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Cider fans come to the stone-walled Square & Compass for pints of home-brewed, hand-pressed scrumpy, but there is more to this quirky hostelry than brilliant booze. There are homemade pasties and pies to nosh, and the place even has its own in-house fossil ‘museum’ with treasures amassed by members of the family who have run this Dorset legend for over a century. The interiors channel pure Thomas Hardy, with low ceilings, flagstone floors and throngs of happy drinkers crammed into tiny rooms; the bar is little more than a doorway with some casks of Ringwood ale and guest brews behind it, and the drinks list is scribbled on an old blackboard. But despite its time-stood-still feel, the Square & Compass is modern in its spirit of diversification, hosting open-air theatre and live music throughout the year.
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