19 Oct The Anchor Pub review
The Anchor – The makeover of Sid’s hangout – One of my favourite places to have a drink or a meal is along the river Cam. It’s just a pity, that there are so little places where you can do this. You can count them on one hand and if you include a picnic, then there are few more places to go.
This particular top location has suffered for many years with the presence of badly run pubs. Either the food wasn’t good or it took you forever to get a drink. A few years ago I promised myself never to go back to the Mill Pond Pub and the Anchor Pub. A real pity as they are in my favourite part of town. For me, the heart of Cambridge is Mill Pond. I love the scene, the hustle and bustle and there is nothing better than to buy a drink at one of the pubs and relax along the river in the grass. Of course, a nice cocktail at the DoubleTree Hilton never goes amiss too watching the punters trying to steer their boats to Grantchester, which sometimes can be a hilarious scene.
Good news! The scene is changing at Mill Pond. In the beginning of the year, the Mill Pond Pub changed hands and is now a great pub with local and home-brewed beer and gastropub food. Since this week the Anchor has changed its looks too. A new management came on board, the place was gutted and it is now in the hands of the Metropolitan group, which is part of Green King Brewery. They have 75 pubs in London and the Anchor is the first one outside London. Although they are part of Green King, they are free to choose their beers. Although it isn’t a free house, it does have the spirit of one. Their house Ale ‘Steadfast’ is brewed especially for them by Green King and the other Ales are local ones and change on a regular basis.
The Anchor dates back to 1864 where it is recorded as a tavern in the name of Mr E Newman. It has played a very important part in the national music scene. as the founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett was a regular at the Anchor riverside bar during the sixties and you could hear them play here on a regular basis. The riverside bar now boasts a lasting tribute to his legacy in the form of a specially commissioned mural.
The ‘new’ Anchor looks really good. It’s a real change from what it used to be. I like the colour scheme, the food was good, topped up with a local Ale from Fellows Brewery and a great view, my lunch couldn’t be better on such stunning day as last Thursday.
The official opening was last night. Martin and his team served free canapés to give you a taste of their new menu. I highly recommend paying them a visit and to check out their new menu yourself. The evening menu is slightly different than the lunchtime one. The main difference is the desserts. You can expect the traditional pub food such as Shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, smoked haddock, a nice grilled Longhorn ribeye served on the bone, but also Pappardelle with duck, olive & sage ragu and for the vegetarian’s Red lentil & cabbage parcels, roast cauliflower, sweet potato sauce and peanut fritter. To wash this all down, they have a great selection of local ales and a very good wine menu. You will find (which is quite unusual these days) mainly French wines and a few new world ones. I was pleased to spot a wine from one of my favourite vineyards in Cape Town, the winery of the Good Hope, very good wines but still not very well known outside South Africa.
Wondering why those lovely pieces of roast are out there? Not for a roast dinner, but for their sandwiches!
The Anchor Pub is a great pub to head off to when the sun is out, but just as good on a wintery or grey old day as there is nothing better to curl up around a roaring fire overlooking the river Cam.