Calling your site The Surprise in these days of gastropub predictability might seem like a risky shot. However, this cheery Geronimo Inns launch manages to throw a tapas curveball while still delivering some well-versed patriotic grub. Downstairs is decked out in the chain’s usual brand of front-room geniality; upstairs, it’s more formal, with an appealing menu of miniature Brit dishes for sharing. Rustic options such as pork cheek with black pudding & Russet apples or exemplary sweetbreads with a sticky shallot & parsley salad are joined by an expert Scotch egg with piccalilli & an enjoyably light macaroni cheese made with Stinking Bishop. Those not sold on small plates should order a steak from the specials board, while desserts continue the British theme. Guest ales are properly kept, & the global wine list is geared to the food, with almost everything available by the glass.
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