The pub goers, and in particular the real ale drinkers, of Trumpington haven't
had much cause for joy in the last few years. Two of the five pubs, the Coach
and Horses and, more recently, the Volunteer have closed altogether. The
Unicorn never lived up to its potential and the Green Man was an anonymous
Beefeater. Only the Tally Ho could be relied upon to serve decent ale in
proper pub surroundings.
However, things are looking up. We report elsewhere
on the great strides
being taken at the Unicorn and a visit to the Green Man
to meet manager
Marion Shaw also yielded lots of positive news. The Green Man reopened in
November 2006 after an extensive refit with owners Mitchell and Butlers
moving it away from being a branded outlet to somewhere more original and
distinctive. Clearly no money was spared ensuring the quality of the fittings
and furniture; plenty of natural materials are on show, including tiled and
stripped wood flooring, an attractive new bar counter and non-identikit tables
and chairs. The front part of the building has a genuinely pubby feel and
though essentially open plan there are nooks and crannies to lend interest.
The area between here and the back becomes more foody but not overly so.
The restaurant itself is in an impressively high-ceilinged extension (and
replete with greenery - I've never seen so many mother-in-law's-tongues in
Marian, who has been at the pub since April, is especially keen to increase
the amount of wet trade. More people popping in just for a few drinks will, she
believes, give the place a buzzier atmosphere. At present only the one real
ale is served, albeit one of the very best in the form of Timothy Taylor's
Landlord. This will increase shortly by at least one and perhaps two.
Food is of course still the major draw. The lunchtime menu has a selection of
sandwiches, starters and lighter dishes such as fishcakes, rare beef salad and
a daily fish special - plus full meals as well. The evening and weekend menu
offers a bigger choice of main meals, including twice-roasted half duck and
slow roasted Welsh lamb shoulder. Roast beef with all the trimmings for
Sunday lunch is £9.
Some CAMRA members turn their noses up at large, food oriented pubs like
this but you can't argue with their popularity and the days when identically
tedious Brewers Fayre, Toby and Beefeater outlets could be found on the
edge of every town seen to have gone (see the report elsewhere on the
Bridge at Clayhythe, another such pub where thought and attention has gone
into the design). It's particularly satisfying to see these pubs taking their real
ale offer more seriously and welcoming folk who just want a pint in pleasant