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A proper spit-and-sawdust pub (minus the spitting – well, at least when I was there!) the sawdust on the floor and the Victorian decor and architecture give it a proper east-end pub atmosphere.

The premises was originally an hotel – still called the Spotted Dog – handy for the railway line (the station is just a very short walk away).

One of my best memories of the place was sitting down with a group of mates and drinking port – yes, port – served in a large jug at the table. Other fortified wines still feature on the alcohol menu today.

Still a ‘locals’ pub, it’s also a mix of city-smart types (I was one of them!) and the atmosphere is colourful and characterful.

Maybe not a place to spend the entire evening but as a stop-over with friends (inside or outside in the courtyard) it’s worth it for the port alone.

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