Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

Gresham House Wellness launched on 6 June with a jazz band, speeches, delicious canapes and plenty of fizz before the ribbon on the magnificent double doors was ceremonially severed and this boutique wellness retreat was officially unveiled.

Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

Lobby at Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

Rose bedroom at Gresham House Wellness CambridgeIt’s set in the beautiful grounds of The Gonville Hotel, opposite Parker’s Piece. The house, dating back to the late 1880’s, was bought by the hotel in 2002.  Now, following months of extensive refurbishment and painstaking restoration work to original features, Gresham House offers eight luxurious floral themed bedrooms, with three serene wellness treatment rooms.  The tranquillity here makes it hard to believe that you’re just a stone’s throw from the city centre.

Bathroom at Gresham House Wellness CambridgeThe bedrooms are peaceful havens of comfort and luxury, decorated in restful tones with statement wallpapers, oversized floral headboards, sumptuous crushed velvet upholstery and side tables of foxed mirror.  Bathrooms are roomy with double basins (the copper basins are particularly fabulous!) and a covetable selection of ESPA lotions and potions.

Bedroom at Gresham House Wellness CambridgeFlowers at Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

Guests have a choice of dining facilities at the hotel which include the relaxed Atrium Brasserie and the fine dining Cotto Restaurant.  And how about seeing the sights with a chauffeur driven spin around Cambridge in the hotel’s own Classic 1958 S1 Bentley?

Spa at Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

The three wellness treatment rooms are soothing and spacious.  The extensive spa menu uses ESPA luxury all-natural skincare and beauty products. There’ll also be a mindfulness massage range, featuring breathing and visualisation techniques to reduce stress and enhance emotional and physical wellbeing.  I loved my hand and arm massage at the launch event.  I’d never realised how much tension I carried in those areas until they massaged it away!

Staff at Gresham House Wellness Cambridge

This would be a great place to treat yourself to a day or a stay, either to relax on your own or with friends and family.  The care and attention to detail that’s gone in to Gresham House Wellness is evident at every turn and speaks volumes about The Gonville Hotel’s commitment to going above and beyond just glamour to create a very special space, a space I can’t wait to return to.

http://www.gonvillehotel.co.uk

Gonville Place, Cambridge CB1 1LY

I attended the Gresham House Wellness launch event as a guest of The Gonville Hotel for Eastlife Magazine.  See more on http://www.eastlife.co.uk

Summer in the City

Cambridge takes on an air of fiesta in June.  Our beautiful green spaces are full of people enjoying the summer sunshine, chatting, picnicking, playing rounders, playing guitars, even practising their circus skills!  Ecstatic students celebrate the end of exams at the famous May Balls, with the sound of revelry floating on the night air and amazing firework displays as darkness falls.  It’s a time to enjoy life outdoors so I’ve put together some ideas to help you make the most of summer in the city.

Punting on the River Cam
Punting on the River Cam

What could be nicer on a summer’s day than messing about on the river?  You’ll get a spectacular view of the colleges with their historic buildings and beautiful gardens as you glide along the Backs in a punt.  Avoid the touts in the city centre and head down to Quayside at Magdalene Bridge where you’ll find several punt hire operators.  Established in 1910, Scudamores are open every day from 9am to dusk.  Self-hire punts take six people and cost £30 per hour.  If you’d rather just sit back and relax, take a 45 minute shared guided tour at £20 per adult.  Concessions and private tours are available.  The punt chauffeurs are a fount of historical information and while I’ve never heard them sing “O Sole Mio”, they might if you ask nicely!

www.scudamores.com

 

casino royale playing
Image credit: Gareth Nunns

The Star & Mouse Picture Show is back for a new season, bringing weekend screenings underneath the stars at fabulous venues in and around Cambridge through the summer.  This “trinket cinema” creates magical evenings of fairy lights, food and fire pits with live entertainment themed to the film.  From 1-3 June, Star & Mouse lands on the riverside at The Double Tree Hilton in Granta Place, Mill Lane, showing “Inception”, “The Goonies” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.  Watch the sun go down then as darkness falls, park yourself in a deckchair, put on your wireless headphones and enjoy the film.  Advance booking is recommended.  Tickets are £12, bookable through www.starandmouse.com

 

Jesus Green Lido Cambridge
Image credit: GLL

Jesus Green Lido opened in 1923 and still has a reassuringly old school feel with its wooden changing cubicles and its attended Basket Room for safe storage of your possessions as you swim.  One of the longest outdoor pools in the country, it’s surrounded by trees so it’s sheltered and private with shade on sunny days and plenty of grassy space for sunbathing and picnics.  There’s a dedicated lane for speedy swimmers, a sauna and a little café for drinks and snacks.  The Lido is unheated so the water temperature can be bracing but it’s quite acceptable to wear a wetsuit if you’re not the hardy type!  You’ll find the Lido opposite Chesterton Road, between Jesus Lock and Victoria Bridge.  An adult non member swim costs £4.70.  Membership, season tickets and concessions are available.

www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/Cambridge/jesusgreenlido

 

King’s College is famous worldwide not only for its academic excellence but also for its stunning Chapel and its choir whose Christmas Eve service, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols”, is broadcast to millions of listeners across the globe.  On Sunday 24 June, join The King’s Men (the choral scholars of King’s College) for “Singing on the River”, their final concert of the season.  The King’s Men will be on the Cam in punts singing madrigals, part-songs and close harmony while you’ll be relaxing with your picnic on the College’s back lawn which runs down to the river bank.  Tickets are £12.50 or £5 for students (under 12’s get in free) from the King’s College Visitor Centre in King’s Parade or from shop@kings.cam.ac.uk

 

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Roof Terrace Bar at The Varsity Hotel

For a cool drink on a warm day plus breath taking 360 degree views over the city, head to the Roof Terrace Bar at The Varsity Hotel in Thompson’s Lane.  It’s stylish with comfortable outdoor seating, colourful planting and a dedicated table service rooftop bar offering an extensive gin menu, summer cocktails, wine, bottled beers, champagne and prosecco alongside non alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks.  There’s a small barbecue and salad menu too.  This is one of my favourite places to sip a gin and tonic (Cambridge Distillery gin, naturally!) while watching the sun set on a summer evening.

www.thevarsityhotel.co.uk

 

This post is The Cambridge Scene column which I write for Eastlife Magazine, a terrific guide to all that’s happening in the east of England.  To read more of the June edition, take a look on http://www.eastlife.co.uk