The long search for new tenants is over with the arrival of Ian and Donna Wilson from the Tree Stapleford. New carpets have accompanied an internal redec and a revamped patio. The pool table in the back room has given way to tables and chairs for the service of food. Greene King IPA, Abbot and a Greene King guest list beer.
Landlord Joel has boldly moved to a mainly fish-dish specials board for the summer – all fresh from Grimsby we’re assured. Cottage Concorde, a 4.6% dark bitter, on sale when Carl called.
Pear Tree Hildersham
Choice expanded to include an offering from the Greene King guest list (Tom Woods Bomber County on last visit). Circulating events by email has helped build up a loyal following with many booked up within hours of announcement.
Rob and Lesley took over early in the year though Kevin still keeps a paternal eye on the place he rescued. Lunch-time food has taken-off – honest pub grub, quickly served and well-appreciated. See the pub web-site – www.the-boot.biz – for news of events, such as the Beer Festival (10-11 September).
Kings Head Dullingham
Currently closed Mondays and Tuesdays. New chef Paul from Swynford Paddocks has come up with interesting ideas e.g. Sharing Slates at £10 for four starter-sized portions of popular dishes. A recent visit found Draught Bass as the only real ale.
Hole in the Wall Little Wilbraham
The great news is that partner Chris has recovered from being knocked off his bike and is back in the chef’s hat, having contemplated interesting new dishes during his recuperation. Beers from Brandon or Buntingford usually accompany the Woodforde’s Wherry.
Bull Burrough Green
Thursday evening fish and chip night is very popular; cod, plaice, haddock or rock-eel, all from Grimsby, served on extremely large plates.
Black Horse Swaffham Bulbeck
A sixth handpump is being added, to give three guests alongside Wells Eagle, Bombardier and Directors.
Red Lion Swaffham Prior
Vagaries of the brewery price list mean Batemans Mild (£3) costs more than XB Bitter (£2.80).
Cheapest (and best?) Greene King IPA in the County at £2.35. Folk evenings first and third Friday every month.
Dykes End Reach
Now that owner Frank has his Q.C. silks, the long-awaited tap room project may get off the ground. At the attached Devil’s Dyke Brewery, brother Martin is brewing a porter to extend the range of house beers. No food Monday but gather early for the boys’ night.
Since Bob moved in (February 2005) he’s served over 700 different ales.
Now run by the same team as the Red Lion Newnham. Major refurb and four Greene King ales.
Five Bells Burwell
Currently serving Greene King XX Mild (£2.70) though this may give way to a guest.
Red Lion Brinkley
First-time publicans Emma and Antony Eagle have been here 6 months now. The accent is on family-friendly with the large garden carefully fenced off from the pub. Greene King IPA and Abbott now joined by a guest.
Chestnut Tree West Wratting
A more than 100% rise in real sales here since John Drage took over a year ago. A fourth handpump is planned. The dining room reopens on 25 June with the emphasis on English food.
White Swan Stow-cum-Quy
Colin has reduced his range of ales to three to preserve quality – Adnams Bitter, Woodforde’s Wherry and St Austell Tribute. The Sunday carvery deserves a mention; £10 for main and desert, all fresh produce and in an essentially relaxed atmosphere.
Carpenters Arms Great Wilbraham
The food operation begins at the end of June if building work stays on programme. Currently serving Brandon Rusty Bucket, Greene King IPA and a Cambridge Moonshine beer.
The Missing Sock Stow-cum-Quay
The long-closed Prince Albert reopened in its new guise on 1 April, serving Elgoods Cambridge Bitter and Pageant. This is certainly a characterful establishment, offering “interactive hospitality”. As well as a restaurant with international cuisine, you can find a coffee lounge, cocktail bar, elders’ tea-time, the Wisdom Corner and Humour Corner, Red Alert Night, Kids Foodies Club and more.
Black Bull Balsham
A beer festival, with 16 ales and live music, takes place here from 16-18 July. The pub runs various promotions such as Pie and Pint Night on Mondays (£9 for one of each) and Fish and Chips Night on Tuesday (£5 per meal). More details on their website at www.blackbull-balsham.co.uk