Mid June. Back “home” in Waterbeach to make sure my parents are eating enough of that yummy Chinese food from Chung Hwa (yes, yes they are).
I’d notice on Twitter that Roxanne de Bastion was playing Blue Moon that night, too good to miss.
And a chance to feel nostalgic about Mill Road 18 months after leaving.
Actually, I don’t feel nostalgic about Cambridge, but it does still have great pubs. This one below isn’t great but it is famous in CAMRA circles;
The streets between the station and Parkers Piece are key to Cambridge’s charm. For goodness sake, I was BORN on Mill Road ! (22 December, mark it on your calendars).
So much choice on the way to the Blue Moon, but one of my favourites had just re-opened after a scary closure.
The Live & Let Live is to Cambridge what the Wellington is to Sheffield, the Angel to Manchester, the Old Vic to Stockport.
Pubby, irreverent, gorgeous beer, often unheralded due to the competition.
Its return is triumphant. OK, the sign is a now bit functional, but the original (top) survives. And the pub itself is unchanged.
Pretty much your standard post-grad line-up, too.
A real unfussy mix of Cambridge life, students and science blokes and the curious. The mates were ostracising the sole one of the four without a Physics A level. “WHAT ! No Physics, we’d better move tables“. The soundtrack of Nik Kershaw seemed entirely appropriate.
A queue was building at the pumps. “This gent was here first” said the lady, nodding at me, when the barperson emerged from the cellar. I was first, but it’s nice to have your existence acknowledged.
A 6.2% Oakham Black IPA on a school night is a bit extravagant, but at least I didn’t have two, and a thick, rich marvel (NBSS 4.5) couldn’t really be rushed anyway (so I missed the first artist over at the Blue Moon).
Perhaps no better place to drink Oakham, and certainly the Nethergate flagship, but really you come here to drink anything, so fast is it selling for a backstreet pub. You’ll see more cask sold here than in the same period at the giant Spoons, I’ll bet.
And the people here are really lovely.
There you go, Mike, I’m almost sentimental for Cambridge.