Take the case of the Carlton Arms. When Jethro and Terri took it over it was very much the down at heel estate pub allegedly about to be knocked down for flats by the pub co. This brilliant couple kicked out all the druggies, improved the interior dramatically, and before the ban, stopped smoking in the lounge bar. They had beer festivals and the miracle was taking shape. The landlords were said to be unhappy they were buying in beer directly from some micro-breweries but realised they would lose fantastic landlords if they did not turn a blind eye. They have now moved on to their new home at the Cambridge Blue and are putting their skills to great use there.

I am always grateful to hear from readers who inform me of pubs doing well. Last month I was asked by a reader to visit the Queen Edith as they had a cracking mild on tap. The Duchess owns a house just around the corner so while she was out I visited and the Tetley mild was indeed very good, as was the Wherry; like the Carlton, quality is now the order of the day for a pub that would not normally be on my radar.

Now it would not be me not to have a moan about something.

I ran into my old mate Mike Dunn who was the cellar man at the Eagle about 30 years ago. If you ever see him in a pub, you know you are in a pub of quality.

We were talking about pub food and extolling the virtues of pubs like the Square & Compasses in Shelford, and the Boot at Dullingham where they cook a roast joint and have the most fantastic rolls at £2.00 a time on a Saturday lunch time.

The Red Lion at Histon is another pub that does fantastic lunchtime food. If the sandwiches are too large for you they will sell you half a sandwich.

The point Mike was making was that in many pubs you drop in for a pint and a simple sandwich but all you are offered is larger meals or baguettes and sandwiches with side orders like salad and crisps that you could really do without. If I want crisps with my meal, I will simply buy a packet. There are pubs that Mike will not visit because he can’t get the simple snack, and also the policy that he can’t take his dogs in, with the publican often telling him it is a public health law. Utter nonsense of course as nowhere is it written that dogs should be banned from pubs serving food. The classic case is the Queens Head at Newton with their magnificently simple food and their welcome to all animals, even Baggie the cat that adopted me, and my pet rabbit Molly.

Jerry Brown