I’m not sure when it’s going to get its Brewdog, but new openings and crafty upgrades continue apace in Cambridge.  Meanwhile, Huntingdonshire makes do with a belated succession of Wetherspoons, which is clearly what people there want.

The county town got its Spoons at the end of July.   Ten years ago this would have been a big event for local beer fans, but those days are long gone. I still feel very sad about the permanent closure of the  fire-damaged Tivoli in Cambridge though.

Sandford House, Huntingdon

To get match-fit for Spoons I walked from the station across Mill Common, England’s oldest and dullest.

Rave about that, flatland fans

Little Godmanchester is one of the prettiest local towns; half-timbered old pubs, boat trips on the Ouse, lily ponds and blokes in singlets.

Riverfront, Godmanchester
A duck

Nothing great pub-wise for a decade there though, although the Royal Oak (hidden behind the ice cream van above) is a rare no-food boozer, even if the booze is Doom Bar.

I liked the duck.  Don’t see enough of them in pubs.

I wasn’t blown away by the Sandford House, but it was packed at 3pm on Monday, so well done Spoons.  The forthcoming hotel will be a boon for the town too.

90% of folk were eating, which will please Tim, with a few straggling drinkers forced onto posing tables by the bar.  I’ve had very good beer in Spoons, notably Didsbury’s Gateway the other week.

Two pints of Saffron and Exmoor here would not have convinced the average punter away from Stella, let alone the Shipyard, whatever its provenance. Craft keg from Oakham, Adnams and Thwaites, though no obvious takers for any of that weird stuff.

Pints pulled in 30 minutes – 1 or 2

I thought the beer range both a bit old-fashioned (RCH, Brewster, Exmoor) but the condition was the issue.  The Saffron was soapy, the first Exmoor fizzy, though replaced after a conflab with management.  Both were an ideal temperature, which proves that being cool is insufficient.

I popped in to the Falcon on the way back; it was full of ale drinkers who I can’t see heading over the ring-road to Spoons, particularly at the Falcon’s happy hour prices.

14 thoughts on “NEW SPOONS ON MONDAY

  1. I can’t say I’ve ever had a “lively” beer in Spoons. The beer is often fine, but it always tends to err on the side of flatness, and gives the impression of having been drawn through a very long pipe.


  2. In Llandudno we had the opportunity to have Pedigree and Bass. All I can say is these are two beers we don’t get enough of in the US. Really amazing beers. You are very fortunate to have beers like this readily available. It makes you realize how boring US hop bombs are to drink. I hope the hop bomb fad fades soon…


  3. Sad to say, but there are more cask options in towns the size of Tenby and Llandudno than in the city of three million people that I live in. We are so limited in choice I really can’t fell expert regarding quality of cask in the UK. The options are like a starving man in front of a free buffet.


  4. I think I can in broad terms. Not as finite as some of you. I have sent a few back… I can tell really fresh. It jumps out at you. As does really bad. The middle ground is tougher. The beer here has been reasonably good. Snowdon seems the best along with the Cottage Loaf. There is a lot that falls in the middle from what I can tell.


  5. I did try the Marstons ESB that you ran a long string on. I did think it a thin beer, but the flavor overall is not bad. It is not Pedigree though:)


  6. You need to go to the East Midlands to find Ducks in pubs, they are full of ’em me duck. I like your point about the ‘old fashioned’ beer range. I might just be borrowing that one, it makes a clear and sensible demarkation between the old fashioned and the more progressive real ales. It may be better prefixed with ‘solid’ … but old fashioned beer range.


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