Formerly the Rat & Parrot, which opened in December 1999 in what had been the Cambridge Building Society, in 2007 it was refurbished and reopened as Revolution bar. We’d been waiting for a suitably sunny day to visit and enjoy the roof terrace, refurbished last October and sensibly fitted with a retractable roof, and it turns out it’s a really nice space to enjoy a drink, even if the beer list is unexciting, and one of the few roof terraces for drinking in Cambridge; Novi and the River Bar/Varsity Hotel (no draught beer so not on list) are the only others I can think of.
It was 2-for-1 on cocktails when we arrived, so after some strawberry flavoured alcoholic drink, a spritz or a Woo Woo or something, that I knocked back like it was beer, I did the right thing and ordered an actual beer. Ordering a beer (table service) was, not for the first time (I’m looking at you, Architect), reminiscent of Monty Python’s Cheese Shop sketch:
Me: Can I have a pint of Honkers Ale please?
She: I’m afraid we’ve sold out of that.
Me: No problem, I’ll have a Budvar instead then.
She: Erm, it’s not tasting very nice at the moment. Can I recommend a bottle of Camden Pale; a lot of people really like that.
Me: Sure, I’ll have a bottle of that.
Disappears for a moment to retrieve bottle from downstairs bar
She: It turns out we don’t have any Camden Pale left…
Thankfully, there was at least one beer that hadn’t been eaten by the cat, and I ended up with a pint of Amstel, along with some halloumi fries, better described as halloumi chips, a top-notch bar snack.
I noted I could’ve combined the pleasures of beer and cocktails and had a boilermaker; at least one other Cambridge bar, Smokeworks, has these on the menu – is this the start of a trend?
The downstairs bar didn’t have quite the same appeal as the roof terrace, although it did have Air Con set to ‘walk-in fridge’ level, and the clubroom only “comes alive” at night apparently, although there was piped music on the terrace at almost club volume, with the likes of Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Alicia Keys on repeat. Still, it was a friendly place, and I’d probably visit the roof terrace more often if they replaced one of the handful of lagers with something a bit more exciting (“Real Ale is NOT Available” says whatpub – you have been warned!)