Atmospheric Cambridge – cosy up at The Eagle

The weather’s closing in here in Cambridge* and conditions are perfect for holing up in a pub. One of the city’s most famous is The Eagle. From my point of view, it’s significant because Nate and Ruby meet there for lunch in One Dark Lie. If pushed, I’ll also admit that it’s quite well known for being the hostelry where Francis Watson and James Crick went to celebrate their discovery of the structure of DNA. The Old Cavendish Laboratory where they worked (then just the Cavendish Laboratory, though it was already quite old) is close by on Free School Lane. Rosalind Franklin’s  work was crucial to their breakthrough.

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The Eagle is also known for the ceiling in its RAF bar, where WW2 airmen wrote graffiti using cigarette lighters, charcoal, lipstick and candles. Apparently the words were gradually obscured as the ceiling became stained by cigarette smoke, but there’s an article here that explains how they were uncovered.

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The idea of the airmen, coming back from perilous sorties over Germany to unwind and add their words to the collection on the ceiling always moves me. Their hopes and fears must have been so intense.

All in all it’s an atmospheric place, which is why I was so keen to include it in my book. And on top of that, the food and beer are pretty good too.

So if you’re within reach of Cambridge, go ahead. What better excuse is there than wintry weather to hole up somewhere warm? And if you want to take some reading with you, to enjoy over your beer, One Dark Lie is on-topic. Just saying.

 

* Well, it was when I wrote this post. I think the sun’s coming out now. Just goes to show I should get my act together more quickly. But I still think a trip to The Eagle is a good idea.

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6 thoughts on “Atmospheric Cambridge – cosy up at The Eagle

  1. Never knew about the RAF bar in the Eagle before. Fascinating stuff. I met an American many years ago on an Amtrak train (surprising huh??), who had been in Cambridge during the war, and wanted to know if the Officers’ Club was still there. It was apparently in the Royal Cambridge Hotel. He was quite miffed that it had been reinstated as a hotel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely to see the photos after reading about it in One Dark Lie. I’ve been to the Eagle many times and don’t remember ever noticing this ceiling. I was clearly too busy enjoying the food and beer! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Kate! I’d forgotten you knew Cambridge; if you’re ever back this way and have time for a coffee, let me know! You’re probably aware, but the RAF Bar is right at the back of the pub if you’re in there again. x

      Like

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