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ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315 : Next section

ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315

The Rope and Twine on Northampton Street Cambridge (formerly The Town and Gown and before that The Rose and Crown) has reopened as the Sino Tap. It's now in the capable hands of Cissy Lyn and Steve Ingram, whose first pub this is. They've got it on a short-term lease from the owners, Punch Taverns, and hope to prove that it can be made viable as it is, without recourse to the mega-alterations which Punch want to make (which would include opening out the interior to a single bar). The "Sino" bit of the name comes from the pub now specialising in Chinese food (overseen by Cissy, herself Chinese); pubs doing Thai food have become common, but Chinese is a rarity.

The menu features a range of keenly-priced starters, including soups, while main meals range from 5.50 to 9.50, all served with rice. The Kung Pao Chicken is especially recommended. You can also get a variety of noodle dishes. On the real ale front, Adnams Bitter and Broadside are the current offerings.

Quinns, the "Irish" bar on the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Downing Street Cambridge no longer serves real ale.

Which Greene King tenanted pub has the highest turnover of real ales in East Anglia?

It is, in fact, the Fort St George on Midsummer Common Cambridge. At any one time, it has up to seven ales on tap, taking full advantage of the GK quest beer scheme. Tasting notes for the beers are displayed above the bar to add interest. The high throughput also means high quality - and it's a lovely pub as well.

By the time you read this, the Portland Arms on Mitcham's Corner, Cambridge, will have a new couple in charge - Steve Pellegrini and Hayley Yoxall. They will keeping it going as a thriving venue for music and comedy. The land next door is due for redevelopment soon but that should not affect the pub.

The former Divinity School, opposite St John's College on St John's Street, may be turned in to a trendy restaurant-bar called The Living Room, if a 1M project is approved. It's part of the developing pub chain of Living Ventures. Don't expect real ale to be part of the experience.

We hear reports that the White Horse in West Wickham has been closed by Greene King and that there is little enthusiasm within the village to launch a "save it" campaign for their last pub. Without such interest, an application for change-of-use to housing may succeed this time (having been refused two years ago).

Also worth a visit in the area is The Star in Melbourn: a recent call on a Tuesday lunchtime found it packed with diners, choosing from a huge fixed menu, supplemented by numerous specials. Four real ales were on offer - Greene King IPA and Abbot, Fullers London Pride and Hook Norton Old Hookey.


All information is believed correct at time of going to press. If our spies have got anything wrong, please contact the editor, who will be happy to print a correction.


ALE December 2004/January 2005 No. 315 : Next section
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