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What The Canonbury’s one-time regular, Evelyn Waugh, would have made of its 2015 makeover is debatable, but locals seem cock-a-hoop about Harrison Design’s 21st-century retro-chic treatment of this imposing Grade II-listed 1840s tavern. The building was saved from demolition in 2008, and half its considerable floor-space is now a smart Edwardian-style restaurant, while the rest is a bar. Warm woods and a relaxing green colour scheme set the scene for ales from owners Young’s, craft brews from Sambrook’s, Camden and Meantime, plus classic cocktails and 12 wines by the glass from £5. Rosé Rioja, bursting with summer berries, is the ideal sunny sip in the handsome garden. Bar food includes burgers, pulled pork sandwich, and couscous with tomato, artichoke hearts and baba ganoush (£8.50), plus snacks of the pork pie ilk. Perhaps George Orwell, who penned part of 1984 under the Tavern’s magnificent chestnut trees, once devoured Scotch eggs here.
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