A bit of late night pub porn for those of you who will never know the joy of a pint of malty bitter for two pounds sterling. That’s you, Maidenhead.

Rather surprisingly, that pint comes from the posh suburbs of Peterborough.

sam smiths.PNG
Back on the POSH trail

The Botolph Arms is on the edge of the Ortons, the bit of Peterborough which folk actually retire to (our Chairman moved from Cornwall to live there). Some of the places here sound French, for goodness sake.

Orton Longueville
Posh sunset over the Ortons
St Botolph – patron saint of New Towns

WhatPub says there’s a Sam Smiths pub here, but I’d never seen it, or heard from anyone who’s been in it.

It took me a while to find it, tucked away at the end of a long drive on a quiet street.

Botolph Arms
Ancient photography wasn’t great

With the sudden closure of the Wortley Almshouses, this is the only Sam Smiths in Cambridgeshire, and a bit of a gem. “Last surveyed on 30/03/2014” says WhatPub, which seems a bit sad.

It’s not a classic, but most folk would warm to the multi-roomed interior with giant fireplace and proper seating. A bit like the South Yorkshire Sam’s pubs.

Recently revived by new managers, I hear, and it was buzzing on Thursday night

Classic pull, Sir

Three surprises.

  1. It was packed, without food or quizzes or Prosecco tastings to draw ’em in
  2. The OBB (NBSS 3) was £2 in a smart Cambridgeshire suburb
  3. The full range of Sam’s craft beers on display

A real mix of locals too, as you’d hope for in what’s pretty much an estate pub (but rarely get), with young professionals happy to stand at the bar.

NOT the Boar’s Head,  then

There was a lot going on, as you’d expect from IT professional, drunkards and blokes with “Guns ‘n’ Roses” T-shirts.  The discussion on the merits of TV21, Topper and Beezer somehow led to this exchange;

Do you even know who Dan Dare is ?”

I’m an expert on The Eagle, of course I do

Dan Dare, it’s my cock that is !”   (Editors note – presumably his pet rooster)

Oh dear

£2 a pint, folks, and all this free entertainment.  How can you resist ?


















36 thoughts on “A POSH SAM SMITH’S

      1. This pub is one of your more unusual ones of late. A lot of pieces I would not expect to find together. As long as you are awake start working up the Northampton posts. Don’t let Richard win.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Richard will get ten or more posts out of today. I’ve still got to bring you last week’s trips to Chester and Southport, which may take sometime as photos very good (says I).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is my first time seeing “Taddy Lager.” Have you had it, and if so, is it any good? I get the feeling that lager is loved by the vast majority of ordinary beer drinkers on one side, then not much cared for among real ale fans, and then embraced again at the far end of devoted beer geeks/aficionados.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Richard’s reply sums it up. Have never drunk the lagers, only the stout (lovely), but Mrs RM says they’re good. Often seen in bottles in Europe and US (?) at higher prices !


  2. I quite like Taddy Lager. Sam’s Pure Brew is better, Double Four less so. OBB is good when from cask. Keg Stout is excellent. Sam’s bottle range is very good and I know it’s widely available, certainly around New York area, in USA. If they did a cask version of Sovreign then I predict it would be Sam’s biggest seller.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really wish they would cask both the stout and the mild, both of which I am really fond of as keg.
      When I come to think of it, most of their bottled range would be at least interesting as cask; even trying them as limited edition versions would be a great idea and would probably give them a bit of interest in the pubs, if they ever actually wanted customers.
      They could certainly have better attempts at making lambic versions of their fruit beers than Elgoods.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you’re describing sounds like a craft bar offshoot, a bit like Slater’s failed effort in Wolves. All Sam’s beers on cask and the fruit beers on KeyKeg. In a former Conservative Club. In Maidenhead.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not really, most Sam’s bars seem to have multiple redundant OBB pumps sitting next to each other. Why not a small batch cask run of, say, Taddy porter and see what the reaction is?
        The fruit beers could stay as bottles, don’t think I’ve ever seen those on tap.
        Most of the regulars in a Conservative club can probably remember when all Sam’s beers were cask.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Cask Sov might sell well but the the brewery (Mr Smith) will only sell one cask beer and if it doesn’t sell well enough to guarantee quality it gets taken out and usually replaced with the inferior keg version that doesn’t benefit from the wood. Cask Tadcaster Bitter was a fantastic beer but didn’t last more than a couple of years before his lordship decided it was taking volume from OBB and there was also an issue with having enough wooden casks. They don’t sell cask into the free trade so there’d be little point in introducing another cask beer especially as the majority of their pubs don’t stock cask.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Last surveyed on 30/03/2014’. Tragic really. This is exactly the sort of traditional pub, brewery and beer CAMRA should be bending over backwards to support, but I don’t think the majority of active members are in the least bit interested as long as they have their beer anorak enthusiast pubs and micros.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, CAMRA members may visit but not submit updates, and I guess it’s more important to report an extra handpump than the continued excellence of a one beer cheap local, so I can feel I’m performing a civic duty with this post (no irony intended Peterborough CAMRA)


  4. There is much about the Sam Smith pubs that I support. It’s like walking into a world where the time is always 1958, the often beautiful interiour, the number of people in the bar, no music, no fruit machines, the prices.. Unfortunately, both the quality of the food and the beer often leaves something to be desired. Some of their pubs don’t even do cask. I’d write them an email, but the only way to comminicate with them is probably through letters delivered by postal carrige. I still visit them though. Many of their pubs are musts on the pub itinerary.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a highly forgettable pai in the Angel in Rotherite last year. I had a pint of keg Sovereign with it which I suspect was off (hard to tell with it’s consistent poor quality). Being South London though, the Angel is in firm lager territory so maybe they don’t sell much of it. I’ll give them another go in a couple of months, but not the Angel.


    1. The brewery has an email address but I suspect it’s made up. Communication should be made by quill pen on parchment, sealed and delivered by horse and rider. None of that new-fangled ‘Royal Mail’ and those loathsome stamps.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been intending to pay those Cambs Sam Smiths houses a visit and wasn’t aware the Wortley Almshouses had closed. Clearly too inexpensive for the tastes of the revitalised Fens


  6. Oxford well worth a visit – the “Three Goats’ Heads” on St Michael Street. Cask OBB taken out in the mid-1990’s, but restored three or four years’ ago. It is £3.00 per pint, which is the cheapest ale in the city centre other than ‘Spoons, and is a reliable pint.

    PS – placing of the apostrophe in the “Three Goats’ Heads” will have your proof-readers’ on alert !

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The pub’s Facebook page also omits the apostrophe altogether.
    Decided to check the “official” view. However, Sam Smiths’ website does not seem to contain a list of their pubs. That’s odd !


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