Well, not technically a town yet, but (Cambridge’s) Cambourne has that feel already.
Best known for hosting the only Morrisons for miles (and therefore having the best cakes), it’s a curates egg of a place.
10,000 people, 1 chippy, 1 Indian restaurant, 1 supermarket, 1 large church and 1 “pub”. And no train station to bring people to the giant Council and NHS offices on the business park, so a triumph for planning of whatever type.
But for a place built on flattish South Cambs farmland, it’s quite attractive, with proper footpaths, hills and lakes.
The shopping street and civic buildings are functional, or beautifully simplistic, depending on your view.
I quite rate the housing developments too, though of course what we now call affordable housing is at a premium.
But now the estimable Pint & Pubs brings exciting news;
I bet the residents of Cambourne had another dining pub/hotel at the top of their wish lists. When the Council ask the people, they tend to ask for a McDonalds and dwile flonking pitches before pubs.
But if there’s a pint of AK being served on De La Warr Way in a year’s time, no doubt I’ll be there criticising it for being too warm.
I doubt Marston’s are quaking in their boots. There seems to be a market for the combination of Carlsberg and cheesy chips provided at the Monkfield Arms.
At 3pm today there were a dozen folk in, not bad for a Wednesday, half of them having abandoned their glistening glasses of Northampton’s finest on high tablesfor a fag in the sun.
Light and cheery, the Monkfield has a shiny bar which spares us the Evil Keg but gives us a Warsteiner, presumably in response to customer demand.
Four beers on, usually including Pedi, which makes the choice easy.
Well, it was poured from a Pedi pump, anyway. It could have been the Wainwright and I’d have been none the wiser. An overwhelming taste of diacetyl, anyway.
Diacetyl will never be the saviour of real ale, however many exotic beers you put on (and Wainwright is exotic round here). Not bad enough to take back (NBSS 2), but cask is dead if it’s served at NBSS 2 standards.
Of course, read the local CAMRA magazines (I did) and you’ll see pubs just like the Monkfield applauded for extending choice or exhorted to put on a “guest beer”. And that’s half the problem with real ale.
But I enjoyed the soundtrack; “Girl You Know It’s True” and some recent Quo. And £3.20 is a small price to pay to observe pub life in all its glory; tradesmen talking tax, a businessmen seemingly counting his takings, OAPs debating puddings.
While I was buying quinoa in Morrisons they made an announcement about their beer retailing awards, so I had a look. Hmmm.
Only the kegs vaguely appealed.
But then I realised I was leaving Mrs RM for the joys of Skegness tomorrow, and succumbed to the usual “4 for £6” trick. Should last her ’till Friday.