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Powder Keg Diplomacy’s “vintage Victorian splendour” and deliberate styling thankfully avoid silly pastiche, but this “shining neighbourhood gem” also shows some class when it comes to drinks. In the Rifle Club Bar, you can sup heritage cobblers, punches and “creative” cocktails such as Fog City 27 (spiced pear gin, Fernet Branca, cinnamon sugar, lemon juice and pine soda) – along with a commendable range of global beers and wines. Drinkers nibble on ‘tiffin and titbits’ at the bar, while the more formal Observatory Dining Room (a handsome conservatory) offers a “seasonally evolving” menu ranging from rare Richmond venison with beetroot, carrot purée and sprout leaves to Ramsgate gurnard with roasted orange, Sharpham spelt, samphire and shimeji mushrooms, plus puds such as almond sponge with mulled apple and cardamom gel. With “fantastic staff” doing the business, this place is a true local – “no stiff collars, just warm fun”.
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