My nearest GBG targets, if they’re even open, are some 3 hours away now.

So I’ve been celebrating the return of pubs more locally, enjoying some unexpectedly great beer.

Apart from my own Waterbeach local, the nearest pubs to home are in Milton a mile down the A10. It’s a dull mile, though you can liven it up by diverting via Landbeach cemetery.  I jest.


A while ago (probably 1987) I promised someone I’d actually visit the Waggon & Horses and write about their beer. I never did.

Usualmix of weather
Proper pub sign

The most interesting thing about this is its rescue from a sad couple of years as a very rare village Italian restaurant, that allegedly didn’t take kindly to a local popping in for a pint of bitter (we call it the Arden affectation).

I’ll be honest; I thought it was done for after that gastro flirtation ended; one of four fairly similar village pubs you could cover in a boozy half hour.

But it’s back with a pleasing simplicity honed in Wisbech rather than Wokingham, and when I’ve been passed it’s always been open and lively looking, with loads of food carts and events. But I hadn’t been in since the days when it was run by a Monster Raving Loony (party candidate) and sold cider I was over-partial to.

Mrs RM wouldn’t be a fan of the design.

Arrow free

but it looks like Proper Pub to me.

Single entry/exit, some clear messages about distancing, handwash at the door, and that’s your lot.

Milton getting their beers into Milton

Note the hook to hang your pashmina on the lovely bar.

Ales on, lager unavailable

There’s something thrilling about pubs at the moment.  May the feeling never pass.

Pub life

Frankly I fancied theWaterbeach brew, but when in Milton you have to go for the Cambridge from Wisbech. £3.50 for a pint of Cambridge Bitter that was vigorously pulled through first. And obviously fresh.

I stopped by the dart board to nick a beer mat,

Oooh, nice head
NOT banned

and headed out to the garden, where the nasty Covids don’t like the Fen sunlight, apparently.

I didn’t expect much; NBSS 2.75 at best.

It was great.  Tight, foamy head, cool rich beer, touch of straw you associate with family brewers like Elgoods and McMullens.  GBG quality easy.

Fifth NBSS 3.5 beer out of six

The vast garden filled up with lads and lasses talking about” “****ing it up“, clearly a reference to Leicester’s Champs League hopes, and various boyfriend issues I’m saving for the book.

Roughly two-thirds of the customers were out in the pub garden on an unexceptional cloudy day, and they ALL looked pleased to be there.

This MIGHT just work, you know.



22 thoughts on “MILTON – ALL GOOD AT ELGOOD’S

  1. Loved these sentences: “There’s something thrilling about pubs at the moment. May the feeling never pass.” –Makes me think there is something special about this particular time, when things we once took for granted are newly recognized for the minor miracles that they are.

    Does seem all the various places you’ve been to are really delivering on the beer front. It could be quite some time before you have to go looking for a potted plant. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, there was a nice potted plant in that pub too, but no need.

      I think just being out and in the vicinity of other people is quite thrilling at the moment, even if you have to shout at them from 2 metres away !

      Liked by 2 people

  2. In terms of beer quality, I’m wondering if lockdown gave pubs the opportunity to properly clean lines, and generally get everything checked over (especially those pubs who may have not been as thorough in the past), and now for re-opening every pub is likely to have fresh beer. So there is a bit of a perfect storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems like it, Steve.

      Despite trade not obviously being at predicted “carnage” levels, and worries about beer lines and supply, I’ve seen a mini golden age of beer, to go along with your dolphins in the Thames and wild boar reclaiming Foots Cray Meadow (little local reference for you there).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Line cleaning ?
      I remember an Ansells pub kept by the same publican since 1939 and there were always white ‘bits’ at the bottom of a pint of Bitter. I concluded that he never cleaned the lines and bits of the growth of yeast inside them regularly fell off. That and not using a sparkler meant his beer wasn’t for those who drank with their eyes but he shifted plenty of his one beer and I never had a ‘bad’ pint there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only really undrinkable beer that sticks in my mind is a pint in Dorchester Wetherspoons a year ago and a spectacularly foul pint in an upmarket gastropub in the poshest village in the country near Guildford a few months later.

        Beer from far more modest houses is rarely tainted.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The most undrinkable I’ve known was scarcely distinguishable from Sarsons, and that’s hardly an exaggeration, in Anglesey during the summer of 1976.
        Poor quality beer in recent years has invariably been from too many beers on, publicans putting choice before quality.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I had that in pints of Tolly Cobbold at the Newbourne Fox in the early 1970s – the bits weren’t white, but buff-coloured.

        But they only sold the one bitter, and lots of it, and no one ever complained as I recall.

        I hope that it was yeast, anyway. I always wondered, so thanks for that.


      4. Poshest village in the country near Guildford? Without looking back through the blog, I’d guess at Shere; and if it’s Shere, it’ll either be The White Horse or The William Bray. I’d go for the latter as it’s the more gastropub of the two…


      5. Ooh, Chidd. Not been there since the day of Diana’s funeral, which may seem remiss as it’s only 5-ish miles from here; but looking at the beer quality, it seems I’m not missing much. But, posh as it is, Chidd is not as posh as Shere. The fact someone is wearing jeans is proof of that…


  3. What, no Bar Billiards! Presumably a Curry & Cue Sports theme pub was a step too far for village Cambridgeshire. Tell me the White ‘Oss has still got one…

    That sideboard must be fair riddled with holes from stray darts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Stafford’s Greyhound has a proper one way system – in from County Road, out onto Sash Street.
        And sensibly down to three cask beers on reopening.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d been popping in there quite regularly during the winter months before lockdown, £3 a pint on Tuesdays from 5-7pm being an added incentive. The beer was always at least 3.5 NBSS (recorded the scores) and the selection from quite far afield too, Orkeny being the furthest. Got to know a few of the locals for a chin wag as well. It’ll be the next pub I visit after the Sun.


    1. Good to hear.

      I’d been meaning to pop in the Waggon since it reverted to pub. They seem to be making a real go of it.

      It used to be my local when I lived in Milton briefly late 80s and hasn’t changed much in 30 years.

      I’ll visit all the Milton pubs soon. Great effort to reopen.


  5. You remind me of the 5½ pints of Elgoods I enjoyed last year, 3 Golden Newt and 2½ Hen In Black.
    It’s on the guest beer list of Black Country Ales who, as I’m sure you know, have the Shrewsbury Arms and Bird in Hand two miles from me.

    Liked by 1 person

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