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Salisbury Arms, Cambridge

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user reviews of the Salisbury Arms, Cambridge

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Still closest decent pub to the station. Despite being a Well's house there are usually other (and better) offerings)
Snarling_Mallard - 19 Jul 2014 23:09
Just had a refurb. The walls are dazzlingly white, the lighting more so. Gone is the bike hanging from the celiing, as are the old beer festival posters, replaced by prints of 'old Cambridge' and the like that can be got from any tourist tat shop in town. The genuine organic heritage of the place has been ditched in favour of fakery. And the beer selection, dominated by Wells Youngs restricted offerings, is as uninspiring as ever. Majorly disappointing.
hadda - 31 Mar 2014 00:10
Why do I not come in here more regularly? It has such an amazing atmosphere, no other pub like it in Cambridge. Long, narrow bar, double height ceilings create a feeling of space not found in many of Cambridge's other back street pubs. In my top 5 Cambridge Pub list for sure.
lovethypub - 19 Feb 2013 14:10
A big pub owned by Charles Wells, the Salisbury Arms is close to the station. It offers half a dozen or so real ales from the Wells and Young stable, with guests including St Austell Tribute and Adnams Broadside when I visited. I plumped for the only beer from a micro, namely Long Blonde from the Sussex based Long Man Brewery which was well kept if somewhat cold.

The building comprises of one long bar with some nice frosted glass windows, and is pleasant enough. However in an area of fine pubs such as the Devonshire, Kingston Arms and Cambridge Blue the Salisbury suffers as though its beers are well kept the choice is not as good and could be found almost anywhere. Nevertheless, still worth a visit if you are in the area.
ahscum - 1 Dec 2012 19:54
This is about the closest decent pub to the station. For a Well's pub it serves an excellent pint of Adnams.
anonymous - 29 Jan 2012 12:48
Long bar which has a high ceiling towards the end with something aeronautical hanging up in it. Think it is a Well's house - though I had a an Elgood's seasonal brew that was nice eough.
anonymous - 24 Dec 2011 23:54
I Liked it here. 2 distinct bar area's and a seperate room if i remember. Oakham JHB was very good. I wish i had eaten here instaed of the Devonshire. It looked great.
rpf1955 - 20 Nov 2011 18:07
Made a return visit, and would like to assure the landlady that I still think this is an excellent "proper" pub, as very healthy Monday custom proves.

I scored the pub 8 last year, despite noting that food and beer quality was average in my view. On this visit I thought the fish and chips were good and very reaonably priced. The beer range has always been excellent, but the Bombardier isn't to me as good as I've tasted it. The guest I had (from Nottingham) was very good. The staff are great.

And yes, I've no wish for the Salisbury to be a restaurant either !
mtaylor40 - 11 Oct 2011 12:27
Great backstreet pub about 5 mins walk from Cambridge station. Warm and friendly, nice selection of ales, Oakham JHB was the best on my visit, didnt try the food but it looked good, large plates of Sunday lunch seemed to be going down well with the locals. Well worth a visit.
Hodge1 - 7 Mar 2011 06:08
Always love to read our reviews as it helps us to keep on top of things.

mtaylor40: Sorry that you feel the way you do about wells/youngs beers but we are tied to Wells & Youngs . I do have to say that we are lucky with their guest beer list & genereally have at least 4 changing guest beers of 8 on, that are from other brewers.

For example the 8 available today are: Wells Eagle. WelLs Bombardier. Adnams Broadside. Castlerock Elsie Mo. Bath ales Gem. St Austell Tribute. Oakham JHB Hook Norton Hooky bitter.

Have not been told our food is average before but we don't pretend to be a restaurant. This is a back street boozer, big portions, traditional homemade pub food at reasonable prices.
And our customers tell us, "the best Sunday lunch in town"

Thank you for your comments
landlady69 - 21 Jan 2011 11:14
It's a really pubby pub, with the friendly staff more impressive than the beers from the Wells/Young list or the very average food. It's a very cosy place to with friends though.
mtaylor40 - 19 Nov 2010 22:31
Slightly odd opening hours, you don't find many pubs closed on a Saturday afternoon these days. Whether there are restrictions on the licence or similar I don't know as the nearby Live and Let Live also shuts for much of a Saturday afternoon which I would think would be a busy time of the week for most pubs as well.

But aside from that quibble and in the face of strong competition in this part of Cambridge from the Live and Let Live and especially the Cambridge Blue I would rank it as my favourite pub in Cambridge. The range of beers at the Cambridge Blue is better, but there's always 7-8 on here and a varying selection, and I just find it slightly more lively and a slightly more interesting mix of people than at the other two pubs i've named.

Very good indeed
mps77 - 12 Nov 2010 16:57
Deceptively large pub. Very good selection of beers when we visited (same as when Maldenman visited) on Friday night - we tried two each and all were in good condition.

The only downside was that it was extremely busy but the back room tables were all reserved, so we ended up "hovering" in the passageways or out in the smoking area.

Worth the short detour if walking into the city centre from the Travelodge at the Leisure Park, or from the Railway Station.

Will definitely be visiting again onour next visit to Cambridge.
tonymc - 8 Dec 2009 09:15
I should have mentioned that this pub tends to be closed on Saturday afternoons, opens at 6pm I believe.
Maldenman - 6 Dec 2009 15:00
A long narrow pub on a street corner, brick floor to the front area then down a couple of steps to the wooden floor bar area. The ceiling here is very high and vaulted, leading me to wonder as to a previous use, perhaps a grain store. A dummy on a bicycle is suspended from the ceiling, watched by his comrade sat alone at a small table on the faux balcony on the back wall.A couple of large sacks hang from the ceiling also.
A seperate rear room has a variety of random nic-nacs on shelves.
This part of Cambridge is rich in pubs and a good selection on here also. Oakham Inferno...very good....St Austell Tribute, Woodforde Wherry, Brains Top Notch were the guests plus house beers Wells Bombardier, IPA, Youngs Winter Warmer....alternates out of season with other Youngs brews I'm told, plus Adnams Broadside.
Probably the nearest good ale pub to the station, around 7 mins brisk walk.
Maldenman - 6 Dec 2009 14:49
We have now removed the bar closest to the Tenison Rd door, it has given us more space & stops the confusion for our customers. Thank you to you all for staying with us whilst this work was carried out.

We are now serving food on Saturday nights 6 - 9pm.
landlady69 - 18 Nov 2009 17:41
Decent pint of Mad Dog when visited early doors on a friday and plenty more on. Worth a visit when near the station.
Sandman1 - 3 Aug 2009 16:31
Wells IPA, Bombardier, Waggledance, Adnams Explorer & Broadside, Woodforde Wherry, Tribute. Narrow front entrance via aforementioned, now-defunct, bar (although you can still sit here) to stone- then wood-floored rear with very high ceiling, featuring a suspended cyclist. Breweriana dots the upper walls and a spot-lit internal balcony (with no obvious access) forms the rear of bar area & overlooks some large central tables. Left to smaller, quieter, almost snug-like rear room with banquette seating surrounding regular wood tables and, opposite, some rather misplaced ‘tall tables’. Outside was a pretty awful courtyard where my notes read ‘braying hoorahs’, although I was flagging, somewhat, by this point.
trainman - 5 May 2009 21:43
In a town full of good pubs this has to be one of the best. Warm and very welcoming, good range of beers and smashing pub food - the first place to stop off when visiitng Cambridge
timbo59 - 7 Apr 2009 11:13
After reading the comments posted we have decided to look into removing the bar area closest to Tenison Road to make life easier for our customers & our selves. This will also mean extra seating.
Please stay with us as this is not going to happen over night. First we have to apply for a variation on our licence & of course costing.
Thank you for your comments, we do take note.
Angela & Dave Green
landlady69 - 20 Mar 2009 16:35
As already described, the pub has a Tardis-like feel after entering through the narrow frontage. I made the mistake of going to the dormant first bar but was quickly and politely asjked to move down to the other bar by a barmaid where I was served quickly and efficiently. The place was fairly quiet on the Sunday after Christmas, but pleasant enough and with a good range of ales.
Rich66 - 29 Dec 2008 12:27
Pub looks very small from the outside but once you go in it's rather long and spacious. As other reviewers have noted, there are 2 bar areas, each with all the available handpumps, but one has the little overhead spotlights turned off, from which you are somehow supposed to guess you won't get served if you stand at this particular bar. Very odd- someone isn't thinking about this from the customer's point of view. Good range of beers on offer, and the food, which I wasn't able to sample, looked great- all the traditional pub favourites, nothing pretentious. They just need to sort out the slightly strange business at the bar to make this the top pub in this part of Cambridge.
edchambers - 17 Oct 2008 22:14
Staff very rude and unfriendly. They refused to serve a glass of water when ordering food and alcoholic drinks and were very aggresive in their approach. Won't be going back!
src29 - 12 Oct 2008 12:20
I stand corrected on the beer range - improved between my last visit (some months ago) and the most recent (last weekend).

Beer very good, place rammed with students, food took ages (but it was very busy, although we were denied cutlery as we were eating outside!) and was ok, but I still saw people being ignored at the end of the bar I'm afraid. Maybe the sign isn't obvious enough and the pumps and lighting confuse people?

JHB still the only 'local' brew (Peterborough), so I think that comment was fair. Black Bull very good though. Would be nice to see some Cambridge, Nethergate or Elgoods beers.

Angry ripostes by staff on here to personal opinions based on prior experience not an incentive to return. A polite correction could have done. Makes one wary of taking concerns to the bar at the time of visiting!
mafting - 15 Sep 2008 17:33
REPLY TO PREVIOUS POST CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS ALWAYS WELCOME AS IT HELPS US IMPROVE AND MAINTAIN STANDARDS,IT IS A SHAME THAT MAFTING SEEMS SOMEWHAT CONFUSED,AND CHOOSES TO MISREPRESENT THE FACTS.AT THE TIME OF POSTING HIS/HER REVIEW THE EIGHT BEERS ON SALE WERE
ST AUSTELL TRIBUTE
HOPBACK SUMMER LIGHTNING
THEAKSTONS BLACK BULL
RINGWOOD HUFFKIN
ADNAMS BROADSIDE
CHARLES WELLS BOMBARDIER
CHARLES WELLS EAGLE
OAKHAM JHB
YES MAFKING TWO WELLS BEERS OUT OF EIGHT ,BUT IT IS A CHARLES WELLS PUB.
YES ONE FROM ADNAMS
OH AND BY THE WAY OAKHAM JHB,LOCAL ENOUGH FOR CAMBRIDGE CAMRA BUT NOT FOR YOU.
THE TOP BAR WAS NOT ILLUMINATED FULLY AND THE NOTICE EXPLAINING NO BEERS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THAT BAR IS STILL THERE AS IT HAS BEEN SINCE LAST YEAR.
YOU STATE NUMEROUS TIMES YOU HAVE SEEN THINGS YET EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE DISSATISFIED YOU KEEP RETURNING.
YOU ARE CORRECT IN SAYING FOOD IS SERVED BUT YOU DONT SAY IF YOU HAVE EATEN OR NOT,OUR FOOD IS FRESHLY COOKED NOT KEPT WARM SO TO SOMEONE WHO USES PHRASES LIKE "PRETTY YOUNG THINGS" IT MAY APPEAR TO TAKE A WHILE.THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS AND CUSTOM.
pubguv - 14 Sep 2008 02:39
This pub gets local accolades, and it's not bad, though there are much better in Cambridge.

Plus points:
good for the station
youngish crowd of pretty young things and students
good juke box
beer quality good
large

negatives:
Often packed.
Beer range limited to mostly Charles wells/Adnams stable. No local beers.
Bad service - there is a long bar that is separated by a partition, and despite it all being lit they only serve at one end of the bar and ignore you if you stand at the other. Numerous times i have seen people totally ignored by the staff as they wash glasses right next to them, when they could simply say or put a sign that there is no service at that end of the bar. It's not rocket science and people get quite wound up when it's busy.

Food is served, but can take a long time and is only 'ok' rather than great.
mafting - 12 Sep 2008 20:31
Traditional Wells & Young’s pub with eight hand pumped ales. Always serves Eagle and Bombardier and usually one other. There was still quite a selection of five genuine guest ales. There is an unusual hanging cyclist with a dummy onboard hanging from the ceiling. Another dummy appears to be working at a table up stairs on a balcony area.
Love_good_ale - 3 Jul 2008 00:14
Good range of ale, including beers from: Charles Wells, Adnams, Mauldons, Hydes, Jennings and St Austells on my visit. Lots of memorabilia decorating the interior. Unfortunately couldn't stay as long as I'd have liked due to train times.
Rod_Hariga - 1 Jul 2008 21:20
Excellent pub. We were drinking the wonderful "Brewers Gold" until it ran out and whatever we had after was good too - an excellent choice of beers.
Friendly staff and an outside area that was unusually comfortable. Strongly recommended.
dyyony - 13 Feb 2008 17:45
Utterly wonderful!
E17Bee - 3 Aug 2007 21:16
back on form. used to be one the best pubs in cambridge but went into a bit of a decline: poor beer, no food. since the new landlord & lady came in earlier this year the food is back and the beer is quality again. 8 beers, with a mix of regular + guests although the guest choice isn't very adventurous.

jukebox is CDs now but the selection of music is eclectic and listenable.
oregontiger - 13 Jul 2007 14:34
One of the decent pubs in the Mill Road area. Well worth a visit.
Kerrminator - 20 Feb 2007 12:32
Nice back street pub off Mill Road. Recently changed hands but hasn't lost it charm. There are usually 8 real ales on, 2 or 3 from Charles Wells and Fullers plus some others... all well kept. One of the few pubs I know with a working jukebox (with an excellent choice of music).
oldstein - 23 Sep 2006 10:43
My local (a long itme ago) as a student and even now (20 years later) I go back whenever I am in Cambridge and am never disappointed
Acid Sorceror - 23 Feb 2004 09:39
Used ot be a CAMRA pub, in the 80s always had great beer (Everards Tiger was always excellent), 6-8 pumps, good atmosphere, SUnday lunchtime Jazz and awesome chilli.

Have been back every few years and almost never been disappointed
Acid Sorceror - 18 Feb 2004 09:53

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