“Lashings of Good Fun…” At Farnham’s Lost Boy

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Following its sympathetic refurbishment, over 200 residents, community leaders and Farnham businesses discovered that The Lost Boy was alive and well in Downing Street’s very own ‘Neverland’ - and was serving great food and drink on its opening night last week.

A balmy evening ensured that guests were able to discover the new gardens extending towards the river from the terraced areas outside the new Orangery, while enjoying a refreshing glass of prosecco or one of the many glasses of cocktails that appeared, as if by magic.

Inside, the team was busy laying up trays of canapes taken from The Lost Boy's Mediterranean-influenced menu, as well as slices of freshly handcrafted Neapolitan-style pizza baked in the wood-burning oven. This clay and stone monument to Italian cooking tradition stands proudly at the front of the theatre-style kitchen, where the well-trained chefs led by Piotr Fergal work wonders with the Josper charcoal-oven producing grilled meat, fish and vegetables, ready for the team to add their finishing touch to each dish. As the autumn chill arrived in the late evening, the atmosphere inside remained both warm and inviting and Downing Street seemed full of light and laughter as befits an extension to Neverland.

References to the inhabitants of J.M. Barrie’s Neverland are reflected in the imaginative design. The Jolly Roger pirate ship on a mantle piece above one of the restored fireplaces; models of Pixies, Fairies, animals, birds and tribal masks are displayed on window sills, and walls; a convex mirror and a large sputnik pendant light diffuses light above a sumptuous velvet sofa while exotic wallcoverings feature jungle and mythological creatures.

Farnham resident and Children’s TV Producer, Sally Marchant commented: "As J.M Barrie writes in Peter Pan 'Think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind.' Well, I've found somewhere new in Farnham where you can do just that...The Lost Boy in Downing Street. It has captured all the quirks and eccentricities of Neverland - a zebra on the wall, bubble-gum 18th century portraits and lashings of good fun. Peter Pan styling with great food and service, cool outside spaces with superb drinks and service...what's not to like?! It's a shame we have to grow up, but thankfully there are pubs like this to visit when we do."

Serving food and drinks from breakfast until late, there is an abundance of comfortable seating inside and out, whether you wish to meet family, friends or colleagues for a drink or a meal. Upstairs, there is a private dining room which will happily accommodate between 24 and 60 guests.

The Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Pat Evans, pictured said: “The Lost Boy is a welcome addition to our Foodie Farnham image. The restoration project has resulted in a wonderful interior and the conversion of the car parking area into a garden is inspirational. A lovely venue to visit and relax summer and winter.”

Cllr Stephen Spence, County Councillor for Farnham North, added: “As Councillors we know Farnham needs a diverse selection of good quality restaurants and pubs. The Lost Boy is a very welcome addition, in a magnificently renewed Georgian setting.”

Sue Lawson, Deputy General Manager commented: “I grew up in Farnham and even I was surprised at how enthusiastically supportive everyone in the town has been. And I don’t just mean at the Opening Party, but while we were closed, we had so many people coming to the door and saying how much they were looking forward to the opening. Oakman Inns has created the most beautiful place and our fabulous team has been enjoying their first busy week at The Lost Boy.”

Peter Borg-Neal, the CEO and founder of Oakman Inns, said: “I'm delighted to have met so many Farnham people tonight who have made really positive comments about what we have achieved here. Nowadays, I think people want their local to be a special place. Not just somewhere to eat and drink, but a second home where they are made to feel welcome by people who care about being hospitable. In addition, that they are looking for a little escapism away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, to be able to relax, chat, share and to be together with friends. Hopefully we have provided them with the environment and the sustenance to do just that."

Hannah Milton