Hot newcomers to Cambridgeshire
Foodie Flash: grub is on the up and here are the new openings that you need to know about.
We’re pounding away at Muddy Cambs as there’s so much brilliant stuff coming up in the next weeks and months and, as you know, if it’s cool, chic or stylish we’re all over it. Grub is on the up in Cambridgeshire this spring and summer – there are roof gardens growing, new hotels opening and pubs that have been given so much plastic surgery they’re lost years, changed their shape and sound different. Some have opened in the last day or two whilst others are still a work in progress so as ever keep your eyes on the blog and I’ll wave a flag when you need to get your skates on
This popular all day coffee-cum-brunch-cum-cocktail bar is raising the roof this summer quite literally. Their new roof terrace opens in May, I can’t show you a picture yet as it hasn’t been built but I grabbed this off the designer’s desk. With a bar, restaurant and multipurpose event space, including living walls and water features, it’s going to be up there as a hip place to be sipping your Tickled Pink this summer.
This new hotel only opened it’s doors this week so it’s all squeaky clean and new. A new addition to the Cambridge hotel scene – it’s located in the fast developing railway station quarter. If you’re a regular follower of Muddy you’ll have probably gathered that I’ve got a slight crush on the jungle themed Garden Room where you can enjoy afternoon tea or cocktails, dependent on your mood. There’s a terrace at the back, a bar, restaurant and a retro-chic deli for morning coffee – this place is going to be my new hang out place with my bezzies.
Whilst we’re in this part of town, and reaffirming the growing popularity of this area, SmokeWorks is getting a big brother and wait – is there a whiff of charcoal in the air? Work is currently take place to turn a derelict pub into a steampunk BBQ joint and bar – it’s due to open in June. Unlike little bro up by the Cambridge Corn Exchange this SmokeWorks is considerably bigger so will take bookings. A great joint if you want fast and tasty BBQ food with a kid’s menu as well – there’s a takeaway option which is rather handy if you’re in a rush.
The iconic Steak & Honor red van is still roaming the streets but they’ve decided to put down some roots as well. Steak & Honour has been open for a couple of months now but for those that don’t live in Cambridge, and pop in periodically to get their city fix, they might not have this on the radar screen. The street food mentality hasn’t been lost – it’s still plastic plates and cutlery – this is fast food with no airs of graces but with top quality ingredients. It’s a great place to grab some lunch if you’re not calorie counting and have starving mouths to feed.
If you’re looking for a great village pub with a mhaaasive garden, that will take dogs, with three log fires to cosy up to in the winter and with luxury accommodation, then get ye selves down to the Three Hills at Bartlow, not far from Linton on the east of the county. It’s not open yet but it’s aiming to pop the corks sometime in June. The pub was rescued by a private individual who saw the importance of keeping the pub as a central part of a vibrant community. I can’t show you final images as the diggers are still in full force but the major refurb of the old barn has transformed it into four luxurious ensuite bedrooms. If the look and feel of these is anything to go by the pub is going to look fab-u-lous – I bags the first deckchair in the garden.
Located in the quaint village of Woodditton, The Blackbirds Inn (formerly The Three Blackbirds) has been overtaken by The Chestnut Group – it’s now part of a group of four including the Rupert Brooke in Grantchester. It’s had a makeover – there’s a smart new thatch and inside the décor is rustic with a country feel, and the doors opened under the new name for the first time last Friday. Food is traditional British cuisine with a twist as well as a light bite lunch menu, Sunday roasts at the weekend and a dog menu (yes, you heard right) – food for the pooch. The Gun Room offers private dining for 12 and watch this space as work will soon begin on the 9 bedrooms planned to open next year. If you get down before I do, let us know what you think in the comments box below?
The latest addition to the increasingly vibrant Cambridge street food scene comes in the form of a double-decker bus. A Colombian and Portuguese duo are the inspiration behind this kaleidoscope of colour – they’re just putting the finishing touches to the South American-styled bustaurante before it hits the road soon. You might have heard of them as they appeared on our screens recently on Channel 4’s Hidden Restaurants programme. The bustarante will be hanging out in and around the city centre – it seats 45 with a take away menu to complement and will feature a range of South American dishes all made using seasonal produce – Chido!
Cotto in Cambridge moved earlier this year and has taken up residence in its brand spanking new home at The Gonville Hotel overlooking Parker’s Piece. Hans Schweitzer and his team have earned a fabulous reputation – in 2015 Cotto was placed in the prestigious ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK. With an impressive CV that includes a Michelin star at 29, the opening of the Michelin-starred Midsummer House and executive chef of the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, Hans clearly has a flair for culinary matters. If you’re a foodie and want to splash out on a very special dinner (it’s only open in the evenings) then this is up there amongst the top restaurants in Cambridge. You might have guessed already but this one’s for the grown ups – start the evening with a cocktail in the bar at the hotel before heading on through to the purpose built glass restaurant.