Cambridge – The Maypole

This was the third in our list of pubs to visit in Cambridge, the Maypole which is a freehouse that is listed in the Good Beer Guide. I have visited here before, but it was several years ago and I’d managed to forget most things about it. It was part of the Punch estate that was purchased from Pubmaster, but it’s now a free house and there’s a comprehensive history of the pub on their web-site from its opening in 1851 which is clearly laid out. The history of the pub is quite complex, as the site once had two separate pubs on, the Maypole and the Plume of Feathers.

There’s a central bar area in this CAMRA award winning pub, which now has an Italian street food menu.

Interesting decoration in the pub of a maypole scene and the interior was clean and comfortable. The service at the bar was friendly and helpful, with the environment being welcoming. The pub is well reviewed, although recently got a negative 1/5 comment saying:

“If the pub happens to be playing a wonderful Luther vandross number, and you happen to sing along quietly, then it appears one might be more suited to wetherspoons and you will be asked to leave”.

Ignoring the sneering about other pub chains, I quite approve of the policy the pub seems to have here. And from five years ago:

“I got 31 chips for 3 pounds”.

A 1/5 review which seems to have been a fore-runner of the JD Wetherspoon Paltry Chips group on Facebook…..

There were beer options chalked up in a few places, this is the keg list which has some acceptable options, but feels a bit limited for a freehouse with no ties that is mentioning that it’s making a big effort in this area. Although we had just been to the nearby Thirsty, where the options were exceptional, so maybe an unfair comparison between the two. The cask list is better than the generic choices in some pubs in the city, I suspect they do more cask than keg sales here.

We both went for half a pint of the Brazilian coffee from Colchester Brewery, as I couldn’t see anything at the bar that I hadn’t had before. This is though a perfectly acceptable beer, and one of my favourites from that brewery, and it was at the appropriate slightly chilled temperature.

This feels like a well-run pub and I can see why it has been listed in the Good Beer Guide, with an effort made to have both cask and keg options, as well a wide range of other drinks. We didn’t try the food, but the choices looked interesting and the service was friendly and welcoming, so a very pleasant visit. As an aside, CAMRA note there’s no accessible toilet here.