A few dry days after Scotland, interrupted by an urgent need to see how my home town was coping with Dryanuary.

Quite well it seems.

But first a business trip to what must surely a future Cambridge micro pub.

Lloyds Bank, Gonville Place

You might think the Regal couldn’t match Lloyds for artistic merit, but there is something hypnotically beautiful about the Spoons plates that hold my smashed avocado bagel.

We Want Plates

I was going to get a (free refill) coffee, but the lure of the Titanic was too much. As you’ll see, the competition wasn’t fierce.

Titanic, but not THAT one

Beer quality (and range) hasn’t been that great over the last decade, but this was a joy. Not quite a rival for P**m P*****r, but not far off, and superbly presented (NBSS 4).

Stokey head on it

The Regal itself looked a bit unloved, despite regularly “refurbishment”, and you wouldn’t have been able to complain about slow service on this night.  More drinkers than diners for a change.

A bit empty

But those lacings…


You can never just have one in Cambridge, can you ?

Cambridge crawl.PNG

Off to the Maypole via one of our prettiest streets, pausing to gawp in through windows at AmDram societies and folk playing the cello.   Car parking remains a constraint though.

Portugal Place

Pints and Pubs had tweeted about some evil keg he’d imbibed, and a 7.1% Citra IPA always sounds appealing when you really shouldn’t.

Lovely Maypole, unlovely car park

The Maypole is an exemplar in making a plain pub look very lovely with a bit of lighting and a lot of welcome.  It’s that, rather than the 3,000 beers that draws me in every time.

That’s a photo on the outside wall

The outside smoking area was unusually quiet,

Fairy lights for smokers

but the two rooms were packed, largely with the returning students.  Most were drinking the cask, which is just as well when there’s sixteen on.

No Kernel, so I went slightly mad and ordered a Tring Pale Four, possibly the daftest choice possible.

This is the back bar

You can tell a beer’s quality from the head.


A contender for beer of the month (NBSS 4.5), the Maypole showing how beer can be served cool and with a natural Southern scummy head to best effect.


No, I didn’t fall in the Cam on the way back.












    1. Very good question (really is). I think it’s the atmosphere and buzz about the place (more Stockport Magnet than Crown if you like), but unpretentiously run by a longstanding Italian landlord.

      The cask range wouldn’t appeal to many folk used to obscure stuff in Manchester, the Maypole is all about quality. A group of 20ish six females came in and clearly didn’t recognise any of them but all had the cask. I’m sure the hand pumps are an attractive feature. One for your Greater Waterbeach trip 😉


  1. From the embedded tweet, it looks like a decent selection to me, something for everyone? Going by that twitter photo (your’s is a bit blurry!) I’d probably be hitting the keg section – it doesn’t make me a bad person and I’m confident, if the Magic Rock beers (and others) were tested they would be more ‘real ale’ (CAMRA def.) than many of the popular standards you prefer which are fined and filtered almost to a level where they may no longer have a ‘real ale’ element about them. Mind say, that St Austell Proper Job is a nice drink if kept right, and your findings suggest it should be. Shame about the Kernel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Maypole is fine if you enjoy being surrounded by groups of upper-class twits in red trousers all trying to sound clever at the top of their voices.

    Not really my scene. I’d quite happily build a wall around central Cambridge and make the Mexicans pay for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “That’s a photo on the outside wall”

    What a good idea. And proper lighting does indeed make a difference.

    “No Kernel, so I went slightly mad and ordered a Tring Pale Four, possibly the daftest choice possible.”

    I see the Tring Tea Kettle but not the Pale Four.

    Oh, hang on, that menu is not your photo. (blush)



    1. Why did you become someone again Russ ?

      It’s my fault you can’t read the Tring pumpclip, Russ, it’s a rubbish photo. Yes, the Tea Kettle is from Pint and Pubs.

      You’d love that pub. The food is great too, but you rarely see it.


  4. “an exemplar in making a plain pub look very lovely with a bit of lighting and a lot of welcome” sums it up well.

    I find it remarkable they manage to keep so well what’s now the largest selection of beer in Cambridge. If those “upper-class twits” are helping with the throughput then I don’t mind – I never seem to encounter them in the afternoons/early evenings, so that must be when to find the Maypole at it’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

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