A change of ownership back in 2011 allowed the old Empress of India to loosen her laces. Gone are the heavy velvet drapes and ornate chandeliers; in their place are modern artworks and all manner of places to sit, from slouchy sofas to lofty window perches. You can still drop in for a pint from the excellent selection of ales, but the pub also has a decent reputation for its food offering. The menu is a flexible affair, with plates of all sizes and humble ingredients given an elegant spin – think crispy pig's ears with apple sauce, cured salmon with blood orange, char-grilled beef and horseradish salad or guinea fowl with roasted vegetables. Suppliers are mostly local, the friendly staff know their stuff, and drinking possibilities extend to Negronis, chilled fino sherry and plentiful wines from a discerning list.
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