If you’re familiar with Farnham, you’ll know it for its romantic little cobbled streets and old Georgian buildings housing modern businesses and restaurants. The Wine Yard sits in a quintessential part of Farnham town, ticking all of these boxes.
Nestled into the corner of a cosy courtyard, it’s an inviting space away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, offering salvation in the form of wine as far as the eye can see. Arriving in Farnham in early 2022, The Wine Yard has gone from strength to strength and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve put in place a fairly tried and tested formula for these parts. Firstly, they allow dogs into the wine bar and even have their own friendly resident cocker spaniel, that usually greets you and sees you to your seat.
Secondly, it’s packed full of wine from all over the world. The founder, Nick Mantella, has really done his research, and every time you visit there’s a new bottle to discover. There’s also the option to purchase wine from the shelves and enjoy in the bar (with corkage) there and then. Nick does his best to spotlight local gems. Jenkyn Place vineyard is a brilliant local English Sparkling wine that’s often available by the glass. Local beers have also made the shelves, with Hogs Back Brewery a firm favourite. Of course, if non-alcoholic is more your style, they have options in this space too, with the Codorniu Zero Sparkling a lovely choice.
Lastly, they’ve kept the food simple but ideal for a little aperitif or light snacking and wine tasting. Your classic accompaniments are on offer, with cheese and charcuterie boards, that hit the spot alongside a delicious glass. They’ve also started offering wine tastings, largely themed around the country of origin. From Around the Wine Yard in 80 Wines to an Introduction to Wine to A Taste of Christmas, there’s a plethora of tastings to choose from and all at very reasonable prices too.
Family-run and owned, it has that welcoming atmosphere that you can settle into for hours. Whether it’s a low-key celebration, date night or catch-up with friends, it’s the ideal spot in Farnham for a memorable moment sipping on a delicious red, or rosé outdoors in the courtyard in the summer months. The décor morphs with the seasons, with jungle prints and bright colours in the summer being switched for warmer rugs and throws throughout winter. Whether perched by a barrel or snuggled into a corner, it has a wonderfully convivial feeling.
It’s so encouraging to see these independent businesses flourishing after a strange couple of years in hospitality. If you’re visiting Farnham, it’s a must do during your time in town.
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Chatting Food contributor: Lucie Rhoades