A rare postcard from home to break up the Hampshire monopoly of May.
We’ve yet to take our campervan to exciting places like Wythenshawe or Sheerness (the year is still young), and the Five Miles from Anywhere may be the dullest overnighter possible from a Waterbeach base.
It’s at Upware, a mile west of Wicken Fen, home of Bittern Booming and the such like. I’ve walked to it from Waterbeach. That’s an exciting walk, especially when the cows attack Mrs RM.
Look at those contours;
Some folk think the Fens are beautiful. What they really think is “Cambridge has nicer shops than Wigan“. It doesn’t.
The drive up the A10 and right at Stretham isn’t going to replace the drive along the A686 to Alston on my list of top journeys,
But, parked up at the confluence of the Cam and the Lode, it suddenly looked perfect. My parents used to park their boat here when Ely seemed too exciting.
There’s not a lot to do here, unless you’re a twitcher, other than consume calories at the Five Miles from Anywhere, so named because etc. etc.
So we did.
It was “main and pudding for £9.50″ night, after all. And the pub is back in the Beer Guide, so we wouldn’t feel guilty about drinking the cask. It’s had a Crystal Palace like yo-yo relationship with the GBG, and needs the custom to support even the modest ale and cider line-up it had on Monday.
Fortunately, bargain Monday night brings in the punters (not literally, clearly) from the Fen Edge and Soham, so the place has a better early evening trade than many Spoons.
From the car park it looks like a Social Club, but the latest refurbishment gives the place a touch of the Bounty at Cookham, which is high praise. Very classy.
There is much for BRAPA to enjoy here, both architecturally and as an essay in middle-class behaviour in dining pubs. The orderly queue at the bar, the nervous laughter, the snake of folk carrying their first drink for a month to the restaurant area led by a bloke in a bow tie.
A great place for a leaving do, reminiscing about year-end accounts disasters to the accompaniment of “Living on a Prayer” and “Galway Girl”. Sensing Ed Sheeran is a little too modern, Climie Fisher and Cher returned us to 1987. In the Fens it is always 1987.
The pub blogger’s wife muttered “Just f*****g SIT DOWN” under her breath. Mrs RM is really get into the spirit of this.
Anyway, really tremendous service; relaxed, unfussy and efficient. A quality reflected in beer hovering around the NBSS 3.5 mark from Calvors, Maldons and Greene King, all at a decent £3.50. The Old Speckled Hen was the star of the night. Because Mrs RM must have evil keg at each meal, I bought her a half of East Coast IPA. It was cold.
Fen folk like their huge portions of (proper) steak pie and veg, and so do I.
A great pub, better than ever, and with a glorious little sunset just for us.
No, we didn’t walk round Wicken Fen in the morning.