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Originally a Victorian steelworkers’ drinking den, this enterprising set-up has improved by leaps and bounds since re-launching as a suburban gastropub – it even boasts a cookery school and outside
catering service. Boozy virtues, real ales and relaxed vibes come with the territory, but the kitchen clearly has high aspirations – witness the home-baked breads, chutneys and ‘garden to glass’
aperitifs on display. Carefully sourced ingredients form the backbone of a repertoire that might run from chicken thigh with foraged garlic, asparagus and anchovies to slow-cooked shin of beef with
lentils, horseradish and mustard or pan-fried pollack with new potatoes and samphire. To finish, try ‘variations on chocolate’ with a shot of sparkling saké or a combo of carrots and coffee
accompanied by an espresso martini. Definitely worth a detour off the M1.
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