A short break from east coast market towns (don’t worry, they’ll be back) as I put a tenner into the local economy on Wednesday night. £5 for some great guitar pop at the Portland Arms, and £5.20 for a pint of what might have been the last ever pint of Cloudwater. (It wasn’t).
I’d probably been attracted into town by the Mammoth Penguins support set anyway, but a rare outing for Piccadilly’s finest helped. Now I’ve finished the Borgen box set I’ve time on my hands.
With the benefit of lighter evenings, Cambridge looks undeniably lovely once the tourists have left for their Premier Inns (or Stratford).
I know how much my two American readers like photos of tourist Cambridge;
The early evening clientele around the bar isn’t what you’d find in Port Street Beer House or Cask, but a smartly dressed crowd of software developers attracted by high prices and a sense of somewhere not living on past glories. (“More smartly dressed than you’ll ever be“, says Mrs RM).
I like it a lot, though Pint & Pub’s classic line “it offers one of the most pleasurable paths to penury” remains spot on. The scotch eggs emerging warm and bubbling from the kitchen smelled sublime. I was so excited I banged my head on the glasses dangling from the bar top (again). If Simon had been here that might have been his highlight.
Best line heard “A Number 12 please” . Not really a pub for bants.
The Cloudwater Red (NBSS 3.25) is a well made, well kept beer, but not a patch on their Bitter. They’ll be missed when they move over completely to the dark side (joking). A 0.25 reduction for the handle on the glass #nonic.
The beer of the night, though, was from a brewery six miles south of Cloudwater; I may have mentioned it before on these pages.
Trooper (NBSS 3.5) was served flat and fruity, a reminder of how good Robbie’s beers are served from the cask. The lack of a northern head would have upset some folk I know, particularly at £2.10 a half, but the truth must be told.
Mammoth Penguins have the audacity to be a local band and brilliant. Lots of strong new songs, always a good sign, though the omission of bona fide classic “When I Was Your Age” was unfortunate. But we all have to move on, don’t we ?