LODE STAR ?

IMG_20161022_164903.jpg Walking options from our South Cambridgeshire village aren’t the world’s best. Occasionally, however, some arcane law or other requires me to stay at home and I have to walk locally.

Yesterday afternoon Mrs RM and I took a stroll round the site of the forthcoming Cambridge North station, which backs on to the sewerage works. I know how to treat a lady. Think I’ll stop there.

Mrs RM occasionally comes up with pub ideas of her own, and suggested a visit to a BRAND NEW pub in Lode that had just that day opened. “Is it in the Beer Guide yet ?”. Yes Simon, she really said that.

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Lode is actually walkable across the Fens from Waterbeach, a couple of miles of featureless Fen trudge. You can go on to Anglesey Abbey, the most middle class square mile in the Fens and default Sunday afternoon day out for gentlefolk.

Lode is tiny but pretty. Albeit a pretty ghost village at 5pm on Saturday. Mrs RM was nearly tempted to relive her childhood on the horse below.

The big village  attraction, Anglesey apart, was Lodestar, a tiny music festival which punched above its weight, attracting Sir Bob a few years ago.  Alas, damp summers and headliners even I hadn’t heard of saw its downfall this year.

I feared the worst approaching the new pub. The Shed sounds like a micro, but a quick look at the embryonic website tells you the truth;

For those who love fine dining” is the strapline.

It’s a stylish conversion of the old social club, terrifyingly narrow but somehow much larger than expected. It’s the sort of dining place you sometimes find in seaside places like Southend or Ramsgate, and Mrs RM liked it a lot. The menu looked a genuine step up from the norm, which might attract folk from Bottisham and Waterbeach.

At 5pm it was all drinkers, presumably locals out to size it up. There’s a lot to see, including plenty of local history for folk who want to know who played for the 2nd Cricket XI in 1952.

Mrs RM wasn’t taken with her pint of Pride, the Belhaven was a bit better. If we come back across the Fen we’ll try the burgers and probably stick to the Adnams Mosaic.

Other astute observations from Mrs RM included a lengthy reflection on the difficulty of opening her packet of dry roasted, and an admission that “Brothers in Arms” was the first album she bought. That’s the sort of admission you expect before marriage really.  Dire Straits is never acceptable music for pubs in my opinion.

This is a relatively rare new pub which will  give the posh folk a decent alternative to scones after their perambulation round the Abbey, and the locals somewhere to drink, which after all is a basic human right. A good thing in my book.

Whether it can sell enough real ale to maintain decent quality is, as usual, the key question.

44 thoughts on “LODE STAR ?

  1. I am surprised you entered such a place Martin; it looks like a Double Glazing salesroom from the outside. I am also surprised there ain`t any old converted pigstys on the estate of the aforesaid Abbey to let the commoners drink in ? Just where are my NT subs being squandered ?

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  2. Mrs RM told Martin that she would visit on her own and report back. Only way he could be persuaded to go near it! It was all lit up on the outside and I thought I might find Santa inside. Instead of Jingle Bells though it was ‘Money for Nothing’. For the sake of accuracy the first album I bought was ‘Making Movies’ not ‘Brothers in Arms’. Alas though that makes me 5 years older. Mr RM was being kind or forgetful, you decide!

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  3. Speaking of reliving your childhood, I cut the inside of my mouth (requiring a couple of stitches) on a horse like that in Fulham back in the early 60’s. Good times. 🙂

    And is this the first time Mrs RM has commented? If so, you’re attracting quite the audience Martin! (LOL)

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  4. I prefer no pub music. I am curious what people consider good pub music. I’ll start with Aretha Franklin’s “Lady Soul.” Curious what passes the test.

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  5. On a different topic, I must ask how you two happened upon the park with the horse. If it is where I think it is, (Little Legs Of Lode) I do not know how you found it.

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  6. Music in pubs ? I don`t mind at all, so long as it isn`t too intrusive. I`ve heard Jazz in a remote country pub in deepest Staffordshire, Country & Western likewise in Dorset. Smooth FM seems to be a popular choice in many NW pubs. One cannot omit the famous jukebox in the John Bull Chophouse in Wigan too..

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      1. I should perhaps rephrase that Dave – it is a locally renowned Jukebox – renowned for the fact that it plays classic Rock/Alternative music. If you like neither of these then it has no particular meaning..

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      2. Funny. You had me going there. I was imagining that there was something truly unique about this jukebox. My imagination was running wild.

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    1. We heard Dylan in the Red Lion in Alnmouth. I usually do not notice music, but I did enjoy hearing hearing him. The music in Sir Robert Peel in Tamworth drove me out of the place. So loud it make me dizzy. Other than those two, I do not remember any other music. Selective hearing, or deaf?

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      1. What’s funny is I know I have heard a lot of pub music, but I could not tell you what much of it was. Normally played so low it does not stick in my mind. Alnmouth was the one place you could really hear it clearly.

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      2. Solo “business trip” to tour the Statford Seed Oil Company and, of course, their railroad. Stayed in the very impressive Globe Inn for 40 pounds per night. Also visited Lichfield and Burton.

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      3. I very much would like to visit the railway owned by the seed oil bloke at Statfold barn, it is a shame the public running dates are so sparse. Sadly I don’t think I could manage to blag a business visit.

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      4. I was very lucky. A personal tour of the seed oil facilities and all of the railroad buildings and grounds by Julie Moon, the owner’s daughter. Included a short ride on one of the locomotives. It was very impressive.

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      1. Totally agree. I commented on another Blog about it. Wigan town centre entries :5, of which 4 are Micropubs. I`m seeing the Union about it……! Or better still, maybe I should become involved more with my local branch and get to vote on such matters ? I thought my beer scoring on WhatPub was enough – evidently not. 😉

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      2. Yes you should Michael. I went along to Cambridge and Stockport GBG selection meetings and they were superb, NBS scores the main factor and votes taken where appropriate (e.g. a small number of scores).

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  7. Really interesting. Only downer is their choice of ales. Very unimaginative. Stock beers from big brewers is not going to attract many of the ale_drinker/walker/cyclists I know. How about more local Cambs beers? There’s plenty around – Milton and Calverleys are a couple that spring to mind

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  8. How did you get in? The banner claims it doesn’t open until Friday. Are you a burglar?

    It doesn’t look at all like the dining places in Cleethorpes, not even the one I consider posh. Have Sarfend and Rammy started moving upmarket?

    Dry roast should be the most exotic thing available in a pub. Opening them is all part of the challenge.

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    1. Official openings seem to happen after actual openings these days, perhaps Cheesey Fave from Cambridge 102.69 FM is opening it.

      Sarfend much posher than Cleets, as you should now.

      Agree on dry roast.

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      1. The official opening is when the door is unlocked and the first punters make their way to the bar. If some bloke with a pair of scissors wants to turn up late, then that is their look out.

        That’s Cleggy to you. None of this Cleets nonsense.

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    1. Happily, no Lib Dem MPs are involved in this case.

      I don’t like the Guardian as I find half my time finding the mistakes rather than reading the story. Although I did enjoy the cock up in today’s YP, which had Cameron Stewart playing in goal for Sheffield Wednesday. The idea is almost as amusing as Theo Whitmore playing in goal for Tranmere Rovers, which is something that surely couldn’t happen.

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      1. Do you live in Clegg Tom ? Our son lives there and we get to visit probably every other month. Had some fine pints in the Notts especially. Our other favourite is the No2 Refreshment Room (see, I do like railway Micro`s !).

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      2. I live down the road in Grimsby, the crap suburb of Cleethorpes. Number 2 is more traditional railway pub than micro in my opinion and very much established. You will find the Number 1 is currently on one of its decent runs of form and currently matching the Number 2. The pub scene in Cleethorpes is currently about as good as it has been in a long time. The past couple of years have been good. Grimsby has gone in the opposite direction, not that it had a high level to decline from.

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      3. Clegg/Cleets has five pubs in the Beer guide this year, so I shall be back for the unticked Spoons and probably the Bass in Willy’s. My notes describe the No.2 as a classic, the No.1 as hell on earth, interestingly.

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  9. Was in the No1 a couple of months ago when it was holding a mini Ska festival. Good pint of Batemans XXXB. On my most recent visit to Clegg, only a few weeks ago, my suggestion of visiting the Barge and the Spiders Web in Grimsby met with a frosty reception, said son having been there previously…I may just sneak them in on my own on a future visit to the NE.

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