Emerging from Lockdown in Cambridge 2

In what now feels like Week 562 of lockdown, there are definite signs that life is returning to the city with more people out and about and some cafes reopening for take out as they plan how they will operate longer term with social distancing etc.  Here’s a round up of good things that are happening in Cambridge now.

Cafe Abantu Cambridge

Cafe Abantu on Hobson Street has reopened with a small take away menu of coffee, cake, sausage rolls and quiche.  Abantu will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week but keep an eye on their social media as opening days/times will increase and the menu will evolve as the days go on.  Welcome back, Wendy!!

Instagram @cafeabantu

Cattleya_trianae (3)
Image credit: Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden may have closed its gates but, undaunted, the team is bringing the Festival of Plants 2020 to us online from 26 – 28 May.  There’s a different theme each day (Plant Science, Horticulture and Conservation) with short talks, virtual Garden tours, events, family activities, films, Facebook Live sessions and a Twitter takeover.  I know this is going to be fabulous but I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t wait to wander round the Garden again, then get stuck in to some delicious cake in the Cafe!

https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/festival-of-plants-2020-programme/

Aromi Cambridge gelato
Image credit: Aromi Cambridge

Aromi has their Peas Hill Gelateria window open every day from 12pm – 6pm for gelato and Sicilian coffee. So happy that this delicious ice cream is back!  Opening times may vary so check their social media.

Instagram @aromicaffe

A Space of One's Own - David Parr House Cambridge
Image credit: David Parr House

David Parr House is launching a new online exhibition “A Space of One’s Own”.  Running from 25 May to 22 June, it comes at exactly the right time, as our lives have focused on our own homes for months now.  This remarkable Arts and Crafts worker’s home has many fascinating stories to tell.  The David Parr team would love people to respond to this exhibition with their own pictures and thoughts on the importance of having your own private space and the rooms or spaces that represent you and the way you like to live.

http://www.davidparrhouse.org

The Cambridge Oven logo
Image credit: The Cambridge Oven

The Cambridge Oven on Hills Road has continued baking throughout much of the lockdown period and is now offering a full range of their gorgeous baked goods from a counter in the doorway with contactless payment only.  They’re open Tuesday – Sunday 8am – 3pm with home deliveries still available for orders over £15.

Instagram @the_cambridge_oven

Trinity College Cambridge

And finally, nature is doing her beautiful thing, crisis or no crisis!  Here’s a wild flower meadow on the lawn outside Trinity College and there are other glorious wild flower areas in most of the city’s green spaces, which really make me smile.  Now that we are starting to emerge into some sort of new normal, I do hope that everybody is doing ok and most of all that you, your families and friends are keeping safe and well x

Emerging from Lockdown in Cambridge

So now we are in Week 8 of lockdown but following Boris Johnson’s announcements last Sunday (and follow up clarifications!), life is beginning to change tentatively.  Here’s some good Cambridge stuff that might be of help/interest as we start to emerge, blinking, into a new normal.

Community Mask 4 NHS Cambridge

Community Masks 4 NHS was set up only a few weeks ago by friends Melissa Santiago Val and Jane Horwood to make vibrant, muslin lined fabric masks for community use.  They suggest a donation of £4 per mask with all the money going straight to NHS Charities Together and they’ve already raised £10,000!  I’ve volunteered as a sewist on this project and here is Johnny wearing a mask.  Adult and child sized masks are available to order through their Just Giving page.

FB  @CommunityMasks4NHS

Makespace, a community workshop, has created a Makespace Mask Kit with all the materials you need to make 5 reusable cloth masks.  They are providing these kits for free.  Patterns for adult and child sized masks are included and while the masks could be hand sewn, using a sewing machine is preferable.

Makespace Mask Kit

Amelie Flammekueche Cambridge

Amelie Restaurant is delivering its delicious flam-kuche and more on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from tomorrow (14 May) now that Alex and Regis Crepy can get back into their kitchen.  Simply phone or email in your choices from their small but perfectly formed Take Away Menu by 8pm the day before delivery.

Take Away Menu – free delivery

Espresso Library has reopened this week and will be open Tuesday – Saturday 8am – 2pm for coffee and cake to go.  They’ve mapped out safe queue distancing outside and you place your order with owner John at the door.

FB  @espressolibrary

Feather & Ferns bouquet
Image credit: Feather & Ferns Floral Design

Feather & Ferns has launched a contactless bouquet delivery service.  Florist Becky Frost would normally be creating stunning floral arrangements for weddings at this time of year but now she is sourcing seasonal flowers, many from British growers and even some from Cambridgeshire, to make beautiful hand tied bouquets at £30 and £50.  Place your order by Tuesday evening to guarantee a Friday delivery.

https://featherandferns.com/seasonal-bouquet/

Bookish Cambridge logo
Image credit: Bookish Cambridge

Bookish, in normal times found at their stall on Cambridge Market, are offering contact free delivery of their second hand books to your doorstep in Cambridge city at no extra charge and via postal delivery elsewhere.  Check out their website for details of current stock with all books marked at just £2.50 each.

Home

Things are changing all the time so I will keep posting as news reaches me of good and useful things happening here in Cambridge.  Until next time, I hope that everybody, wherever in the world you are reading this, is keeping safe and well x

River Cam
A peaceful Spring day on the River Cam

Staying Home in Cambridge 3

Well, we’re now in Week 7 of lockdown and while there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, life as we knew it still seems a million miles away (or at least it does to me!).  I’ve put together here an eclectic selection of good Cambridge things that are happening online as well as in real life, to help keep us going through these difficult and tedious lockdown days.

Cambridge Cookery School salad
Image credit: Cambridge Cookery School

Cambridge Cookery School is now open for take out from Thursday to Sunday (including this Bank Holiday Friday) from 9am – 1pm.  You’ll find Tine’s beautiful fresh, healthy salads, sandwiches, cakes, breads and coffee.  And now, Inder (of Inder’s Kitchen) will be cooking fresh curries for take away as well as marinated uncooked dishes ready for the barbecue plus you can pick up a bottle of wine (the white and rose will be chilled and ready to open, of course!).  There’s plenty of safe social distancing queue space on the terrace and lawn but don’t leave it too late in the day … last weekend was a sell out!

We’re open

Sara Rawlinson St John's College Library
Image credit: Sara Rawlinson

Sara Rawlinson has created a virtual exhibition of her Illuminating Cambridge Libraries series on her website.  Over the past 2.5 years, Sara has photographed one library from each of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge and she plans to show her work in a big exhibition when life returns to normal.  In the meantime, take a look at her stunning photographs online, where you can also buy her fine-art prints.

Illuminating Cambridge Libraries – virtual exhibition (2019)

Virginia Woolf
Image credit: Literature Cambridge

Literature Cambridge is offering a new series of Online Study Sessions, starting on 9 May and continuing through the summer, giving us a chance to study literature in depth with leading scholars.  Each session will have a lecture followed by a seminar and will focus on a single work or author.

https://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/

Full Circle Shop Cambridge logo
Image credit: Full Circle Shop

Full Circle Shop is operating from its shop at 9 Norfolk Street, open Monday – Saturday 2pm – 5pm.  The stall on Cambridge Market is closed for now.  They’re offering a Click and Collect service and a plastic free delivery service to postcodes CB1 – 5, Histon, Impington and Cottenham.  Check out their website for vegetable and herb plants, food, lifestyle and cleaning products as well as personal care items.

https://fullcircleshop.co.uk/

Cambridge Virtual Repair Cafe
Image credit: Circular Cambridge

Circular Cambridge is running a series of Virtual Repair Cafes, happening weekly in May on Wednesday lunchtimes.  An experienced Cambridge Repair Cafe repairer will look at your broken item over Zoom.  This is a free event but spaces are limited so prior booking is required.

Repair Cafés

The Fitzwilliam Museum has launched a community textile project to create a large patchwork hanging inspired by art and objects in the Museum Collection, with instructive videos by textile designers and “how to” information packs.

Facebook:  @fitzeducation

Wisteria in Cambridge

And finally, although we are in lockdown, they can’t cancel wisteria hysteria season here in Cambridge!  Wherever you are in the world, I hope that you, your families and friends are keeping safe and well x

 

 

Staying Home in Cambridge 2

And so we’re coming to the end of another week in lockdown … I hope everybody is doing ok in these difficult days.  Here’s a post with an eclectic assortment of stuff that may help to alleviate the tedium/raise the spirits/feed body and mind!

Running shoes

University of Cambridge Sport has set up Strava Groups, an online running network for University staff, students and the local community.  You just need a smartphone to be part of this.  You can log your runs, upload images of your running routes and link to running resources whilst benefiting from the encouragement and support of this online community.

https://www.sport.cam.ac.uk/news/strava-online-running-network-staff-students-and-local-community

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched “Digital Making at Home”, a series of virtual and online learning experiences for young people aged 7 – 17, with instruction videos on a weekly theme to support different skills levels.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/tag/digital-making-at-home/

Cambridge Cookery School blog
Image credit: Cambridge Cookery School

Cambridge Cookery School and Cafe may be shut for now but founder Tine Roche is writing a daily “What’s for Supper” blog.  Each post is so much more than just a recipe … Tine scatters through all sorts of tips and techniques and adds a good dollop of cultural musing too.  I love reading her words as much as I love eating her food!

What’s for Supper

Cambridge TV Training offers courses covering every aspect of factual TV production.  They’ve uploaded several short “how to” videos on Youtube as a free resource, covering topics such as “How to record good audio with your Smartphone” and “How to choose what video editing software to learn”.  For those who’d like more in depth help, they’re offering two hour tuition sessions through Zoom at £20 per session.

Home

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqc67QSvHmlbLnKkZEfXO4A/videos

White Lotus Meditation Cambridge
Image credit: White Lotus Meditation

White Lotus Meditation has taken its sessions and courses online.  You can link with Lucy Highton via Zoom for Sunday Wellness Meditation, Calm Morning Mindful Meditation on Wednesdays or arrange one-to-one tailored meditation practice sessions.

https://www.whitelotusmeditation.co.uk/classesandcourses

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden is bringing the garden to us in several ways while its gates are closed to visitors.  In a weekly “Wellness Wander” video, they’ll be sharing the sights, colours and sounds of the Garden as it unfolds through the Spring.  In “From our back garden to yours Gardening Club” Sandie Cain, Horticultural Learning Coordinator, is posting regular videos about growing veg, whether you’ve got a garden or a sunny windowsill to work with.  And tune in to “Heavenly Gardens” on BBC1 (Good Friday at 1.40pm and on iPlayer), presented by Alexander Armstrong and garden designer Arit Anderson who look at the history of the Garden and how it remains at the cutting edge of plant science research while being a place of beauty and tranquility.

https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/wellness-wander/

https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/gardening-club/

Harvey & Son Cambridge
Image credit: Harvey & Son

Harveys is a family run nursery garden business which has had a wonderful stall on Cambridge Market for 90 years, selling veg, salad, herb and bedding plants.  In the face of coronavirus, they’ve created a website with an online order service which has proved to be so popular that at the time of writing, the order service has been briefly paused.  They expect to resume online orders soon so if you’re planning your garden for Spring and Summer, do take a look at the seedling and plant list in the meantime.  Everything I’ve ever bought from them has been top quality and has done really well.

https://harveyandson1930.wixsite.com/mysite?fbclid=IwAR0kI8rHKaBAGw5x3b06BflyUw8wfKhS-T7Zt1meZVqIZ8fcg26HQASxYw4

Rolo the Cambridge Dachshund

Here’s a photo of Rolo the puppy to make you smile.  He has no truck with social distancing and thinks lockdown is a really good thing as it means all his favourite humans are home with him 24/7!!  I hope that everybody reading this, wherever you are in the world, is keeping well.  Stay safe and look out for each other x

 

 

 

Staying Home in Cambridge

OK so when I last posted a week ago, none of us could have imagined the speed with which life has changed.  It’s been extraordinary and discombobulating.  But it’s also amazing how quickly people adapt themselves and their businesses at such a stressful time.  Here’s a selection of activities and services in the city that might be of help/interest in these difficult days.

Stir Cambridge loaf
Image credit: Stir Bakery

Stir Bakery has moved to a delivery only model.  They’ll be delivering every day to CB1, CB2, CB3, CB4, Impington, Histon, Girton, Cottenham and Milton.  Order through their website for delivery 3 days later.

https://stircambridge.co.uk/bakery-shop

Cambridge Fruit Company box
My fruit and veg box, delivered yesterday

Cambridge Fruit Company, which normally supplies fruit boxes to local businesses, has also changed its business model overnight and is now delivering directly to your door.  An Essentials Box at £15 suits 2 people.  I’ve been ordering the Family Box at £30, which contains a really good variety of seasonal veg, salads and fruit, all super fresh and top quality.  Order through their website.

https://www.cambridgefruitcompany.com/shop/

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden has sadly had to close its gates but the team there is posting a virtual walkabout each week on the website so we can all enjoy the beauty as the Garden moves into Spring and Summer.

https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/join-us-for-a-weekly-walk-around-cubg/

Lucinda Price is a photographer who’s launched a free service for those out of school who’d like to know a little about photography and the life of a freelance photographer.  She is offering 1-2-1 30 minute sessions via video call for teenagers.  For younger children, Lucinda will set some photographic challenges and then discuss the results.  You’ll find more details and a booking facility on her website.

https://www.lucindaprice.com/1-2-1-tuition

Blossom Cambridge

Claire at Mindfulness of Nature has created a really lovely space, inviting you to join her at 8am each day at a Sit Spot in your garden, on your balcony or even by your open window.  Connecting with nature as you reflect can be a powerful exercise that helps to still a busy mind.  Join her Facebook group for more details.

FB Sitting Together with Nature: The Sit Spot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/845260472641077/?fref=nf

Bookish Cambridge logo
Image credit: Bookish Cambridge

If you’re running out of reading matter, help is at hand from a couple of local sources.  Heffers may be shut but you can order online with free delivery on all UK orders.  And it’s not just books, they also sell gifts, stationery and games.  Bookish Cambridge, more normally found at their stall in the Market, sells second hand books.  They are working on a website but for now, email them for a current list of books.  They will deliver in the Cambridge area.

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/home

bookishcambridge@gmail.com or 01223 510129

And finally, don’t forget the Facebook group “What have you done today Cambridge”.  It’s only been in existence for 10 days but a warm, kind and funny community is growing on there as we all keep connected, share ideas, support and inspire each other in these crazy days.  Everybody is welcome to join, hope to see you there.

FB What have you done today Cambridge

https://www.facebook.com/groups/208602293689896/

Rolo The Cambridge Dachshund
Rolo has no concept of social distancing!

Here’s a picture of Rolo to make you smile.  Please do get in touch if you know of any other activities and services in the city that I can include in future posts as this lockdown continues.  I wish all readers, wherever you are in the world, the very best at this frightening and stressful time.  Stay safe, stay home, keep well x

Quarantined in Cambridge 2

Wow, well since I last posted here on Saturday afternoon, the corona virus situation has moved on with unbelievable speed.  So here’s some information that’s come to my attention since then, which hopefully will be of help as we all hunker down at home.

Check out the new website Local Shops in Cambridge, a good resource if you need stuff delivered.  You’ll find info on shops, food outlets, activities, delivery companies and local support in the city.  This site is only recently constructed so more details are being added all the time.  Huge thanks to Elisabeth Klaar of Oak Tree Studio for creating this valuable resource.

http://www.cambridgelocalshops.co.uk

Stir Bakery loaf
Image credit: Stir Bakery

Stir Bakery on Chesterton Road will open early from 7.30 – 8am daily to serve only vulnerable people ie anyone over 60 or those avoiding crowds.  They’re extending home deliveries to 7 days a week (subject to demand) and can deliver boxes of essential supplies (bread, milk, tray bakes, coffee and more).  If you need help, know someone who does or have any thoughts on how Stir Bakery can help in the community, email them on stirbakerycambridge@gmail.com

http://www.stircambridge.co.uk

Camcab logo
Image credit: Camcab

Camcab Taxi can help if you are aged 70 or over and in need of groceries.  They’ll transfer your groceries from the supermarket to your doorstep free of charge.  They’ll also collect prescriptions if you’re stuck at home and they plan to help transport doctors and nurses from home to work as this crisis wears on.  Contact them on 01223 704704 if you need help.

http://www.camcab.co.uk

Indie Cambridge logo
Image credit: Indie Cambridge

Indie Cambridge has made a directory of its members who can offer online shopping and/or home delivery.  Many also offer vouchers or gift tokens.  Buying these now can help to keep the money coming in and to support our indie businesses through such a difficult time.

http://www.indiecambridge.com/blog.php

I’ve created a new Facebook group “What have you done today – Cambridge” as a fun forum so we can share what we’ve been up to as we fill up the unaccustomed free time at home.  Please join and post your photos, videos and messages so we can all keep connected, smile, swap ideas and inspire each other in these uncertain and anxious weeks.  There are only two rules …. be kind and keep it clean!!

FB What have you done today – Cambridge

Rolo The Cambridge Dachshund
Rolo takes a nap!

Here’s a photo of Rolo having his lunchtime nap to make you smile.  I will keep posting on this blog as more information comes my way.  Please get in touch through my Contact page if you know of anything that will be useful to readers.  I wish everybody the very best ….. stay well and look out for each other x

Quarantined in Cambridge

These are scary times we’re living through and a lot of us will end up spending a lot of time at home in the coming weeks, either suffering from corona virus, quarantined for it or because we’re minimising social contact and most events have been cancelled anyway.  On the plus side, it’s a great chance to catch up on all those tedious domestic tasks we’ve been postponing, dig in to that pile of books we’ve been meaning to read or just to lounge around on the sofa in front of Netflix.  On the minus side, you may be stuck at home, feeling hideous, for a while.  Read on for some Cambridge based ideas and services …..

Deliveroo logo
Image credit: Deliveroo

Deliveroo has announced that it’s introducing a no contact drop off service so you can request that your order is left on the doorstep.  There are quite a few small indie restaurants you can order from through Deliveroo and they will really appreciate your support in these troubled times.  A few random suggestions:

Tiffin Truck – Indian food

Polonia Club – Polish food

Nanna Mexico – Mexican street food

Bridges – salads, wraps, sandwiches and cakes

Signorelli’s Deli – Italian food

Cambridge Wine Merchants – wine, beer, cider, gin and mixers

http://www.deliveroo.co.uk

Stir Cambridge loaf
Image credit: Stir Cambridge

For fresh bread deliveries, Stir Cambridge offers a bread subscription service with bike powered delivery on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

http://www.stircambridge.co.uk/deliveries

Radmore Farm Shop delivers at least twice a week by van around the city so you can shop online for superb quality meat, baked goods including Vicky’s fabulous home made cakes, fruit, veg and salad, dairy and pantry items, drinks, snacks and more.  They will also make small deliveries on foot or by bike for customers most in need at this time.  Email them through the website to arrange.

http://www.radmorefarmshop.co.uk

Panther Taxis logo
Image credit: Panther Taxis

Panther Taxis will collect your “click and collect” online shopping from Tesco Milton and Tesco Newmarket Road and drop it at your door, charging the standard metered rate.  With news that the supermarkets’ own delivery services are being swamped, this seems like a good way to replenish the fridge.

http://www.panthertaxis.co.uk

cropped-20180625_105259
King’s College, Cambridge

It doesn’t take long for cabin fever to strike.  If you can’t leave the house, you can take yourself out on a virtual tour.  Check out Jim and Helen Ede’s house with its beautiful art works at Kettle’s Yard or take in King’s College, its Chapel and Library, which is not normally open to the public.  And then visit these places IRL when this corona virus nightmare is over.

http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/visit/virtual-tour-of-the-college

Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Cambridge University Botanic Garden

If you’re able to leave the house, spend some time outside in the fresh air.  Head to the Botanic Garden which has to be my favourite green space in the city.  Or maybe take a punt tour, giving you stunning views of the Colleges from the river.  I’ve noticed the punt stations down at Magdalene Bridge are looking very empty in the absence of tourists lately.

http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

http://www.scudamores.com

http://www.scholarspuntingcambridge.co.uk

Knitting Needle Lane yarn
Image credit: Knitting Needle Lane

Mindful activities like knitting and crochet help to while away the time and quiet a busy mind.  Knitting Needle Lane, owned by Camilla Carter, is Cambridge’s independent yarn retailer and has an online shop offering yarns, crochet and knitting patterns plus Make Your Own packs.  If you live in Cambridge, choose the ‘Home Delivery’ option and Camilla will deliver your yarn through your letterbox for free.  If you live further away in the UK, she is offering 50% off postage.

http://www.knittingneedlelane.co.uk

Portugal Place Cambridge
Portugal Place, Cambridge

And finally but perhaps most importantly, we need to look out for each other.  Two of my neighbours have set up a simple scheme where you can volunteer to offer shopping support for people who are holed up at home because of illness or the need to self-isolate.  This type of community support is easy to replicate and will make a big difference to our neighbourhoods in the coming weeks.

Rolo The Cambridge Dachshund
Rolo, my 3 month old puppy!

As I said at the start of this piece, these are weird and scary times.  Here’s a picture of my puppy to make you smile.  Me, I’m just hoping for the best and now I’m off to tidy that wardrobe I’ve been meaning to tackle for months!  Wishing all readers, wherever you are in the world, good health x