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Formerly The Cranbrook, this handsome Victorian pub relaunched in autumn 2016 as The Brookmill, sister to the Great North Wood in Norwood. Decor is predictable born-again boozer: bare brick, recycled woods, utilitarian retro, with a jolly decked courtyard. In contrast, the selection of drinks transcends the norm, featuring South London craft brewers such as Gipsy Hill and Balham’s Belleville; house cocktails (passion fruit and vanilla Vodkatini, for instance); and a well-considered, mostly organic wine list (try the light, dry, citrussy white Limney Horsmonden from Sussex, £30). The kitchen is similarly up to scratch. Start with burrata with aubergine ‘caviar’, or tuna tartare followed by mains such as roast corn-fed chicken with barley and Belle de Morteau (smoked sausage) in Madeira cream sauce; or truffle polenta with wild mushrooms, sage, mascarpone and poached egg (a vegetarian delight). Quizzes, art exhibitions and open mic nights are also popular at this community-minded asset.
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