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.
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.