Sunday, June 16th, 2024

Eating and Drinking Locally


Cambridge Eateries
I read in the newspaper today that a company that owned a number of pubs in Cambridge had gone into liquidation. It mentioned the Cow – my heart sank – not another decent place in Cambridge going away !
Thankfully not the case as it has been spared closure. It got me thinking about pubs etc. around Cambridge. I guess owning a pub must be a difficult time right now given:

  • Smoking ban – I’m sure it has an impact on trade (and also profit on vending machines). However it has a very positive impact on health.
  • Cheap booze from supermarkets. Yes, not content with the UK having a problem with binge drinking supermarkets are aiding this by having lots of special offers on packs of beer and other drinks (12/24 bottles typical pack size). I guess people are drinking more.
  • Recession – people not having enough money to spend going out (coupled with cheap booze from supermarkets).

Still, some places don’t seem to do much to help themselves. It’s almost as if there is a convenant on Cambridge Pubs that says they can only be good for a period of time, then they have to fall back to the standard position of being lousy. Take a Pub in Fulbourn that has a very up and down reputation over the years. Until recently it had management that did a great job on the food (steak/chips/onion rings some of the best I have tasted). However, recently it’s changed hands again and reverted back to being bland. I guess the net curtains on the windows says it all !

Thursday Night Dinner
Alimentum on Hills Road last night. I’ve had drinks in there quite a few times en route to the Peking. However, last night decided to take the plunge and have dinner. Good service, food and wine nice. Quite pricey – £91 for 2 people.

Friday Lunch
Decided to head through to Bury St Edmunds for lunch. Maison Bleue is a place I’ve heard lots about, but never been. Absolutely fantastic. French food, with French staff and good service. Shame about the cheese board being within smell (ironic since I was at a table nearest to the loo). Steak with Red Wine and Shallot sauce was absolutely fantastic (I think the staff did look their nose down at me mopping up the sauce with bread as it was so so good). Petit fours with coffee afterwards were amazing. Overall a great lunch. Trouble is that I don’t do lunchtime drinks well (so the Red Wine made me sleepy).

Saturday Night Dinner
Dinner with friends from University Saturday night. Ended up in d’Arrys (sp ?). Absolutely fantastic as usual. Great service (I think the girl serving us used to work in All-Bar-On) and excellent value for money. My only gripe was that the steak was very large and so (unusually) I had to leave some of it. I’ll never ever be a member of the vegetarian clan. However, I do have a certain amount of guilt when leaving meat as I know an animal has died for it and it just seems a terrible waste when you have to throw part of it away

Saturday Night Drinks
By the time dinner ended it was a little late and Cambridge was heaving with people. It’s one of the few times recently I’ve had to interact with normal locals – as usual I found them to be difficult and up themselves (like not standing aside at the bar when it’s clear you are trying to grab drinks).

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