Happily, rescue was at hand from experienced licensee Steve Hill (he was at the Railway Vue Impington for 15 years) and his wife Sue who took over 15 months ago. Their first move was to shut the pub for three weeks and give it a total makeover. Out went the dartboard, pool table and jukebox (and the horrible red paint) and in came a truly stylish but still very "pubby" new look. The L-shaped interior is now more opened out which suits what is actually quite a small pub. The front area has a stripped pine floor and the back portion is carpeted. Walls are cream with sage green third-height panelling and are adorned with framed photos of the village. Furniture is nicely assorted. Outside is a smart new patio with well-appointed garden beyond, overseen by Steve's beloved phone box.

On the beer front when Jane and I visited were just two real ales, Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen - but arrival of two more pumps was imminent and these will carry changing guest beers. A tub of Pickled Pig sits on the bar for those of a cidery persuasion.

Jane and I also had a meal so the article becomes a "Grubbing Around Extra" at this point. I started with Prawns which arrived in fat abundance, dressed in Marie Rose sauce, and atop a crisp salad. Jane's Wild Mushrooms came in a creamy garlic and stilton sauce which (she said) flattered rather than dominated the interesting selection of tasty fungi. A great start so on to the mains, with a choice of seven dishes priced between £6.95 and £8.95. Jane settled on a homemade burger with bacon and cheese but I headed for the specials board and Fresh Cod & Chips (the fish man had called the previous day). This comprised a very generous hunk of perfectly cooked and battered fish, accompanied by superb home-made chunky chips and a pot of mushy peas. Jane was equally enthused by her burger, a plump mound of finely ground beef with more of those lovely chips, some chunky "proper" bacon and salad with a mustardy dressing. Pure greed led us on to share a Shelford Mess (an upmarket version of the Eton concoction) featuring chewy meringue and seriously good strawberries. On our evidence, the Plough presents classic pub food which is definitely a cut above in terms of quality and presentation. Sue told us later that the ingredients are locally sourced where possible (sausages for instance are from Clarks of Ware) and freshly cooked by talented chef Andy. There's no food here Monday or Tuesday while on Sunday lunch lasts from 12 to 6 (and includes the whole menu as well as the roast, which is £8.95 - or £10.95/£12.95 for two/three courses)

Back to the pub then and when we called charity fund-raising was in full swing, having started on the Jubilee weekend. As part of this, Steve had had his hair done and was sporting a very fetching red, white and blue mohican. The next day this was to be somehow transformed into an olympic rings hairstyle, for which I demanded photographic evidence. At the time, around £1000 had been raised for Headway, Cystic Fibrosis and the Institute for the Blind.

Other entertainment at the Plough includes a quiz night on Thursday and live blues/rock music the first Saturday of most months.

This really is a great little community pub and Steve and Sue are to be congratulated on the transformation. What's also undeniable is that Steve, as landlord, is a "character" of the kind whose scarcity we've bemoaned in ALE so all the more reason to get down there.