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Powder Keg Diplomacy’s deliberate Edwardian styling thankfully avoids silly pastiche, & it also shows some class when it comes to drinks. Heritage cobblers, punches & cocktails inspired by
the days of Empire include standouts such as Plymouth gin-laced granddad’s allotment & colony (a speakeasy riff involving pink Tanqueray Rangpur, maraschino liqueur & fresh grapefruit
juice). There’s also a commendable range of global beers. Drinkers can enjoy ‘tiffin’ at the bar (think kedgeree or ham hock, fried egg & piccalilli), while more formal dining takes place in a
handsome Victorian conservatory. Recent hits have included a medley of moist peppered mackerel fillet with fennel cream, smoked mackerel pâté on toast & a shot of beetroot soup, as well as
top-quality sirloin with addictive triple-cooked chips. Meanwhile, the savvy wine list remembers that this bar is, at heart, a local – albeit a good one.
Vegetarians best look away.A few friends and I went on a meaty mission south of the river and found ourselves in this Clapham gem called Powder Keg Diplomacy. Not to be fooled by normal gastropub exteriors, the place inside looked like something Charles Dickens conjured; decor resembled all things colonial/Victorian London and servers looked dapper in waistcoats, top hats and cravats. We were led to a picturesque conservatory further back and it spelled a little bit of romance and a little bit of fantasy. Our curiosity waved beyond the bar list - our appetites were definitely aroused...
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