Though his knowledge of fine libations consists mostly of the dairy variety from the House of Cambridge, Prince George, the two-week-old heir to the British Throne, has been awarded official VIP status this week at one of Cambridge’s oldest drinking establishments.
Situated on the edge of verdant Midsummer Common, the Fort St George Pub has reserved a permanent window seat for the newest Royal in its olde world dining room. Featuring herringbone parquet floors, rustic oak beams, two reproduction throne-like chairs, and what is left of the 16th century walls, the prime spot designated for the future king overlooks the winding River Cam, and is marked by a plaque and a high chair.
“As he gets older, we will make sure the seat under the plaque grows with him,” said John Cecchini, the pub’s manager. “He will forever be welcome here and we very much hope the whole family will be frequent visitors.”
Unbeknownst to the world at the time of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first official visit to Cambridge last November, the Duchess was newly expecting Prince George, their first child. The royal couple enjoyed a private lunch at the iconic pub, and a framed picture commemorating the occasion adorns the wall above the table reserved for their little boy.
“When the world found out William and Kate were expecting we were thrilled, having welcomed them into the pub just a few weeks earlier,”said the manager. “Now he is here safe and sound, we want the family to know they are very welcome to come back any time, and there will always be a reserved space for him.”
The Fort St George, said to be the oldest public house on the River Cam, boasts a small assortment of “real cask ales”, and pub classics such as Gloucestershire Old Spot Sausages, Haddock & Chips and Burgers. The menu also features a variety of trendy mains such as Butternut Squash Risotto, Paneer and Vegetable Skewers, “home-cooked roast on Sunday”, and an expanded wine list. Initially built on an island served by a ferry, the public house joined the mainland on Midsummer Common in 1837 when the locks were filled in. The Common also happens to be the burial site of many of Cambridge’s early plague victims.
The Fort St George pub belongs to the Greene King consortium which “operate(s) around 2,300 pubs, restaurants and hotels, including popular national brands such as Hungry Horse and Loch Fyne Restaurants.” They “also produce iconic ale brands such as Greene King IPA, the UK’s no.1 cask ale, and Old Speckled Hen, the UK’s no.1 premium ale.” Greene King “employ(s) around 22,000 people across the UK, around half of which are under the age of 25.”