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“fully convinced” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Bluebell

The Bluebell
Batts Corner | Dockenfield, Farnham GU10 4EX, England
01252792801
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Ranked #11 of 97 Restaurants in Farnham
Price range: $4 - $18
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Late Night
Farnham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“fully convinced”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

"Gastropub" - for me an over used word which establishments will throw about because they serve frozen chips and apparently that is classed as food, let me tell you that is certainly not the case. I am worried generally by pubs that try to serve a certain restaurant standard of food whilst maintaining the basic culture of brits "popping for a pint" a majority of places that try this fail quickly. The Bluebell however, gets it right!

I have visited several times (6 i think) since the festive period because i was intrigued by the game oriented menu on Boxing day, we visited with friends (cautiously i will add after the somewhat "colourful" past of the bluebell) and was shocked, a menu of "proper cooking"
Wild boar, Rabbit, Venison, Pheasant, Duck not a generic pub "scampi" in sight (this will not be the case soon though) i had the duck pie filled with masses of flavour, chorizo & duck together??? A winning combination. Now obviously this was a well planned day a visit on a big occasion i find unfair so we decided to visit a few weeks later, to my amazement a wild boar terrine? A beautiful way to start dinner, the smoked bacon added a real depth of flavour and was quite simply remarkable. My wife was equally as pleased with her "soup" both of us considered swapping for the others dish but being the dominant male, i refused her requests!
Then came the main courses; my wife managed to break her habit of ordering chicken everywhere and she ordered the gnocchi, it looked and tasted fantastic, perhaps (in my opinion) could have done with some meat! Now for the journey i was to embark on The Lamb! I have read several reviews on The Bluebell and a consistent theme is Lamb. Three ways to produce a mass of meat which is as intrusive as delicate, beautifully cooked and presented pink rack of lamb, a should which in its cylindrical shape had been clearly very lovingly produced and then the shank; no clumsy mountain of over braised meat here, a little breaded croquette with a subtle minty flavour; TRES BIEN!!!!
The intrigue continued as i spotted on the menu "Basil Panacotta & Brown Bread Ice Cream"??? That cannot be right? I asked the friendly waitress was this the case and was reassured that yes it is brown bread ice cream, the waitress did then proceed to confess that she too was somewhat unsure when chef had announced the dish then she tried it and much the same as myself was amazed by the strange sounding but blissful flavour combination!
Then came the much awaited "new menu" for me simple: shallot tart tatin (a classic test of a chefs skill and understanding of something so simple yet difficult) paired with goats cheese ice cream??? SIMPLY WONDERFUL! To follow: The Pork, again similarly to the lamb, three types of pork all served beautifully, my wife this time ventured onto the duck, beautiful pink breast and a ragu with a beautiful orange coloured puree (i cannot remember exactly) an amazing meal, after which we shared an apple pie, honey & yoghurt sorbet was heavenly as was the ginger ice cream.
So after these visits we have since become a staple fixture on a sunday afternoon for our indulgence in roast beef, the potatoes are to die for!! The gravy (i think it is to be referred to as a jus) and always finish with the home made ice cream.

As im sure is clear from this review i cannot heap any more praise on the bluebell as it is just simply always a treat!
I thank the staff for always welcoming us and the landlady with her lovely dog (i would mention but i am not sure of her name)

Many thanks for always tending to our needs
Rupert & long suffering "wife"

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BraveSir, Owner at The Bluebell, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Rupert,
thank you so much for your glowing review and taking the time to write it! I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon, do keep coming in!
many thanks
Robin
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92 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
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    11
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“Lovely day at a lovely pub!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

We often visit the bluebell as we love the friendly atmosphere and the setting (plus it's great for our young nieces to play and keep themselves entertained) so we chose to visit on mother days with both our families (so there were a few of us!) and we had such a great day.
The weather was nice so we sat in their lovely garden, food was wonderful as usual and everyone had a really great Mother's Day. My mother in law actually said it was the best one she'd had yet!
Thanks again, and we'll see you again soon!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BraveSir, Owner at The Bluebell, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Becky,
thank you so much for your review, it was a pleasure having you all here for the day. Best of luck for the big day coming soon!!
many thanks
Robin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“30th Birthday - That Something Special!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We went to the Bluebell for a family dinner to celebrate my looming 30th birthday. We wanted something a little bit special and I had heard great things about Tom, the new head chef there.

We really weren't disappointed. It was fabulous. The pub was popular with locals but it wasn't intimidating like some pubs can be.

The service was really attentive and friendly and we were guided through our meals as opposed to rushed.

But the food was the star of the night. I started with the shallot tart with goats cheese ice cream-I'm hard pushed to remember a nicer starter! The goats cheese ice cream was packed full of flavour and really rich and creamy.

For my main I had the fish (bream) with scallops and with pasta-it was really lovely, but that didn't stop me pinching some of my other half duck dish which was really amazing.

To top it all off I squeezed in the strawberry panna cotta which was so beautifully light and delicious, with gorgeous home made shortbread on the side.

It really was fabulous and I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BraveSir, Owner at The Bluebell, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Gemma,
thank you so much for your positive review. I will make sure head chef Tom and his team read your review. I hope you come back for a few more birthdays and in between too.
many thanks
Robin
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Farnham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice looking food but cold!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We went to the Blue Bell for mothers day lunch last Sunday. There was a special menu which was quite pricy but nice. We sat in the garden as it was a warm day. The waitress brought our food but the plates and food were stone cold. We had chosen roast lamb and duck with vegetables. Ironically the waitress used a towel to hold the plates when she brought them but they weren't hot! We asked for the meals to be wqrmd up, which they did but it upset what should have been a pleasant meal. How can restaurants get such a basic thing wrong? It was only half full so something must have gone wrong at the Blue Bell. What a shame.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BraveSir, Owner at The Bluebell, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Badders01,

many thanks for your review. I am very sorry your experience wasn't up to the expected standards. Just to correct a couple of points, I believe your wife asked for her duck to be heated up, as we cook this pink we believed this was the issue.We did this and you both seems very happy. We did not have a complaint regarding stone cold food, I'm surprised anyone would finish a meal that was stone cold??
The pub was fully booked, there may have been tables waiting for guests but as a professionally run outfit we stagger our bookings. I don't think anyone would be happy if our 160 lunchtime guests all appeared at the same time, the wait from a small pub kitchen would be terrible!! The feedback we got from our mother's day menu was fantastic so I'm really saddened by your experience. It would, however, have been great if you'd fed back during your visit before visiting trip advisor (and I believe twitter!)
I do hope you give us another go and look forward to seeing you again
many thanks
Robin
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Always a favourite, with some spectacular meals under new chef”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

We love this pub, with its very friendly atmostphere, very good selections of drinks and wonderful country setting. Recently we had a meal that my husband declared to be "the best he's ever had". Their fish is truly amazing (and I don't normally like fish!) and their arancini balls with truffle aoili are to die for. On the simpler side, my fussy three nieces ate all their (freshly made, healthy) chicken goujons without any fuss - which has to be a first!

I do love the food at the Bluebell, but most of all I love the friendly atmosphere and kind staff. A True British Pub!!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BraveSir, Owner at The Bluebell, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Findle,
thank you so much for your kind review. It is always nice to read peoples good experiences and we really appreciate people taking the time to send their feedback. We look forward to seeing plenty of you in the future.
many thanks
Robin
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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