From yummy mummies chatting over breakfast to canoodling date-night couples, TV chef Paul Merrett’s all-purpose gastropub-cum-hotel offers something for everyone. The bar menu deals in familiar comfort food along the lines of prawn cocktail or sausage and mash, but Merrett shows his true colours with a smart line-up of reliably cooked restaurant-style dishes for the dining room – perhaps smoked eel with pea shoots, seared sea bass with Singaporean laksa broth or rump of lamb spiced with ras-el-hanout. A dedicated kids’ menu, big outdoor play area and BBQ serving more than burgers means that the place is overrun with young families at the weekend, when service can be stretched beyond breaking point. Drinks include real ales, cocktails and a decent wine list with plenty by the glass.
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