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.
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