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BITE user comments - wuzatar

Comments by wuzatar

The Bath House, Cambridge

Updating my 2009 opinions: I no longer like this place for lunch. The old simple snacks have been replaced by McDonalds-style fast food, off plastic menus. Horrible. Reduced range of beers and ales.

As for the interior: I rather like it. When you look closely there is a lot of old traditional woodwork about (Not wood veneer) and it must be a historic building of some relevance. But some of the seating is not very comfortable.

10 Oct 2013 18:46

The Bun Shop, Cambridge

I used to like this place for a quick snack & pint at lunchtime, when it was called the BunShop (true, the original one was on Downing St). It had a lot of rowing memorabilia and was popular with local shop workers for lunch.

I stopped going when it went to a fancy tapas bar - and so did most of the old regulars.

Tried it the other day, as an alternative to the Bath House (which has gone McDonalds-style) and found it OK for a light lunch. Hot beef bun tasty, though beef tough. Good range of varying micro-beers: I tried MistyRiver and it was OK. Menu is perhaps too extensive for a place like this, and a little bit expensive. A window seat is great for watching the strange people going up and down King Street!

10 Oct 2013 18:35

The Red Lion, Hinxton

Atmospheric old pub - the rear extension is in keeping but looks more modern. Very comfortable, friendly and attentive staff. Woodford's "Wherry" good, and popular. Food good and service excellent. The acoustics are a bit noisy and for a time the "hooray henrys" at the bar were a bit off-putting, but we enjoyed our evening and will go back.

5 Sep 2013 23:42

The Eight Bells, Saffron Walden

My wife and I had a light lunch there recently - our first re-visit since it opened again. Not a lot changed inside. Everything is clean and full of character and service was good. The old delicatessen area is now a general eating area, and the same food menu is now served everywhere. Standard range of beers at the bar, including good Adnams Broadside and a draught cider, plus usual lagers. We had a good light lunch (1 fish & chips, 1 caesar salad), but the prices seemed unreasonable. Is this place hoping to go up-market? Our snacks, and a beer each, cost nearly 30! Not surprising that the place was rather empty even though it was market day in Walden.

9 Aug 2011 18:13

The Star Inn, Lidgate

Two of us had an excellent dinner at The Star recently. It was weekend, so we had booked and arrived at 7 pm when it was still quiet. By 8:15 it was packed out - though there is enough room between tables. Food was very good, though not cheap. Starters (baby squid) were tasty and nicely presented. The portion looked a bit small on a big plate, but one wouldn't want too many little squid! Main courses delicious, and very generous (I am surprised by natalie's grumbles about small portions). Spanish shoulder of lamb perfectly cooked and almost more than I could eat. The monkfish was also generous, given the market price of this now-popular fish. Potatoes ('bravas') perfectly cooked, as were the other veg. My partner said that the sorbet was delicious.
The house wine was a good choice: Seventeen quid a bottle always seems dear, but one has to accept the high markup in any pub or restaurant. A whole bottle between 2 was a bit too much: it's a pity that the house wines are not available in a half-litre carafe. One can buy by the glass, but the glasses are not very big.
Mrs Axon and her staff were extremely attentive, not only early on when there were only a few people in, but also later when the place was full and busy. Someone or other came around frequently to check, and cheerfully brought more bread, water, or a second cup of coffee when needed.
I didn't specially notice the beers at the bar - I had come primarily for the food this time. There seemed to be a reasonable range of beers and lagers and I did notice a draught cider.
We left well contented, though a total bill of almost 78 quid for two was more than one would pay for an ordinary pub dinner. We thought that the cooking, generous portions and attentive staff made it worth it.

22 Jun 2011 17:26

The Eight Bells, Saffron Walden

The Eight Bells seemed to be shut for building works when we tried to lunch there a couple of weeks ago (October 2010). There were no signs or explanatory notices. Does anyone know what is happening? Has the ownership/management changed yet again?

2 Nov 2010 14:04

The Chequers Inn, Pampisford

We have started having bar lunches here again, after a very long gap. Our experience agrees with 'Realalediner': vg steak & Guinness pie, meaty with no gristle. The smoked haddock pie also vg. The puff pastry top was good but I suspect they are bought ready made in bulk. Good thin chips done perfectly, and fresh well-cooked veg though the portions could have been just a bit more generous. Good puddings. Prices are a little higher than average (almost 35 quid for 2 pies, 2 puds & 2 pints of beer).
Wherry (my wife's favourite) and recently Adnams new 'Ghost Ship' was on draught - a nice refreshing light ale with a hint of citrus. A bit like their 'Regatta' which is seasonal. Lots of locals around the bar on Saturday but it was easy to get a bar-room table before 1 o'clock.
Back in the 1970s a bunch of us who worked nearby used to lunch there occasionally, but the place went downhill a bit and then there were two serious fires. The last one virtually gutted the place and when it was rebuilt the thatch was replaced by tiles. It had an up-&-down reputation for a while so we avoided it, but now it can be warmly recommended for bar meals and a decent range of cask beers. I have no experience of carvery or more formal dining.
Do NOT feed their dog! Snoopy is on a special diet.

31 Oct 2010 17:46

The Rock, Cambridge

Service annoyingly slow, even though there were few people in the pub. Only 1 person serving, so when two bimbos couldn't make up their minds, two other of us had to wait for ages. Guest beer boring.

18 Apr 2009 17:43

The Boot, Dullingham

A classic village pub with a cheerful atmosphere. As well as the usual Adnams there was also Celtic Queen on draught the day we called in. It is a Norfolk beer, from the Iceni Brewery - a good refreshing summer brew.

Friendly landlady could only offer "Hot beef rolls" as lunchtime snacks, but they were delicious with horseradish sauce and very inexpensive. The regulars were cheerfully discussing the prospects for that afternoon's Grand National at Aintree, while their dogs roamed about being friendly with anyone prepared to pat them. These local pubs are a threatened institution (my own village had about 8 when we moved in almost 40 years ago - now there are only 3 still open and one of these is about to close). Places like The Boot deserve support from visitors as well as their own community.

7 Apr 2009 12:06

Savanna @ The Black Lion Inn , St Albans

We had an evening dinner at the Black Lion, so can't say much about the bar except that it seemed busy by the time we left. Dining room very smart and 'modern'. The food was good and generous in spite of being served in a somewhat 'nouvelle cuisine' style. Very good halibut and shank of lamb, with interesting trimmings. However, the prices were high by St Albans standards; very high by average pub standards. The wines were also pricey, though a 250 ml glass was priced at about one-third of the bottle price, so no extra markup there. Prices must turn many people off: the wife and I were the only diners until about 8 pm - so we had excellent service from the nice waitress. She did make a mistake over our pudding order, but that was put right immediately and the cost removed completely from our bill, which nevertheless came to over 50 quid for a 2-course meal with 2 glasses of wine. Big car park: had to be careful not to dent the shiny black Ferrari that someone had come in! The car park entrance is in Branch Road, just off Fishpool St.

10 Mar 2009 18:16

The Six Bells, St Albans

Evidently popular with the locals. It was packed at 6 pm on a Friday evening. We were looking for a sit-down meal, so we didn't stay (all seating seemed taken!). Sorry, can't add anything specific, but it seems well liked.

10 Mar 2009 17:57

The Hare and Hounds, St Albans

Good range of draught beers: Wherry, Landlord & DoomBar when we stopped for a snack lunch. Also Aspall Suffolk Cyder on draught. The toasted sandwich dodgy: he forgot the ham (and the next table had the same complaint)! Comfortable scruffy seating. The building must have been a bit up-market when built (a few centuries ago) judging by the quality egg-and-dart carved decoration in the main ceiling beams.

10 Mar 2009 17:51

Crown and Punchbowl, Cambridge

Not really a pub anymore. I could not get a bar/snack lunch when I called a few weeks ago. The dining room was full that lunchtime. We later booked a table for dinner with a friend and had an excellent meal in the evening, when again all the tables were taken. Good food, and a good wine list, but not a place for a cheap meal. Very attentive helpful service. Will go again when I feel I can afford it.

14 Feb 2009 18:03

The Bath House, Cambridge

Probably my favourite pub now for a down-to-earth unhurried lunch in Cambridge. Not crowded (thank goodness, because service can get slow when they are busy). Mixed range of customers from contractor's workmen, a few students, young office workers and shopping families at lunchtime. Greene King beers plus some good guest beers such as Black Sheep etc etc. Plain food comes from kitchen, well cooked in generous helpings. Food and beer appreciably cheaper than at the historic pub next door. Cheerful staff.

14 Feb 2009 17:44

The Eagle, Cambridge

A 'must' to take visitors to Cambridge to, with its RAF bar, double helix connections and picturesque coaching inn gallery. A lot of locals do seem to use it at lunchtime, in spite of rather high prices and slow service. For plain good-value beer and food at lunchtime I prefer the place next door in Bene't Street.

14 Feb 2009 17:33

The Three Hills, Bartlow

Three Hills has had its ups and downs over past few years. At present I rate it as 'good value, nice atmosphere, but nothing special'.
We had dinner there a few days after very heavy snowfall. The walled car park was rutted ice and dangerous to walk to pub door. I'm surprised that no attempt was made to clear it.
The pub has always been somewhere to take visitors who want a 'typical English pub'. The locals use it and several were at the bar the other evening - one with his working gun-dog. There was no Wherry ale that evening but we were pleased to find Yorkshire's Black Sheep on draught.
The food was mixed. Good starters (soup, pate, coconut prawns). The fish & chips with mushy peas was rated very good. The vegetarian pie had a fine crust but was rather dry inside. The serving of lamb hotpot was a bit stingy and the veg were boring: well cooked, but carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and mashed 'neaps' were crammed together on a little dish that reminded one of a 1950s austerity cafe. As the main courses were mostly in the 8 to 11 price range, I think that the food was good value. There was a cheerful real log fire a few feet from where we were sitting, but the night was so cold that we were always uncomfortable (too close to the door) and we ended up eating with our overcoats over our knees!

13 Feb 2009 14:57

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