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Brewers Young’s chucked over £1m at refurbishing this pile – and to good effect. The 1871 Grade II-listed gin palace is a looker. Avoid its clattery chaotic ground floor in favour of the upstairs room whose moniker reprises the pub’s original name, The Boulogne Gate, which was so mangled by Victorian mouths that it morphed into The Bull & Gate. This cosy, cluttered piano lounge is now a persuasive pastiche of a Downton Abbey drawing room. Its bearded barmen look the part, too, resembling George V – but are their mixes fit for a king? You’ll meet better Bacon Old Fashioneds elsewhere, and a cloying strawberry vermouth-laced G&T billed as ‘The Wrong Negroni’ is a poor take on its Milanese inspiration, Negroni Sbagliato. And while an Anne Boleyn (a rum and peach rinse) is better executed, it’s expensive at £9, particularly in comparison to cocktails at the Ladies and Gentlemen bar, opposite.
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