- 30 Magdalene Street (map of this place)
- CB3 0AF
The Pickerel is apparently the oldest pub in Cambridge, though if there is any truth to that I certainly cannot say. The pub has very much a 'old pub' feel to it with dark wooden beams and low ceilings to create a good atmosphere.
Space in the pub has a whole is quite tight, yet the closeness of the tables is probably exacerbated by the nature of the pub. I quite like this cosy nature but I can imagine some people will want to go elsewhere. The cosy, intimate and nicotine yellowed nature of the pub is probably responsible for it's assignation-like provenance; you can get large crowds in there but more often, there are odd couples huddled in the many corners, like a bestiary of characters from a Le Carre novel.
I've now been to the pub a few times, the first time was on a Friday night at about 9pm. The pub was heaving and the three of us had no choice but to stand. Considering the number of people and the time of day, service was still excellent. That evening we then moved on to the Mitre which was similarly busy, and coped no better with the large numbers despite its more open layout. It's about two-thirds full at 8pm on a termtime Wednesday.
A pint of Nelson's revenge is about £3.00, which is about the going rate for a pub in Cambridge. Sells Old Peculier, which is nice. The staff are also friendly.
The Pickerel does food; standard Cambridge pub food (which seems to be a cuisine of its own and mainly involving sausages made around Cambridge). I had a chicken and leek pie which was very dry and not so nice, but I've also had a banging taco chips with guacamole, sour cream and extra jalapenos (I had to ask for extra jalapenos).