Pub #2 in my attempt to visit every pub in Cambridge over the next year…
The Red Bull in Newnham is the most southwesterly pub on the list, but only a short and pleasant walk from the city centre, across Coe Fen and past the mill ponds. One of a number of Charles Wells pubs in Cambridge (the others being the Burleigh Arms, Dobblers, Elm Tree, Salisbury Arms, Ship, and Wrestlers), it has one long wooden floored room, the left hand end separated somewhat from the main bar by a fireplace and wood stove – thankfully the fire was in.
I enjoyed a fittingly less-than-cold pint of Young’s Winter Warmer. Amongst a small group of people at the long bar was Rory McGrath, so the overheard jollity would be unsurprising if the topic of conversation hadn’t been the robbery that occurred at the nearby Co-op the previous night (“at gun point”, “with a machete”), although I see no mention of this in the local news. Rory McGrath seems keen to be noticed, turning to face the door whenever someone enters, looking eagerly at anyone that moves (I once saw him accidentally-on-purpose walk right into a group of elderly women in the town centre so they were obliged to acknowledge the man from the telly).
Three or four tables of people are eating (there’s a strong smell of egg I hope is from someone’s dish), while an old man and his old dog sit in the part the other side of the wood stove – when the friendly woman who served us goes and stokes the fire, the smell of burning wood fills the room and all is well. Piped easy listening music (Lionel Ritchie, Carpenters etc) suits the relaxed atmosphere. I like this place. I used to live just up the road, although the Hat & Feathers (now closed and converted to flats) was my “local” of the two Newnham pubs. Rory leaves and I seize the moment to take a photo of the bar, but he soon returns, ordering a bottle of wine and looking round, hoping to catch someone’s eye.
Young’s Winter Warmer, London Gold and Bitter, Eagle IPA.
Charlie Wells Dry Hopped Lager, Young’s London stout, Carlsberg, Estrella, Erdinger.