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ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316 : Next section

ALE Winter/Spring 2005 No. 316

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I always find it amazing that there are many supposedly high-quality hotels around where you go to the bar, only to be served with sub-standard fizz that masquerades as beer, more often than not a nitrokeg. A recent visit to the Quy Mill Hotel, which incorporates the Quy Mill Inn, explodes the myth that real ale and quality hotels can't work in tandem.

The very well-appointed bar is open to visitors all day long. One of the most attractive features is the fact that the entrance is 100 yards off the Quy roundabout which crosses the A14, and an obvious choice for the thirsty traveller. On my latest visit there were four superbly kept real ales, Adnams Bitter, Woodforde's Wherry, Milton Pegasus and Fullers London Pride. I tasted all except the London Pride and they were well kept and at the right temperature. The bar has old wood settles, a quarry tile floor and a nice warm feel that belies the fact that it is also the main bar for the hotel. This bar, with its olde worlde country style artefacts on the walls, leads to the Celtic room, a room with a bar that boasts fine Havana cigars and an astonishing collection of around 80 whiskeys from across the globe, all at a reasonable price too. Decked out in the traditional Munro Black Watch tartan, this is also a bar with style.

Back in the main bar there are 48 bottles of wine to choose from and 15 available by the glass.

David Munro bought the Mill seven years ago and his vision is now coming to fruition, but sorting out the beer was his first task. As this review goes to press, there should be 50 en-suite bedrooms in service, a restaurant with fixed and la carte menus, and a bar snack menu that boasts sandwiches and baguettes and lighter snacks. There is a lovely light area where you can enjoy the snacks, or just have them in the bar, though it is possible to have the main menu in the bar if you wish as well.

I had the calves' liver, bacon and mashed potato served with a mountain of vegetables and it was really high quality. Sunday roasts are available and there is a wide choice too. The dining room, made up from three small rooms in the old part of the mill, has a snug, intimate feel and has been tastily decorated in pastel shades with ancient prints and bric-a-brac from bygone days. The same kitchen services both the restaurant and the bar snack areas. For those of you wishing to work off the excesses of over-indulgence, there is a health suite open to residents and the 600 members who already use this impressive facility.

I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the Quy Mill Inn, a great pint served with more than a little style.

Jerry Brown


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