On the sunniest day of the year so far I managed to coax Mrs RM out for a walk. Only down to Waterbeach station and round the main drag of Cambridge at lunchtime, but it’s a start.
Cambridge station is looking rather different these days, a vast development of flats, hotels and bike shops transforming one of the UK’s hitherto dumpiest looking spaces into something almost European.
We’d been hoping for a craft bar on the platform, instead we get a Youngs pub outside. Full marks to the cheery staff at the Station Tavern who let us in for a nosey around even though it was shut. Very pleasant, in a Parcel Yard way, though the beers with luggage tables look doesn’t work for me. No sign of local beers, but it has Doom Bar on so that’s OK then.
Not much to do in Cambridge, as the estimable py pointed out in the comments on my previous post, so we did the tourist route through the floral Backs, which are at their best now.
The Colleges and Kings Parade are heaving with Japanese tourists and Spanish schoolchildren; Cambridge has rarely been as cheap now that we’ve discovered Travelodge and Itsu. The pubs aren’t benefitting much though, and apart from the Eagle there were few tourists enjoying what is supposedly the UK’s greatest cultural asset.
So they were missing out on the newly refurbished Mitre with its cutting-edge cask line-up;
To be fair, there may have been more round the corner but that’s what I saw on the bar in the split-second staff give you to make up your mind. The Timmy Taylors was water (NBSS 1.5).
Luckily, Mrs RM is a fully paid up (i.e. £6 a half) member of the Evil Keg Society, and went for the Vocation Heart & Soul, which I confess I drank most of, it was wonderful. Watery cask or robust tasty keg. The battle is lost (joking).
The Mitre looks the business, inside and out, though it’s hard to see much change from the time of Pint & Pub’s earlier visit here. Shame about the clutter outside.
Nicholson’s lunch offer doesn’t get any more enticing though, so we went mega-tourist and popped in Thaikun by the Quayside, hoping to see French schoolchildren fall off their punts from our table. No such luck.
Expensive but good quality Thai soup and salad, and another decent keg offer (the Founders, not the Singha). As Mrs RM said, you need cold craft beers to wash down spicy Thai, but that doesn’t stop her staying on the Broadside at the Wrestlers.
That was more than enough beer on a midweek lunchtime, of course, but sadly nature called and we were morally obliged to share an average half of Nene Valley in the Old Bicycle Shop, which we felt sorry for as it’s obscured by roadworks. Despite those eyesores, it was doing a good lunchtime trade.
There’s life outside Mill Road in Cambridge, but it’s cold and lightly carbonated.