Between trips west, a day off from travelling to help Mrs RM’s foot rehabilitation with a modest walk in west Cambs.
Burwell, like my own Waterbeach, is one of those “Fen-edge” villages large enough to have essential like pubs, Chinese takeaways and Droves leading into nowhere, while acting as a decent dormitory for Cambridge. Unlike Waterbeach, no station, but it has got a castle (site of).
Burwell is really Pint & Pubs territory; he’s your Cambridge pub expert. I should have sought his advice. Of all the Cambridge villages, only Isleham is more of a mystery to me, and I’m not sure Isleham actually exists.
But from the estimable Exning, we headed for the Anchor. You really get to see where the money from horse racing goes on the walk up North End into wooded Haycroft Lane. Not as much fun as nearby Devil’s Dyke, but I was chased by a goat there once, so fun can be overrated.
On the approach to Burwell you even get tractors.
Some would call it pastoral. Mrs RM reminded me she’d been walking for 40 minutes, her foot hurt, and she needed a pub.
So my inclination to stop to admire some surprising local history was unwelcome.
Consequently Mrs RM beat me to the pub, and decided she was having the Summer Lightning, and that was that.
The Anchor is clearly a smart informal dining pub, and tipping up at 3pm on a Friday we could sit pretty much where we liked. So we picked the “living room” with a record player and feminist books. This isn’t the Boar’s Head,
It was very cosy and comfortable, though, and the beer superbly presented in a clean glass with a good natural head. Mrs RM had finished her Hop Back (NBSS 4) before I’d had time to let the foam settle on the IPA.
As is my peculiar habit, here’s a picture of a particularly good scummy head on the beer.
Give me an old men’s pub anytime, of course, but this was certainly a pleasant half hour of chat and Laura Marling, though my notes oddly say “jar of buttons”, for no apparent reason. The landlady stopped by to say hello, a nice touch.
Mrs RM and I liked it a lot, which means she can drive me back anytime so I can have the Hop Back if it’s still on, and she can admire the jar of buttons.
There you go. I can be positive about the Fens, dining pubs and Greene King in the same post.
It was a less successful walk back along the B1103, with no footpath, long grass on the verge, and cars shooting over the ridge beeping us for the audacity of walking along roads. There’s also a shortage of portaloos. We suffer for our art.