ALE Summer 2003 No. 311

Pub News

Branch Pub of the Year

This year the award goes to the Red Lion in Histon. We congratulate Mark Donachy and his partner Louise Simpson on their success at this consistently-good Free House, a regular in the Good Beer Guide.

The official certificate will be presented during the pub's September Beer Festival (1-5 September 2003).

About the Pub

The pub is divided into a quiet lounge, where food is served, and a boisterous public bar, featuring a fine collection of bottled beers in wall cabinets. There is a no-mobile-phone policy. Other items on display throughout include breweriana, pub cricket team photographs and old village scenes.

Beers include Milton Minotaur (Mild), Everards Beacon and Tiger, Oakham Bishops Farewell, Belgian bottled beers plus guests.

The pub also hosts a beer festival at Easter.

Cambridge News Roundup

Congratulations also to Emma Mitchell at the Dobblers Inn on Sturton Street for the award of Cask Marque. After a period of temporary managers, this Charles Wells pub is now thriving.

Further down the street, the White Hart (Pubmaster) has changed hands and at the time of writing a refurbishment seems to be starting.

The first Carlton Arms (Carlton Way; Enterprise Inns) beer festival was held in early July, featuring 31 beers. Congratulations to Terri & Jethro on making it a huge success.

It seems the Fountain Inn (Regent Street) is now operating as a Free House, with Milton and a variety of guest beers on offer, such as Tring and Exmoor. Apparently it's been sold by Noble House to a private buyer, in which case this leaves Noble with just the Waterside (Thompson's Lane) in Cambridge: their strategy is to concentrate on up-market eateries. The landlord of the Town & Gown (Pound Hill; Enterprise Inns) has moved to the Bird in Hand (Newmarket Road; Greene King).

The Chariots of Fire Free House on Mill Road, which suffered a major fire last May, is on the market as a pub - a trade Estate Agent is handling it. And at the time of going to press we expect a new yet strangely familiar face in the Live & Let Live (Mawson Road), as Pete Wiffin takes over the reins from Alan Kilker.

The Volunteer on Trumpington Road (Laurel Pubco) has changed landlord.

The Baron of Beef on Bridge Street (Greene King) has at last recovered from the disastrous 1998 refurbishment and removed all the silly decor. It's now advertising its theme as "traditional English pub" and once again looks the part inside.

Nearby the Pickerel has improved its beer selection. A few years ago it rarely had anything other than the standard Scottish Courage range: now there are guests such as Ridley's Rumpus, Tim Taylor Landlord, Woodforde Wherry, and Wells Bombardier.

Two new places: West near the Vet School on the West Cambridge site is that area's first cafe-bar. It's an offshoot of the University Centre (aka the GradPad). On Quayside Ischa, a trendy restaurant-bar, has replaced the Quay Bar.


[Cow & Calf site, Sept. 2002] The Cow & Calf site on Castle Hill has been a empty, derelict site for three years but Beechdale Homes of Bourn now have planning permission for three houses and three flats and have started building.

Out and About

The Admiral Vernon in Over and the West End House in Ely have been refurbished, the latter also changing landlord.

The Blue Ball in Grantchester (last year's Pub of the Year) has stopped selling lager.

In Horseheath the Old Red Lion has changed landlord but at the Montfort Arms the landlord stabbed the owner dead!

The Swan in Fowlmere has been suddenly closed and boarded up by Greene King. It looks like a classic case of a pub taken over (around 1999), a succession of landlords parachuted in and now apparently GK has tired of it.


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