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The Jolly Farmer Inn, Guildford

High Street
Postal town: Guildford

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about The Jolly Farmer Inn

This is a lovely, homely pub with a rural feel despite being located in a village on the outskirts of Guildford. You enter to a pleasant front bar area with the servery directly opposite and a couple of seating areas either side of the front door. The room is carpeted and has lots of dark wood beams running across the ceiling plus some supporting timbers dotted here and there that have been painted with a glossy brown paint. Pew and chair seating can be found in both sides of the room, whilst the servery, which is to the rear, extends a long way back as the room continues down the right-hand side of the building towards a rear dining space. The bar has a nice wood panelled counter front with a number of decorative features inlaid and some enamel beer signs attached to it. A large blackboard on the bar back has a hand-drawn map of the UK showing where each of the draught beers has travelled from and the canopy has been liberally covered in old pump clips. Big jars of tempting looking bar snacks stand at one end of the counter whilst a nice floral display at the corner point adds a nice splash of colour. Two fireplaces stand at either side of the room, emphasising the former two-bar layout of this front part of the pub – one with a brick surround and the other with a very unusual hanging tile surround and canopy. Tankards hang from the ceiling beams and small ceramic plates line the sides of many of them, but perhaps the pub’s most striking feature is the enormous collection of beer mats that covers every last bit of ceiling space. The walls have also been decorated with an eclectic selection of items including various pieces of taxidermy, old paintings, cigarette card collections, clocks, brewery mirrors, guns, antlers and many more oddities. An ancient one-armed bandit stands at one end of the bar and there is a nice tropical fish tank opposite with six or seven interesting fish swimming in circles, all on top of a well-stocked bookcase. As the room extends towards the rear, it narrows as you pass the bar, allowing enough room for a few high tables and stools, but not much more. Things finally open out again across a raised space in the rear right part of the building which has similar décor to the main bar, including plenty more dark wood beams and pillars, but has been configured a little more in favour of diners, with formal seating arrangements in rows throughout. A corridor lined with even more old beer mats, leads out to a very basic beer garden adjacent to the car park. A jazzy lounge music soundtrack accompanied our visit and there was a moderate crowd enjoying a mid-week lunch, compensating somewhat for the pub’s loss of wet-trade under the current Covid restrictions.
Three house beers – Greene King IPA, Crafty Grumpsters and Crafty Hop Tipple – were available alongside two guest ales in the form of Milestone Maid Marian and Firebird Parody. I opted for a pint of the Hop Tipple, which didn’t quite pour bright, but tasted fresh and had a nice satisfying bitter finish nonetheless. As per current guidelines, this beer had to be enjoyed alongside a substantial meal, so I ordered a chicken katsu curry which was absolutely delicious and had the added bonus of preventing me from becoming an uncontrollable, drunken super-spreader. The staff were really friendly and helpful, service was prompt and polite and I felt really sorry hearing the landlord discussing the various problems he’s having as a result of the draconian impositions placed on the hospitality trade at present.
This pub ticked pretty much all the boxes for me and I left with a very favourable impression – top quality service, an interesting and primarily local, ale range, comfortable pub furniture, eclectic, interesting décor and, whilst we didn’t get to experience it under the current circumstances, I’m fairly sure there would be a cracking atmosphere in here if you caught it at the right time. With no real stand-out pubs in the centre of Guildford, I’d be sorely tempted to make the sort detour out of town to visit this excellent pub again the next time I’m in the area.

On 16th December 2020 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Jolly Farmer Inn

This came as a welcome surprise to me on a quick unplanned visit.I walked into this pub expecting an ordinary selection of one or two beers to be confronted by an excellent and interesting choice in the main, Irving - Frigate, Slightly Foxed - Slightly Foxed,Nethergate - Mary's Ruby Mild, Bowmans Swift One,Peakstones Rock - Oblivion and a token usual suspect in Youngs Bitter, a good choice, I tried the 3.8% Bowmans Swift One, as I was hamstrung by driving duties, and it proved to be a good choice.The interior is as described by Malden man below , ( who seems to be making a habit of getting to these pubs a month or two before me of late), but he is spot on , a wonderful pub and I was particularly taken by the ornate wood carvings on the vertical part of the bar itself.
I would have no trouble dropping in here again.

On 11th July 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1354 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Jolly Farmer Inn

A truly marvellous pub that ticks all the boxes for me, I arrived after a lovely river and former railway trackbed walk from Guildford, thirsty and in need of a decent spot to relax. Outdoor seating to the front, steps lead up to a lobby with the drinking areas winding around and a restaurant area to the rear. The low beamed ceiling is liberally covered with beer mats, some from many years ago, pump clips surround the bar. The front area is carpeted, stone flagged to the side, the rear restaurant has exposed roof trusses containing stuffed birds. This theme continues with a stuffed eagle on the bar plus other birds here and there.
Lots going on décor wise, brewery mirrors, cigarette cards, rows of plates and saucers along the ceiling beams, tin adverts, a vintage one armed bandit, pewter tankards and jugs on hooks, blow torches, agricultural implements, a fish tank, bookcase, you name it. Various games behind the bar.
Seating is traditional, benches, pews, stools and so on, no silly high tables here.
There is a proper old beer selection here too, Sunday had Bowman Swift One, Partner's Tabatha, Nethergate Magna Carta, Nelson Friggin' in the Riggin', Youngs Bitter and Dunscot Bridge Amber Ale.
A superb pub, so well worthy of me finishing my walk in, buses back to Guildford hourly at 42 past, opposite the Esso garage nearby.

On 11th May 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Jolly Farmer Inn

Very traditional atmosphere with two drinking areas either side of the front door with a real fire making it a cosy place to sup ale .L shaped bar has at least six real ales available ,generally from small micros including the close by Hogs Back Brewery.Ale quality is high.Beyond the bar is a spacious restaurant area in what looks like an old barn and the food is very well cooked,authentic pub grub and worth the slight premium pricing.My only small gripe is that the gas effect fire in the restaurant seems out of place but otherwise this is a top establishment with great service and remarkably clean loos.A must visit.

On 8th February 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2088 recommendations about 2088 pubs]