Squires Holt, Farnham, Surrey GU10 1HE - restaurant review
PUBLISHED: 19:10 06 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:25 20 February 2013
Get ready to hit the brakes otherwise you might just go screaming past this month's restaurant. JOHN HUGHES managed to get off the A31, between Farnham and Guildford, just in time to review the Squires Holt restaurant, and was pleased with what he...
REVIEWED: Squires Holt, Hogs Back, Seale, Farnham GU10 1HE Tel: 01483 810272
Get ready to hit the brakes otherwise you might just go screaming past this month's restaurant. JOHN HUGHES managed to get off the A31, between Farnham and Guildford, just in time to review the Squires Holt restaurant, and was pleased with what he found
Blink and you'll miss the Squires Holt as you whiz along the Hogs Back, tucked away as it is behind trees and bushes on a fast stretch of the road. Slowing down early enough, so as not to miss the entrance, takes some practice, but having been there three times in recent months I'm finally getting the hang of it!
I came here earlier this year for the first time in ages and had just about the best sirloin steak I can remember, and without the loss of an arm and a leg. The unpretentiousness was a breath of fresh air after a couple of recent, rather costly, fine dining experiences, and so I was delighted to return wearing my reviewer's hat.
Starters were classics: a prawn cocktail for me, served in Marie Rose sauce on a bed of lettuce with brown bread and butter, and for my daughter Alice, Waldorf salad - walnuts, celery, apple and mayonnaise on a bed of lettuce (a mirth-ridden choice for someone brought up on Fawlty Towers, notably the episode in which an American guest asks for this very dish and is told by an apologetic Basil that they are just out of Waldorfs!)
So on to the mains. I went for a lamb shank casseroled in redcurrant gravy, served with a selection of vegetables and a side salad. The lamb was tender and plentiful, the gravy sweet, the vegetables just right. Alice is partial to gammon and enjoyed a 10oz steak that came simply with chips - a very generous portion that had her struggling to finish.
Like most things at the Squires Holt, the wine menu is very 'user friendly' with wines laid out under headings such as 'light and refreshing white' and 'modern fruit-driven reds'. From the 'big bold reds', I plumped for a Chateau Lamothe 1er Cote de Bordeaux 2002 and it was, indeed, rich and full-bodied as I had hoped.
More classic dishes for dessert - a summer fruit trifle and chocolate ice cream. The trifle was delicious and surprisingly light after what was a fairly substantial meal.
Good solid food
The Squires Holt is a good, solid traditional restaurant offering a primarily British menu at affordable prices. And nice to see a completely separate vegetarian menu consisting of five dishes, some of which were tempting even for an unabashed carnivore such as myself!
The main dining area is charming, as is the conservatory where you can enjoy an aperitif before dining, or coffee and liqueur afterwards, accompanied by stunning views down the hillside towards Ash Vale and Normandy. It's popular for parties and group bookings and gets pretty busy at weekends, but mid-week (when we visited) things are quieter. I've tried to avoid using the word 'cosy' so far, but on reflection, that's a fair description of how it felt.
What we ate...
Waldorf salad 4.50
Prawn cocktail 5.50
Lamb shank 13.95
10oz Gammon steak 13.90
Summer trifle 3.95
Chocolate ice cream 3.95
Chateau Lamothe 1er Cote de Bordeaux 15.50
Food & wine 8/10
3 other 'blink and you'll miss them' restaurants
Bryce's, Stane Street, Ockley RH5 5TH: 01306 627430
Located in the pretty village of Ockley, people come from far and wide to visit Bryce's for the freshest fish cooked in the simplest manner.
109, Kew Road, Richmond TW9 2PN: 020 8940 0050
A lovely family-run restaurant located just off the Kew Road and ideal if in need of real comfort food.
The Westerly, 2-4 London Road Reigate RH2 9AN: 01737 222733
An award-winning restaurant set just off Reigate's High Street. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled to prevent another lap of the one-way system...