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.
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.
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.