Exploring Cambridge — a City Guide
It has been a couple of weeks since we returned from our (pretty dreamy) time in Cambridge so forgive us if we have forgotten a few details from our trip but this is roughly how it played out...
Our reason for visiting was pure tourism: we had walked the streets of the city before but only for a few hours and this time we wanted to do such a beautiful destination the justice that it deserves and so we booked a hotel for two nights. We stopped off at Castle Ashby on our way there so our minds were absolutely set and prepped for seemingly-aimless wandering and lots of looking up.
We ditched our bags (and the car) at our hotel and headed in the direction of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Although we had been to the gardens before we love to see the changes and how they differ through the seasons, plus its an absolute beauty and we had sort of pencilled in activities for the other days so this was really our only opportunity.
The architecture is stunning. The colour palette is a kind of mustardy, muddy greige and the streets are full of textures and weathered points of interest. Some cities are great for getting lost in and Cambridge is absolutely one of them - we chose back streets and alleys and had that wonderful sense of discovery when we turned a corner to see awe-inspiring stonework or another view of the River Cam.
Of course there is a dedicated blog post on the glasshouse range of the botanic garden.
The next day and the start of our only full day in Cambridge began with gusto at Fitzbillies (the Bridge Street version) and we breakfasted on toast, eggs and shared a 'famous chelsea bun' for breakfast pudding. Yes, breakfast pudding is a thing.
One of the main draws that made us choose Cambridge was Kettle's Yard. It has been on our list for aaaaaaaaages and as we travel mostly for business and throw a detour or extra night to make these blog posts we have been waiting for the chance to make it down. As the gallery has been closed for refurbishment for the past 2 years we've also kind of made sure that we didn't need to come because we knew we'd have to come back again to see the gallery. We have to be economical when we travel because we do it so much - it might look like we're on holiday all the time but we use our time and mileage very very wisely!
Anyway, so we took SO MANY PHOTOS in Kettle's Yard and have developed quite an attachment to it so have decided to give it it's own space on our website - see that post here.
Much of our time was spent on 'the backs' which is the name given to the river side of the colleges - it's where you get a sneak into college life and see many idyllic scenes. We found it to be quiet and peaceful and spent some time leaning on bridges and watching inexperienced tourists steer their hired boats into the river walls. We didn't do any punting ourselves but we had a lot of fun watching others and grabbed a few minutes to reply to our emails. Sometimes we have to make the most un-office-y place into our office but needs must and there's no-better place than with the geese.
Lunchtime arrived and we took the great advice from a few people on Instagram and feasted on Sicilian-style pizza here; getting our hands very much involved and absolutely drenched in olive oil. It's always good when meals double as moisturiser :-D
We loved Aromi and would definitely return - they have three places in Cambridge and we have placed them firmly on our internal pizza map (we love pizza).
For dessert we tried Jack's Gelato and it was another winner - we both had a variety of flavours and seriously considered going back for more afterwards but we headed onwards. The list of flavours is pretty extensive and quite grown-up too (lots of boozy ones) with an interior that oozes sophistication with a slight touch of eccentricity.
Our final hours in Cambridge were spent in the Fitzwilliam museum and after spending a long time lost in the intricate detail of Dutch still lives and matching the colour other visitors clothing to their surroundings we headed back to our hotel, our minds full of ideas and our bags full of gift shop postcards.
Cambridge is certainly a place we wouldn't hesitate to visit again.
Here's a summary:
- The Backs