Step back in time at the picturesque tea rooms of Grantchester, a place now entrenched in Cambridge folklore. There are few finer ways to spend an afternoon than punting up the River Cam to enjoy afternoon tea and scones underneath the fruit trees here. The list of former visitors here reads like a historical who's who of English high society, and there may even have been a poem written about it ...
General festival tips
1. Music can be better appreciated from a great height. Make friends with tall men next to you in the crowd (girls and guys) so they can put you on their shoulders.
2. Try and drink spirits rather than beer if you are deadly keen on getting a decent spot in front of your favourite band. There’s nothing worse than having to leave to pee right before they make their entrance.
3. Construct a timetable of all the bands and acts you want to see before leaving home.
4. Use Spotify to check out and listen to every band playing at the festival. Chances are you’ll be madly in love with at least one band you haven’t already heard of this time next year.
It was good to read of someone who appreciates the unsung delights of the Cambridgeshire fens (Rowan Pelling, Guardian Travel 14-2-09), especially since my partner and I spent Valentine’s Day in the same area, around Denver. But we didn’t have the “iron-grey” sky that she describes! The sky was blue and the winter sunshine brought out the best of the vast landscape of the Fens, with its big sky.
She visited the famous Denver sluices, impressive indeed. But how can she have missed the other attraction nearby, the Denver windmill with its wonderful tearoom and home bakery (where you can buy fresh bread of various kinds), and accompanying bookshop and leather worker?
From Denver, via Downham Market, you can pick up the A1122 which winds its way to Wisbech through a landscape criss-crossed with waterways. And just to the north of Wisbech, at West Walton village, is a great rarity: a church with a tower, but the tower separated from the church, standing 50 metres away. The church was originally built by Normans in 1240 and, with later modifications, is a real mixture of styles. It is quiet and communicates a great sense of peace.
This is a fantastic hotel and bistro in Cambridge city centre. Literally jaw-dropping rooms with roll top baths, plasma TV and gorgeous smellies. If you cannot get romantic here, then frankly give it up.
The restaurant has a great menu and the food manages to be both unfussy and adventurous. On the first night we were too late to get a table as it was so popular but thirty minutes later they rang to say someone had cancelled which is just brilliant attention to detail. The guy who took us through the 24 cheeses on the cheeseboard was brilliant, the sommelier was excellent and the cosy bar downstairs was the perfect lazy place to go after dinner.
Cambridge itself is quaint, gorgeous, and a delight to walk around, particularly in view of all the colleges, history, parks, river and the shops! The best bit is it was only 50 minutes on a fast train from Kings Cross making it a perfect weekend destination.
It is rare to find a hotel that gets so much right, but this one really does.
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