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Dating from the 1780s, The White Bear is stuffed to its rafters with curios and objets from all eras since. A 2016 refurb has cast it as a deliciously dark Dickensian retreat served by a Victorian mahogany island bar. Here, draughts include Beavertown Neck Oil, Fourpure Flatiron American Red and beers from owners Young’s. A cosy, cluttered dining room has replaced the pub’s theatre – now relocated upstairs. By a coal fire, sip bourbon, malt or Japanese whisky Old Fashioneds, or juicy Tempranillo (£17.50) from a selection of sub-£30 vino with many by-the-glass options. Deep-fill sarnies include fish finger with tartare, and Somerset Brie and cranberry. Otherwise, dine on pub grub such as butternut squash and fennel soup followed by toad in the hole; chard, pine nut and blue cheese quiche; or queenie and monkfish scampi. For Saturday brunch there’s kedgeree or corned beef hash, and Sunday roasts are a speciality.
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