Cambridge – Free Press

I’ve been here before, although I’ve come to Cambridge with so many people (well, nearly five) that I can’t remember who I went with. Anyway, I doubt anyone much cares about that, but the reason I came back is that it’s in the Good Beer Guide. The pub is named after a temperance movement newspaper, which managed to get to just one issue. The story goes that Sarah Horne established the pub in 1834 and she named the pub after the newspaper because she thought that this was ironic, and it is indeed quite humorous, although I doubt the editor approved.

It’s a Greene King operated venue, so the beer choice wasn’t overly exciting, but the Timothy Taylor’s Landlord was well-kept and tasted as it was meant to. The staff member did recommend a bottled beer as I wanted something darker, so there was an effort made and the service was polite and helpful.

The pub wasn’t very busy, this is the left-hand side front room. There’s lots of heritage here and it’s clearly been popular with locals and university students (and indeed university students who are locals) for many decades.

In a nod to their printing related name, local customers have given the pub random photos and, to be honest, some junk, which is placed in type cases that were once used by printers. The Good Pub Guide, which is a book I don’t much like (unlike the Good Beer Guide, which is truly excellent), says that the pub “was a print shop for a local paper” which doesn’t appear to be true.

The pub still has outdoor toilets, which is exciting insomuch that it doesn’t happen much any more, and there’s an external seating area. It was also raining, so this didn’t seem quite as appealing as it might do in the warm summers that the UK is not entirely renowned for.

I suspect, and indeed know since the staff member told another customer, that the number of table bookings wasn’t very high at all, which is surprising given the eat out to help out scheme which is running. Although, I didn’t even realise they were serving food until someone ordered at the bar, there were no menus visible (or I didn’t notice any, but I might not have noticed them as I get distracted easily). The Scotch eggs looked good in photos though, a reliable bar snack option if they’re done right.

So, it was all entirely acceptable and the staff members were friendly, so the environment was comfortable. The pub seemed clean, although it had the problem of having a toilet check-list that wasn’t being routinely filled in, so customers then can see that staff aren’t checking the toilets. But, I don’t let such things worry me (although I seem to have the need to comment on them) and there’s a quirkiness to this pub that I rather liked.