Liverpool’s best pubs – part 2: The Cambridge
Part 2 of Benedict Spence’s search for the best boozer in Liverpool takes him to The Cambridge
Ah, Cambridge. That pipe dream that eluded so many of us. All that hard work, all those mocks, all those theology tutors, all those wasted weekends away on the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme.
All those lost holidays spent with a book in your hands, Sibelius on the gramophone and a watchful parent standing over you with a cane, cattle prod or some other implement of torment, ensuring you were still conscious and actively brushing up on the monastic policies of Urban IV.
Or was that just me?
Wait, it was? No one else was put through that? It constituted abuse? And it’s too late to call Childline? Well, bugger me.
Proving that age-old stereotype of Scouse wit trumping all others, the good people of this city decided to locate a pub dedicated to that most famous of universities on the campus of our own. Not for us ‘The Burnley’, ‘The Stevenage’ or ‘The Milton Keynes’. No, we get The Cambridge.
It perpetually reminds us of our own shortcomings, though it may come as some comfort to you to know that Cambridge has one that serves the same purpose, called ‘The Oxford.’ (I’m only joking, no one from Cambridge was ever that witty).
Due to its proximity to the Sydney Jones library and the bus stop on Hardman St, most of you should hopefully have no idea how to find it. It’s a fun little place, often filling up rapidly with students and civilians alike, who will then spill out onto the benches and tables across the road. Great if the weather’s good, repulsive on the other 348 days of the year.
The landlord is an easy-going, slightly stooped old boy, with a long grey ponytail and matching facial hair that makes you wonder whether he was an extra in Disney’s superhero blockbuster Johnny Depp and Legolas vs. Squidman: the Reckoning. As you can expect, the beer is cheap and the wine is half decent, and the sheer convenience of its location makes it perfect for meeting up with people on campus for a liquid lunch and to discuss work, and to later stumble out of asking of passers-by ‘why has my head gone numb?’
Though many of you keen youngsters will perhaps think this a foolhardy suggestion, take heed; if you are one of the many (from my own amateur survey, around 97% of the student body) who plan to become a lawyer, journalist or medic, it is important to get used to heavy drinking throughout the day as early as you possibly can. By practising there, The Cambridge might just prove to be one of the key formative venues of your young life.
My suggestion to you then, shiny young fresher, would be to go there one Tuesday lunchtime – why not this Tuesday lunchtime? – and partake in what a flatmate of mine once imaginatively christened ‘Cambridge Tuesdays’. The general formula, you’ll be pleased to hear, is straightforward: take a couple of hours out of your day, regardless of any lectures or seminars you may have that afternoon, and get rousingly rat-arsed in the name of your future career. Then, once you’ve reached a state where the light burns your eyes and you have a sudden urge to pick a fight with a bar stool, return to the library or lecture, and continue to note-take or demolish that essay.
In doing so, you strengthen your liver, harden your soul, mould your character, and when the gentleman who bears a passing resemblance (and same sense of moral bankruptcy) to Glenn Mulcare buys you one on your first day, the prospect will seem much less daunting, and you will be prepared for a long, fruitful, and equally bankrupt career.