One of Cambridgeshire’s few new entries in the just issued Good Beer Guide is a real curiosity. The Reindeer in Saxon Street is the only pub in a tiny village a few miles south of Newmarket, with very little population catchment.
It was taken on in 2013 by a renowned figure in the world of brewing, and who continues to stock the excellent Pitfield beers in his pub.
The pub serves as a showroom for owner Martin’s extraordinary collection of memorabilia and bottles beers, all of it for sale. I’ve seen less of interest in charging museums. This collection gives the pub much character, but also makes it a very cosy place for a drink, somewhat akin to the modern micropubs.
The pub has very limited opening hours; I had made 3 unsuccessful trips before finally catching it open on Saturday evening, which would have been frustrating but for the chance to do some interesting walks close to Devils Dyke and the nearby villages. I think the permanent hours are 7-11 Friday and Saturday, with variable hours at other times.
The pub is the subject of an application to make it an Asset of Community Value (ACV), which would place restrictions on it’s development for non-pub use. This sounds fine in principle, but locals and visitors need to use pubs like this to make them viable. I certainly recommend an evening here.