I thought up this blog post the other day after pondering just how often I go out for coffee – whether it is a passing caffeine fix on the way to work, a catch up with a friend or a weekend treat for me and the Mr. I think the cafe culture has finally come to the UK, and in a big way, yes a lot of it is Starbucks and Costa (which I do visit, I’m not going to lie) but thankfully there are also lots and lots of great independent cafes doing their thing. I’ve got lots of spots in Cambridge that I love, and these are my five favourites, and regular stops.
1. Gog Magog Hills Cafe
I think this is the place we frequent the most, usually at the weekend. Their (Monmouth) coffee is excellent, tea is served in lovely sunny yellow teapots, they have a vast and amazing array of cakes. The thing to really mention here are their towering scones, specifically the cheese scones. They are maybe more cheese than scone and this is a most excellent thing. The shop and deli on site are also my favourite places to go for food shopping – whether it be a chunk of cheese, something from the butchers (the merguez lamb sausages), fruit, veg or a little treat from the bakery section. They are also brilliant on Twitter, follow them!
2. Teacake at Shepreth
I dedicated a whole blog post to Teacake recently! They are just around the corner from my office so I regularly visit them. They too serve Monmouth coffee, expertly made by Maurice along with loose leaf tea and lcoal fruit juice from Cam Valley Orchards. Christine bakes all their cakes and sweet treats – everything from a traditional Victoria sponge, brownies, flapjacks to something different like chocolate beetroot cake or sticky date cake. They also do sandwiches, soups and salads – they sometimes even smoke their own salmon or ham which is such a change from the usual sad lunch you get when you work 9-5. Their crayfish and mayo sandwich is my favourite lunch choice, and if my to do list is particularly long that day I have a slice of sticky date cake for afters.
3. Hot Numbers
A lovely chilled out place to meet with a friend or work if you fancy a change of scenery. They roast their own coffee beans in their ‘Roastery’ and have lots of different options for your coffee – from the traditional espresso machine to their impressive siphon. They also serve tea from my favourite local tea company, Kandula Tea. Cakes are provided by the fantastic Afternoon Tease and there are lots of sweet treats from Fitzbillies, including their legendary Chelsea buns. A truly local cafe! They’ve recently expanded by combining the neighbouring Williams Art gallery with the cafe, so you can sip your coffee amongst some lovely artwork.
4. Waterstones Cafe
So you’re thinking what is Waterstones doing in here amongst the independents? Well, their 2nd view cafe is the perfect super central Cambridge spot for a break from shopping. It’s huge so there is always space and the coffee is great, the WiFi fast and the staff are lovely. It’s so hard to find a good place to go for a decent coffee slap bang in the middle of the shopping area so I’m pleased Waterstones are doing a good job here. Their cakes and sandwiches are ok, nothing to write home about, but the coffee is good so that is the main thing!
5. Greens Coffee, Cambourne
A little hop out of town this unassuming cafe is quite lovely. They are a cafe during the day and then a cocktail bar at night, perfect! Their cinnamon cappuccino is one of my favourite things ever and they do a lovely spiced apple drink during the Winter months. And of course the cocktails, gorgeous, especially the espresso martini.
So there you have it, I’d love to know of other spots that I can try, I’m always on the lookout. I should also give some honourable mentions to Savino’s (shabby but fab), Le Gros Franck (for mornings), Shelford Deli and Cafe CouCou in Saffron Walden.