ALE May 1999 No. 294

Gulpers Get New Home

The Hopbind, Cottenham, was until recently one of the few local Greene King pubs not selling real ale. That's all changed with the arrival of Chris Dakin and Jane Spring. However not only has top pressure given way to handpumps but the whole place has been reinvigorated.

The exterior now sports a smart terracotta and blue livery. One regular customer of the adjacent garage asked when a pub had opened next door - the previous version had been that drab! Once inside, the stylish decor continues (Chris and Jane have an interior designer in the family). Walls are rag-rolled in orangey-brown shades and there's also much use of natural materials, especially wood. The front door has been reinstated and a new bar counter installed.

Behind the scenes is a completely new kitchen and food is served at lunchtimes and from 5 till 8. The menu is extensive and features some unusual offerings. However Chris is at pains to stress that this is a pub with food, not a restaurant with beer.

On the beer front GK IPA, Triumph and Abbot are joined by a seasonal or guest beer. Ale sales are on the way up in what had been very much a lager pub; the new cellar cooler has helped ensure quality.

The Hopbind has been a pub since 1851 and had its own brewery until 1905 when the place was sold to Bailey & Tebbutt. A framed history of the pub gives more details, including the fact that in the Nineteenth century Cottenham men were so renowned for their supping that they were known as the Cottenham Gulpers.

Today's discriminating Gulper will certainly find a haven at the Hopbind.

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