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In a pastoral setting 20 minutes south of Nanaimo, resident geese and floral gardens greet guests at one of B.C.’s oldest pubs, with its lofty interior of heavy wood tables and beer-coaster décor. Service is at the bar, with Guinness, local brews, and quaffable wines by the glass. Ploughman’s lunch, scotch eggs, Melton Mowbray, or a rich steak-and-kidney pie—even pan-fried oysters hold down lunch proteins. Winters make this an especially cozy retreat with two roaring fireplaces, a game of darts, and a piano.

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