As mentioned already, I’m spending more time than strictly advisable in Peterborough at the moment, due to Mrs RM’s foreign excursions up the east coast starting at the nation’s favourite railway station.
On my recent visit to the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge fans were still singing that immortal ditty;
“Cheer up Barry Fry
Oh what can it mean
To be an industrial Cathedral city,
Where real ale pickings are so lean”
(Or something similar)
But I’ve always liked ‘Boro, and frankly Leyton Orient were always more realistic rivals for Cambridge anyway, both being London overflow at heart.
The area west of London Road (aka ABAX Stadium) used to be a string of top boozers, as well as a rare outlet this far south for cask John Smiths.
Less so now, with the Cherry Tree closed and the Coalheavers losing its top beers from my own village, but Oundle Road still has more pubs than the approach to the Etihad.
It’s what we call a mixed area, reflecting the brickworking industry in Fletton as it merges into more residential Woodston (apparently home to a Sam Smiths pub).
For years the most famous pub was the Palmerston, once evicted from the Beer Guide for the same selective admission criteria that did for a certain York gem. I’ve saving this one for a visit with Mrs RM. She’ll love it.
Instead, I popped next door to the Yard of Ale, as certain a pre-emptive GBG tick as I’ve been in all year.
Admit it, you thought it was going to be a micro pub, didn’t you ?
If it was, it wouldn’t have been open at 3pm on a Monday, let alone selling Doom Bar and Tribute.
Despite cheery and efficient service, I feared the worst, especially as Monday afternoon is a real test for cask. A few Professional Drinkers in, a Brewery salesmen looking for lager business, and a pleasant but modern sports bar styling don’t raise your hopes, do they ?
But the Oakham Citra was spot-on, as beer sommeliers say. Perfect serving temperature and texture, and it smelt gorgeous (NBSS 4+).
Citra really is a safe bet, whether because it’s the nation’s choice or because Oakham teach pubs how to keep it, who knows.
Fans of ’80s English pop would enjoy it more than fans of ’80s boozers, “Wings of a Dove” and a 12″ version of “Lip Up Fatty” the highlights. I suspect at 2pm on a matchday Saturday it’s hard to beat.
And just look at this head;