Dogs and muddy boots welcome
Comprised of low slung old cob walls and topped with a neat mop of thatch the John Barleycorn seems almost unbearably atmospheric. It dates from 1660 when it was a coaching inn and during WW2 it became a favourite watering hole for the brave young airmen in Douglas Bader's Duxford Wing. More recently however the dark interior has been given an up to date Farrow and Ball makeover of duck egg blue. Today low wooden beamed ceilings and solid farmhouse scrubbed pine furniture suggests gastro-smart décor. Yet the cream washed walls add a dash of earthiness with decorations of hops, collections of old jugs and a glass case containing an immense stuffed pike of prehistoric proportions.
A pensioner who came out of retirement to run his village pub has pulled not just pints but prizes too.
Bernard Lee, 65, took over the John Barleycorn in Duxford at the request of customers who missed drinking in the 17th century inn after it closed.
He decided to take the plunge and is credited with rejuvenating the watering hole, in Moorfield Road, in the space of just six months.
Now, in a single week, the pub has been awarded a four-star "highly commended" rating by the English Tourist Board for its accommodation, plus a nomination to Greene King's prestigious Head Brewers club, which recognises the quality of its cask ales.
Just wanted to say thank you for a superb dinner for the
15 people on Monday 28th June. The food was simply outstanding and excellent value. The surroundings are lovely, and it was an added bonus we were able to sit outside in the lovely sunshine- apologies for having to set the table inside....!
I will be recomending to others- and will be back soon with my family for dinner!
Have just spent delightful 2 nights at this pub - what a fantastic experience. A genuine warm welcome from all the very helpful staff. Food is absolutely delicious and the magnificent breakfast sets you up for the day. A great place to use as a base tour the county or as we did, explore the air museum and air show. Rooms also comfortable; including fresh milk for the first cup of tea of the day and peaceful. A must to try just for a 'get away' break.
Delboy58, Melbourne, Australia, 24 Sep 2010
actually changed my trip around to stay here, wasn't dissapointed!! great location, pretty village and stunning looking pub. Accomodation in converted barn was excellent, cosy and comfortable. Atmosphere of pub was just perfect! Food and beer excellent. Friendly and efficient staff, great host responsible for bringing this gem back to life for its 350th anniversary. Everything a classic english village...
Edmonton, Canada, 9 Nov 2010 | Trip type: Solo travel
Went for the Flying Legends at IWM Duxford which is only a 20 minute walk away. I was made very welcome after a long journey and quenched my thirst with a beer from the well stocked bar. Staff were attentive and friendly, the food was good and the atmosphere excellent.
"At the John Barleycorn they are proud of their suppliers. The menu features a list of ingredients and their origins and rightly so. Every dish that we ordered was exquisite. Trust me This place is wonderful."
The Cambridge Food and Drink guide 2011
"For ages we'd been promising ourselves a stay in a traditional English pub. No surprise that we opted for the John Barleycorn in the beautiful village of Duxford as our base during a visit to Cambridge. Run by Bernard Lee who came out of retirement to reopen the 350 year old Inn, the place impressed us from the start. Lovely beers and ales, great food (a huge hit with the locals, the sure sign of a great eatery). The freshly-cooked breakfasts truly set us up for the day and after touring Cambridgeshire we always looked forward to relaxing that evening with a local ale before a scrumptious evening meal. All the cosy rooms are named after a WWll flying ace - a nod to its RAF heritage. While we enjoyed the pub's beer garden, bustling with customers during the annual Duxford Air Show, this charming inn would be equally delightful in mid winter. Highly recommended! We nearly forgot to mention: this gorgeous village is only 10 minutes drive from Cambridge city centre."
"We stayed here with friends after chili tasting nearby. The rooms were adorable. Very old fashioned but had all the modern features you could want. The whole pub is beautiful and we were so impressed when we arrived. It was easy to book and Bernard was very welcoming. We had dinner in the pub on the saturday night and the food was excellent. Although we stayed in the pub till after closing time, nobody rushed us at all. The breakfast was great, and again, the staff were attentive but not pushy or rushed. They could not have done more for us. It was the first time we had stayed in a pub B&B and we will definately be back to this one for another visit. I would thouroughly recommend this pub accomodation. Thank you for a wonderful stay!"
"We stayed at our lovely little pub for the umpteenth time, always better then the last time, always making little impovements and finishing touches. The staff are wonderful, always smiling and attentive. The room was clean and welcoming, the location just a stones throw away from the airfield. History oozes from the walls. If you are visiting the IWM at Duxford this lovely little homely pub is a must!"