Pubs of Cambridge #1: The Elm Tree

The first stop on The Tab’s tour of Cambridge drinking establishments

The Elm Tree

The first pub of many in our ale-fuelled tour of the city is one of Cambridge’s lesser-known watering holes, but a real gem for those who love their beer. With 10 ales on tap against one lager (Red Stripe), this is true beard-and-beer-belly heaven. As the pub proudly proclaims, there is “No Football, No Food, and Angry Bar Staff”, but this is just as well – you’ll need real focus if you’re going to make it all the way through the selection.

Inside the pub is a bizarre mixture of vintage beer paraphernalia and gothic art, with a collection of bottled beers from around the world running the whole way round the edge of the pub. Bottles are on the menu as well, with several pages of Belgian brews and other specialities, from mead to cherry beer.

There are board games to keep you entertained if you have particularly dull friends, and a small outdoor drinking area for the smokers. The feat of squeezing a musician into the corner of the pub (replicated even more amazingly at The Radegund) is also attempted from time to time, and is well worth a watch.

All in all, The Elm Tree is definitely worth a visit for a more unusual Cambridge drinking experience.


Best for: Trying some new brews, getting battered on ale while never having to drink the same one twice

Top Tab Tip: Get a big pack of pork scratchings to go with your bottle of Goose Island IPA

Where: Orchard Street, near The Grafton Centre: Map

How much: Ales priced by strength, expect to pay £2.70 – £3.00

Rating: 5/5


Up next, The Panton Arms.