Escape the City in 1 Hour: The Cambridge Edition
As much as we love London, sometimes the fast-pace and hectic lifestyle all gets a little too much. Which is exactly why we’re always on the hunt for a great place to escape the city, get some fresh air and explore, without travelling too far from home. Luckily for us, there’s plenty of beautiful places you can get to in within an hour of leaving London. This week we’re sharing our favourite things to do in the picturesque city of Cambridge, from embracing your inner tourist going punting down the river, to where’s the best independent spot for any coffee-snobs...
Grab Breakfast At:
As self-proclaimed brunch aficionados, we like to think we know a thing or two about what makes a good breakfast spread, and this place certainly fits the bill. Fuel your day of exploring and head to Chesterton Road to try arguably Cambridge’s most-loved spots. Go plant-based and order a dirty chia with oat milk and a ‘Namaste’ Stack or blow-out with the big brunch board – we’re talking poached eggs, avo, bacon, tomato, mushroom, halloumi AND Stir Bakery’s very own sourdough!
Do The Tourist Thing at:
Cambridge, of course, is most famous for its university colleges. So, no day trip would be complete without a grand tour. Most of the 31 colleges are open to visitors (make sure to check opening times in advance!), and we’d recommend checking out the famous three – King’s, Trinity and St John’s - before wandering through some of the smaller, less-known colleges to discover secret spots and charismatic corners.
Once you’ve done a walking tour of the colleges, it’s about time you put your feet up! Head to the Backs, where the colleges back on to the River Cam, and do the rest of your tourist-ing by boat. Punting is a must-do on a sunny day, and you won’t be disappointed by the scenic waterway and impressive sights. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hire your own punt or just grab a guided tour and get the experts to do the hard work for you.
Grab Lunch at:
The Old Bicycle Shop
This place is our kind of spot! This beautiful old bike shop turned independent café/restaurant might just win the prize as our favourite spot in Cambridge. You’ll spend hours pondering over the menu, but our vote is for the burnt goat's cheese & wild mushroom orzo salad or the Tandem Platter – miso sweet potato, onion bhaji, sweet chilli aubergine and chickpea pancakes with cauliflower wings, hummus and dukkah. Not feeling the veggie vibes? There’s something for everyone at The Old Bicycle Shop, whether that’s a posh kebab with red wine and cranberry slaw or a classic sirloin steak with triple cooked chips. Whatever you choose, you’ll be sure to leave with a satisfied stomach.
Or The Espresso Library
The Espresso Library is another one of our favourite spots, especially for a working lunch, thanks to its generous space and large communal tables. You can expect a cracking selection of coffees (try their V60 if you’re a filter fan) and plenty of brunch and lunch options too. We recommend trying the nourishing rainbow bowl or famous frittata for a nourishing, multi-coloured feed.
Work Up an Appetite:
After all that feasting, it’ll be time for a little light exercise. Cambridge is known for its big cycling community and has 80 miles of cycle routes with a wonderful lack of hills! Download the ofo app, locate yourself a bright yellow bike (they don’t have docking stations – you just a pin number to unlock it) and head down to the waterside cycle paths to meander around town.
Stop For Coffee at:
Bould Brothers Coffee
This place indulges our inner coffee snob, in the best possible way. Keen to share their passion for great food and drink, they only source and serve the best coffee they can find. Served with care, and incredible latte art, this is the place you need to go for a really fantastic cup of coffee.
Treat Yourself at:
Norfolk Street Bakery
The Norfolk Street Bakery never fails to stop us in our tracks as we walk past, making us drool with its incredible window display. You can’t choose badly in this cute little spot, but the Portuguese-owned bakery is known for its incredible pastel de nata tarts. Pastry thin, crisp pastry and rich, creamy custard – they’re a little taste of heaven and are worth every bite.