Cambridge Pubs – Architect

A mock-Tudor pub, built in the 1930s on the site of a much older pub, the White Swan, and taking its license from an even older pub, the Three Tuns, both of which were demolished to make way for the County Arms, since renamed the Architect. It was refurbished and given its new name in 2014, at the time a joint venture with Cambridge brewery Calverley’s, whose own beers were served alongside those from other Cambridgeshire breweries. However, Calverley’s are no longer involved, and it being an Everards house, the beer choice has narrowed somewhat – three cask ales were on – Milton Pegasus and Justinian, both fine, and Oakham JHB (the Everards Tiger clip was turned round). Keg offerings were similar to Cambridge’s other Everards pub the Tram Depot – Titanic Stout, Maisel’s Weisse, Curious Lager, Amstel, Birra Moretti, Pilsner Urquell, etc.

Architect

As I was waiting for my first drink, I became aware of the unusual warmth, and then noticed the large fireplace with a good fire in. I like staring into a good fire, and there are sofas and armchairs near it, but I sought respite from the heat at the other end of the bar. There’s plenty of seating, including a large table with padded bench seats near the dormant fireplace at the other side of the L-shaped room. Floorboards in the main bar area lead to a bricked floor at the rear where the tables are laid out for dining. Some deep house was playing at an inoffensive volume, and it felt quite a nice place to be. It’s no “craft bar” – they have proper traditional light bulbs and everything.

Architect

Action shot from the World Stare-out Championship Finals

I engaged with a dog in the traditional pub game of a stare-out, which it won by suddenly barking, causing me to blink involuntarily. Referee! Have a word!

Three chaps came to the bar, two were served Maisel’s Weisse, and when it came to the third the beginnings of a Monty Python ‘Cheese Shop’ conversation started:

“I’ll have a Birra Moretti please”
“I’m afraid that’s just gone”
“Never mind, I’ll have a Pilsner urquell”
Attempts to pour pint – “Ah, I’m afraid that’s just gone too”
“What can a man drink around here?”
“I can get you a Maisel’s?” says the barman.

I half expect him to return empty-handed with the excuse that it’s a bit runny, sir, but he puts a pint of it on the bar in an unbranded straight glass.
“Im sorry we’re out of the proper glasses”
“What’s happening guys?!”

While this is going on, the dog is uttering victory barks and refusing to engage in a best of three. Knowing when I’m bested, I leave, tail between legs.

Architect

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8 responses to “Cambridge Pubs – Architect

  1. I was looking forward to your visit here. My first visit after refurb produced dull beer (Calverleys) and it wasn’t clear where the pub was aiming. I remember some pre-packed sandwiches as the food offer looking very out of place.

    Now it’s an Everards pubs with no Everards cask- odd ? If it consistently served Milton/Oakham that would be a selling point, but I guess beer range is fluid.

    Your photos make it look very welcoming anyway.

    • I also didn’t know where the pub was aiming when it first reopened, but it seems to have had a bit of a restyle since then and did, as you suggest, feel much more welcoming.

      I was relieved the Tiger wasn’t on as I might have felt obliged to try it. The last time I had Everards own beer in this pub, when it was the County Arms, I had this wearisome exchange with the girl at the bar when I returned an off pint.

      “Well nobody else has complained”
      “But you can taste it for yourself”
      (Puts glass to mouth) “I’m not tasting that it smells of vinegar”
      0_o

  2. Don’t stare at strange dogs, they find it incredibly uncomfortable and threatening.

  3. It got my back up a bit when it first re-opened by being obviously set up to signal “HELLO WE ARE ONE OF THESE TRENDY CRAFT BEER BARS YOU’VE HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT COME AND HAVE OUR EXCITINGLY CRAFTY CRAFT BEER” and then turning out to have a really pedestrian beer range. Since the first few times, I’ve not really seen any reason to cross the road from the Castle.

    • It’s funny you should say that, because the only reason I crossed over the road from the Castle was that I’d gone there specifically hoping for a pint of TT Landlord, only to find the pump clip turned round, as were the clips for two Adnams seasonals. It was a case of finding myself stood outside the Castle wondering where to go next and thinking I may as well try over the road. Pleasantly surprised to find it has improved.

  4. Having been in the County Arms, the first I heard of “The Architect” was when it appeared at no 1 in this list: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/may/07/top-10-craft-beer-pubs-cambridge

    Like so many pubs in Cambridge, its perfectly fine if a little on the pretentious/overpriced/underwhelming side, but there are so many genuinely great pubs, that why would you bother?

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