New landlady Nadia Schicchi has more than 20 years’ experience in the food and leisure industry and brought along head chef Stefano Casari, who she previously worked with in London, to turn The Alexandra into a gastropub, focusing on traditional Italian and English dishes.
The pub, in Victoria Road, offers a range of starters, lunches, main courses and desserts and has daily specials nights including sausage night every Thursday and fizzy Friday, where a free glass of Prosecco comes with any main meal.
The pub’s most popular dishes are the seafood linguine, cooked in a white wine and tomato sauce, and the beef burger, sourced locally from Woods Butchers in Camp Road.
The Italian theme is evident on the wine list, which features drops from Puglia, Tuscany and Veneto.
As well as special food nights, Miss Schicchi organises regular pub quizzes and live music and entertainment at the pub.
She said: “I have worked in hospitality all my life, in hotels, restaurants and pubs.
“My last job was in a group of Italian restaurants called Spaghetti House in London and before that I worked for Fuller’s hotels and pubs.
“There weren’t many places in Farnborough that served fresh Italian food so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do something new and showcase Stefano’s cooking skills.
“It is very rewarding because you get to see people come in and have a good time, it's definitely long hours but if you like what you do it isn’t bad.
“The food is very important to us and has a major impact on our business.”
Mr Casari said he enjoyed cooking fresh food and wouldn’t like to serve something that wasn't prepared by himself.
He said: “Even if you can get compliments for something you haven’t made, I want to feel like it was down to me that people enjoyed it.
“I try to do as much as I can from fresh.
“I like going around and sourcing my ingredients, I don’t like others to shop for me.
“When I am out shopping for ingredients I know straight away what dishes I can use them in and I can decide whether a customer will enjoy a recipe or not before they try it.
“My favourite dish to cook is seafood but I can’t eat it as I am allergic so I have to smell it and taste it with my nose.
“I also like cooking pork, I come from a place in Italy where there are more pigs than people. I like to cook it the Italian way with lots of garlic and pepper.”