Long-haul Pub Crawl: The Green Man

Colm Murphy 4 June 2014

If you want to discover The Green Man pub, you have to really commit to going. I mean that. Secluded away in Grantchester village, the place is somewhat out of the way for most Cambridge students. Not owning a bicycle, I walked for a full 55 minutes from Magdalene before reaching my destination.

But that is surely not a bad thing – a gorgeous walk through the idyllic Grantchester meadows, on the way to the pub, is an ideal way to unwind after exams. You can’t deny that it would also be a good activity during May Week to soothe the mind, in preparation for the inevitable madness and excess.

On arrival, the pub offers a decent selection of locally brewed ales, and all the standard drinks. Here though, I was slightly disappointed. While the website claims that The Green Man has a “reputation for its cask ales and ciders”, it really was nothing special: fine but not spectacular. The Maypole offers a wider selection, and is much closer to the centre of the city. My Doombar ale was very nice, nevertheless I felt a tad underwhelmed.

The food, however, was delicious. If you want top-quality pub grub, this is the place to go. I had bangers and mash (although they had named it something fancier). The juicy sausages were cooked to perfection, and the gravy was rich and complementary. Moreover, the atmosphere of the establishment was very cosy and warm. Wooden beams and clever lighting created a comfortable, historic ambience.

Unfortunately, there is a catch. This home-cooked food did not come for free, quite the opposite. At nearly £15 for a pint and a lunch, not including any extras, my trip was relatively expensive. Bangers and mash was, furthermore, the cheapest main course on the menu, nothing of which was under £10. These prices reflected the clientele: I am sure I was the only student there.

As a post-exams treat, the food of The Green Man may be an option for a Cambridge student. However, seeing as you can find a perfectly enjoyable pub lunch and an identical pint for under a tenner in the city centre, I would emphasise the word ‘treat’. Perhaps, the student body is not The Green Man’s primary market.