MILTON – PARADISE via WEST BERKSHIRE

Mrs RM wasn’t very impressed by my house-husbandry, so I’ve spent most of the day redoing the housework.  This isn’t why I retired; life in a tent seems more appealing.

By 2pm I was free to do a local walk, two miles or so along the Cam to Milton.

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The Cam is surprisingly flat, and the Country Park on the site of the gravel pits isn’t in the same league as, say, Pennington Flashes, but it’s OK.

Milton itself is a large village, famous not for any literary merit, or even as my home for a while, but for the smell wafting across from the sewage works and recycling site.  It doubled in size in the ’80s, and its boundaries include the Cambridge Science Park.

There’s some pleasant pargeting at Milton Hall and Queen Ann Lodge, and the Unicorn Fish Bar is one of the region’s best. I know Primary School children get to go on trips to China now, but in 1976 a visit to Baits Bite Lock was my only excursion from the school gates.

More relevantly today, it does have the only local outlet for Milton beers, now brewed across the field from me in a Waterbeach Industrial Estate.

Milton Brewery was a regular fixture in the free trade ten years ago, and I still see their excellent beers pop up in places like Guildford, but it relies more on its own emerging estate now, with three high quality conversions on the outskirts of town.

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The Jolly Brewers is one of three remaining pubs, all of them competent.  A fourth, the Waggon and Horses, lost its Monster Raving Loony landlord and all character before conversion into an Italian restaurant, which has upset folk attempting to buy a pint, but is possibly what Milton has been lacking.

Unfortunately my Friday 4pm Pegasus in the Brewers is not great (NBSS 2), just above the level at which you’d have to take it back.  Overhearing the landlord steer a subsequent customer away from the Pegasus onto the Jupiter didn’t fill me with joy either.

Other customers have stuck to IPA or Stella.  It’s a decent enough pub though; when I visited in September the IPA was the only beer on and was very good. Discuss.

Better beer is round the corner at the White Horse, a pub you’d describe as a community local.  Busy and boisterous at 4.30, and probably at 6.30 when the food trade arrives. It’s always made an effort to supplement the Doom Bar and IPA with some interesting guests.

The West Berkshire Old Boy is superb, and this may now be my favourite BBB (apart from Bass, of course).

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When you look at that seating and I tell you the beer was NBSS 3.5, you might think it’s perfect, but it just isn’t quite as comfortable as I hope, and I resist a second Old Boy.

 

Pub 3 is the Lion & Lamb, whose car park used to house the library I used to use.  I can tell you nothing else of interest about it.  Bouncy castles, pies & London Pride I think.

 

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