Just back from taking Mrs RM and two hungry lads (when are they not ?) for Sunday lunch at the Salisbury Arms, just off Cambridge’s famous Mill Road. We’d also popped in on Mothers Day, a dry day for me.
This is, oddly, one of the city’s historic pubs, run by CAMRA Investments in the ’70s and Pint and Pub’s report contains this classic piece of everyday sexism from 1976.
A sign of the times, as is this report of the volumes sunk back in ’76.
“Prior to reopening in 1976 only three breweries provided real ale in Cambridge, but this increased to ten under its new ownership, including the likes of Sam Smiths and Batemans, 180 gallons from each being served in the first few days”
My maths aren’t great, but 2 x 180 x 8 = 2,880 pints in a few days, which is more than I’ve seen poured in my entire pub-going career. And that’s just two pumps.
Back then, in the bad old days, you only had a choice at the Salisbury of Bass, Sam Smiths, Batemans, Adnams, Elgoods, Marston’s, Greene King, Ruddles, Wells and Hannan (who ?). Oh, and Duvel and Chimay.
I don’t know how folk coped back then.
I used to use the Salisbury regularly in the late ’80s, when bicycles hung from the walls and Bombardier was a premium beer. But then I was a student.
Nowadays it’s quieter, with a decent family lunch trade and presumably a few visitors from the Youth Hostel.
If Directors, Ghost Ship, 61 Deep and Youngs Ordinary doesn’t convert them to the joys of BBB I don’t know what will.
Pleasingly, the bikes are still hanging on for dear life, as is what looks like a bath tub. You could be in a Tut ‘n’ Shive, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
The Salisbury is a prime demonstration of how the family brewers have given up on beer and stuck to the knitting of stone baked pizza.
In Tayside or Fife this would be the Pub of the Season and a GBG regular; here it’s got as much chance of a Guide spot as the Hungry Horse on Milton Road.
But the Marston’s is decently kept, cool and refreshing (NBSS 2.5/3).
I couldn’t blame Mrs RM for going for the Double Hop though. All the usual keg suspects from a decade or more ago. I almost felt nostalgic.
Pleasant staff, quick service, excellent homecooked Sunday lunches and pizzas. It’s a decent diner that sticks to the basics.
And it’s nice to have a Cambridge pub that reminds you of the 1990s.