Sitting in state next to the New River Path, this handsome Victorian hostelry is now in the hands of Young’s Brewery, who have added warmth and quirkiness in the shape of dangling lampshades and references to author George Orwell, who used to drink here when he lived nearby. Knowledgeable, friendly staff are on hand to guide visitors through a menu that promotes the British cause and mixes pub classics (haddock and chips, burgers, bangers and mash) with more refined seasonal fare. A sophisticated dish of scallops with pickled beetroot, blistered grapes and raisin purée might be followed by Hampshire pheasant with parsnip crisps, while dessert might bring sticky toffee pudding spiked with ginger. The style-led wine list includes plenty by the glass, and there are Young’s brews on tap, along with regular guest ales and numerous bottled craft beers.
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