Monday morning, trapped at home by the threat of the “Beast from the East“*, surprised the trains were running at all in the face of this never before seen onslaught.

No trip to Aldershot today, so I did my usual fallback of a long walk round ” Cambridge central”, the place that nice Japanese tourists in Regent Street always ask me to find for them.

I got no further than the first pub outside the station.

Station Tavern

On opening, the Station Tavern was a bit of a disappointment to those of us hoping for a Tap or a Dog (or a Sam Smiths). But Ramblin’ Dave has news…

So in I go. At a quarter to eleven.  It’s not Wetherspoons at 10.45, that’s for sure. Coffee, coffee, coffee. And eggs benedict.

When do you start serving beer ?”

Er, now”    Ask a daft question.

It’s a thrilling choice, and you’ll know I’m not being sarcastic when I say that.

Local beers

With recommendations from someone called Dave, as well as Boak & Bailey, there was only one choice;

Nice pump clip

I found a seat where I could take in the inevitable pub banter about snow, and watch the train cancellations rack up.

Just missed one

There’s a screen showing departures on the wall, but this is more Parcel Yard than Wigan Central.

On first sip, the beer was better than last time at Fuller’s Kings Cross toilet stop.  Cool enough, full and rich, just like I remember in the Old Sergeant in Wandsworth all those years ago. A great sight on Monday morning.

So good, I tweeted about it.

As I’ve always said, the quality of every beer (except the irredeemable Donnington) depends on cleans lines and turnover; a good licensee in fact.

The “pub” isn’t really one for the Beer and Pubs Forum I’m afraid; exposed ducts, high keg fonts, leather sofas.  But the Beer and Pubs Forum isn’t their audience.

Dividing opinion since 2017
High fonts

There was one other drinker (on Estrella), but otherwise this was as much the modern office as Starbucks in Milton Keynes have become (or Royston Spoons).

The new office

Two loners were reading e-mails on laptops, two ladies were resolving a work dispute (“best case scenario she leaves”), and in the corner there was a full-scale strategy meeting.  How I miss NHS strategy meetings.

“We are doing strategy. End of”

“And if you don’t like it, tough”

All to the mellow accompaniment of Ella Fitzgerald.

No better way to spend Monday

Good beer, and local Moonshine ales were apparently being delivered as I was there. But I saved my Eggs Benedict and coffee order for Spoons.  You can order from your seat there, you know.


*It’s just arrived








  1. Interesting comment – ‘The “pub” isn’t really one for the Beer and Pubs Forum I’m afraid’. Please note, I respect and would protect their firmly held views on pubs; however, there is much serious debate around this and how pubs (and society) change with time.

    What once was successful, may no longer be, yet it may still be very pleasing. What is now may not sustain and we don’t actually know where things will go. Or even whether they will go full circle (they often do). Suffice to say, we no longer live in wattle and daub huts, but we can go and observe such structures that have been preserved. Similarly other by-gone relics of society have been preserved. Some still have functional use, notably many early shops/houses in places like York, although they principally serve to attract foreign tourists and day trippers.

    I wonder when we will see the emergence of a brewing and pub hamlet? A sort of Burton upon Beamish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, of course, modern pubs are an integral part of any crawl. Some folk in Oxford even did the Jam Factory at the start and Pint Shop at the end, neither very trad.

      I just meant if you had time for eight pints in Cambridge I doubt you’d start at the Station with such competition.


      1. All I gotta say is when you gotta go, you gotta go. I cringe when I think of some of the places in England/Scotland that I was soooo happy to see when #2 came a callin’. Dave is still shaking his head.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Far more salubrious than those often found in France, though.

        Wetherspoon’s must be commended for the general quality, and lavish provision, of their toilets.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If it was inside your home it wouldn’t be outside then, would it? Unless you live in a tent or something. Or possibly an itinerent pub ticker in a mobile home abluting in a meighbouring field.


      4. “Don’t mention French toilets, please.”

        How about Turkish ones? 😉

        For two months that was the toilet I shared with four other people in our rented home in İliç, Turkey. I can’t tell you how many times I went to use the facilities, only to discover the last person to use the shower didn’t ensure the toilet paper didn’t get wet. (sigh)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Martin, are you saying that Donnington beers really are that bad ? I have never had any, (this summer hopefully en route home from Dorset). Surely better than beers from a one-man set-up on a trading estate ?? Please say yes !

    Richard, where is this “brewing and pub hamlet” ; this Albion, this Nirvana ? I will live go and live there…(it`s not Bishop`s Castle is it ?).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Martin,
        Donnington BB is a “beautiful light bitter” and SBA is a “full-bodied bitter” and that’s just as they were thirty years ago when us beer buffs and ‘the ordinary drinker’ very much wanted the same thing.
        What’s gone wrong ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In all seriousness, I’d love to know if I’m wrong and it is capable of being a decent beer (I think I had a decent version of the stronger one in Stow once). I’m not the only one with that view. Nice pubs though.


      3. I’d say Donnington beers are a bit underwhelming rather than bad as such. They’re probably like many beers from small country breweries were a couple of generations ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe tastes change over the years but I wouldn’t have used most Donnington pubs while walking most of the Donnington Way if I didn’t prefer the BB and SBA in their “nice” pubs to a choice of beers with the astringency of household disinfectant in a soulless micropub.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. That’s a different issue, Paul. I’ve really enjoyed their proper pubs, they’re much better than the all-out dining rooms in the Cotswolds. And you don’t have to drink their beer…


  3. On the BBC news this dinner they was in a small town on the irish border which was called Muff,it came to my mind as i was watching it,if you were a diver and lived in Muff would you be called a Muff diver.


  4. “Dividing opinion since 2017”

    Actually, I kind of like that layout. Bench seating, stools, at least types of chairs from what I can see. 🙂

    Looks like a nice place for someone to grab a beer before their train.



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