Ian Parr, who runs the pub on behalf of the owners Mr and Mrs Lindgren, has been at the helm for some seven years now. The regular appearance of The Green Man in the Good Beer Guide is a testimony to Ian's cellarmanship skills, helped by the pub's free house status. This means that Ian can offer a wide and ever-changing range of ales - over 550 in the last three years, the ceiling near the bar being adorned with the consequent pump clips. Ian favours beers from the smaller breweries (no Greene King here!), with Nethergate and Archers making regular appearances along with some more obscure offerings on the four active handpumps (Oldershaws Old Boy was a delicious find on my last visit). It's likely that there'll soon be a house beer brewed by Nethergate.

Food is all home-cooked and features local produce wherever possible. For a while, an upmarket "gastropub" operation was evident but this has now been scaled back so that the food, whilst still excellent, is much more reasonably priced and less dominant (this is very much a pub first and foremost). There are four or give specials every evening plus the "DIY Main Dish" option where you can mix and match mains, sauces and side dishes. The lunch menu is based around baguettes, salads, burgers and sausages made to the pub's own recipe. Sunday lunch (very popular) is traditional roast beef plus starter and pudding choices.

The Green Man is proud to offer no TV, no fruit machines, no juke box and no piped music - to which can now also be added no smoking, the ban taking effect in August. An area for smokers is however being constructed at the back of the pub. The exterior was painted a striking shade of blue a couple of years back and the interior has recently had a facelift too, with a much lighter colour scheme. At the back is a child-friendly garden.

Given what a thriving establishment The Green Man is today (as well as Ian, there are bar manager Natalie and two other full-time staff) it's hard to think that the pub very nearly closed for good ten years or so ago. Just goes to show that in the right hands and with flair and enthusiasm there's no reason why a village pub shouldn't be a roaring success.

More information on the pub's website - www.greenmanthriplow.co.uk

P.S. Shortly after this article was written it was announced that the Green Man was the inaugural winner of the Cambridge Evening News Pub of the Year contest - so further congatulations to the pub on this tremendous accolade.