I can’t believe I haven’t brought these highlights from “BRAPA in Cambs” (better than “The Who Live in Leeds”) to you yet; blame Dick and Dave.  Probably.


You left Simon and me at the Green Man in Thriplow.  That was a whole 3 weeks ago now.  In 3 weeks time England will be out of the World Cup and Dick and Dave will still have sore heads (unrelated).

Five minutes later we were at what I insisted to Simon was the centrepiece of his trip.


Simon, as a “Punk”, is no respecter of  reputations, and cared naught for the Queen’s Head with its status as one of the Famous Five mainstays of the Beer Guide.  Good for him for being contrary.


The staff & punters had that whiff of superiority about them”  says Simon is his post, and I sort of get that. Pubs like this that scream “unchanged since Kipling was a boy” can irritate you by expecting you to like them.


And you know my views on polite society, though they’re proper posh here.  This is a genuine boozer for bourgeoise, even if their website is called “brownsoup”.

Belinda the Goose has no opinion

I still reckon it’s a gem, and I still reckon the Adnams Bitter here is masterful (NBSS 4), even if it’s not the place for a stag do. Unless you like brown soup and table skittles on your stag do.

Simon ducks for some reason
Flat as a Liverpool Champions League party

Si and I squealed with excitement at the pile of old Beer Guides, and I was able to demonstrate the extent of Roger Protz’s miracle of resurrecting the GBG between 1999 and 2000 editions.  Even if it meant that Standish no longer got credited with Stockport’s treasures.

Standish in 1999 had some real gems

I also squealed with excitement as I noticed a former Cambridge pub legend in the “lounge”.  No names but the moustache and “looney” political allegiance give it away.

We moved on, dodging some unexpected roadworks in Barrington, while Simon mumbled something about “lifelong ambitions” and “dream fulfilled” as we approached Abington Piggots.

Si squeals with joy

This is a proper unpretentious country dining pub in a hamlet of about eight houses, each worth a billon pounds.  A bit like the Arden Arms if uprooted to Woodford.

I seem to have taken a photo of a pig and a photo of a fluffy owl in the loos, which may be instructive to your understanding of my pub needs.

Simon not responsible for the hole for fluffy owl

Simon asked for the Maldon Gold, so I got him a London Pride.  He pretended not to be upset by my disobedience (always go for the best-selling beer, folks).

Then I dropped Si off at my favourite Wetherspoons, the star in Royston’s very small crown.  Here, I had four flat whites in 27.5 minutes, while Si had his fifth pint of the afternoon and came to appreciate an astonishing theatre production in which random characters performed random real life dramas for BRAPA’s delight (Sugarhill Gang, 1979 12″).


Astonishingly, Simon wasn’t finished yet.  But after four flat whites and four soda waters, I was.















  1. It’s funny that I have a keen eye for snobbery and pretension in pubs, but didn’t get that in the Queen’s Head at all. OK, it’s unlikely to be running a meat raffle, but I found it an unspoilt, traditional pub that seemed welcoming to all comers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, that’s not my take at all. Seen folk straight from the hunt and private schoolboy types in there. Complete opposite of your tarted up boozer appealing to middleclasses though. Reminded me a bit of that Topsham pub the Queen visited. Quintessential England, Dick and Dave must visit.


      1. We hope to get to it. It is the only remaining pub in all guides we have not made it to yet.


  2. I haven’t visited the Queen’s Head in over 30 years. From your photos it still looks exactly the same. At the time they were quite happy to serve us even though we were dressed as (post) punks and goths.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I think there’s some of my and Si’s famous inverse snobbery going on here. They’ve never anything but charming in the Queens Head, and NOTHING has changed.

      Nothing a jukebox with the Prodigy and a Fosters pump couldn’t redeem, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes nothing ever changes. It must have been mid 80’s when we visited. We were en route to the Strawberry Fair to see a proto goth band called 13th Chime, who my mate Andy was friendly with at the time. I made him get off the train at Foxton and traipse across fields to get there. I’ve just looked up 13th Chime on t’web to see what happened to them. Lo and behold they’ve reformed and are playing tomorrow night…at the Strawberry Fair!


  3. I’ve not yet made it to the Queen’s Head, but it is on my list. I like the look of it, but until I have been there I will reserve judgement on whether I come down on Mudge’s side or yours, with regard to nature of the clientele.

    “I noticed a former Cambridge pub legend in the “lounge”. No names but the moustache and “looney” political allegiance give it away.” A moustachioed “looney” politician, who likes a drink, eh? Intrigued or what? Showing my age now, but Tariq Ali had a moustache and was regarded as controversial back in the sixties. Not sure if he’s much of a pub man though!

    Former Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, used to sport an impressive moustache, and the Floyd were originally from Cambridge. No political links, but I imagine he enjoys the odd jar or two. Apart from that I’m stumped.


  4. Lovely looking pub but that rug is a bit of a trip hazard.
    I love the way the Spoons tried to blend in their laminate flooring with the older parquet flooring hoping no-one will notice.
    I must say you’re very hospitable young Martin to act as BRAPA’s chauffeur and minder while he goes on the piss.
    Help,I’ve come over all Russ ….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “with its status as one of the Famous Five mainstays of the Beer Guide. ‘

    Well done them!

    “This is a genuine boozer for bourgeoise,”

    Good turn of phrase. 🙂

    “Simon ducks for some reason”

    I’d say it’s something to do with Belinda but she’s a goose, not a duck 😉

    “Si squeals with joy”


    “Simon not responsible for the hole for fluffy owl”

    I still say that’s on Ookpik.

    “in which random characters performed random real life dramas for BRAPA’s delight”

    I think that pretty much happens wherever Si goes. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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