A pub makeover

The Bower Inn in Bridgwater is under new management and might now be the town’s best pub.

So often, when a failed pub reopens, nothing really changes — they seem doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In this case, the new owners, Peter and Candida, have gone to town, remodeling (it’s bigger), redecorating (bright instead of brown), and reinventing. In short, it is now a bit of a gastropub. Not one of those pubs where you feel naughty if you don’t eat, but somewhere with food upfront. Good food, too.

The beer is well judged: two local ales, kept cool and fresh, rather than five stale ones. Exmoor Ale (not Gold) is a mainstream but tasty bitter; Otter Ale still didn’t convince us, but the landlord’s enthusiasm for it was infectious.