The Hoops at Great Eversden is now The Golden Elephant, a "Thai E-san and Chinese Restaurant". Under current legislation, you don't need planning permission to convert a pub to a restaurant so there was no opportunity for locals or CAMRA to protest at this loss of a community facility. CAMRA has been campaigning nationally for a change in planning legislation which would not just put pubs in a separate "use class" (which they already are) but require planning consent to be obtained for any change of use away from that class.

What makes matters worse is that the nearest other pub, The Wheatsheaf on the A603 (technically in Harston but actually serving Little Eversden) has been closed and boarded up for over a year. A planning application to extend and refurbish it will be considered shortly though whether it will remain as a pub we don't know. At the time it shut, local rumour was that it too was set to become a restaurant.

The Trinity Foot, on the A14 at the Swavesey turn, reopened in early December. As would be expected at a pub which can really only be reached by car, food is dominant here and the menu certainly looks enticing with an interesting mix of Thai and more traditional dishes. On our visit the only real ale on offer was the inevitable Greene King IPA. There haven't been any major physical changes to the interior but it has been considerably smartened up.

The Fountain
<- The Fountain
The Fountain, Regent Street, Cambridge is now owned by the Knight Pub Company and is being run by Matthew Knight and Adam Ward. The interior has been given a cafe-bar style makeover which is pleasantly cool and understated - walls mostly in muted colours with splashes of blue and red, uncluttered modern furnishings and stripped pine floors (except for tiling round the bar). Thankfully it remains a rare local outlet for City of Cambridge beers, with Hobsons Choice and Rutherfords IPA being present on a recent visit, along with Draught Bass. Food is served from Noon until 7.30pm with an interesting mixture of bar snacks, starters and main courses.

Welcome to Steve and Polly, who took over as licensees of The Elm Tree, Orchard Street, Cambridge in mid-December. They are planning a refurb in the spring which will take this characterful, oddly-shaped little pub "back to its roots" as a traditional local. Real ale will have a high profile with four beers available including Wells Eagle and Bombardier plus guests like Robinsons Unicorn, Everards Tiger and Courage Directors. Steve (who was previously at The Fountain) is also keen to source some less commonly-seen ales like Mauldons Blackadder. The wine list, too, is being much improved. The Elm Tree has a reputation as a jazz pub and this will continue with both trad and modern on offer. There'll also be a focus on rugby with a screen showing all the big matches. Finally traditional bar food will be on offer once the kitchen is sorted out. Steve and Polly are clearly delighted by the pub and reckon they are "here to stay" - we wish them well.

The Crayfish at Harston should have reopened by the time you read this, under its old name of The Three Horseshoes. We understand, however, that it will continue to be a very food-led operation.