Cambridge – The Eagle

I like to start on a positive, but unfortunately, this pub is operated by Greene King, who have provided a pretty dreary selection of beers. I can ignore that though, because otherwise the pub is a magnificent piece of history. It’s where Francis Crick announced to the assembled company that he and James Watson had figured out the building blocks of DNA.

The pub’s long history, closely linked in with Corpus Christi College.

To be fair to the pub, it was busier than this, but I’ve managed to ensure no people are in these photos. These are the front two rooms of the pub, I’m sure they must be packed with atmosphere during the winter months when the fires are on. I liked them though and I can imagine tourists to Cambridge from shores far away must like it too.

The back room. The staff member on the front door was full of enthusiasm and was happy to keep explaining the pub’s health procedures in a friendly and personable manner to every new customer. I got the impression that she was very proud of the pub and that came across, so this was a welcoming place from the outset. The pub was also impressively clean and tidy, with plenty of staff around all seeming to be busy. To be fair, Greene King has got this sorted out nicely.

The outside seating area, which is where I went until I got annoyed by people smoking (they’re allowed to there, I just get irritated easily). Uninspired with the pub’s beer selection, I opted for that traditional drink of lemonade…. It was helped that it was half-price as part of the Government’s eat out to help out, and it was a poor lemonade that primarily tasted primarily of soda water.

The RAF bar, right at the back of the pub past the courtyard. The writing on the ceiling is that of RAF and USAF airmen during the Second World War, which probably annoyed the staff at the time, but it now a snapshot of a time gone by and their bravery. It was lost under a veneer of nicotine in the years after the war, but it was uncovered during a major restoration of the pub.

I had a little look at TripAdvisor and I’m not sure I want to comment in too much detail about the disabled man who had to wee in a plant pot as there was no disabled toilet. I was humoured though by the review which complained about the fish finger sandwiches, noting:

“3 fish fingers in nasty thin “plastic” brown bread, not crusty, not artisan, not Ciabatta, but thin processed slices of brown bread!!”

That wasn’t the bit I liked though, it was the pub replying:

“I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your fish finger brioche”.

I quite liked the photo, in the review entitled ‘Appalling Portion’ where someone had paid £3 for 3 medium-sized chips and a handful of very small ones. For anyone with a few minutes spare, it’s worth finding that review  🙂

Anyway, I digress. This was an absolutely wonderful pub (other than the drink element) and it’s an omission that I’ve never been here in all my previous visits to Cambridge. So, recommended, just try and forget it’s a Greene King operated pub. I wish Greggs ran it.