Following a refit by owners Young’s Brewery, the old Shaftesbury Arms has been reborn as The Shaftesbury – a new-look gastropub with a slightly eccentric, true-Brit theme. Oversized chesterfield wingchairs, old photos and Union Jack motifs share the space with bookshelves, plaid cushions and Warhol-style prints of postage stamps, while the all-weather garden looks a treat in its patriotic garb. Char-grilled steaks from sustainably reared East Anglian beef take pole position on the menu, which makes admirable use of native ingredients: Shetland mussels are cooked in Aspall cider; whole baked bream is served with fennel, caper and dill salad; spatchcock chicken is seasoned with lemon and thyme. Veggies might fancy roasted beetroot risotto with goats’ cheese, while puds could bring on Shaftesbury mess or rhubarb and ginger crumble. Various world beers supplement the Young’s range, and there are plenty of potable wines by the glass.
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