First – and Last – Orders at The Merry Harriers

It was a week of goodbyes, swiftly followed by hellos, as Hambledon’s “local”, the Merry Harriers, changed hands.

The village’s popular freehouse had been in the ownership of the de Savary family since 2017. Following the death of Peter de Savary last year his widow Lana decided to sell the pub if an appropriate buyer could be found.

That has now happened, and last week Sam Fiddian-Green and Alex Winch, the business partnership behind the acclaimed Hilltop Kitchen at nearby Munstead, took over the reins at the 16th Century pub.

The previous weekend (Nov 11th and 12th), regulars said goodbye to the de Savary era, and to parting chef Nick Ash, in fine style, with a crowded meat raffle on the Saturday afternoon and a final session on Sunday evening.

The pub reopened last Thursday when it was time to welcome Sam, Alex and their staff to Hambledon. Both are pictured below, Sam to the left of the photo.

Our other photographs (below) show customers on the final two days under the de Savary ownership, the first at meat raffle and the second on the last night, as pub manager Martine Mason and bar manager Louise Thomas prepare to offer half-price drinks, to cheers all round.

There are to be changes. The llama treks have ended and the food offering has been changed, to reflect chef Sam’s sustainable farm-to-fork cooking using local produce. Alex has said the bar area will remain a place where locals will feel welcome, and the range of real ales are much the same as before.

Hambledon Parish Council has invited them to attend one of its forthcoming meetings to outline what plans they may have for the future trading of the pub.

Farewell to Two Notable Village Residents

Hambledon friends of Philip Underwood and The Rev John Postill will have been saddened to hear of their recent deaths. Their families have agreed to the village website posting details of funeral and thanksgiving service arrangements.

Both made a considerable contribution to community life in Hambledon and we include tributes further down in this article.

The life of John Postill will be celebrated at a thanksgiving service at Busbridge Church at 2pm on Saturday October 21st.

Philip Underwood’s funeral will take place at St Peter’s, Hambledon, on Tuesday October 24th at 11.30am. To help with numbers, it would be appreciated if you could respond to the following email address if you are planning on attending –

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Don’t forget Hambledon Village Show this Saturday

As well as the day of the Village Shop BBQ, this Saturday also sees the running of the annual Village Show.

The Categories list for the Show can be found in the Parish Magazine and on line by clicking here.

On the day of the Show, entries can be dropped off from 9.30am – 11.30am at the Village Hall.

It is FREE to enter your items!

After judging, the Show will be open to all from 2.00pm – 4.30pm. Best in Show and the Underwood Cup will be announced at 4.00pm.

The Village Shop BBQ will start at the same time as the Show closes at 4:30pm.

To round the day off there’s live music from Out To Lunch at The Merry Harriers from 8pm on Saturday evening (free entry).

Local Farms Open Day This Sunday

This is a reminder that Hambledon’s Burgate Farm is open to visitors this Sunday (June 11) between 10am and 2pm.

The mainly-arable farm, accessed from Vann Lane and in beautiful countryside, is operated by Peter and Liz Knight and they welcome you to be shown around fields, crops and inside barns to get an insight into what is grown and its methods in doing so. Machinery will be on display and Peter will be on hand to chat about his farming practices, and to show off the wildlife areas as well as his fields of crops.

The farm is taking part in the nationwide Open Farm Sunday, promoted by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). There is no charge and no need to book. Please see this earlier post on this website for further details:

The nearby Tuesley Farm, which grows soft fruit, will also be open, with booked visits throughout the day. Hambledon residents will be familiar with its produce from the strawberries on sale at the village community shop. You can book a visit here: