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.

Mrs RM not pictured

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.


  1. I am not surprised your good wife told you to sit down,
    This is another thing that really bugs me when in pubs that do food and that includes our Wetherspoons in Stapleford,people come in of all ages and sit down and look at the menu for 10 minutes or longer then go to the bar to get their drinks and order food,while me and the wife have always gone straight to a bar in any pub that servers food and got our pint and a half,then find a seat and then look at the menu,i then go back to the bar order food and more drinks and then may get another round of drinks for me and the wife to go with the meal,we do this if on big family dues or just out on our own.
    Family members probably think we are *issheads,but we are not bothered.


    1. I’m with you Alan, but then my wife would say I’m the most impatient man in the world. She was muttering for those folk standing up to sit down, by the way, not me !


    2. To be fair, a growing number of pubs, especially Wetherspoon’s, but including a lot of others, now offer meal deals which include a drink, so people are forced to consider both at the same time rather than getting a drink from the bar and then studying the menu.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As part of my globetrotting around the glories of England I popped into the Hippodrome (a Spoons) in Market Drayton this evening, There were the usual two bar staff , irrespective of the number of customers.
    The inevitable bearded barman was dealing with a shuffling incoherent who had been chosen by a group of geriatrics to order the food and drinks. This went on for at least 10 minutes as the buffoon at the bar became increasingly exasperated at the number of options which his party had failed to spot on the menu, necessitating truculent hollering across the pub to the inevitability half deaf bunch huddled at their table.
    The bill came to £55, which was inevitably queried.
    Unsurprisingly I ordered a pint of Woods Hopping Mad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be so impatient with old people and other ditherers, Malcolm; they make excellent blog material.

      One person sent up with unclear instructions is bad, the whole family group at the bar with children on the bar itself much worse.


  3. Some really nice photos of the local area Martin, which really capture the atmosphere of the Fens. Also glad to see proper pies are becoming more prevalent. This seems to tie in with my own findings.

    Liked by 1 person

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