October 5th 2022.
Another couple of nights down in Waterbeach with Mum and Dad, who have copied us by hiring a skip to clear out their garage. Getting your octogenarian parents to get rid of ANYTHING is arguably a bigger shock than the one just dished out by Saudi Arabia to Argentina.
No new GBG, obviously, so an early evening trip into Cambridge via Waterbeach’s new, expanded railway station.
The enlarged platform allows longer trains to stop, easing congestion on the trips to King’s Lynn and King’s Cross, destinations you confuse at your peril (it happens, and some people never make it out of Lynn again).
Let’s make a return visit to the Royal Standard, a surprise debut entry in GBG22 after 6 years in the Guide following a return to pub life courtesy of Cambridge pub royalty Terry and Jethro.
The 12 minute walk allows you to admire the beauty of Carter Cycle Bridge and ponder on the question “Who the **** is Schlumberger ?“. A very Cambridge query.
Well, I can tell you now he was the Austrian No. 3 in their legendary 1978 World Cup team that beat the Germans (not THAT game, that was ’82).
The Royal Standard, over the bridge in ever more gentrified Romsey, looks unchanged since 2015.
I enter to the sound of dominoes (but no Derek), raucous laughter and a pub heaving with student and post grad life.
It looks unchanged, bar heaving with Belgians (not de Bruyne) and a Greek kitchen feeding the masses.
Busy pubs are great, so are Belgian beers, and the staff were fantastic, but what accounted for the elevation to the Guide last year ?
Oddly, it’s beer quality. Nene Valley are the Oakham of the 2020s, and the Manhattan Project was a cool, rich NBSS 3.5. I see a fair bit of cask pulled, too.
It feels like a community pub, with a family group opposite debating whether drinking a G & T every night accounted for their nan’s longevity, and something about “a punched ham sandwich” which seems a food trend too far to me.
A mix of chairs, benches and barrels for seats, which is fine. Wish I’d eaten, but it was Chinese takeaway night (there was a “y” in the day”).
Well deserved GBG entry, despite the Toploader on the soundtrack.