Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Cambridge Pubs Part 1

I forgot to bring my camera again. Sorry.
A couple of weekends ago I paid a visit to the charming city of Cambridge. Glorious buildings, a charming river, and of course plenty of lovely real ale pubs. I still prefer Oxford to be perfectly honest but Cambridge ain't bad. It's certainly better than the university I went to, the wonderful Bournemouth University. While Cambridge colleges have amazing fifteen century architecture with fabulous chapels, Bournemouth is a 1970's prefab nightmare with a shabby library attached. Still the union bar was cheap, and at £1.10 for a pint of Fosters you couldn't really complain (except that you were drinking Fosters.) Heaven knows what the price of drinks is now, but with students having to pay £9,000 a year just to attend I imagine they can afford it.

Cambridge is blessed with some cracking pubs and it was my mission to visit the highlights. We were in town for a weekend to visit The Lovely Jemma's friends so a crafty pub crawl to her house was devised. We started off at the Free Press, a lovely little Greene King boozer. This small pub has no music, no TV and mobile phones are not allowed. Clearly run by a militant bore but the pub was very pleasant. A welcome pint of Titanic Iceberg was poured which was in tip top condition, and highly refreshing. The rest of the ales were the usual Greene King suspects, although the rarely seen Mild was on. Sadly I didn't get to try a pint. A group of lads who had taken over the snug were clearly trying make up for the lack of TV's by recreating their own episode of The Only Way Is Essex by being as loud and obnoxious as possible. Still this didn't detract from an excellent Ploughman's lunch. A lovely little pub and well worth a visit.

Visit this pub it's ace.
Next stop was the Cambridge Blue, voted Cambridge Pub of the Year 2011 by those knowledgeable blokes at CAMRA, and not something ridiculous like TV Quick Magazine. Incidentally it always amuses me when I see something proudly proclaiming to be "Show of the Year," but when you look at the small print you see it's actually "WOW! Really?! Magazine Readers Choice Show of the Year 1989" and your heart sinks because you know these readers of WOW! Really?! are bound to be idiots and the show is going to be trash. Basically my advice is never watch anything that has won a Readers Choice award. I had to suffer through We Will Rock You which has won many such awards. How I managed to sit through the show without punching others or myself in the gut even when they changed the lyrics in Radio Gaga to mention "Internet Gaga" I'll never know. Brian May must be spinning in his grave. I hope never to return to the show because they've most likely shoved a Lady Gaga joke in there and I will be forced to run around the theatre frothing at the mouth and ruining some poor Grannies birthday.

The Cambridge Blue was great, with a fine selection of ales and a gigantic beer garden out back. I enjoyed a delicious pint of Nethergate Dew Drop which was in fine condition and appeared to be a house favourite. We visited on both Friday and Saturday, and on Saturday there was a hog roast and "real live" reindeer, which I suppose is better than real dead reindeer. The hog roast was excellent and paired with a pint of WharfeBank Camfell Flame I'd pretty much found pub perfection. Sadly a reindeer roast never appeared but overall the Blue is an excellent boozer and was quite rightly packed out.

That's enough for now, to keep up the suspense and to boost my post count I'll post comments about the Kingston Arms and the Devonshire Arms in my next post. Ta-ra for now.

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