Rachel’s To Do Guide: Cambridge

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Being a local to Cambridge, I like to think I know the city fairly well. I’ve tried a variety of activities and establishments, across a range of budgets – so these are a handful of my favorite places to go in my home city.

Coffee

11950657_824656604318101_1416802505_nHot Numbers – this is the first place we go to on a trip into Cambridge, it’s cosy, warm and inviting and the staff are really knowledgeable and approachable. The coffee is delectable (I go for an 8oz with steamed milk, and occasionally their Affogato, which is incredible.) The vibe is relaxed and open, and they hold regular music and art events, so there’s always something going on. They have 2 locations now – the Gwydir Street one being our regular haunt, but both are lovely.

(Edit: since moving into the city, my bf now works here!)

Food

There are so many places to eat in Cambridge – with a real mix between independents, chains, high end and cheap eats, it can be difficult choosing where to go. For food on the go, our absolute favourite is Taste of Cambridge – a street food vendor that serves vegetarian dishes, with their specialty being falafel, which are both filling and really flavorsome. Another option is The Cambridge Cheese Company, they do great meat pies! Another great lunch option is grabbing snack type foods and sandwiches and having a picnic by the river.

For a reasonably priced meal and relaxed atmosphere, our favourite place is The Little Red Kitchen in The Devonshire Arms pub. It’s where we go to chill – a dinner will generally set you back around £10-£12 and they have a good range of beer. The Dev has never let us down!
(Edit: Since moving into Cambridge we’ve also discovered Tradizioni on Mill Road – a lovely little Italian, that’s a BYO and serves mostly pasta and pizza for a reasonable price, well worth a visit!)
For the less frugal – De Luca is an amazing Italian restaurant, we’ve been a few times and while not cheap, the flavours are outstanding. The Galleria offers wonderful views of the river – if you can book ahead try and get a table on the balcony – you will get stared at by those punting on the river but it’s a wonderful place to eat. Midsummer House, The River Bar Steakhouse and Grill and The Chop House  are all very highly regarded and are on the To Do list, but I haven’t yet had the chance to visit them yet. *sad face*

 

The Arts

In Cambridge there are plenty of free art and museum activities to take part in. I would highly recommend the Fitzwilliam museum – it’s the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge, it’s free to visit and stuffed with some wonderful exhibitions, right now they’re showing the Rothschild bronzes, which are reputably made by Michelangelo! Other places of interest are the Museum of Zoology, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences – (a small but lovely museum with some dinosaur bones and some of Darwins tools.)

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Kings College in Cambridge, UK

Architecture

Cambridge is a rather beautiful city, if at times a little crowded for my taste. If you can visit on a quieter day, wandering the city streets and taking in the city and Universities architecture can be a lovely way to pass an afternoon. (picture of duck and kings college) Many of the colleges open themselves to the public (at their own discretion of course, they put the students first!) and simply walking down some of the back streets and by the river can be lovely.

Pubs
I’ve already mentioned The Devonshire Arms, and it is a wonderful pub, for us it combines everything we love about pubs, good food, good beer, a relaxed and open atmosphere, friendly staff, no music and minimal sports shown on TV. The Elm Tree offers a huge range of Belgian beers, but for us it’s more of a daytime/early evening place, its quite quiet and reserved. The Flying Pig is a small but great little pub, it’s generally dark and atmospheric, and they sometimes have some good bands playing.
(Edit: A newly discovered gem is 196 on Mill Road, a wonderful cocktail bar which serves a huge range of absolutely incredible cocktails and snacks – and the cheese board is to die for!
Other Activities
For a first time visitor to Cambridge punting is a must. I would recommend hiring one with a guide so they do the punting for you, but if you’re feeling daring you can also rent the punt yourself and have a go. But beware, you run the high risk of ending up in the River Cam. Walking around the river is a great way to while away more time, we’re big walkers, and just walking around a city I think you can get a good vibe and feel for the place.
Overall, I think Cambridge has a lot more to offer than just the famous colleges – and I think everyone should come have a look!


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