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 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!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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 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!
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 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 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
As I write this, yet another storm is raging. Will Spring ever come?? I’d love it to hurry up as I’m attempting to house train a lively 12 week old puppy who definitely doesn’t like going out into the garden in the cold and rain! Here’s the events listing for March. As usual, I’ll add to it as the month goes on so do check back and feel free to get in touch through my Contact page if you have an event that you’d like to be included.
1st 2.30 – 5pm Dakshina 2020. An offering of music and dance from South India. Samarpana Classical Arts. Proceeds support Indian classical arts in Cambridge. Chesterton Sports Centre, Gilbert Road, CB4 http://www.eventbrite.com
2nd 8pm Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra. Strauss, Beethoven and Brahms. West Road Concert Hall. Tickets on the door or from http://www.cuso.org.uk
3rd 8pm Continuum. Gesualdo Responses for Holy Saturday and Reproaches by Stuart Beer. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
5th 11am – 1pm George Mallory: from student to mountaineer. A special one day exhibition exploring George Mallory’s life from his undergraduate days at Magdalene College (1905 – 1909) to his final expedition to Everest in 1924. Free event. The Old Library, Magdalene College. http://www.magd.cam.ac.uk/old-library/public-engagement
6th 12.15 – 1pm Lunchtime Concert: Cadenza. Cambridge University’s premier A Capella group perform their own arrangements and mash-ups of pop and jazz hits. Free, all welcome. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. FB: Lunchtime Concert: Cadenza
6th 8pm Clare College Music Society and Chapel Choir of Clare College. Mozart Coronation Mass, Scattergood, Schubert. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
7th 10am – 1pm Family Saturdays: Fruity Fun. Taste delicious and unusual fruits and plant pomegranate seeds that you can grow at home. Find out about Fairtrade as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2020. Drop in, no need to book. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
7th 2 – 4.30pm International Women’s Day event. 8 women talking for 15 minutes each on various zoological themes and the stories of many more. Free, drop in. Aged 8+. Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. https://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/
7th 6 – 7pm Moving On. Traditional close harmony and classical music. Post concert reception and exhibition of watercolour paintings. The Lucy Cavendish Singers. Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street. http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk
8th 12 – 4pm Studio Sunday. Get creative with artists and education volunteers in a practical art making workshop. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
8th 7.30pm International Women’s Day Concert. Closing event of The Minerva Festival, including a performance of the winning piece of the composition competition. St. Giles’ Church, Castle Street. http://www.minervafestival.org
8th 8.15pm Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas plus miniature companion pieces. Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong. King’s College Dining Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
9 – 22nd Cambridge Science Festival. Featuring events from astronomy to zoology. Everyone is welcome to explore, discuss and discover science through talks, hands-on activities, films and exhibitions. Free entry. https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/ PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL EVENTS AT THIS FESTIVAL ARE NOW CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
9th 1pm Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas plus miniature companion pieces. Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong. St John’s Old Divinity School. http://www.adcticketing.com
9th 7.45pm Climate Change: What it means and what we can do about it. Speaker: Prof Joanna Haigh, CBE, FRS. Part of the Science meets Faith programme of talks. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces.
10th 7 – 8.30pm Cafe Sci Cambridge. Obscure Crops to Save the World. Free event, non-ticketed. Espresso Library, East Road. FB: Obscure Crops To Save The World
10th 7.30 – 9pm Talk: Town vs Gown – social divides in Cambridgeshire antiquarian life. Mill Road History Society. Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street. https://millroadhistory.org.uk/events/
12th 8pm Beethoven 250. Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 3, Symphony No. 2. St John’s College Chapel. FB: St John’s College Music Society
13th 8pm March. A selection of marches, fanfares and theme tunes including Copland and Mendelssohn. The University of Cambridge Concert Band. St. Giles’ Church, CB3. Tickets on the door or from uccb.soc.srcf.net
14th 9am – 5.30pm The Rising Festival 2020. Celebrating International Women’s Day with interactive workshops, talks, 1-2-1 coaching, networking, performances, open conversations, Happy Hour and more. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
14th 10am – 4pm Super Science Saturday – The Museum Takeover. Hands on activities, meet the researchers, discover more about the world of early dinosaurs. Free family drop in. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street. FB: Super Science Saturday – The Museum Takeover
14th 10am – 4.30pm Murder Will Out: A day of crime, thriller and mystery fiction. Heffers bring a selection of authors to the city for this day long crime event. The Old Library, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street. Tickets from Heffers Bookshop or http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
14th 7.30pm Earth, Sea and Space. Back to the Future, Thunder and Lightning Polka, Apollo 13, Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001: A Space Odyssey) and more. Cambridge Concert Orchestra. A fundraiser in aid of the Motor Neuron Disease Association (Cambridgeshire branch). Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces, CB1. Tickets on the door or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
14th 7.30pm St John’s Voices. Bach, Howells, Scarlatti. St John’s College Chapel. Tickets 01223 300085
14th 7.30pm Cambs Frocktails. Meet and get to know other people who sew clothes. Cocktails, competitions and celebration of all things sewing. Wear your special me-made outfits. Clayton Hotel (formerly The Tamburlaine), CB1 https://cambsfrocktails.com/ PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO 17 OCTOBER 2020 DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
15th 11am and 2pm Science on Sundays: The mechanics of plant development. Part of a programme of free, informal, monthly drop-in plant science talks, bringing the latest discoveries in plant science to visitors in a 30 minute nutshell. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
19th 7pm Voces 8 – Choral Dances. A celebration of choral music inspired by dance. Palestrina, Victoria, Rachmaninov, Britten. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door or from http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org
21st 11am – 4.30pm Cambridge Sustainable Fashion Festival. Stalls, a big Swish (clothes swap party), a free sewing Repair Cafe, learn how to recycle, reuse and create a capsule wardrobe plus pick up styling tips. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road. FB: Cambridge Sustainable Fashion Festival PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
21st 2 – 5.30pm Reading “Emma”. An intensive and exciting Study Day on this Jane Austen novel, with two lectures and a round-table seminar. Literature Cambridge. Stapleford Granary, CB22. https://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/emma PLEASE NOTE THIS STUDY DAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS AND WILL BE REARRANGED FOR SEPTEMBER 2020 DATE TBC
21st 7 – 9pm Spring Equinox Mindfulness around the Campfire. Simple guided meditations, opportunities for reflection, discuss, poetry and games exploring our relationship with the natural world. Milton Country Park, CB24. https://mindfulness-of-nature.com/
21st 7.30pm The Crucifixion, Stainer. The Leys Choral Society. The Leys School Chapel, Fen Causeway. http://www.theleys.net/boxoffice PLEASE NOTE THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
21st 8pm New Cambridge Singers. Frank Martin Mass for double choir and Pergolesi Stabat Mater. Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Hills Road. http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk
22nd 12 – 4pm Studio Sunday. Get creative with artists and education volunteers in a practical art making workshop. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
25th 7.30pm True Stories Told Live. Cambridge storytellers and a musical turn. No need to book, just turn up a bit early to get a drink and find a seat. NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4. FB: True Stories Told Live Cambridge PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
27 – 28th 4 – 11pm Eddington Beer Garden. A pop up with draft craft beers, gins, spirits, wines and soft drinks, food vans and live music. Free entry. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington, CB3. You can pre-register at http://www.eventbrite.com
28th 2 – 6pm Board Games Afternoon. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. £2 per ticket. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
28th 7.30 – 10.30pm Stand Up Comedy Night from Big Deal Comedy. 4 comedians and an MC, licensed bar selling alcoholic and soft drinks. Unit 1-4, The Grafton Centre, CB1. FB: Stand Up Comedy Night
29th 2.30 – 4pm A Musical Afternoon at the University Church. Haydn, Vivaldi, Boyce. The Academy of Great St Mary’s. Great St Mary’s Church, Senate House Hill. FB: A Musical Sunday Afternoon at the University Church
Well, it’s grey and gloomy as I write this but we got through January and there are definite signs of Spring now. I’ve noticed buds on the trees, little froths of blossom and the birds are chirping morning and evening. Read on for details of what’s happening in the city this month … this listing is not exhaustive but is an eclectic mix of events that come to my attention. I’ll update it through the month so do check back and if you are involved in an event that you’d like me to include, please get in touch via my Contact page.
1st 10am – 1pm Family Saturday: Plant Fibres. Create your own wall hanging to take home. Free activity for children, drop in event. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
1st 10.30am – 4.30pm Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Vintage, handmade, reworked and retro. Fashion, accessories and collectables from the 40’s to the 90’s. Guildhall, Market Square. FB: Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair
1st 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm Children’s Workshop: Chinese Calligraphy. Celebrate Chinese New year and learn how to create characters with Chinese brushes and ink. For children aged 8+, must be accompanied by an adult. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 12 – 4pm Family First Saturday: Chinese New Year. Celebrate Chinese New Year with family activities which include lion dance, animals of the zodiac trail, lantern making, paper cutting. Free, drop in. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 2 – 4pm “Undiscovered beauty spots within an hour’s drive of Cherry Hinton”. Talk from Peter Green, Walks Co-ordinator, National Trust. All welcome, free entry, contribution invited towards expenses. Food for Thought Cafe, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Building, corner of Fisher’s Lane and Cherry Hinton High Street.
1 – 23rd Snowdrop Trail. Discover more about snowdrop science, history, folklore and cultivation when you follow the Garden’s snowdrop routes. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
3rd 7 – 10pm An evening at The White Hart Country Inn, Fulbourn. A two course meal and live entertainment for £20. Fundraiser for Camsight http://www.camsight.org.uk
4 – 8th 7.45pm My Fair Lady. Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society. ADC Theatre, Park Street http://www.adctheatre.com
6th 11am – 1pm Twentieth-century First Editions Exhibition. The Old Library, Magdalene College will be open for visitors to these historic book-lined rooms, with displays of items from the College’s special collections and archives which are rarely seen in public. Free entry, no need to book. Magdalene College, Magdalene Street.
7 – 16th Ahbab Festival. A festival of music, film, food and culture from the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge Junction and multiple venues across the city. FB: @AhbabFestival
8th 1 – 4pm Chinese New Year Crafts. Celebrate Chinese New Year with CFT Chinese School. Decorate a paper lantern, paint a panda and try your hand at Chinese calligraphy and pictograms. Free, drop in event for families. Parents/carers must stay with children. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
8th 7pm Hungarian Music for Cello and Accordian. Cambridge Szeged Society. Free entry, retiring collection. Church of Our Lady and English Martyrs, Hills Road.
8 – 9th 11am – 4pm Rowan Art Exhibition. Buy original art at this “Celebrate Your World” art exhibition. Pictures from amateur and professional artists on sale at £45 each, raising funds to support Rowan’s student artists. Chesterton Community College, Gilbert Road, CB4 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
9th 8.30pm King’s Voices Lent Concert. Haydn, Beethoven and Reger. King’s Voices with the King’s College Symphony Orchestra. King’s College Hall http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk
10th 7.45pm Seeking to know: A humane philosophy of science and religion. Speaker: Professor Andrew Steane, Physics Department, Oxford University. Part of the Science Meets Faith series. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces. Free entry, retiring collection.
15th 1pm Come and Sing Faure Requiem. For singers of all ages and abilities who can read music. St Catherine’s College Music Society. McGrath Centre, St Catherine’s College, Trumpington Street http://www.eventbrite.co.uk
15th 7 – 9.30pm Winter Mindfulness around the Campfire. Simple guided meditations, opportunities for reflection, discussions, poetry and games exploring our relationship with the natural world, around a campfire. Byron’s Pool, Trumpington http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com
18th 7 – 8.30pm Cafe Sci Cambridge: The Genetics of Depression. Free, non ticketed. Espresso Library, East Road. FB: Free event: The Genetics of Depression
19th 4.30 – 7.30pm Twilight at the Museums at the Botanic Garden. Bring your torch for a night time adventure around the Glasshouses and discover some seriously freaky plants. Free, no charge for entry after 4.30pm, no need to book. The Garden Shop and Cafe will be open until 7pm. Botanic Garden, Brookside http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
19th 4.30 – 7.30pm Twilight at the Museums: De-lightful! Take a journey through light and dark at this annual Twilight event which takes place across University of Cambridge Museums. Discover torch lit treasure, sensory activities, interactive theatre, stories, dance and studio art creativity. Free event. http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/twilight_museums
21 – 22nd 12 – 5pm Cambridge Antiquarian Book Fair. Old books, prints, maps and manuscripts. Guildhall, Market Square
21st 6.30 – 8.30pm Cam Lates: Garden Kitchen Takeover. Explore the diverse plant collections in the Glasshouse Range which will be filled with imaginative illuminations. Food and drink from The Garden Kitchen. Booking essential. Botanic Garden, Brookside http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
21st 8pm St John Passion. St John’s College Music Society with Trinity College Music Society. St John’s College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
22nd 11am – 5pm Cambridge’s Craft and Flea. Local produce, street food, collectables, crafts, vegan and more. St Barnabas Church, Mill Road
22nd 2 – 6pm Board Games Afternoon. LGBTQ+ board games social afternoon. Free admission. Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard
27th 6 – 9pm Student LATE: Love Art After Dark. A dynamic programme of art events, performances, live music, pop up talks, behind the scenes tours plus creative arts and crafts activities. Cash bar and snacks in the Courtyard Cafe. Free but booking essential. Student ID card required. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.loveartafterdark-event.getqpay.com
29th 6 – 9.30pm Mastana. South Asian cultural performances ranging from dance to music to fashion, acting, magic and more. Guildhall, Market Square http://www.fixr.co/event/82327218
29th 7.30pm Harmony in Harlem Jazz Orchestra. Duke Ellington’s Primping for the Prom. St Andrew’s Baptist Church, St Andrew’s Street. Tickets on the door or from http://www.hhjazz.co.uk
So just like that, December is here … the city is looking even more gorgeous than usual with lights twinkling and decorations everywhere. Read on for details of all types of Christmas music and services, shopping events where you’ll find those perfect handmade presents, seasonal celebrations and activities in our wonderful museums and much more. I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you’d like me to include your event.
1st 12 noon – 4pm Museum Shop Sunday. Stalls from local suppliers including jewellery, glasswork and pottery. Mulled wine and mince pies. Free, drop in. Museum of Cambridge, Castle Street. http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk
1st 12 noon – 4pm Studio Sunday. Practical art making workshops, no experience necessary. Free, drop in. Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street. http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk
1st 1.15 – 2pm Cambridge University Instrumental Award Holders – a performance by the very best undergraduate chamber musicians. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
1st 6.30pm Winter Cabaret. A seasonal mix of jazzy, sassy, jingly and soulful songs and music from The Lucy Cavendish Singers. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk
4th 5 – 8pm Rowan’s Winter Warmer. A festive evening where you can buy handmade gifts and cards, commission artwork and get involved in Christmas workshops. Live music, mulled wine and mince pies. Free entry. Rowan, 140 Humberstone Road, CB4 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk
5th 6.30pm Murder under the Mistletoe. Heffers’ Christmas Crime Party. Festive drinks, book buying and readings from crime authors. 10% off purchases on the evening. Heffers, Trinity Street. http://www.heffersbookshop.eventbrite.com
7th 11.30am Bridging Binaries: LGBTQ+ Tour. Explore the spectrum of identities that exist across time, place and culture in Cambridge collections. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
7th 1 – 1.30pm Come and Sing Carols. An informal, friendly “come and sing” carolling session for shoppers, friends and visitors. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
7th 2 – 4pm Family First Saturday. Activities and art making on the theme of festive fun. Free, drop in. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
7th 4 – 5pm Blue Christmas. A service of jazz and prayer for everyone who doesn’t find the holidays so happy. Michaelhouse Chapel, Trinity Street
7th 7pm Messiah by Candlelight. Eboracum Baroque. A charity concert in aid of Cancer Research. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk
8th 7.30pm Christmas Orchestral and Choral Concert. Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Czech Christmas music. The Academy of Great St Mary’s. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.adcticketing.com
8th 7.30pm Messiah. Choir of Clare College with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Trinity College Chapel. http://www.adcticketing.com
9th 7.45pm Brokenness, compassion and identity in rehabilitation after brain injury. Speaker: Dr Andrew Bateman. Part of the Science meets Faith series. Free admission, retiring collection. Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces
12th 7.30pm Music for an English Advent: Gabriel’s Message. Carols and estampies from medieval England. Mediva Ensemble. Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street. http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org
12th 8pm A Winter Union. Five leading lights of the British roots scene present an evening of seasonal songs, new and old. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk
13th 7.30pm – 2.30am Reach Up Disco Wonderland with DJ Andy Smith and XL Records founder Nick Halkes. 2648 Bar, Trinity Street. https://skdl.co/kFnLqa45X0
13 – 14th 7.30pm A Christmas Carol. Adapted and performed by Martin Prest in a one man show. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. Wrap up warm as the Chapel can be cold! http://www.adcticketing.com
15th 10am – 4pm Victorian Christmas Celebration. Family friendly Victorian Christmas day with craft activities, music, mince pies and more. Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane. http://www.museumoftechnology.com
15th 6.30 – 8pm Carols by Candlelight, accompanied by Cottenham Brass Band. Hosted by Cambridge Past, Present and Future. The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road. Free event, donations appreciated. http://www.cambridgeppf.org
15th 8pm Music for Advent and Christmas. Josquin, Howells and carols for audience participation. Fairhaven Singers. Trinity College Chapel. http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk
18th 1.15 – 2pm The Food of Christmas Past. A talk with Ivan Day, Feast & Fast food historian. Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk
19th 7 – 9pm Mindfulness around a Campfire – Winter Solstice celebration. Guided meditations, reflections, discussions, poetry, games and toasty pre Christmas treats around a campfire. Milton Country Park, CB24. Tickets from email@example.com
19th 7.30 – 10pm Light Up EACH Life Cambridge Concert. We Are Sound and Evelyn Glennie perform a selection of uplifting songs in celebration of the children and families cared for at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade. http://www.each.org.uk
20th 10.30am – 12.30pm GPS Christmas Treasure Hunt. Track down some special Christmas plants growing in the garden. A family activity. Booking essential. Botanic Garden, Brookside. http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk
20th 7.30pm Celebrate Christmas with John Rutter and Bach Choir Voices. Traditional carols and works by John Rutter. Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church, Hills Road http://www.cambridgesummermusic.com
22nd 4 – 5.15pm and 6.30 – 7.45pm Carols by Candlelight. A traditional candlelit service of lessons and carols at the University Church. Arrive early to be sure of a seat. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
24th 4 – 5pm Christmas Eve Crib Service. Carols, bible stories and an impro Nativity. For children and their families. Come as you are or in Nativity fancy dress. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade
25th 11.15am – 12.15pm Christmas Day Choral Mattins. Favourite carols, beautiful music, scripture and story. Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade