offerings will be sandwiches and ploughman’s (lunchtime only) alongside pork pies, cheeseboards etcetera – beery snack food but no hot food from the kitchen. Regarding drinks he said there is obviously loads of beer, but we will also serve wine, spirits (especially a strong whisky selection) and soft drinks. For those in the know on beer, Joe has confirmed some of the breweries that will be supplying them – Siren, Elusive, Double Barrelled, Maverick, Disruption, Vault City, Verdant, Electric Bear.

Coffee Diem

There are three offers on the table to the agents for the landlords to consider. George Murray and his wife, the current tenants and Coffee Deim business owners, are enthusiastic about the likelihood of the café continuing to trade under new ownership.

I met one of the local agents in there last week and it was full, potential customers unable to find a table. George asked me to say when I spoke to him last weekend: “my sincere thanks to all my customers, suppliers and staff past and present for their wonderful support over the past five years. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Farnham as a local councillor.” 

Coffee Diem closes Friday, December 22.

Next week

Next week, a catch up with the considerable activity I have to report – Myfroyoland, Coffee Diem, former Joules shop, Blow Heads, new golf practice simulator business and the two shops in Castle Street to name a few...