It is easy to take the place you live for granted. I have lived in Derby for well over a decade and the UK my entire life.
This year I travelled across the country to visit fabulous spaces that had been on my list to visit since forever, but I just had never managed to do yet.
It was merely wanting to do something different and in the process I have found my new favourite getaway spots.
One of the places I really enjoyed visiting was Cambridge, a city well known for its universities including University of Cambridge which has origins dating 1209.
Here are a few things we did in Cambridge and why I love it there
Situated on the River Cam (cute name ey?), this city steeped in history is one of the greenest places I have visited this year.
After the drive down, we got around everywhere on foot and because we visited in the summer, long walks were enjoyable and fun.
My husband and I stayed at Ibis Cambridge Central Station, which is literally a few seconds’ walk from the train station and in the heart of the city.
The location here is key, because it felt like we were in the heart of action.
The bed was comfortable, the room was pretty and I would have no hesitation in staying at Ibis Cambridge Central Station again.
What really elevated our stay was the Young’s pub next door called Station Tavern.
It was atmospheric, welcoming and such an easy place to be, we found ourselves in there every day just ducking in for a drink, be it a brandy nightcap or afternoon pint.
You can find out more about Station Tavern Cambridge by clicking here.
Where to dine in Cambridge
Soon after checking in we headed to Zhonghua Traditional Snacks, a Chinese restaurant for a spot of light lunch.
Situated on Norfolk Street, this practical eatery with canteen-esque seating and crockery serves hot and spicy dumplings, vermicelli, udon, five spice tofu and more.
I especially liked steamed bread with chicken filling but good food is just part of the equation here.
The price is so easy on the pocket, you may well be tempted to make this your go-to eating place in Cambridge for the duration of your stay – trust me, I very nearly considered this.
If fuss-free dining is your jam then check out Vietnamese eatery Pho. Their noodle soups, salads and wok-fried rice is fast food at its best. I especially like how you can tip in your preferred amount of bean sprouts, chilli and lime, plus everything is fresh so you’re firmly in control of the flavour profile.
For supper I would recommend Amélie Flam-kuche in the Grafton Centre.
Specialising in super-thin flatbread loaded with innovative toppings such as chicken thigh, Gruyère and spring onion on the Chick n Cheese version, this eatery makes dining in Cambridge an adventure.
For more information about Amélie Flam-kuche visit their website by clicking here.
If you’re in the mood for visiting ‘some place nice’ then The Ivy does it for me.
I remember visiting The Ivy when the brand first came to London and I was desperate to check it out.
I’ve been a fan of The Ivy ever since, as I find it an easy place to be, the service is fabulous and the building and ambiance always feels that little bit special.
It was husband’s birthday, they even surprised him with a sweet treat to help us celebrate the special occasion.
For more information about The Ivy Cambridge visit their website by clicking here.
This student-friendly city has plenty of student milling around and for good reason – Cambridge is thought to be the second-oldest university in all English-speaking countries and is regarded as one of the world’s leading places of learning.
A visit to Cambridge feels like a treat, because of the city’s beauty, welcoming nature, stunning architecture and abundance of good eateries.
Things to do in Cambridge
Go punting on the River Cam and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a good tour guide who will keep you entertained with wit and knowledge.
The punting scene does feel a little bit ‘hawk-ery’ as there are quite a few punting tour operators vying for your attention and who may appear to be a little pushy.
Stand your ground and do your research around prices beforehand, so you’re not oversold a tour.
I recommend the punting tour by Lets Go Punting, who is said to be one of the top rated punting companies according to reviews on Google and Tripadvisor. You can find out more information about them by clicking here.
Culture vultures will love it in Cambridge and flock to Fitzwilliam Museum, the University of Cambridge’s main museum.
It boasts world-class antiquities and art galleries where people can also enjoy sculpture trail walks too. I love beautiful dinnerware, which is why this plate exhibit caught my eye. I adore its unique structure, which is like fluted, voluminous and so unique, I really wanted to take it home.
I loved its gift shop and even picked up a cute gallery-inspired tote bag, which always brings a smile to my face whenever I use it for my everyday shopping.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is free to enter,which is just the icing on this very tasty cake.
To be honest, when you first enter the museum and glance skyward, the gorgeous detail does make you feel as if you are looking at a very pretty cake, swirls of icing in all.
And that is the beauty of Cambridge which is such a photogenic city, you can spend hours papping away at stunning architecture and olde worlde establishments.
If you like food and dig the idea of a pretty, Victorian style cake shop (it’s their swirly font that is so wonderfully kitsch and retro), then you must Fitzbillies.
This Chelsea bun shop on Trumpington Street is beautiful, even if you don’t much like Chelsea buns. It was established in 1920 but they also do a range of fabulous cakes and pastries as well.
I love coffee and Bould Brothers on Regent Street didn’t disappoint. The coffee shop is so wonderfully stylish, I love the gold lettering on the door.
You can’t get higher accolades than Vogue and Vanity Fair who have both heaped plaudits onto these independent coffee shops founded by the Bould Brothers Max and Alex.
There is much to see and do in Cambridge and a special treat for Harry Potter fans lies in wait at The Department of Magical Gifts. Dobby was the VIP who I was delighted to see and I could easily have spent hours in that shop.
I would heartily recommend a visit to Cambridge, especially in the summer, as you can take full advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy the magnificence in glorious sunshine.