I’m not as committed to the cause as Pints and Pubs, but I am attempting to visit all the Cambridge pubs over the year, so I can moan about their inclusion/exclusion from the Guide with a clear conscience*.

Today I had a few options.  Hoover the house, write more blog posts or walk Cambridge looking for a pub lunch. It’s good to have options, anyway.

Ninety minutes walk later, I’d only found one pub, apart from Spoons, open before noon, which is a “Sign of the Times” (cultural reference).

Hello, Elm Tree.


There are few benefits to retirement as anticipated as the lunchtime pint. Sadly, not only is it virtually illegal for workers, it’s practically dead in Cambridge.

One old boy was finishing up an even earlier pint, so I asked the long-standing landlady what had just been pulled (it was Bombardier Pale).  She told me all the ten beers had been pulled through that morning, to avoid folk getting tired beer.

I loved that enthusiasm for good beer, which is in marked contrast to Tandleman’s experience in a Glasgow pub last week.

My enhanced confidence in the quality of a 10 pump line-up was justified.  The Edwin Taylor Stout was superb (NBSS 4).


I’ve wrote about the Elm Tree before.  It’s one of Mrs RM’s favourite cosy Cambridge pubs, and not just for the Belgian Tripels,


or the furnishings,

or the Bass memorabilia.


It’s one of those cosy back street pubs that Cambridge still does better than most. Plenty of different corners to hide, or to mingle.

The landlady was happy to chat about lunchtime drinking, pubs without food and the pros and cons of having ten pumps on (as well as Cambridge’s best Belgian selection). Prices below the average (£3.80 for the 4.5% Stout) must help.

Talking of Bruges, as we were, I really must get back to see how the little Bear is getting on without Daisy.


The Stout must have been good, as I’d finished a second pint before I’d noticed. That’s not clever.  Luckily lunch was two minutes away.


*Joking. Cambridge CAMRA gets it spot on with selection in my humble view.


  1. I had a similar experience at The George in Hubberholme one afternoon last year. I spy hand pulled Tetley and order a pint. The landlord tells me that he worries that it’s not good at sitting in the pipe after the last one he pulled through. I’ll pour a pint but if it’s not up to much we’ll keep going, he said. It was perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The perfect pub for a lunchtime pint in Cambridge, always the most easy going place; you can choose to have a good chat at the bar, or sit on your own and have some quiet time – I find with a lot of pubs that choice is made for you, but at the Elm it’s very much in your own hands each time. They’ve had some very good beers from Blackjack in there recently too.

    I’m surprised you didn’t challenge your readers to spot the mistake in the fourth photo down…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Following Pints and Pubs comment: I did think the man sat outside the lace shop looked like he was feeling very pleased with himself!

    Reverting to serious matters: Ten cask ales is a big ask unless you are in a very busy city centre pub with a huge turnover of cask beer, like close on 90 gallons every three days = 240 pints/day every day, to keep it in very top form. Bearing in mind that’s with each cask selling at the same rate, they don’t, so the turnover, in reality, needs to be much higher to keep all your ales in good condition.

    Top marks for drawing some ale off before opening, or even better drawing clean water into the lines overnight. Yes, there is ullage, but better to lose, say half a gallon at most, over the life of a cask than throw half of one away and risk losing future custom?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If only more pubs would follow suit and pull off beer which has been sitting in the lines between sessions.

    I’m very wary of being the first person in a pub after opening, and will in many cases opt for a half first, just to make sure the beer is OK, before moving on to pints.


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