The Cambridge Chop House occupies the premises on the corner of Kings Parade and Bene't Street which have seen a succession of wine bars over the years. The folk running it also have the excellent Cock at Hemingford Gray (a former Huntingdonshire CAMRA Pub of the Year) and the Boathouse, Ely. It's an interesting building. The ground floor room is light and airy, the huge windows offering a terrific view of King's College. Downstairs is a rambling cellar, formerly a rather dingey hole but now looking very elegant with white walls and tasteful furnishings. Not sure about the "eyes" mural in the private room though!

Anyway, on to the beer. This is served, unusually for the city, direct from the barrel (or firkin, rather); on the evidence of my visit, the cooling jackets being used keep the ale at just the right temperature. The initial offerings were Nethergate IPA and Buntingford Silent Night (a superbly hoppy seasonal beer). A philosophy behind the operation is to source locally as much of the food and drink as possible so expect to see City of Cambridge and Milton beers appearing. Bottled ales include Elgoods Black Dog and Nethergate Old Growler and there is real cider from Westons straight from a polypin.

From the food perspective, the Chop House aims to offer a range of classic British dishes. "Food is all prepared in our kitchen, is no nonsense and is keenly presented. They make their own sausages which come with sauce and mash for a tenner. A Chop House Roast is served every lunchtime and there are of course Chops (beef or mutton) plus fish, chicken, steak and veggie options. Salads, starters and light bites also feature. You can get set lunches for £11 (two courses) or £15 (three courses).

Although the Chop House is primarily a restaurant, the crew here are more than happy to sell you just a beer if you fancy an alternative to Greene King in this part of the city centre. A most welcome addition to the local scene.

The Cambridge Chop House, Kings Parade
Tel: 01223 359506
www.cambscuisine.com [an error occurred while processing this directive]