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The neatly thatched Shave Cross Inn was once a stop-off for medieval pilgrims, who apparently had their tonsures trimmed here as a mark of respect – hence the unusual name. Unflattering haircuts are not obligatory these days, although the pub still stays true to its roots deep in the lush countryside of the Marshwood Vale. In contrast to the bar’s flagstone floors, rugged beams and mighty inglenook, the food served in the Shavers restaurant looks to faraway lands for inspiration – chicken satay, jerk pork tenderloin with fried plantain, roast Creole duck breast, and zarzuela (fish stew) reflect the owners’ travels worldwide. The inn also has a boutique, seven-bedroom extension for those who want to linger, but with its CAMRA-gonged real ales and ciders, pretty summer garden and original skittle alley, the Shave Cross is still an extraordinary village pub at heart.
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