It might be a ‘bit of a trek’ for non-locals, but this sympathetically restored Victorian gin palace is worth the voyage, according to impressed readers. Dark parquet flooring, Air Force-blue walls & a striking bar make a first-class drinking area, & the chandeliered dining room offers intimacy for those hankering after the ‘delicious’ food. Start with cured, pickled & smoked fish – from pepper-cured tuna to oak-smoked eel – or the gutsy pig’s head fritters with sauce gribiche, then rainbow trout with brown shrimps & almond butter, finishing with honeycomb ice-cream. Service is ‘pleasant & friendly’, & drinkers can choose homemade lemonade, regularly changing ales, or something from the stupendous wine list (majoring in Pinot Noir & boutique vineyards) – perhaps accompanied by a bar snack of chorizo Scotch quail’s egg.
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