Just a hop, skip and a jump up the tracks from Kings Cross, the university town of Cambridge is a perfect luxury destination for an overnight escape – or you can just visit for the day for a great cultural getaway. It’s a foodie haven, but don’t just stick to the touristy city centre; here are our top five quirky luxury dining spots:
The Varsity Roof Terrace
Take a seat high above the city’s winding, bustling streets at this hidden-away rooftop hotspot, situated atop The Varsity Hotel off Bridge Street. A favourite with locals, it’s one that’s often missed by the tourists, but well worth a visit for the stunning panoramic views of the historic city centre. Kick back with a Pimm’s or try one of the hotel’s signature cocktails, then sink your teeth into a salt beef fire-toasted bagel or 28-day aged fillet steak and cheese sandwich, served with their own red barbecue sauce and melted Swiss cheese.
A ten minute riverside walk away from the centre, Restaurant 22 presents something entirely different: a dining establishment situated in an elegant, traditional suburban townhouse. Inside, the Victorian property seats just 26 in its cosy yet refined parlour, and its monthly-changing fixed price menu centres on seasonal produce and is always of the utmost quality.
Though unassuming at a first glance from the street, this modern fine-dining restaurant recently earned itself a Michelin Star for chef Mark Poynton’s innovative, adventurous offerings. This is contemporary British cuisine, smartly delivered, with flavour combinations like blue cheese ice cream which give diners something new to try and lots to talk about afterwards.
Orchard Tea Gardens
‘Stands the church clock at ten to three?/ And is there honey still for tea?’ Relax in a deckchair under the apple trees down the road in Grantchester, a leafy, affluent village just two miles from town. 100 years ago, it became the subject of a poem written by a homesick Rupert Brooke, who had lived in the Old Vicarage before being called up to war. Today, this idyllic corner of England remains largely unchanged, and the Orchard Tea Gardens, serving fresh, fluffy, homemade scones and clotted cream, offer a chance to escape into a world that time forgot.
The Willow Tree
If you’re in the car, it’s well worth a visit to The Willow Tree in Bourn, where what looks like a quaint, quiet village pub puts on lavish cabaret-themed supperclubs once a month. Be entertained by burlesque duo Cherry and Ruby while enjoying a specially-designed menu, with a different theme each time (Hawaiian, Shore Leave, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party…). Or, choose from their regular menu, which focuses on local, seasonal produce, served in their decadent, vintage-inspired dining room.
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