Some brief updates to kick off this week’s column on comings and goings in Farnham town centre...

72 Castle Street has been let to CEDA Healthcare who offer private GP, ear and aesthetics clinics. 

The Coffee Diem premises in Lion & Lamb Yard – no deal has been done yet.

The former Hoxton Bakehouse premises in West Street – still with solicitors and no details yet about the ingoing tenant.

Golf Manor Club

As promised, more details about the golf practice / simulator business located above the North Barn Bistro in Lion & Lamb Way. I caught up with the ‘chief experience (sic) officer’, Lawrence Oranusi, over the Christmas break.

He worked for a number of international IT software companies before deciding to set up on his own. Then, during the pandemic, he decided that he wanted to branch out and engage more with the public. 

Having always loved sports he took up golf and decided to explore related business opportunities and consider relocating from Beckenham to somewhere less urban, with good educational opportunities for his children. After lockdown he and his family started looking at places in Surrey, starting in Farnham. They fell in love with the place, didn’t look any further and have moved here.

He has invested in the very best golf simulator software in the world to maximise the experience for everyone. You need to look at the Golf Manor Club website to grasp fully what is on offer. It is truly remarkable, and he tells me that the big equipment suppliers have visited and are equally impressed.

The essence is the family – husbands, wives, children all welcome. He said: “It’s not about  how good you are at golf, it actually doesn’t matter if you have never played in your life. We want everyone to come in and enjoy the experience.”

While I was there a couple of families finished their sessions, everyone had massive smiles on their faces. There is more to do, further facilities to be introduced or completed, but membership, to me at least, seems very competitively priced, looking at a per session rate.

Lawrence says now he wakes up every morning eager to get to work and engage with his customers.

Ruby La La is closing its women's clothing boutique in The Borough, Farnham
Ruby La La is closing its women's clothing boutique in The Borough, Farnham (David Howell)

Ruby La La

Having seen a notice in their shop window in late November saying ‘Business for sale’ I discovered that Ruby La La have closed in The Borough. Very sad, having opened in the Town Hall Buildings in the Borough in May 2019. I thought the higher profile position of the shop would have had an untold benefit. A sad loss of another ladies clothing boutique.


I haven’t undertaken an analysis but think that 2023 saw more new businesses opening or relocating in Farnham than at any time since starting this column. After the comment from the agent included in my last article, I decided to contact the businesses and ask how things were going and what their plans and concerns were for 2024. Fewer than half responded before I completed this article but here is what I was told.


Albert, the business owner, tells me that business has been good for their ‘caffe’ in the Lion & Lamb Yard and they have had great feedback from customers. They are still building the business but he is hoping that 2024 will be a better year for the food industry.

Harris & Hoole

CEO Andrew Sanders told me: “Our new shop in West Street has landed well and remains one of the company’s top performers. The team are bedding in, and further works are planned to improve the seating space so we can hopefully continue to build on a strong start.”


Aubert Yang, the owner of Devotea bubble tea shop, located in East Street, tells me that: “2023 had proved to be challenging particularly towards the end of the year. We continued to invest heavily introducing in excess of 10 new items to the menu including hot drinks, flavoured coffees and Italian hot chocolate We are currently constructing our social media platform and website. In 2024 Devotea will persist in delivering premium products and service to customers.”


Nina Kroki told me that: “2023 had been a challenging yet very constructive year for us establishing our B’elicious cafe in South Street successfully. It was hard work but definitely worth it as, we have received a lot of support and positive customer feedback. That has inspired us to give our best for 2024 and hope all small businesses like us continue to be successful.”

Jack & Alice

Tony Gualtieri, one of the directors of Jack & Alice told me: “We are delighted to have opened our second business during the summer of 2023 in Farnham and have been pleased by the level of support from the local community who really appreciate our restaurant and bar. As an independent family-run business, we feel working with our local suppliers and businesses is very important for Farnham. Our focus this year is to engage further with the community, encouraging more people to come and give us a try and delight our guests old and new.”


Claire Postans, brand director, said: “For COOK, trade outperformed expectations since relocating to East Street at the beginning of December and we are looking forward to seeing what the new year brings. 

“Since relocating, COOK has had lots of positive experiences with their customers, who are impressed with the size and breadth of the range. 

“The previous location in Downing Street only allowed for five freezers on the shop floor and the new location has over 20 freezers for customers to browse.”

Note to self...

Find out how work is progressing at the former Lloyds Bank premises, ditto Brightwells, chase agents for shop adjacent to COOK East Street and former COOK in Downing Street...