top of page

Review: The Bush Hotel, Farnham

Surrounded by the Surrey hills and nestled in its own private gardens in the heart of the attractive historic town of Farnham in Surrey, the 17th-century Bush Hotel offers a welcome oasis on a chilly January evening.

And no more so than in its Garden Restaurant and Oak Lounge where you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, with its quiet and relaxed ambience. A good option then, for both locals and visitors alike, for an intimate dinner. Here we enjoyed that extra personal touch that often comes with your experience at an independent family-run business such as this.

After heading along the path and into the entrance of the beautiful ivy-clad original elevation, we decided to take in a pre-dinner tipple in Bush Bar, and felt immediately comfortable and enthusiastic for the experience ahead. It was the perfect way to whet our appetites and is an incredibly cosy space in which to hang out with a roaring fire on the go (a welcome sight in January!) and an unobtrusive wall-mounted TV showing sports, for those who want it, as well as tasty bar snacks, local ales and sommelier-selected wine list available.

The interior is adorned with original features and there’s an abundance of history and character to be appreciated in every room of the main building, including 17th century beams and exposed wall frescos.

The attractive Garden Restaurant and Oak Lounge offer all-day dining options, with seasonal menus for lunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea. The Garden Restaurant is where we enjoyed a hearty breakfast - a combination of cold buffest items and a good choice of freshly cooked hot plates from the menu. The perfect start to the day.

But it was the dinner menu, taken on this occasion in The Oak Lounge, that posed a challenge – what to choose? Classic British dishes done well is the mantra here - think Fish and Chips, Bush Burger, Chicken Supreme, Sirloin Steak as well as Braised Pig Cheeks, Beetroot and Brie Tart and Pan-fried Seabass. Prices range from a palatable £16.50 through to £25 (for the steak).

From the Small Plates Menu we opted for Ham Hock Croquettes, which were flavoursome and plentiful (perhaps too plentiful for a starter) and Sweet Potato Falafels, served with hummus and toasted croutes. While these lacked in flavour, I feel that any of the alternatives - Asian chicken, Mini Fish Bons Bons, Skewered Prawns or Homemade Soup of the Day may have proved a better bet on the tongue.

I’m convinced I chose my main well, however, with the Bush Cottage Pie – served piping hot with buttered greens and rich thyme gravy – I was relieved I’d resisted the temptation earlier in the day to snack as this was a very generous sized portion and I wanted to devour it all. Mission not accomplished however since I’d already spotted Apple Tarte Tatin on the Desserts Menu and absolutely had to make room. No regrets here! Hubby's Pan-Fried Seabass was also a hit, beautifully enriched by the flavour of the noodles peppers, sugar snaps, onions and chili stir fry it was served with.

He was equally as satisfied with his Sticky Toffee Pudding, served with lashings of toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream – another British favourite that didn’t disappoint.

Chocolate and Raspberry Fondant with raspberry sorbet; Seasonal Berries Cheesecake with berry compote and Selection of Cheeses made up the other options. Priced at £7 – and £9.50 for the cheeses.

With a Light Bites Menu offering the likes of Minute Steak, Smoked Salmon Ciabatta and Fish Finger Sandwich, among others, there’s every excuse to call in for lunch when in the area too.

All in all, a convivial, cosy and satisfying option for dinner on any day of the week.

[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been

made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members

of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small

commission for purchases] Amanda Chalmers

Amanda is a journalist of 30 years and now runs an award-winning PR agency based in Warwickshire. When she's not writing about her own clients she loves to help spotlight the great work of other pubs, restaurants and hotels around the country.


bottom of page