The Ancient Shepherds is a freehold freehouse – a wonderful traditional pub located just along the river in Fen Ditton. Having re-opened its doors in June 2017, the building itself dates back to 1540 and was first licensed to sell beer in 1805.
It’s always sad to see the loss of local facilities (especially prevalent with the sky-high land and property values in Cambridge!), so it’s good to know that this classic village pub has been designated an “Asset of Community Value”, which protects it from being turned into anything else.
After an extensive makeover, the pub now has several different spaces to enjoy. ‘The Fold Bar’ – cosy for a drink or a snack; ‘The Public Bar’ – for ordering drinks and having a chat; ‘The Lounge Bar’ – for informal dining and drinking; ‘The Shepherds’ Kitchen’ – a dedicated informal restaurant and dining space and when the weather’s good, there’s the outside beer garden. Phase 2 of the make-over, planned for early 2018, will see the addition of B&B /letting rooms to the rear of the pub. On a travel note, there is plenty of available parking, or a cycle ride along the river and across Stourbridge Common is an excellent way of visiting.
Run by experienced Landlord Ronan McLister (previously of the Fort St George and Royal Standard pubs in Cambridge), the aim of The Ancient Shepherds is to offer fresh food (try the mussels!), good wine, great beer and an eclectic gin selection. There are six taps pouring a variety of craft beers and lagers and three handpumps serving Woodfordes, Admans and Nene Valley ales. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the pub’s social media as collaborations with everything from theatre acts to street food are also on the menu. Final piece of advice: Save yourself disappointment and book ahead for the Sunday lunch!