Where to Stay
I stayed in The Graduate a few weeks ago. It's a newish hotel owned by Doubletree Hilton. There is a lot of flourish to this hotel; every inch is decorated. It feels like Beverly Hills Hotel meets Cambridge Don's study meets the Hilton. The staff couldn't have done more from the moment we checked in to our departure. The location is phenomenal, you are a few minute's walk from the centre, and the hotel sits overlooking the Cambridge canals. It boasts a tremendous garden terrace, which will be perfect for lazy summer drinks. For me, the crowning glory was the food. We had a delicious supper at the Garden House, the hotel's restaurant, it was an interesting menu which at first threw me, but after my first bite of 'Cuttlefish, blood orange & celery on toast', I was utterly won over.
The University Arms was re-created in 2018 by architect John Simpson and interior designer Martin Brudnizki. It has just under 200 rooms and suites across four floors, with views over Parker's Piece, and historic Regent Street. It is a quick walk from the station and a stone's throw from the Heong Gallery. And if we were to put aside all of the above, you still have to take into account Parker's Tavern, where they make excellent British classics with a modern twist.
Rentals In The Area
As you know at Tat, we are always keen on home comforts, so here are our favourite rental properties in the area -
Where To Eat
Just what you want from a pub. Not too done up, charming with good food and friendly staff.
If you happen to be in Cambridge on a sunny day this is the place. Tea, cakes and scones - set in the lush green surroundings of Grantchester Meadows. It's clearly a winner.
I will direct you to my piece on this place. Two thumbs up.
Run by Lucy Jarman, daughter of Ann Jarman, who runs the aforementioned The Old Engine House in Ely, The Red Lion pub in Soham looks like an absolute gem of a place as Grace Dent puts it in her review in the Guardian, 'A lovely boozer that's not for food bores'. Sounds like a bit of me. I also thought I should mention that they have rooms that you can rent through Airbnb. They've done them up perfectly, antiques, comfort and no 'Home is Where The Gin' is pillows.
Fancett's is a small family-run French bistro with a seasonal menu. Not only are their menus mouthwatering they also make mean cocktails—a perfect spot for a delightful dinner.
Gardis is a Greek takeaway in the centre of Cambridge; from the looks of their Instagram, it seems to be a favourite with the students. I have to say I am just in love with the decor: blue windowsills and checked vinyl flooring.
This fantastic independent pub focuses on Kitchen, Hummus and Wine, and by all accounts, they deliver the goods.
This ice cream shop is a popular spot, and it's not hard to see why. The extensive menu of homemade ice cream is something to gawp, and on your visit, I would suggest popping back a few times.
What To Do
The David Parr House is a preserved terraced house in Cambridge, with interior decoration in the Arts and Crafts style, executed by its owner, David Parr, between 1886 and 1926.
Open Thursdays and Saturdays
Times - 9.30, 11.30, 13.30 and 15.30 (book ahead)
Perfect day out - walk around the Grantchester Meadows, have a bit to eat at the Orchard Tea Rooms and then a bite to eat at The Blue Ball Inn. Ya welcome.
You've got to have a look; it is awe-inspiring.
'One of the most influential artists of our time, David Hockney (b.1937), takes over Cambridge this spring and summer with an exhibition across The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Heong Gallery, Downing College.'
It is a 15-minute train ride from Cambridge; the cathedral has its origins in AD 672 when St Etheldreda built an abbey church. The present building dates back to 1083, and it was granted cathedral status in 1109—an impressive cathedral with mind-boggling detail. Obviously, stop by The Old Engine House if you do head that way.
Last but by no means least. Kettle's Yard, the former home of Jim Ede and his wife, Helen. 'Moving to Cambridge in 1956, they converted four small cottages into one idiosyncratic house and a place to display Ede's collection of early 20th-century art. Ede maintained an 'open house' each afternoon, giving any visitors, particularly students, a personal tour of his collection.' It just so happens to be one of my favourite places in the world. I think many would agree. They currently have an exhibition with Ai Wei Wei, who apparently is a Cambridge local, which I did not know. Book ahead; it would be very upsetting to miss your chance to visit.
Where To Shop
Antiques Shop Opposite the Fritz Museum
This shop is just called Antiques, and both times I have been up to Cambridge, I have made a beeline for this place. It hasn't disappointed!
An excellent independent wine merchant. They have three shops in Cambridge, with an extensive stock of wine. Not only can you browse until your heart's content but also grab a glass and a salami board.
A new addition to Magdalene Street, stop in on your way back from Kettles Yard. It's filled with delicious food, wine and bits for your home.
Frédéric's, Antiuqes, Cambridge Wine Merchant
Of course, the Kettles Yard shop is great for cards, books and perfect little takeaway presents.
Specialising in handmade prints, paintings, sculptures and crafts, the gallery shows the work of over 100 UK-based artists, with a new exhibition every month. I particularly love the work of Anna Silverton, James Hake and Tarragon Smith.