Well, Opinion Really
A relatively long hiatus this time – blame the Cambridge housing market and the need to simultaneously act both incredibly quickly and mind-numbingly slowly. Also obtaining a College Fellowship and experiencing a Company Acquisition were considerable (interesting, welcome) distractions… :)
As an interim measure, and because I’ve been asked relatively frequently over the last few months, I thought I’d collect some local knowledge^Wopinion, garnered over many long hard years of hanging about in both Cambridge and Nottingham. What follows should be viewed as indicating nothing more than my lack of imagination.
Both Cambridge and Nottingham are blessed with many fine pubs, as well as several truly terrible ones. Less said about the latter the better. But among those that I like, and will occasionally drag various people to (including the SRG) are, arranged roughly in geographical order from the Computer Lab to the Station:
- The Plough, Coton. Gastro-pub-ish. Frequently changed management over recent years, but currently seems pretty consistent and (finally!) is not limited to Greene King beers.
- The Castle Inn. Major long-standing Adnams “proper pub”. Very consistent. Castle Burger and chips please.
- The Pickerel. Also largely unchanged in a couple of decades. Good for a pint before entering the Greene King desert.
- The Radegund. Tiniest pub I know of. Recently quite radically refurbished. But, while not what it was, seems pretty decent nonetheless.
- The Free Press. Has improved significantly while I was in Nottingham. Very good food and beer. Stocks the only actually pleasant Greene King beer (XX Mild), as well as an interesting range of others. Quite small and often packed if it’s too cold to sit outside.
- The Cambridge Blue. Surely one of the best pubs for many many miles. Excellent and huge range of beer (and, apparently, cider; won’t touch the stuff myself). Good food. Large and with a large garden too – rarely a problem finding somewhere to sit during the week.
- The Kingston Arms. Another excellent pub in the station area. Possibly better food than the Blue, potentially slightly less wide ranging set of beers (and, certainly, ciders). Also a nice garden, though in all respects somewhat smaller than the Blue so prone to being absolutely packed. Doesn’t serve lager – a certain German colleague makes do with JHB though.
- The Live and Let Live. Yet one more excellent and, though small, often less busy pub near the station. No food in the evenings.
- The Devonshire Arms. Largest range of Milton Brewery beers I know of. Food = pizzas I believe (though not, last time I tried, as good as those at The Carpenters Arms).
I don’t get out to the villages as often as I’d like now, but The Green Man, Grantchester, The Blue Lion, Hardwick and especially The Red Lion, Histon are (or were last time I went) all excellent too. The latter is still possibly my favourite pub anywhere in fact.
I only spent a few years in Nottingham, and it’s a Proper City unlike Cambridge, so I can’t claim to have tested it thoroughly. However, places I did visit fairly regularly in Nottingham, Beeston, and Wollaton that I certainly enjoyed include:
- The Roundhouse. A little pricey for Nottingham, but good quality beer and food, nice atmosphere.
- The Lincolnshire Poacher. Very excellent pub. Good whisky range too.
- Fellows, Morton & Clayton. Consistently good, proper pub food, about 4 minutes walk from the station platforms.
- The Vat & Fiddle. Only finally tried more recently. Castle Rock brewery tap. Good food and beer, also about 4 minutes walk from your station platform.
- The Hand & Heart. In a cave! It’s a pub in a cave! With excellent beer and good food! And not owned by Greene King! (Unlike Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem which has bigger, better caves but markedly less good beer or food.)
- The Organ Grinder. Another fine pub at Canning Circus. Blue Monkey brewery this time – rather good. Food limited to (nice!) pork pies and such, but the beer is good.
- The Plough Inn. Closest (decent) pub to Jubilee Campus. Nottingham City brewery tap. Excellent beer, no food in the evenings, and prices that make me think I’m 15 years younger…
- The Victoria Hotel, Beeston. Consistently excellent pub. Excellent beer, very good food.
- The Crown Inn, Beeston. Also consistently excellent beer, though no food in the evenings.
- The Wollaton Pub and Kitchen, Wollaton. Gastro-pub-ish. Generally good beer, often excellent but occasionally patchy food.
So there you go. Some opinions if relatively little knowledge. YMMV. Etc.
(PS. If I know you, I’ll also be happy to give recommendations of solicitors, builders and other house-associated professionals too. And a couple of warnings.)