They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday 16 February 2012

Watering Holes

Considering beer is (usually) over or about 95% water, you could take pubs to be considered as watering holes. The following is a round up of my favourite 3 I have visited in the past few days whilst visiting Cambridge.

First up was the Cambridge Blue.

This pub is most probably the best in all of Cambridge. It's not the first time I've written about it and it probably won't be the last. I've only been here a few days but I've already been twice. The other day I had a fantastic pint of Oakham Citra straight from the cask with the juiciest bacon and cheese burger. If you don't already know, the Cambridge Blue offers a range of 14 real ales, seven of which are on the bar through lines, and the other seven (the upper pump clips) are served straight from the cask from a cold room next door - a beast of an idea if there ever was one! Today I tried a great pint of Osset Snow Drop; from God's Own Country, and some more Oakham - Preacher - a 4.3% dark ale with the best looking pump clip.

The Cambridge Blue is about to undergo some serious building renovations, and will be closed for about a week, but I'm sure it will work out for the best.

The second pub on my list would be Live and Let Live.

This would be my first visit to this pub, it was recommended by a number of people on Twitter so I thought I'd give it a go. Turns out I was to be pleased and disappointed in quick succession. My first look in was late at night so I only managed a couple of halves. Oakham Dreamcatcher and Darkstar Smoked Porter were the order of the night. I wanted to get a proper sense of the place so I popped back the next day to be disappointed that they were closed on my arrival. Turns out I fell into my usual trap of thinking that all pubs were open all day, a mistake I make a little too often when I venture down South.

What I did see and partake of the place the previous night was all excellent though, and I shall be making tracks back here hopefully sooner rather than later.

The third pub on my charts to haunt was an excellent recommendation and find: The Kingston Arms

This place is great. It seemed like a very friendly, family oriented, foody pub during the day when I went. In fact the food menus looked great too! I don't think I've ever been in a pub where I got to choose my selection of sausage with my mash, or my choice of cheese for my panini! I may have not been in many pubs in my life, but I've never seen jars full of freshly baked cookies either. If I hadn't just had another warm meal in the Cambridge Blue, I think the Marinated Baby Squid and mixed olive salad would have been my choice, but I did enjoy perusing the "Recession Section" - a selection of standard (but tasty) meals all for £4.99 each. Oh.... they had Mars Bars too for 49p each!

The pump selection was vast and varied. It was very nice (for me) to see Jaipur alongside Harveistoun's Bitter and Twisted - two supreme beers. From the selection of 13 hand pumps I spied some Leeds Gathering Storm Stout also, and decided to see how it travelled. 

Turns out beer from my home town travels quite well indeed! I think this dry Stout is a perfect example of how distance isn't an issue when good care and good cellar manship come into play. 

I was a big fan of the massive hop vine that
spanned the entire bar.
I enjoyed my drinks here. I like it when you find games like Buckaroo alongside books which look like they're 1 hundred years old.

I've really liked my time down South in Cambridge, I usually do, similar activities are usually undertaken, just see last time. I can't shake the feeling that drinking down here reminds me of when I get a lock in up North: you know, when you get a beer, but all the sparklers have been taken off to be cleaned... Even though It's not what I'm entirely used too, it's still not so bad.


  1. I'm lucky enough to live a short train ride away from Cambridge and I love popping into the Cambridge Blue and Live & Let Live when I'm in town. Unbelievably, not been to the Kingston Arms yet, but I'll be addressing that very soon.

    Don't know if you're aware, but Cambridge is also going to get a new 'tap' pub:!/cambridgetap1

  2. Nothing beats the feeling of walking into a pub to see an array of beers like that behind the bar. Jackpot!