Let's meet at - Exchange, Farnham, Surrey

Reviewed by Stuart Hulse, chairman, Hulse PR.

There was a time when it was a PRO's enforced duty to linger with boozy journos in Fleet Street drinking clubs. Strange that with 24-hour licensing the renowned 'lunch' has lost its shine.

However, should the latter-day PRO seek a safe dining haven out of town without the risk of driving under the influence, here is the venue. It's just 100 yards from Farnham station.

If discussions do drag on, as it were, there are overnight rooms with ensuites in this converted pub (and parking for 200 cars by the station); plus a meeting room, for that matter.

But the highlight is the beautifully presented cooking of recently arrived head chef Ben Parris. Fresh from the Oxo Tower and with Claridges on his CV, the 28-year-old does the best bubble and squeak since my gran's.

His slow-roast pork belly with chorizo, the sea bass with clams, and the vanilla rice puddings, are all divine. And a sensible wine list with house champagne for under £30 will not dent the expense account too heavily.

What's more, discreet conversations can't be overheard. Farnham's castle, its smart shops and Georgian market town are illustrated on the restaurant walls - there is a refined atmosphere.

I say bring back Private Eye's 'Lunchtime O'Booze'.

Where: Farnham, Surrey
Contact: 01252 726673
How much: £20 a head for lunch

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