WEST FEN PEARLS

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Well, I’m up-to-date now, so if this snow doesn’t clear up soon I’m going to have to start making things up. Not that you’d know.

I do have a few posts in reserve though, starting with a third (count them) walk from Ely station to Little Downham in a month.

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A Fen beer desert

I’d missed GBG regular the Plough, with it’s idiosyncratic/traditional opening times, twice, but I don’t give up.

And I got to do another of those Fen walks under endless skies that folk who have never been here rave about. Starting at West Fen road and tracking west.

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Less exciting than it looks

A purposeful walk to the Hundred Foot Drain and back via Oxlode, which is literally just a pumping station (read: potential micro pub called the Pump Room).

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Fen skies

As you’ll see, a perfect chilly day.

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New Bedford River

If this is your sort of thing, there’s a lot of it.

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Rescue boat

I just fancied a pint and a lunchtime curry.

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The Plough

Yes, the Plough is the exemplar Basic Village Thai Pub, a select band. It’s unchanged in the 20 years since my first visit, but I still forgot the hilarious 2-part door that Simon won’t be able to open, causing the embarrassment and ridicule that fuels his blog.

I turned up at opening time on a Wednesday lunchtime expecting to be the only customer.

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Old Boys

Wrong again. All the village Old Boys clearly come here for the daily 12-2 ritual.

It’s not posh, which suits the drinkers fine, if not the diners.

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Unchanged apart from the Krombacher

Trip Advisor reviews are hilarious, a series of couples seeing the word “Thai” but not the word “Pub” and marking the Plough down for having locals at the bar. It’s a destination pub, but not your destination, you part-timers.

I had a Chicken Pad Thai because I was hungry after all that exercise. Simon wouldn’t have approved, but it is allowed.

And I followed the crowd to the beer.

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Northern head

Where you might expect Wherry and Ghost Ship, you get a Timmy Taylor seasonal and a beer called “Scrumdown“. The locals all take an interest in the guests.

I should hate them with their seasonal silliness, but they’re both quite beautiful (NBSS 3.5/4). And they sell. To be honest, I doubt you’d have seen more pints of cask pulled in Wetherspoons that lunchtime.

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Almost nectar

And I get to sit in the bar area, which has the sort of scatter cushions you’d expect to see in a Banbury church in 1976. So they’re OK too.

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Acceptable face of scatter cushions.

The walls are covered with photos of football teams from the ’50s that my Dad would have played against in the Cambridgeshire league, sadly without the “benefit” of VAR.

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Unchanging

It’s almost a museum piece, and the back area is particularly attractive for someone used to continuous Greene King improvement.

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Proper seating

At the bar the “robust blokey banter” from half a dozen locals at the bar was on-topic, ribbing the Sunderland-supporting landlord who played up to it as Sunderland fans know they have to.

Best line;

Don’t make arrangements after 8 pints with Terry

Those arrangements seemed to surround a Cambridge pub crawl of epic proportions.

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Cool and chewy, says beer sommelier

Our retired gentlefolk placed themselves in the corner away from the banter. I’d eaten my Pad Thai and sunk those 2 pints in the 20 minutes it took them to decide on their lunch. He was very keen for us to know it was his birthday, but wasn’t buying us drinks.

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£6

Good honest Thai for £6 (it’s nearly double that in South Cambs), and two excellent if unusually cool pints. As good as it gets in the Fens.

19 thoughts on “WEST FEN PEARLS

  1. “Yes, the Plough is the exemplar Basic Village Thai Pub, a select band.”
    I’ll say! 😊
    “It’s not posh, which suits the drinkers fine, if not the diners.”
    Suits me too. 😎
    “which has the sort of scatter cushions”
    Throw pillows. 😉
    “and sunk those 2 pints in the 20 minutes”
    Well done sir! 🍺
    “As good as it gets in the Fens.”
    No argument here. 👍
    And with that, I’m off to buy a birthday card for my saintly mother.
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you were a spam commenter called Array, suits you. I was going to tell you about the time Mrs RM drank 2 pints of Theakston Old Peculier (odd spelling) in 20 minutes at a posh pub near Castle Howard, but some things are best left unsaid.

      Like

  2. Nice looking pub, (bad wallpaper though, on the footy pictures wall), and the surrounding area looks good for a spot of winter birding – reminds me of many a happy trip to Norfolk. Many geese or swans knocking about on your ramble ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Btw, Knowle Spring isn’t a Taylor’s seasonal, it’s a new permanent beer designed to capitalise on the trend for paler beers. Quite enjoyable IME, but maybe it does come across a bit as Wolseley trying to make a sports car.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great Fen photos and a beautiful looking pub especially the stained glass.

    Landlord looks like he means business in that photo. It appears that you’re stood well back while receiving your change in case he confiscates your smart phone! 😉

    Thank goodness for the ‘old boys at the bar’ but it’s interesting how a short opening period at lunchtime can produce a ‘concentration of customers’ and enhance the atmosphere in the pub (if you know what I mean). I don’t recall coming across any 12 – 2pm pubs round here as yet.

    Not quite the same, I know, but I enjoyed a similar great atmosphere at a 12 – 2pm session in the local Travellers Rest pub last Christmas Day lunchtime.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “If this is your sort of thing, there’s a lot of it.” –This made me laugh! Though I’m in danger of being a pub purist in so many ways, I do love the idea of Thai pubs, Desi pubs, etc. Are the people who run the pub actually from Thailand?

    Liked by 1 person

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