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The Dog & Duck, Emmbrook

Muddy says: A stylish new refurb of this Wokingham pub takes it into must-try territory for interior nuts and pub grub lovers.

Dog and Duck Emmbrook exterior from garden fairy lights on pergola

Wokingham is like catnip for families, so it’s great to find a pub that feels grown up and caters for kids. A short hop out of town and I discovered The Dog and Duck in Embrook – a super-stylish 17th century red brick, off the beaten track local.

Brakspear Brewery bought this place in 1857 and the locals have been lapping it up ever since. More importantly it has recently undergone a meticulous refurbishment, keeping many of its original features but throwing in contemporary and vintage touches. This is more than a lick of paint. This full on refurb – and it’s quite foxy.

Friendly and relaxed, it has an ‘everyone’s welcome’ vibe whether you’re flying solo out with the kids or meeting up with the gang. It has a light, bright dining room, serving good quality pub grub. The enormous bi-folding doors give you good views of the garden, if you’ve booted the kids out into the garden. But it’s the cool curiosity shop feel that I loved – but there’s a fine line between stylish curation and total madness. It’s not try hard, it’s just really stylish. I would be doing a little dance if this was my local.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire