The Open Guide to Cambridge - Differences between Version 33 and Version 32 of Kingston Arms
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* [http://www.pocketpubs.co.uk/index.php?id=98 Pocket Pubs entry]
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Good Beer Guide pub just off Mill Road.
Has always had excellent food, although there have been several changes of chef in my time in Cambridge. Food is served noon-2pm and 6pm-9pm Mon-Thu; and noon-3pm and 6pm-pm Fri-Sun, and you can view the menu (as of August 2007) at Kake's Flickr photoset. A very wide selection of ales, usually eight always including at least one mild, and one stout; but no lager!
Offers free internet access for customers, on WiFi and two kiosk-style web browsers. Quite a small pub but also has a garden, which had extensive tent-like cover.
A notice on the door (as of August 2007) states that under-18s are allowed in the garden, and also in the bar if accompanied by an adult and sitting at a table.
In contrast to the above reviewer, I have not always found the food at the Kingston to be much better than the average in Cambridge, the menu tending a little bit too much towards the narrative, whereby the tomatoes are sundrenched, the fish fresh and tenderly marinated, practically leaping from the blackboard down your tonsils, and everything is mediterranean and tossed in something baby, or piquante, or lemon soused, making the reality, when it eventually arrives, something of a disappointment.
My latest visit (the first for two to three years) was in the early spring of 2010. The ubiquitous Cambridge sausage was on offer, and the Kingston continues to do an interesting variation whereby you can opt for a sausage medley, with three different varieties on one plate, the better to judge the merits of a beef and chilli versus a pork, apple and pesto, for example. To be fair to the Kingston, their version of the Cambridge Sausage continues to be more aspirational than it is elsewhere; apart from containing named meat and interesting vegetables, in common with most of the other Cambridge Sausages out there, the Kingston makes an effort to serve their Cambridge Sausage with onion gravy and red cabbage, making the dish actually the slightly more gourmet offering that it is implied that it is in other pubs in Cambridge.
And, to continue to be fair to the Kingston, they have thought about the needs of the young professional classes stacked up in their character-filled Victorian properties near the station and serve things like a platter full of cheeses recently named in Sunday Supplements to be shared by all on a table. It's not a bad little pub. I like it.
October 2010: The Kingston has dropped the narrative menu, describing the food in defendable terms, and accurately. Good. This lets the customer judge the quality of the food for themselves. We took some people visiting Cambridge with us, and they were very impressed, with both the food and the ambience. We sat in the back garden on a warm October night; the garden was twined with fairy lights and we and our visitors (slightly older) were able to converse without problems and not feel crowded. We shared a platter of cheese for desert, and our visitors really liked this; it's not something commonly found elsewhere, and makes The Kingston worth a visit in itself.
- Beer in the Evening comments
- CrawlPlanner comments
- Cambridge Online comments
- Ian Kitching's review
- Cambridge CAMRA article
Opening hours and food times taken from notice on door, August 2007.
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