Cambridge - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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The family’s exceptional collection of works by Ben Nicholson, David Jones, Henri-Gaudier, Joan Miro, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth among others was and still is displayed with the meticulousness and elegance of a haiku, a poem in glass, china, wood, stone and canvas. Today Kettles yard is a house, a museum, an art gallery and a centre for research and education. As well as a uniquely moving expression of one man’s very particular taste and temperament.
For a while, serious foodies and undernourished students whose visiting parents would foot the bill had a pair of Michelin starred restaurants to choose from. Last October, the figure was halved and the element of choice abolished altogether. University Arms, emerged last year after a renovation that magically turned a frog into a prince. There is no better hotel in the city. Welchs fabulous contemporary British restaurant and elegant velvety bar seal the deal.
Cambridge has never been a place where finding a drink was a matter of overwhelming complexity. Finding a good one, however was a trickier business. Unless you happened to be in possession of the keys to the fellow's cellar in one of the grander colleges.
The situation is improving, in addition to the bar at Parker’s tavern, there since 1815, the Cambridge Union, is now open to the public. It is careworn and charming, with rattily windows and groaning floorboards.
No visit to Cambridge would be complete without a Chelsea bun from Fitzbillies. The worlds stickiest is their proud boast, though the recipe remains a closely guarded secret. The original Fitzbillies on Trumpington Street caught fire in 1998 and came within a cindered ace of oblivion. But it rose again and a second Fitzbillies recently opened over on Bridge Street.
Mill Road, to the east of the city centre, used to be a no go area but is now one of the busiest and characterful corners of Cambridge.
At no 196 you will find 196 cocktail drinks. A serious cocktail bar, complete with heavily whiskered mixologists who are on first name terms with bourbon producers in Kentucky and Tenessee and have hand-scribbled drinks lists.
You go to Jacks for gelato, where you get scoops of handmade gelato with inventive flavours. Bould brothers coffee and hot drinks may seem a trifle square after Mill road.
I don’t think you could, hand on heart, describe Cambridge as any sort of shopping wonderland. With perhaps one or two exceptions. Cambridge is almost certainly the most attractive place in the land to purchase books.
What about the famous colleges, without which Cambridge would hardly be Cambridge? There are, however, 30 plus of them, and each is a little universe unto itself.
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Page added on: 5 August 2019
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