But he’s always so polite and cheery, at least until the micro pub decides to take the month off and not tell anyone.
Or he takes umbrage at the atrocious pub sign (a B and an H) for Rampton’s Black Horse (after a short stop to survey the wondrous King’s Head in Wilburton, which I haven’t seen open in 20 years).
Rampton is most famous as the setting for the setting for the murder in Sebastian Faulks’s Engleby (great read). And you can see why.
That said, there’s a very attractive Bass clock, which as you’ll know would make a nice watch if I was a giant.
Despite being about 5 miles away from Waterbeach I’d only been in here twice when it made the Guide after what is politely called “a rescue” from Greene King. The beer was good enough but I never quite saw why it would beat the Sun to the GBG (NBSS votes ! screams someone).
At the door, we’re met by one of those famed fake Scrumpy Jack hand pumps that so inflamed London CAMRA in the mid ’90s, before cask breathers and Punch became the new thing to rail against.
This classic piece of fakery was keeping the door shut. And why not ?
It’s a simple village pub, one room for drinkers, one for the family diners.
Simon headed to the loo, leaving me to the difficult decision.
The gravity dispense gives it a “rustic Suffolk” feel, and that’s fair. A soundtrack of Soft Cell and Luther’s “Never Too Much” kept us firmly in 1981, eight years after the murder in Engleby*.
I had a half of Tring, as good as I’ve had anywhere NBSS 3.5+. As you can probably tell from the aerial shot of the classic foamy head.
Simon returned with tales of more broken doors, which I didn’t believe ’till I also knocked the latch off the loo door onto the ground ten minutes later. It was falling apart, literally.
Still, good beer, friendly landlady, an argument over green v pink markers, and a race against the couple at the bar to be first to shut the door every 2 minutes when it swung open.
Also, Simon had a draw underneath his table, just like at school. He wasn’t impressed.
I think I preferred the Black Horse to Simon, who suddenly said “Waistcoat Scampi Family” quite loudly as the diners stood at the door. It was very Mark E Smith, and I wrote it down very quickly.
Then I dragged him out before things really kicked off. He needed a nice cup of tea.
*There wasn’t a real murder, it’s just a book.