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.
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.
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).
As you’ll see, a perfect chilly day.
If this is your sort of thing, there’s a lot of it.
I just fancied a pint and a lunchtime curry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s almost a museum piece, and the back area is particularly attractive for someone used to continuous Greene King improvement.
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.
“Don’t make arrangements after 8 pints with Terry”
Those arrangements seemed to surround a Cambridge pub crawl of epic proportions.
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.
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.