ALE November/December 1996 No. 286

Pub News in the City

'Armless place to visit?

The Carlton Arms in Carlton Way has been renamed The Carlton, with Trophy replacing Boddingtons as the one real ale.

Fun Run Gets Them Young

CAMRA should be grateful to those pubs which not only sell good quality cask beer but do so in the kind of atmosphere that younger drinkers tend to look for. The King Street Run in King St. is a classic example, with its rope ladder bridge to the Ladies toilet, working model of a still and upside-down tables, it is unashamedly gimmicky and "fun".

Managers for the last year are Andy Leaver and Kerina Brown. Ten real ales are normally on offer, which might sound like too many, but the turnover is such that there is little chance of the beer going off. The pub is part of the Whitbread Tut 'n Shive chain and so has access to the full Whitbread range including the regular seasonal and novelty beers. Andy is allowed to trade with independent breweries, so interesting or unusual beers are frequently on sale.

Beers are all served through swan-necks but sparklers are only used where appropriate. Prices, as might be expected in a city centre location, are a bit on the high side. During the day and early evening, the pub has a relatively peaceful, traditional atmosphere, despite the odd zany touch. CAMRA members may tend to be a bit suspicious of pubs like The Run, but if real ale is to have a future, it must cater for all tastes. Give it a try - you may well be pleasantly surprised.

Big is Beautiful

At the beginning of July, Whitbread opened The Hogshead in Regent Terrace overlooking Parkers Piece, and with an entrance from Regent St. It is a remarkable transformation of the old Avery Building which stood derelict for years. The decor is in the style of the modern ale house with plenty of interesting features. With two staircases to the upstairs bar, it is a good idea to do a circular tour of the place to appreciate all that it offers.

There are an enormous number of real ales on at any time. The saving grace of the otherwise all swan-neck dispense is the gravity stillaging behind the bars. When the temperature is eventually properly controlled, the beers here will be a real asset, but so far they have sometimes been too cold. Manager Brian Sullivan has introduced all manner of independent brews. At the opening, the ground floor stillage was composed of beers from Suffolk and the first floor beers from Norfolk. Since then there has been an A-Z beer festival - go on then, you do it, off the top of your head - and a dark beer festival and a Batemans promotion.

It's not cheap, but then neither are the other city centre ale houses. It offers a lot of interest and bags of choice.

Fresh Stripes

Changes at The Zebra in Newmarket Rd. see a totally revamped menu with pizzas, pastas and rice dishes at all times and Mexican snacks at lunchtime. The structural alterations and spruced-up paintwork have not affected the G.K. IPA, Abbot and Seasonal Beer which remain as well-kept as ever.

More lawyers in Hills Road?

The former City Limits in Station Rd. has been transmogrified into Chambers, a smart and stylish cafe-bar with bare floorboards, large tables, big mirrors and a generally light, airy atmosphere. It is also bigger than its predecessor, having gobbled up the shop next door. Real ales are Bass, Directors and a guest, served via swan-necks and sparklers. Food is served lunchtime and early evening with baguettes, pastas and jackets on the menu.


The long-closed and boarded-up Coach and Horses in Trumpington seems likely to reopen soon.

ALE November/December 1996 No. 286 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA