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Formerly The Shooting Star, this popular pub’s name was changed to coincide with a major refurbishment in summer 2016. The splendid new interior is set within Astral House, a handsome redbrick edifice. The Observatory, an elegant wood-panelled, mosaic-floored bar (a faithful rendition of a high Victorian saloon) is where to savour a pint of owners Fuller’s finest beers – Seafarers Ale, say. For classic cocktails and casual dining, head upstairs to The Hubble Room, equipped with a genuine antique Wray telescope and other space-gazer gubbins. It’s open from 8am for English and continental breakfasts, along with hearty filled pies that take pride of place on a Mrs Beaton-ish menu that also has rump of lamb (£16.75), cod and chips, sharing boards, sandwiches and puds. Thankfully, The Astronomer’s wine list prices aren’t stratospheric. Star buys include punchy Languedoc Pinot Noir (£5.75 a glass) and Chapel Down English rosé at £25 per bottle.
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