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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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




Podcast: Eco Living and Zero Waste in Cambridge

I’ve made another podcast!  In this episode, I chat to some of the people who are at the forefront of the eco living and zero waste movements in Cambridge and who have lots of ideas to help us tread a little more lightly on this planet.   Just search for New in Cambridge on Spotify or your favourite podcast platform.

The podcast chats are necessarily quite brief so to find out more, take a look at my guests’ websites:

Full Circle Shop

Cambridge Food Hub

Cambridge Cookery School and Cafe

Eco Living Festival Cambridge

My thanks to Johanna, Alice and Tine for giving their time to make this podcast.

King’s College, Cambridge

Hidden gems in Cambridge

Somehow Cambridge feels a little bit different in August … the rhythm of the place changes while the hazy summer days and nights give us the chance to explore all the city has to offer.  If you venture slightly off the beaten track, there are hidden gems to discover.  I’d like to share some of my favourites with you here.

Hidden Rooms Cambridge
Hidden Rooms Cocktail Lounge

There’s a rather beautiful neo-classical building on Jesus Lane which was originally built as a Victorian Turkish baths.  Behind a plain black door, down in the basement, you’ll find Hidden Rooms Cocktail Lounge where the lights are dim and the vibe is classy but chilled.  There’s an extensive menu of classic cocktails alongside wine and beer with nuts and crisps to snack on.  The Events Room hosts jazz gigs on Thursday nights, speed dating sessions on Wednesdays and Bachata dance classes on Tuesday evenings.  I’d recommend making an advance reservation for your booth area in the table service Cocktail Lounge.  And the Hidden Rooms team of expert bartenders will be sharing some of their secrets and tips in free cocktail making lessons during Cambridge Cocktail Weekend at the Corn Exchange from 24 – 26 August.

Restaurant Twenty-Two CambridgeMagic is happening in the kitchen at Restaurant Twenty Two on Chesterton Road, just north of Midsummer Common.  Chef Sam Carter and Alexandra Olivier, his partner in life and business, have refurbished this intimate space and offer creative modern British food with a twist, using seasonal ingredients from local suppliers.  You’ll find seven and five course tasting menus alongside a la carte and a lunch menu which is exceptional value at £20 for three courses.  Sam creates delectable flavours and textures in each dish and every plate of his food is a feast for the eyes too.  It’s fine dining but Restaurant Twenty Two is not stuffy or starchy … it has a relaxed atmosphere and has quickly garnered an enthusiastic East Anglian fan base while also receiving rave reviews in the national press, so do book a table in advance.  Your taste buds will thank you for it!

Cambridge Cookery School
Image credit: Cambridge Cookery

Over at the award winning Cambridge Cookery School in Homerton Gardens, you’ll find a light, bright café serving fresh seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced mainly from a small group of local, sustainable, high welfare producers.  The décor, food and wine reflect owner Tine Roche’s Scandinavian heritage and her deep love of Italy.  Try the homemade bread and pastries for breakfast, brunch or at lunchtime, when the counter offers colourful grain based salads, filled focaccia and open sandwiches on rye bread.  On Friday and Saturday evenings, relax on the peaceful, sunny terrace with wine, cocktails and tapas or make sure to book ahead for the popular Saturday night Bistro set menu.


Don’t miss …..

Savino’s coffee shop, tucked away in Emmanuel Street.  A small yet perfectly formed family run Italian café serving Illy coffee, homemade cakes, soups, panini and salads.

Stem + Glory restaurant at Mitcham’s Corner.  Award winning vegan food with a weekday fast service lunch to eat in or take away plus table service a la carte menu for lunch and dinner.

The University Centre Wine Bar in Granta Place.  Open to the public and housed in one of Cambridge’s finest examples of brutalist architecture, with views over the River Cam, it serves wine, beer and spirits as well as simple charcuterie and cheese boards.


This post is an edited version of  “The Cambridge Scene”,  my column in the August edition of Eastlife Magazine.  See more on