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Built on the site of two inns – The Crown, a roughhouse; The Greyhound, a genteel prospect that drew Dickens and Thackeray – this grand 1900 Grade II-listed gem in cutesy Dulwich Village is synonymous with literature: Ted Hughes, Harold Pinter, Laurie Lee and Alan Sillitoe are among those who gave readings here. Current fans of ‘The Dog’ – Jason Statham digs its garden – can wax lyrical about a refurb that has preserved the old dame’s splendid original features (snob screens / majestic mahogany bar / dinky snugs et al) while adding a dining room extension and a new 20-room boutique hotel upstairs. Slake your thirst on Truman Zephyr, Siren Oatmeal Pale ale or chilled rosé from a fit-for-purpose list. To eat, start with Asian-style glazed chicken wings or tomato, vegetable and quinoa soup with crème fraîche and follow with spinach and pecorino-stuffed breast of guinea fowl with roasted squash and broccoli or sausage with mash, onions and a red wine jus.
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