I haven’t been particularly fulsome in my praise of South Cambridgeshire, and there’s no new village pubs around there in the Guide, for the 24th year in a row.
Just across the border, little change in Hertfordshire and still no GBG pubs in Royston, a town famous only for a hole in the ground*.
QUIZ TIME – Name one other famous feature near Royston
But if you park at Therfield Heath, and walk up the hill rather than across the road to the new McDonalds, you could imagine you were in that countryside people talk about. Full of thistles, horse “mess” and signs pointing the wrong way.
Mrs RM actually enjoyed this walk, once she’d evaded the tee shots on the 4th hole of Royston’s posh golf club. Some fairly steep woods showed little signs of previous walkers, apart from this visit from North Herts CAMRA craft beer society
Therfield is a pretty but inessential village two miles up the slope. There’s enough work to keep the trademen happy for decades.
The Fox and Duck isn’t surviving on 4pm tradesmen drinkers though. Our family group were joined by half a dozen others giving Royston’s Wetherspoons a miss in favour of a pleasingly short menu.
As a small village dining pub it was just what you’d hope for; unpretentious, unmodernised and with just enough ale turnover to maintain decent quality. My niece remains unconvinced of real ale’s ability to survive 30 degree summers though; Aspalls is the big winner in rural Cambridgeshire in the last decade.
My sister and niece spent lunch making perceptive comments on the pub. “The St Peters is NBSS 3”, “It’s very Middle of the Road”, “Why are there six bits of cutlery for each of us ?”, “Fairy lights ? In a pub ?”. All good stuff.
The beer engine was the highlight.
The naffness was the lowlight.
Decent food, decent enough beer (IPA NBSS 3) and friendly staff. Not a patch on Braughing though.