Cambridge is known for its cobblestone streets and vast history dating all the way back to the Bronze Age (pretty old).
But despite the city having been around for quite some time, it is not the only impressive thing – the food on offer is quite the spectacle too.
The Varsity Hotel is home to two restaurants, Six and River Bar Steakhouse – I attended the latter.
Tucked around the corner from the rest of the hotel, the steakhouse entrance is welcomed by a delightful floral display and smiley staff.
And it is certainly hard not to smile when faced with a view of the River Cam and a great selection of grub.
It is one of them menus where you find yourself gawking at it, umming and ahhing about what to choose – purely on the basis that everything sounds so good.
Having politely turned the waiter away through my lack of inability to decide what to please my taste buds with, I gave one last scan and finally chose my three courses.
While the prawns sounded delightful, among other choices, I opted to go for the calamari – fried squid rings served with aioli.
The batter was light but had that perfect crisp, just enough to perfect the sensation and not ruin your teeth with a hardened crunch.
Again, the squid avoided being cooked like rubber (which is common with the fishy dish) and tasted divine – especially accompanied by the smooth garlic infused dip.
After I’d finished the starter, the waiter came round to take the plates and ask if the food was enjoyed – and topped up the wine. Not having to do it yourself is a good pointer that you’re in the right establishment.
Wine back to where it should be, I sipped away while waiting for the main.
The light hum in the background from other diners chatting who were enjoying their time at the restaurant made it atmospheric, and not chaotic.
Surf and turf for the main, and was it certainly the right choice.
A succulent 8oz steak paired with half a fire roasted lobster, cooked juicy and tender. Every mouthful was a pleasure to indulge, something you want to take your time to eat so it lasts longer.
Somehow, room was found for dessert.
Despite my previous difficulty of choosing what to eat, it was a no brainer but to choose the chocolate brownie.
Rich but not sickly, a heavenly take on the sweet treat classic.
Not only is the food selection something to please your palette, the drink selection is wide and boozy tipples are plentiful.
For those who struggle to decide when it comes to choosing bites and beverages (like me), the River Bar Steakhouse offers a cocktail map.
Including all your classics from cosmopolitans to porn star martinis, the restaurant also offers some more interesting takes on the mixed drinks.
“Should you prefer to choose a sophisticated beverage efficiently, matching your taste exactly, for the benefit of our guests we are delighted to provide a cocktail flavour map", the flavour map assisted.
And, a benefitted guest I was.
Instead of having to scrawl the beverage menu like I did with the food, I could pick what I wanted depending on what tastes I know I like.
Thanks to the good weather, I was in full holiday mode in my mind and decided to choose the Singapore sling.
Described on the menu as “fruity yet mysterious” and that it would “transport me to the tropics with a single sip”, the cocktail certainly did live up to its expectations – apart from actual transportation powers of course.
But, leaving the taste of the tropics in my mouth I was happy to be in Cambridge.
Even happier to be in Cambridge with my stomach full to the brim glancing over the stunning River Cam.
Nothing beats good food and drink, apart from spectacular service.
And, the River Bar Steakhouse is able to offer both.
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