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Cambridge JANUARY 2014

Cambridgeshire’s quality lifestyle magazine


Inside this issue...






Get inspired for


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January 2014


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Hello and welcome to the first Cambridge Edition of 2014! I know that January is traditionally a month of hibernating and abstaining from calories, spending and general fun – but that’s not really our style. Instead, we’ve got tons of ideas for what you can get up to in and around the city this month, from checking out a couple of exciting new foodie openings (see pages 47 & 48), to some intriguing nightlife events (we love the look of the SHINDIG party on the 18th), to the hottest gig tickets in town, selected by the ever-knowledgable Jordan from Slate the Disco (page 15). In case Christmas has taken its toll on the old bank balance, you might be interested in our Cambridge for Free feature on page 34; a round-up of the best free of charge local events this month. We’ve also got a brand new business section to get stuck into, plus lots more. Happy new year and see you next month!

NICOLA FOLEY, EDITOR 7 • FIVE THINGS TO DO Our top picks of things to do in January 9-12 • NIGHTLIFE From club nights and comedy to live gigs, here’s the lowdown on after-hours fun 15 • MUSIC This month’s must-see gigs in town 17-25 • ARTS AND CULTURE We chat to David Attenborough about a new art exhibition and highlight some other edifying local events 27 • FAMILY Stuck for what to do with the kids this month? We might just be able to help 28-29 • LISTINGS Our guide is bursting with lots of events and activities throughout January 33 • MILL ROAD SHOP FRONT CONTEST Find out the winners of Mill Road’s festive window dressing contest 34-35 • CAMBRIDGE FOR FREE Feeling skint after the festive season? We round-up our fave free things to do 37 • INDEPENDENT OF THE MONTH We head out of town and discover the delights of indie café the Linton Kitchen

46-49 • FOOD NEWS We’ve searched high and low to bring you tummy-rumbling highlights from the Cambridge food scene

Cover Art

50-57 • BUSINESS Start-up stories from local business to global enterprises

The artwork on the cover this month is Cambridge Market – Rainy Day, by talented local artist Tony Lilley. Tony’s work is regularly displayed at Haddenham Galleries, as well sold through Cavern4 gallery and shop in Bury St Edmunds. Find out more at his website.

59-61 • FASHION The editor rounds up her top styles for men and women 63 • BEAUTY NEWS Keeping you up-to-date with all things beauty 65 • WELLNESS Advice and ideas to rejuvenate and reinvigorate both body and mind 68-74 • INTERIORS Warm up your home with our guide to the hottest fireplaces around 77-79 • EDUCATION We peer into the curious realm of languages, are you ever too old to learn?


41 • RESTAURANT REVIEW It’s a feast of spices this month as we check out Indian restaurant Kaz’s 42-43 • RECIPES Taste your way to Spain with our tempting tapas recipes 45 • FOOD COLUMN Alex Rushmer reinvents bland winter veg



Editor Nicola Foley 01223 499459 Features editor Jennifer Shelton 01223 499463 Sub editors Lisa Clatworthy, Hannah Bealey & Siobhan Godwood

Senior sales executive Claire McGrath 01223 499461

Key accounts manager Julie Skeet 01223 499464


Designer Nicole Henson 01223 499450


Senior sales executive Lucy Nelson 01223 499451

Alex Rushmer, Charlotte Griffiths, Angelina Villa-Clarke, Ruthie Collins, Charlotte Phillips, Jordan Worland, Hal Wilson, Megan Croft

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CAMBRIDGE EDITION MAGAZINE • Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ 01223 499450, • All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of the publishers. • Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Cambridge Edition or Bright Publishing Ltd, which do not accept any liability for loss or damage. • Every effort has been made to ensure all information is correct. • Cambridge Edition is a free publication that is distributed in Cambridge and the surrounding area


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thingsthistomonth do Vintage Fair

Spend a fanciful hour or two browsing the gorgeous collection of clothes and accessories at the Vintage Fair, held at Cambridge Guildhall on 18 January. From 10.30am to 4.30pm, the hall will be filled with rail upon rail of beautiful things, from delicate lace numbers to iconic 60s classics. There’ll be menswear too, plus beautiful affordable vintage bags, jewellery and accessories. Entry is £2.

Go to the theatre Cast your eye over the new season programme at Cambridge Arts Theatre, promising a spring packed with top drama, comedy and dance. Highlights include a spectacular anniversary performance of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, English Touring Theatre’s Eternal Love, Alistair McGowan in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and family favourite Tom’s Midnight Garden. The Arts Theatre starts the new year with a whole new look, too: after 22 weeks of building work, the previously cramped foyer has been transformed into a smart, open space, with three new bars above in which to enjoy your interval drinks. Says chief executive Dave Murphy: “At long last, the quality of our front-ofhouse facilities matches the quality of the productions on stage.”


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Sing That Thing! Over the past few months, Cambridge’s Museum of Archeology and Anthropology has come alive with the sound of singing as local people took part in Sing That Thing, led by singing teacher Rowena Whitehead. Now, after drawing inspiration from the museum’s wonderful objects and artefacts, the singers will be performing an a cappella concert at the museum, together with a cappella choir ReSound. It takes place on 21 January, 7.15pm.

Go to a supper club Last month saw the launch of a brand new supper club in Cambridge – and one that looks set to become a regular fixture for food lovers in the city. Franglais Kitchen delivers on style, flavour and innovation, promising dishes you might not have tried before, served in an intimate, friendly environment – making it a great way to widen your circle of friends too. Their next supper club is an IndoChine feast, taking place at the end of the month. Join their mailing list ( to be the first in the know!

Watch old movies Our own fabulous Arts Picturehouse is rolling back the years and inviting you to see some of your favourite retro films on the big screen this month. On 12 January, set sail with Sinbad in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and admire the charmingly oldschool stop-motion animation monsters; or get romantic with Brief Encounter, Noel Coward’s iconic love story, on 26 January.

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The Practice Sessions The Kettle’s Yard gallery hosts monthly practice sessions, where adults can come along and enjoy informal evenings of tours, talks and art making, inspired by what’s going on in the rest of the gallery. Between the 50s and 70s, the house was owned by Jim and Helen Ede, who gathered an impressive collection of paintings, furniture, glass and ceramics, to make the house a place where students in Cambridge could come to experience and enjoy art in relaxed surroundings, one afternoon each term. In 1996 Jim gave the house and its contents to the University, and it has since been extended and a full gallery added. January’s practice session is inspired by the full reopening of the house and will feature talks about the collection, music, and an exploration of Helen Ede’s place in the house. 24 January, 6-8pm, entry £5, which includes one free drink. There’s no need to book in advance.


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SHINDIG If you’re a bit bored of your usual gig format, we thoroughly recommend checking out a SHINDIG night. Taking place once a month at a unique location around the city (previous venues have included galleries, churches, printing presses and basements) these events fuse art, dance, music, film, magic and more to create a truly unique happening – all designed to demonstrate that high culture needn’t be all ‘humourless pomposity’. The SHINDIG team have joined forces with small press label Allographic to host this month’s event, which will take place in the atmospheric setting of the Unitarian Church on Emmanuel Road on 18 January (8pm-11pm). On the bill are local spoken word sensation Hollie McNish, Fenland poet laureate Leanne Moden and some surreal humour from wordsmith Patrick Widdess. Music will come courtesy of the orchestral indie stylings of Wooden Arms, a Norwich seven-piece outfit led by Alex Carson, who produce ethereal melodies, laden with exquisite harmonies and instrumentation. Tickets cost £6 on the door, or £4 in advance.

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Del Amitri

Even if you’re not already one of his many fans, the chances are that you’ll recognise Hal Cruttenden’s name – and face – from his recent appearances on Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo or Let’s Dance for Comic Relief. 2014 promises to be a great year for the stand-up comic – his first sitcom, Hal, will begin broadcasting on Radio 4, and he’s taking his tour, Tough Luvvie, around the UK. He arrives at Cambridge Junction on 31 January, and bearing in mind that the show was a sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival, you’d be well advised to get in quick for tickets. The show starts at 8pm, and tickets cost £14.


Hal Cruttenden

After a ten-year sabbatical, Del Amitri are bringing their The A to Z of Us tour to the Cambridge Corn Exchange on 28 January. With a cast of original members and even the original crew, the show will be a journey through all the band’s best-loved songs from their 30-year career, from their 1983 debut single Sense Sickness, to their biggest hit, 1995’s Roll to Me. Singer Justin Currie describes the tour as ‘a retrospective sweep of our entire back output, from indie art-pop through folk-tinged balladry to hairy Britrock chuggery.’ The band have never actually split, but haven’t released an album since 2002’s Can You Do Me Good?. According to guitarist Ian Harvie, “Whenever anyone asked if Del Amitri would ever reform, our standard response was ‘we never broke up – the phone just stopped ringing’.” Luckily for their many fans, the phone seems to be ringing now; grab a piece of the action while you can. The show starts at 7.30pm, and tickets are £35/£45.

Afternoon Tease Since opening in October, this quirky King Street café has rapidly earned itself a huge local following for its fantastic coffees, cakes, brunches and lunches, and now – rather excitingly – they’re expanding their offerings to include live music evenings. December saw the launch of the ‘Sunday Sessions’– which will be a regular fixture at Afternoon Tease for 2014. The debut event saw singer-songwriter Dan Wilde perform an intimate acoustic set, and already lined up for next month is uber-talented Cambridge musician Will Robert. The team plan to host at least one Sunday Session per month, and the events will take place 5-9pm, with sweet and savoury nibbles available, plus wines from Bacchanalia and a few carefully selected beers too (entry is free). Also making a welcome return in the new year is Afternoon Tease’s ‘Sweeteasy’ – a prohibition era inspired night of spectacular cakes and cocktails. To find out more about these and other special events, sign up for the newsletter at

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BRITISH SEA POWER 18 April, Cambridge Junction, £14 adv Endorsements from the likes of David Bowie and Lou Reed have done nothing to hinder the stratospheric rise of this Brighton based indie rock outfit, who’ve drawn comparisons to The Cure, Joy Division and the Pixies for their energetic, ‘art rock’ sound. They’re known for blistering live performances so grab your ticket quick for this one before they sell out.

The Fiver Unplugged


The Fiver Unplugged is a regular, acoustic ‘battle of the bands’ style night at Cambridge Junction. The upper age limit is 23, so it’s a brilliant opportunity for young bands to get their music heard, and it’s a chance to discover up-andcoming musicians in our area. The event on 25 January features Lewis Mokler, Gary Hellman, Harry Seaton, From the Woods, Joseph Peacock, Just William and The Outlaws, and Grace Sarah – so come along and vote for your favourite. Doors open 6.30pm; tickets £5. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

22 March, The Guildhall, £12.50 For something a little different, check out tongue-incheek brass outfit Hackney Colliery Band, who play at the Guildhall in March with DJ support from former Fun Lovin’ Criminal and current Radio 6 Music presenter Huey Morgan. Expect imaginative jazzy covers of classic tunes from Blackstreet and The Prodigy, with added funk.


Amanda Kelleher Enjoy music, comedy and reflecting on life in a witty, whimsical way? Check out Amanda Kelleher, who brings her one-woman show to Cambridge this month, promising all of the above and more. Mean Things I Did To My Sister is a show about life and its lessons, presented by the loveable Irish comedian and performer. There’ll be live blues musicians on stage, performing songs about drunken mistakes in Vodka, and recounting the tribulations of being a nearly sixfoot teenager in the Too Tall blues. It takes place on 10 January, 7.30pm. Tickets are £10.


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5 February, Cambridge Junction, £13.50 adv This innovative duo combine witty spoken word social commentary with catchy electro beats. Their anthemic Thou Shalt Always Kill propelled them into the public eye a few years back, and since then, their esoteric hip hop stylings have seen them become a favourite on the festival circuit.

SIR RANULPH FIENNES 13 June, Corn Exchange, £10/£18 The world’s greatest living explorer will discuss a lifetime of adventures, from a recordbreaking hovercraft expedition to the discovery of the lost city of Ubar.

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Mix it up We’re sure a few of you are more than a little familiar with the expansive selection of Polynesian-inspired cocktails at city centre nightspot Lola Lo’s, and if you’re a fan of their tempting tropical flavour combinations then you’ll want to know a little more about their new cocktail masterclasses. “The cocktail sessions have been specially developed to give a truly unique hands-on experience and offer not only a taste of the exotic, but an all-round island oasis celebration,” says Lola Lo operations director Lee Nicholson. The bar’s top mixologists will show you how to create three classic Lola Lo cocktails before the cocktail shaker is handed over to you to test out these tasty recipes. You’ll also be pitting your skills against one another in a challenge to create your very own taste of paradise! There’ll be plenty of tasting along the way and you’ll get the run of the club too. Head to their website for details on how to book.


Model Village Album Launch Support home-grown musicians Model Village, who are back for the New Year with a second album, You Chose These Woes, following the success of their debut, A Solution To Everything, in 2012. The band, who take inspiration from the best of indie-pop's back catalogue, have drawn praise for their mature, confident songwriting and skillful musicianship. Recommended for fans of mid-era REM, Belle & Sebastian and The Shins. They'll be at the Portland Arms on 9 January, with special guests including Mammoth and Penguins, from 7.3010.30pm. Tickets £5 in advance.

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It’s another busy month at Gwydir Street coffee house Hot Numbers this January, kicking off with The Dog Days on Sunday 5 January – head down from 3pm to 5.30pm to experience this band’s unique operatic and jazz takes on some classic tunes. On 10 January meanwhile, enjoy the melodic vocals and dynamic guitar focused acoustic stylings of local musician Will Robert (7.3010.30pm), or check out some upand-coming new talent in the café’s open mic event on 12 January. Purveyors of afro-Caribbean inspired, British folk influenced, Americana tinged afro-folk, Adrian Roye & The Exiles are stopping by on 17 January (7.30-10pm), followed by Stella Hensley & Chris Newman on 19 January (3-5pm), who’ll be serving up some classic R&B, vocal blues and soul to enjoy with your coffee and slice of cake (or the Hot Numbers stout – which we wholeheartedly recommend sampling!). Enjoy the arrestingly beautiful, ethereal melodies of Laura McGarrigle, aka Gaze is Ghost, on 24 January, or take in some jazz with the Vij Prakash Band on the last day of the month.


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Jordan Worland from local music website Slate the Disco selects his must-see gigs in Cambridge this month e start the new year with so many music questions on our lips: what will be the best album of 2014? Who will be the breakout new band of the year? Who will call it a day? Who will end up getting back together? Who will headline Glastonbury? The only answer I can offer you this month is that January has lots of top gigs on offer to get yourself to. Our gig of the month is the return to Cambridge of anti-folk star, and former one half of The Moldy Peaches, Adam Green. If you don’t know The Moldy Peaches, it’s their sweet song Anyone Else But You that Michael Cera and Ellen Page cover at the end of the film Juno. New York native Green has been prolific in his career to date, releasing a staggering eight solo albums in ten years. In addition to his solo work, he’s had his songs performed by artists as diverse as The Libertines, Will Oldham, Kelly Willis and Carla Bruni. For his last outing Green paired up with singer-songwriter Binki Shapiro to write and record an album’s worth of duets in the vein of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. Green’s Cambridge date is one of only four UK shows scheduled on this tour, and the show will be an acoustic set. Get yourself to The Portland Arms on Sunday 26 January to catch a special night of sophisticated indie folk. 2013 saw a host of Cambridge bands go on to reach a wider audience, and

PICKS Model Village are our tip to be the first Cambridge band to follow suit in 2014. On 9 January the band celebrate the launch of their second album You Chose These Woes at The Portland Arms. Model Village produce gently paced, lush indie with warm and fuzzy boy-girl melodies. Opening for Model Village on the night are infectious, scrappy, lo-fi indie rock outfit Mammoth Penguins. Gerard & The Watchmen are the rising stars of the UK’s alternative folk scene, with beautifully written songs, beautifully sung in a voice free from pretension. The band have toured extensively throughout the UK with highlights including Cambridge Folk Festival, Peace and Love Festival (in Sweden), Secret Garden Party, Communion records, Moseley Folk Festival, Elgar room at the Royal Albert Hall and a Folk Radio UK Live Session – but on Friday 24 January the band return home to play The Portland Arms. Sam Carter is a former winner of the BBC Folk Horizon award and on the 17th, he plays The Folk Club at the Golden Hind. Labelled as ‘the finest English-style finger-picking guitarist of his generation’ by Jon Boden (Spiers and Boden), his playing is effortless. Carter has a wealth of material that varies in style, from


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traditional, to jazz, to blues, to his own folky writing, but the same thread of his clear, rich, mildly Midlands inflection runs through each song. Support on the night comes from singer-songwriter Hannah Sanders, who was a part of the band The Dunns and whose solo material blends traditional and contemporary folk around fascinating tales. English fiddle and multi-instrumental folk musician Sam Sweeney plays Trinity Hall college on 18 January. If you’re not aware of Sweeney’s music, you might recognise him from his other venture as part of eleven-piece folk band Bellowhead. We last caught Sweeney in Cambridge at this year’s Folk Festival where he offered a fiddle workshop (as well as performing!). Sweeney will again host a workshop on 18 January. Tickets for this include entry to the gig later on. If fiddles don’t float your boat, the 18th is the same night that folk’s hottest new duo, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, play CB2, so make your way there instead. We finish with a quick note to tell you that next month’s Boomslang looks set to be one of the most epic yet, featuring Duke Dumont, Toddla T, DJ EZ and Benga. It goes down at Cambridge Junction on 1 February. Tell us about your gig at

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3 MONTHS MEMBERSHIP Students £70 Adults £90 Offer valid until 31st Jan 2014

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We explore the arts and culture scene in Cambridge, showcasing some of the many exciting exhibitions and projects taking place around the city


SWAN LAKE AND THE NUTCRACKER The Moscow City Ballet brings a sprinkling of winter magic to Cambridge with a performance of not one but two of its biggest, most popular ballets. In demand across the globe, the Moscow City Ballet has turned out some of the world’s leading dancers since it was founded in 1988 and continues to draw rave reviews for its spectacular shows. On 3 January, see the grace and beauty of Swan Lake, the story of a young woman turned into a swan by a wicked spell, only to be broken when she marries. With its instantly recognisable music and timeless themes of love, good and evil, it is hailed by many as the greatest of all romantic ballets. Then, from 4 to 5 November let yourself be transported back to childhood and enter the magical land of The Nutcracker. Set in atmospheric Christmastime, it features beautiful staging and choreography, set to Tchaikovsky’s score, including the Dance

of the Sugar Plum Fairy and of course The Waltz of the Flowers. Check online for times; tickets are £25£35 (£15 under 16s). If you book tickets for both ballets you can save yourself £5.


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What with the final Poirot going out just before Christmas, there’s been somewhat of a resurgence in popularity for Agatha Christie’s inquisitive Belgian detective. It’s timely, then, that the Arts Theatre are putting on Black Coffee, a classic Poirot-driven detective story and the first that Christie wrote purposefully for the stage, thus launching her second career as a playwright. In it, we follow Hercule Poirot to the country seat of eccentric inventor, Sir Claud Amory – who has been murdered and his earth-shattering secret formula stolen. Robert Powell stars as the mustachioed hero, returning after his role in last year’s Doctor In The House. It runs from 20 to 25 January. Starts at 7.45pm with a 2.30pm matinee on Thursday and Saturday; tickets from £15.

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ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA An evening of sumptuous 1920s music comes to the Corn Exchange this month, courtesy of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor David Charles Abell leads the orchestra in Gershwin’s Girl Crazy (overture), An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue, along with Copland’s Rodeo and Bernstein’s On The Town. He’s joined by virtuoso pianist Freddy

Kempf: one of the most sought-after pianists in the world. The concert takes place at the Corn Exchange on 30 January, starting at 7.30pm, with a pre-show talk taking place at Cambridge City Hotel on Downing Street at 6pm. Tickets are priced £10-£35.

Celebrating the 450th anniversary of his birth, The Marlowe Society present a lavish new interpretation of Christopher Marlowe’s best-known work, Doctor Faustus. Running from 29 January until 1 February, it tells the cautionary tale of Faustus, a brilliant but flawed genius who sells his soul to the devil. On a fierce quest for knowledge, he experiences magical powers and some of the greatest delights of this world and beyond, but time is running out… The Marlowe Society is one of Cambridge University’s longestestablished and most respected societies, counting some of our country’s most notable actors, including Sir Ian McKellen, amongst its alumni. This production is to be the highlight in a year-long festival of works by the playwright, who was himself an alumnus of Cambridge University. Takes place 7.45pm (2.30pm Thurs & Sat matinee); tickets from £12.50.

MUSIQUE HAUTE ET BASSE Discover the sound of the Medieval Renaissance in this concert by Cambridge Early Music Society. Musique Haute et Basse takes place at the stunning venue of Trinity College Chapel on 3 January, showcasing some incredible early instruments from the shawm (a wind instrument a bit like a clarinet), to the bagpipes. They’ll be joined by a dulcimer, fiddle, side trumpet and voice to create a captivating, lively concert that’ll transport you back to another era. Tickets £20-£25 and the concert starts at 7.30pm.

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BYARD ART EXHIBITION Brighten up those January blues with a trip to Byard Art this month, which will be showcasing a spellbinding new collection of work by Sally Ann Johns, Gary Jones and Vanessa Whitehouse, plus four new artists for the gallery: Andrea Humphries, Fletcher Prentice, Olivia Montesi and Fletcher Sibthorpe. Exhibition begins on 30 January.

WORLDS END Over in the intimate Corpus Playroom, New Dawn Theatre are staging Worlds End, a satirical, sad and funny play about love and loss in the modern world. Kat is moving out of her London flat which she shared with ex-boyfriend, Ben. Best friend Thea and new flame Josh are both lending a hand, while Ben struggles to come to terms with what’s happening. Though he’s angry and hurt, he still loves her. But can he still change her mind? Worlds End runs 7-11 January, 7pm; tickets £5-£6.


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BLUE STOCKINGS Cambridge, 1896. The first women are slowly beginning to make their way into the male-dominated world of academia – but there’s a long way to go. The male students aren’t too delighted with these new booted, bonneted additions to their lecture halls, while Victorian psychiatrists are postulating that too much reading would shrink the womb. In this new play by Jessica Swale, we follow a group of plucky female undergrads (or Blue Stockings, as they were known) as they fight for

the right to an education. As well as the distinctly political line, there’s love, laughter and plenty of wit, with The Telegraph suggesting it could be ‘the academic equivalent to Call The Midwife’. It comes to the ADC Theatre, performed by the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatics Club, following a run at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Put it in your diary: 28 January-1 February (7.45pm; tickets £6-£10).

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TURNING IN A set of 17 self-portraits is on display at Murray Edwards College, depicting the life and emotion of artist Clio Lloyd-Jacob in the five years following the birth of her first child. After a long break from painting, Clio returned to the canvas, sitting in front of a mirror every night and painting what she saw staring back. “I worked directly, drawing from the reflection that I saw in the strong fluorescent light of my studio: a harsh and intense light that accentuated the signs of ageing in my face,” she explains. “Gradually, I found myself becoming more compassionate towards myself and realised that in some ways the person I was looking at could have been anyone. I became aware of the gap between the person’s outer body and the passage of feeling, spirit and life within it. It seemed that the feelings I saw could have appeared on anybody’s face.” She also likens it to the work of 18th century sculptor Messerschmidt, who created a series of sculptures of his own head, each conveying a range of extreme emotions. Turning In runs until 18 January, 10am-6pm, and entry is free.

THE ODYSSEY Two actors, Morden and Lupton, take on Homer’s epic tale at Cambridge Junction on 24 January, stripping back the story of Odysseus’s ten-year ocean voyage to what it was first intended to be – a thrilling, action-packed piece of oral storytelling. At the mercy of the seas and the fates, the war hero sets out for home following the fall of Troy. Meanwhile, presuming him dead, Odysseus’s wife Penelope deals with a barrage of new suitors, one of which plots to assassinate her son, the young prince, and take over the kingdom. Sequel to the Iliad, The Odyssey is the second-oldest work of Western literature, believed to date from the eighth century BC, and still speaks to us today as a commentary on youth, wisdom, ego, power and the human condition. Take your seats for a 7.30pm start; tickets are £9.

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DAVID ATTENBOROUGH At the opening of the Fitzwilliam Museum's new exhibition, Sir David Attenborough told Jennifer Shelton why John Craxton was the artist that the art world forgot here aren’t many who will leave behind a legacy quite like David Attenborough’s. Generations have grown up listening to his voice: a comforting reminder of nature’s sublimity, which he brings to life with increasingly stunning vivacity. Capturing the beauty of vast glaciers, mysterious oceans, the richness of the rainforest and the alien, microscopic world of insects are all in a day’s work for the broadcaster, still globetrotting at 87. He brought us the first glimpse inside a platypus’s nest and the highest ever aerial footage of Mount Everest, and is famously the only person to have won a BAFTA in black and white, colour, HD and 3D. Last month, however, the national treasure (just don’t call him that) returned to Cambridge, where he fuelled his love of the natural world as an undergraduate at Clare College, to sing the praises of a lesser-known contemporary: the artist John Craxton. “You may wonder, when you see pictures of this accomplishment, why they haven’t been more widely seen,” Attenborough remarked, in his distinctive, calming voice, at the opening of the exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in December. And indeed these paintings, which look fresh and exciting to this day, also have a strange familiarity: close cousins of those recognisable Freuds and Sutherlands of countless books and postcards. Yet they have remained largely unnoticed for 50 years – until now, when they’re finally displayed in the manner they deserve. Craxton, who worked and painted in and around Cambridge in the 40s, was considered one of the young hopes of British art, along with Lucian Freud, with whom he shared a studio. However his love of life took over, and after the war he all but disappeared to the Mediterranean,

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As a young man, he shared a studio with Lucian Freud: he told me they would even sign one another’s drawings and say, ‘that’ll fool the critics!’ where he created exquisite works full of energy, joy and incredible colour, at his leisure, until his death in 2009. This exhibition aims to finally bring these little-known paintings to light, something that David Attenborough, a close friend of the artist for 40 years, is all too happy to assist in. “These are thrilling pictures, full of delight,” he enthuses, speaking to Cambridge Edition at the launch. “When I first saw his pictures I was captivated, and continued looking at his work whenever it turned up, then eventually I met him. He was a great painter and gave an insight into life that was all his own. As a young man, he shared a studio with Lucian

Freud; he told me they would even sign one another’s drawings and say, ‘that’ll fool the critics!’. But there was a great break-up between them and John turned his back on the heaviness of the Western art world and simply painted. “I think he would be thrilled, but also slightly embarrassed [to see his work displayed]. He was great on selfdeprecation; he was unassuming, funny, modest and wildly entertaining: if John was around, you had a good time.” Attenborough visited Craxton many times in Crete, where the artist finally settled. “He loved food, particularly


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Western art never gave him his due, but it seems to me that his moment has come. Attenborough with Tim Knox, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum

eccentric, unusual food,” he says. “One of my great pleasures in life was to be taken by John to his favourite harbourside restaurant in Chania and be given a dish of boiled sea creatures which even I, who am supposed to have some knowledge of the animal kingdom, found hard to identify.” While Craxton was enjoying the bliss and beauty of the Med, Attenborough was forging ahead with his own career in broadcasting. Having graduated with a degree in natural sciences, he applied for a job in radio – but instead found himself on the training course for the BBC’s brave new venture: television. Filming the world, as Attenborough has done for more than 60 years, demands a similar passion and skill to painting it, I suggest. Is there anything in that? “Art puts on canvas things the camera can’t,” Attenborough replies. “The ‘goatishness’ of John’s goats would be impossible to capture on film; similarly the startling and dazzling quality of the light. I don’t know any photographs that can convey that.” The exhibition also narrates the artist’s life and the blossoming of his character, from a pioneering yet uncertain young man, to the vivacious, colourful individual he became. “The exhibition starts just at the end of the war, where you see a neurotic, somewhat haunted young man. John was often called a neo-romantic, but he hated labels. But you can see what people were going on about. Then he goes to the Mediterranean and suddenly there is a profound change, from this introspective, repressed set of pictures – marvellous nonetheless – to this burst of light. The champagne thrill of looking at them is just gorgeous,” explains Attenborough. It’s appropriate, too, that the Fitzwilliam should be the place to bring Craxton’s work out of the archives. According to the artist, it was his favourite British museum,

and Attenborough shares his view. “As an undergraduate I was bewitched by an art gallery that was civilised enough to have rugs down the middle of it. I felt this was just the sort of welcoming place a museum and gallery should be. It’s the most marvellous museum, and Cambridge is very lucky to have it. “In this gallery you’ll see John Craxton as no one has seen him before,” Attenborough concludes. “This is the most comprehensive collection of John’s paintings that has yet been assembled. Western art never gave him his due, but it seems to me that his moment has come. He was one of the great luminaries of the post-war Western art scene. “John was a great enjoyer: he loved life and he loved painting. It was only when he was into his 60s that he began to wonder, ‘what have I been doing with my life, and do people know about it?’. But he was too


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modest a man to beat his chest. I’m sure he would have been thrilled to see this, as I am thrilled.” A World of Private Mystery runs at the Fitzwilliam until 21 April, entry is free.

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THE ART INSIDER Amanda Hall is bringing illustrators together in Jan


his month, like many of you out there I’ll mostly be refusing to succumb to the January Blues. So it’s the perfect time to check out feel-good, surreal or simply inspiring art in the city (it’s that, or the leftover festive chocolate). For those of us yearning for holiday craziness again, squeeze your eyes and pretend that it’s still Christmas by going to Thumbelina’s Great Big Adventure at Cambridge Junction, running until 4 January, for your fix of festive sparkle. Expect dancing moles, singing fish and biker beetles to conjure you back into festive la-la land – a perfect pick-me-up to start your new year (fun for children from the age of six). I’m also taking inspiration from surprise Turner Prize winner, French video artist, Laure Prouvost who accepted her prize on stage back in December with a moving, tearful speech – and her tiny new baby up with her, too – gorgeous. You can see Prouvost’s sculptural installations over at Wysing Arts Centre in Bourn, which she created with Francesco Pedraglio as part of a residency there in 2011. It’s good to see the art establishment shining a light on the risky – and may this be the trend of 2014. When a culture supports artists across the spectrum – a variety of voices – interesting things happen. People come into their own, asserting new, fresh ideas. Sparks fly. People develop and make things happen. The art world is riddled with opinion – who really decides what is ‘good enough’ to be taken seriously? I like to think it’s the public, but often it can be a tight group of people who decide what quality is – before the public even get a look-in. One vibrant show I’ll be visiting again this month that’s opening up to the public, a relative secret normally kept to connoisseurs of art, is A World of Private Mystery – John Craxton, at the Fitzwilliam Museum. I’m going for the taste of sunshine (and dreams of Arcadia!) amidst his evocative images. Dubbed, together with Lucian Freud, ‘one of the young hopes of British art’, Craxton loved Greece. And motorbikes. And parties – according to his good pal, David Attenborough, who opened the exhibition and who appears in

Turner prizewinnng video artist Laure Provost at Wysing Don't miss John Craxton's stunning masterpieces

Look out for new photography book Through Lenses: The Romsey Art Festival

a short film on Craxton you can watch at the museum, made for BBC2’s The Culture Show. “John learned what he described as a very salutary lesson for a painter, that life was more important than art,” says David, talking about his friend. Maybe he was right. But don’t let that stop you both living a little more this year, while still keeping time for what inspires you. (And if you want to find out more about what Sir David Attenborough has to say regarding Craxton, read the interview in this issue, page 22.) To keep up, get networking with the Cambridge Creative Network, or Camcreative, who hold regular meetups for artists and creatives in the city. At the Cambridge Art Salon on 28 January, is


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the second meetup from the Cambridge Illustration Network, pioneered by Amanda Hall – (prolific!) children’s book illustrator, a chance for local illustrators to get together and mingle. I’m also looking forward to the launch of Through Lenses: The Romsey Art Festival on 31 January, a photography book documenting the inaugural festival, produced by Askance Publishing, featuring work from a range of photographers, including Daisy Zoll, Martin Ley, (now award-winning) Nat Barden and Juno Doran. A treat indeed! If all else fails, am going to take up 1950s jitterbugging. Or ice sculpting. Life is most definitely more important than art. But isn’t it wonderful when the two combine? Happy New Year, all!

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Story Time

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin... by telling you about Sunday Story Time over at the Central Library in the Grand Arcade. Cuddle up for half an hour of stories, colouring in and crafting every Sunday, from 3pm until 3.30pm. It is totally free for both parents and children to come along and a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon winding down with your little ones.


Circus Club

If your kids are forever juggling your breakfast fruit or stealing cans from the cupboard for make-shift stilts, you might be interested to hear about the Cambridge Community Circus’s youth club, where children can try their hand at trapeze, or dare to diabolo. The Youth Circus Club is held every Sunday (12.30-2.30pm) and children from six to 16 are welcome to come along, whether they want to learn new skills or hone existing ones. It’s £8 for one session or £30 for a month pass and each week there will be a focus on a different prop as well as games and fun.


day nursery

It has been a year filled with mud pies and outdoor adventures at Scallywags day nursery, who are celebrating their first anniversary as a Forest School this January. Forest Schools are based around woodland sessions to provide children opportunities to learn outdoors and explore nature every day. “We have created some amazing activities in the last 12 months, and the children have had a lovely and extremely messy time out in our field,” says senior manager Sam Hayward. We’re sure there will be plenty more fun to come this year too.


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Wrap up warm and round up the troops for an hour of discovery and delight in your own back garden for the RSPB’s biggest event of the year, the Big Garden Birdwatch (25-26 January). Be part of a mammoth nationwide survey (last year over half a million people took part) to help create a snapshot of Britain’s birdlife by recording all of the different species of birds that you can spot in just one hour – the kids will be surprised to find out just how many visitors come to their garden! This year’s birdwatch is made even easier with a new online counting tool, but you can always stick to trusty pen and paper if you prefer! Head over to the RSPB’s website for all sorts of fun activities and games to play with the kids.



Prepare to have your mind boggled and senses muddled at the Cambridge Science Centre’s Perception exhibition. Bring along the whole brood for some interactive and hands-on illusions to uncover the tricks your brain uses to make sense of the world. You might not believe us now, but at the exhibition you are likely to mistake a rubber hand for your own and hear a musical note that seems to increase in pitch indeterminably – but fear not, we promise that you’ll leave with your senses intact! Tickets to the centre cost £3.50 for adults, £2.50 for children and under 5s go free (term time Tuesday-Friday 1-5pm; weekends, half terms and holidays 10am-5pm).

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THUMBELINA’S GREAT BIG ADVENTURE Time: Various – see website Location: Cambridge Junction Price: £8/£12 Description: There’s still time to catch this delightful wintry show, suitable for adults and children alike. Meet an assortment of eccentric animals as Thumbelina sets off into the big, bad world.

4-5 January

THE NUTCRACKER Time: 2.30pm & 7.30pm Location: Corn Exchange Price: £15-£35 Description: The outstanding Moscow City Ballet brings a sprinkling of winter magic to Cambridge in this glorious production of the Christmas classic, featuring the beautiful Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers.

11 January

WINE COURSE Time: 10am-5pm Location: CWM, Cherry Hinton Rd Price: £135 Description: Cambridge Wine Merchants is hosting a Level One wine course for anyone interested in wine, either for business or pleasure. Learn to identify grape varieties, match wine with food and generally learn more about what’s in your glass. You’ll receive a recognised industry qualification at the end.


12, 18, 19 January

CAR BOOT SALE Time: 9am Location: Wood Green, Godmanchester Price: 50p Entry Description: A huge car boot sale, held under cover in the indoor arena at Wood Green Animal Shelter in Godmanchester. Pick up a bargain or set up a stall yourself for £6 (in advance).

14-18 January

RICHARD III Time: 7.45pm (& 2.30pm Sat) Location: ADC Theatre Price: £6-£10 Description: Everyone’s favourite ‘king of the car park’ comes to life in this production by the Cambridge University European Theatre Group. Two performers take on the lead role in this fresh look at the fall of this infamous icon.

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SWAN LAKE Time: 2.30pm & 7.30pm Location: Corn Exchange Price: £15-£35 Description: Experience ballet at its best at this performance of Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful of ballets. Performed by the Moscow City Ballet, it features superb choreography, costumes and virtuoso performances, and has won rave reviews across the globe.


Time: 7-9pm Location: The Sheep Shop Price: £19 Description: Do you find yourself surrounded by people knitting these days? Think it looks fun but can’t quite remember what your gran taught you all those years ago? Come along to a beginner’s knitting class and create a pair of handwarmers (bring a ball of wool and 5mm needles).

17 January

24 HOUR MUSICAL Time: 11pm Location: ADC Theatre Price: £6/£7 Description: Enjoy an evening of unbridled musical theatre joy as Cambridge’s finest voices and performers join forces to create an all-new musical in just 24 hours. They’ll have a day to create and rehearse, ready for a one-off performance at 11pm.

15 & 29


19 January

WEDDING FAIR Time: 10.30am-3.30pm Location: Madingley Hall Price: Free entry Description: The beautiful Cambridge venue hosts a stunning wedding fair, showcasing its own offerings as well as other local wedding suppliers’ – and all brides will receive a goodie bag.

19 January

BEGINNER’S BREAD CLASS Time: 10am-2pm Location: Cambridge Cookery School Price: £125 Description: Ah, the smell of freshly baked bread! At this beginner’s breadmaking class, you’ll learn all the tricks for creating the perfect home-baked country loaf, Italian focaccia and rye soda bread, all of which you’ll take away with you. Lunch and lots of cups of tea also provided throughout the day. SIGN UP TO THE EDIT NEWSLETTER AT CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

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Visit Madingley Hall’s wedding fair on 19 January for some inspiration for a lucky blushing bride; or for a bit of culture learn about the Russian north on 21st, and Effortless Entertaining at Cambridge Cookery School is sure to impress guests

21 January

30 January

MAGADAN: LIFE IN THE RUSSIAN NORTH Time: 6-7.30pm Location: The Polar Museum Price: Free Description: Find out about this latest exhibition at The Polar Museum, Cambridge, with a talk at 6.30pm at an introductory evening.

ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Time: 7.30pm Location: Corn Exchange Price: £10-£35 Description: An evening of American classics, from Gershwin to Bernstein, conducted by the internationally acclaimed David Charles Abell and featuring solo pianist Freddy Kempf.

24 January

THE PRACTICE SESSIONS Time: 6-8pm Location: Kettle's Yard Price: £5 Description: As the house reopens in full, come along and explore, hear talks about the collection and listen to music.

26 January

ADMISSION: ONE SHILLING Time: 3pm Location: Saffron Hall Price: £5-£20 Description: Award-winning actress Patricia Routledge and pianist Piers Lane bring their successful theatre show, Admission: One Shilling, to the stage in Saffron Walden, telling the story of Myra Hess and her famous wartime National Gallery concerts. An uplifting performance about the healing power of music. More details of this and other shows and concerts at:

28 January until 1 February

BLUE STOCKINGS Time: 7.45pm Location: ADC Theatre Price: £6-£10 Description: A determined group of plucky women set out to fight for academic equality in late 19th century Cambridge. Performed, appropriately, by Cambridge University students, this production comes fresh from its run at The Globe Theatre.

28 January until 1 February

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Time: 7pm Location: Corpus Playroom Price: £5/£6 Description: A fast, sharp tour-de-‘farce’ of seduction and sedation, by Joe Orton, which follows the unfolding of a doctor’s lies and the disasters that follow.

29 January until 1 February

DOCTOR FAUSTUS Time: 7.45pm (& 2.30pm Thurs & Sat) Location: Arts Theatre Price: £12.50-£25 Description: The revered Marlowe Society, one of the University’s most established groups, brings this Christopher Marlowe classic of devilry and damnation to the stage in honour of the 450th anniversary of his birth.

30 January

EFFORTLESS ENTERTAINING Time: 10am-2pm Location: Cambridge Cookery School Price: £110 Description: If you dream of being the perfect, unflustered host, this class is for you. Learn some recipes for impressive dishes which can be prepared easily in advance, and get some great ideas for entertaining.

31 JAN

DEL AMITRI Time: 7.30pm Location: Corn Exchange Price: £35/£45 Description: Don’t miss the latest reunion of the original band, including Justin Currie and Iain Harvie, who’ll be wheeling out the hits from their 30-year career at this Corn Exchange gig.


28 JAN


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Time: 7.30pm Location: Corn Exchange Price: £28.50/£38.50 Description: The golden-voiced singer-songwriter, famous for the likes of How Long and The Living Years, links up with his band to perform an array of hits.

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Mill Road Shop Front Awards Results


The Mill Road shops have been showcasing their creativity with some delightful window displays. We highlight our picks of the bunch

High Scorers: Colour scheme and shop sign design Andrew James Bathrooms, Vincent Shaw Building condition 196, Vincent Shaw Pavement/forecourt Oz’s Alterations, Limoncello Window display The Broadway Florist Cleanliness Cambridge Kitchens Historical features Hot Numbers Coffee, The Old Chemist Antique Shop

inding the best-dressed shop window is no mean feat, especially when those store fronts are located on Mill Road, Cambridge’s celebrated indie shopping hot spot, which was recently named by The Telegraph as one of Britain’s top ten favourite high streets. Traders and residents suggested the Shop Front Award scheme, which was launched on 7 December to coincide with the Mill Road Winter Fair and Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to promote independent businesses. A total of 51 local businesses battled it out to be crowned with the title of ‘the pride of Mill Road’ and votes from both the public and a selected panel of judges were totted up, making for a very tight competition. In the end, it was just too close and the judges awarded not one, but two local businesses first place: Urban Larder and Hilary’s Greengrocer! The judging panel was made up of seven judges from the local community, including Allan Brigham, historian,


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tour guide and community activist; Matthew Williams from Timber Tech Construction Ltd and Traders’ Association member; Piero D’Angelico, chair of Mill Road Traders’ Association; Ann Bannell from Jacks on Trinity; and Susan Smith from the City Council’s urban design and conservation team, who were all looking for overall shop design, signage and cleanliness as well as a superb window display. It was the festive window illustrations at the lovely café and shop Urban Larder that captured everyone’s imagination; the lady responsible for the winning design is local artist Jo Clark, who, using just white paint, created a cheery and playful window woodland scene. Hilary’s Greengrocers’ colour scheme, sign design and attractive historical features won favour with the judges, earning them the joint top spot. The winning businesses shared a selection of prizes as well as the title of ‘Pride of Mill Road’. Cambridge Kitchens and Tattooing by Fabio also scored highly and were the closest runners-up. All participants are also able to enjoy a workshop offered by the John Lewis Cambridge visual merchandising team – we can only begin to imagine the kinds of wonderful displays that are going to be on show for next year!

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CAMBRIDGE It’s January you’re skint, but that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate all month. Take advantage of these fantastic free attractions on offer locally

MAKE THE MOST OF THE MUSEUMS Cambridge has one of the best selections of museums of any city in the UK, and many are free to visit. A good place to start is Downing Street: you’ll find the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the Museum of Zoology (although the latter is now closed for a major refurbishment and won’t reopen until 2016). Plus of course there’s the Fitzwilliam Museum, close by on Trumpington Street. Sedgwick This great museum is most well known for its dinosaur skeletons, but it also has a great selection of fascinating fossils, rocks and minerals from all around the world, including exhibits about the geological history of Cambridge and the Fens. For families there’s a resources area where you can find rocks and fossils to touch and explore; plus if you’ve found a fossil yourself, you can bring it in to the museum and they’ll identify it for you, free of charge. It’s open Monday to Friday.

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MAA This museum features newly installed exhibits on the archaeological history of Cambridge and its surrounding villages, including a display of the artefacts discovered under John Lewis! There are also fantastic photographic and anthropological displays, and children will enjoy the totem pole. Don’t forget to get free activity sheets to really get the kids absorbed. The museum also has great temporary displays: the Chiefs and Governors: Art and Power in Fiji exhibition runs until April 2014. Open Monday to Friday. Fitzwilliam This impressive, neo-classical cathedral of culture has pretty much everything you’d want from a museum: mummies, paintings, pottery, an armoury – and of course the all-important shop and café. Recently endorsed by Sir David Attenborough (who opened their current exhibition, A World of Private Mystery, in December), it’s a wonderful place to while away a day. The Fitzwilliam is open all week.


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Adam Cash


HEAR SOME LIVE MUSIC Venture out and take in some live music at one of your local pubs or bars. Lots of Cambridge establishments hold open mic nights or invite local bands to play, with free entry. Try The Geldart, off Mill Road, who have a regular line-up of great acts, pay a visit to Hot Numbers, or check out the new schedule of live music events at Afternoon Tease.



Wandlebury is great for a walk at any time of year. Situated on the gentle Gog Magog Hills just south of Cambridge, it’s 110 acres of beautiful woods and chalk grassland and includes the remains of a fifth century BC Iron Age hill fort. It’s free to enter, although there is a £2.50 charge for the car park, funds from which go to maintaining and preserving the beautiful site. Highlights include the gorgeous highland cattle, sheep roaming, and the grand woodland where younger family members will enjoy climbing trees and building dens. Pop down there any time, or join their New Year’s Guided Walk on 1 January (meet at The Plough, 11pm; finish at 1.30pm), where you’ll be shown the best it has to offer.

If you’ve made all sorts or promises to yourself about getting fit in the new year, listen up! Cambridge holds a weekly Park Run, taking place in the beautiful Milton Country Park every Saturday at 9am. It’s a 5k run and free to enter – just sign up online, bring your printed barcode and off you go. Runners also meet for a post-run coffee afterwards in the Milton Country Park Café as a reward. A similar run also takes place at Wimpole Hall if you feel like venturing a bit further out.

WALK THROUGH THE MAGOG DOWN DISCOVER THE COLLEGES You can visit the grounds of some of the historic Cambridge University colleges for free, but only at specific times. At Trinity College, you can view the Great Court between 10am and 4.30pm each day, entering via Trinity Lane, or visit the Wren Library between midday and 2pm Monday to Friday, or between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Saturdays. Or, experience the beautiful sound of the choir in full voice at King’s College Chapel. Evensong is free to attend and starts up again on 14 January, taking place every day at 5.30pm (10.30am and 3.30pm on Sundays).


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EXPLORE MILTON COUNTRY PARK Visit the lovely Milton Country Park, a peaceful spot with a visitor centre, café and children’s play area – and two large lakes to walk around. You’ll find plenty of ducks and swans ready to be fed, plus all kinds of other wildlife. The park is open, and free, 365 days a year, however the car park closing times do vary from season to season.

This beautiful area just south of Cambridge is perfect for walks, and there’s a dedicated area for ‘offlead’ dog walking, too. The site has a fascinating history, having been bought in 1989 by a group of likeminded people who had the idea of keeping it free from development so that the public could enjoy the wide open space and great views of the city. It’s now a habitat where local flora and fauna can flourish, with a car park just off Haverhill Road, Stapleford, that is free to use, open between 8am and 5pm in winter.

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Linton Kitchen

This charming spot has quickly earned itself a reputation as a foodie haven and popular community hub. Megan Croft pays a visit to find out more


t was all rain clouds and puddles the day of my visit, but any bad weather blues evaporated on entering the Linton Kitchen: a gorgeous café come produce and gift shop located in the picturesque Cambridgeshire village. I was greeted by the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee before Gemma Whiting, cook, front of house and allround creative driver behind this small but flourishing indie business, emerged from the kitchen. Coffees in hand, we took a seat in a quirkily designed side room and got to chatting about how Linton Kitchen first came about. “I used to work in a pub down the road so I got to know the village and realised that it’s actually quite big, but the nearest place to get a coffee was Saffron Walden or Cambridge,” she explains. “Linton really needed a place for the community to come and get together.” Having only opened its doors in April 2013, the café has quickly become a bustling community hub, with everyone from schoolchildren coming in for the ice cream milkshakes (served in cute vintage milk bottles) to those that pop in for larder staples like fresh veg or a freshly baked cake for the family dessert, right the way through to the older generation who

might stop by for a cuppa before catching the bus. “It has been overwhelming; it’s been so busy since it opened, I didn’t know what to expect. It has absolutely snowballed,” enthuses Gemma. “It’s provided a buzzing service that wasn’t there already to the village and has become like a big community. People pop in, it’s warm, friendly and fun. It’s nice!” It’s a veritable foodie paradise too, where the shelves heave with mouthwatering produce and an array of delicious looking cakes and sweet treats. As we chat, it’s impossible not to notice the beautiful trinkets and eclectic mix of handcrafted homewares dotted around the room as well, all of which are for sale and selected with Gemma’s refreshingly simple philosophy of: “I just sell things I like!” Gemma’s a big supporter of local crafters and enthusiastically shows me a few of the pieces she stocks, like the lovely illustrated cards from Cambridge artist Aurora Cacciapuoti which sit on our table. It’s all about keeping it local at the Linton Kitchen and Gemma tries to source as much of the shop’s produce and the cafe’s menu as locally as possible. “Where we are in East Anglia there are loads of people who make jams, chilli sauces, rapeseed oil, crisps, everything – there’s so

much to choose from,” she says. Gemma also tells me about a couple of regulars who actually set up their bakery business, the Hilltop Bakery, as a result of the Linton Kitchen and are now regular suppliers – it doesn’t get much more local than that! You’ll also find some of the Cambridgeshire foodie scene’s finest on offer here, including Kandula Teas, Hot Numbers coffees and the Biscuit Jar. Gemma bakes her own cakes too and puts on a daily changing lunch menu which normally consists of soups, sandwiches and savoury tarts (whilst I’m there, there is a gigantic pot of celery and blue cheese soup simmering – it smells amazing). We’re not the only ones to fall for Linton Kitchen’s charms either; in fact, it recently scooped the Best Business to Consumer Start-Up award in the East at the Ready For Business Awards. A well-deserved accolade. It’s places like this that are putting Cambridge’s satellite villages on the map, making Linton a destination spot for a jaunt away from the bustle of the city and a blinking good cup of coffee and tasty bite to eat. 30 High Street, Linton, Cambridgeshire CB21 4HS, 01223 894949,

Please note that Linton Kitchen will be closed from 1-14 January


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Welcome Hello and welcome to the first Cambridge BID update of 2014. This month we’ve decided to showcase the Fitzroy and Burleigh Street area of Cambridge – sometimes overlooked but full of treats for shoppers, from independent cafés to specialist stores and plenty of opportunities to pick up a bargain at the many charity shops. We’ve also got an update from our City Ambassadors, who had a busy time over the festive period. Incredibly, they’ve now been of service to some 20,000 visitors to the city centre, helping locals and tourists alike make the most of their time in our city. The Christmas period also saw the shops around Cambridge pulling all the stops in a contest for the most impressive window displays – congratulations to Ark, who took home the prize for their fantastically creative offering. Happy new year, and see you next month.

What is the Cambridge BID? The Cambridge Business Improvement District, or BID, is an initiative set up by Cambridge businesses and organisations to ensure continued investment in Cambridge City Centre. Businesses within the Cambridge BID area (shown in the map, right), were given the opportunity to vote for or against the BID during the ballot and on 1 November 2012 a vote in favour of the BID was returned, paving the way for an organisation which will ensure sustained investment in this historic city and the delivery of a wide range of projects and initiatives. Find out more at Follow us on Twitter at @cambridgebid

Shop Front Contest Cambridge residents and visitors were treated to some beautiful shop window displays over Christmas, with our city’s independent shops going all out to create sumptuous visuals to entice us inside. Cambridge BID and Cambridge News ran a competition to find the best Christmas shop window display, and awarded the accolade to the wonderfully quirky display at Ark, on St Mary’s Passage. It depicted a lifesize reindeer amid a snowscape of kooky, retro curiosities and twinkling lights, ticking the boxes for originality, visual impact, festivity and coherence of display. Votes were gathered from the public via an online poll, and other contenders included Boudoir Femme, Cambridge Toy Shop, Finn Jordan, Podarok and The Tailor’s Cat. Ark won £100 to donate to a charity of their choice.

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Spotlight on… Fitzroy & Burleigh Street

Slightly off the tourist trail, but high on the agenda for local shoppers, the Fitzroy and Burleigh Street area is a great place to head if you’re hoping for a quick visit to the centre, rather than spending a long day soaking up the sights. The lower volume of tourists means you’ve more room to dart in and out of shops – which are all placed conveniently close together, making it ideal if the weather’s not so great. Here’s where The Grafton shopping centre comes into its own, offering an array of high street names all under one roof and with quick and easy parking available. There’s lots more to discover just outside however. Jemporium Vintage, at the side entrance to The Grafton, is a treasure trove of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from the 1950s to early 1990s, and the perfect place to head if you’re after a truly unique addition to your wardrobe.

Skaters and cyclists should make a beeline for Billy’s on Burleigh Street, where they’ve got BMXs, skateboards, rollerblades and lots more – coupled with knowledgeable and friendly staff if you need a little advice. Drop into quirky independent café Jocalatte meanwhile for a cup of proper coffee, or a home-made hot chocolate and a tasty lunch from their impressive counter. Situated on Burleigh Street and run by a local couple, this place is known for its great food and drink, as well as selling eclectic artwork and craft pieces by talented local artists. Burleigh Street is also a great spot for some serious charity shop shopping. They’re all here, from the British Heart Foundation and Oxfam to the RSPCA shop and Cancer Research – and as ever they make great stop-off points for cheap and cheerful furniture, bits and bobs for the

house, retro clothes and colourful costume jewellery. Then swing by HMV on Fitzroy Street, a relatively new addition to the area, which boasts a huge array of music and entertainment products – as well as a chill-out area for a coffee and slice of cake, should you need to refuel. It’s a great area for pubs, too, with The Hopbine promising excellent ales and pub grub, or stray off Burleigh Street down some of the side streets to find fantastic traditional watering holes like The Free Press and the First & Last. Or, if cocktails are more your thing, you mustn’t leave without a visit to The Snug.

Cambridge City Ambassadors Funded by the BID, which in turn is funded by businesses and organisations in the city centre, Cambridge City Ambassadors have made a significant impact in the city, engaging with nearly 20,000 visitors since their launch in August 2013. Out in the city seven days a week, the team of multilingual Ambassadors are easily identified in their smart black suits and bowler hats and perform a number of important roles. Primarily, they provide a street-based concierge service offering not just a warm welcome to the city and helpful directions, but also advice about what Cambridge has to offer: retail, leisure and cultural attractions, as well as the hidden gems and an insight into the city’s rich history. The City Ambassadors have received an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors and businesses. Whether you are a Cambridge resident or a visitor from nearby or further afield, the City Ambassadors are here to help – so if you see the team out and about, be sure to say hello!


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There are few greater pleasures in life than a good curry, and newcomer Kaz’s in Sawston is already proving a winner for its delicious authentic dishes here’s nothing quite like a Friday night curry to start your weekend right. Nestled on the southern end of Sawston’s high street is Kaz’s Indian & Bangladeshi Restaurant, a new addition to the local dining scene that’s run by Zia Chowdhury. Zia is a new face in Cambridge but an old hand at running restaurants, with two sites in Great Dunmow also serving up awardwinning fare. A four-time finalist of the Top 100 Indian Restaurants category of the British Curry Awards, it’s fair to say that when it comes to authentic Indian cuisine, the man knows what he’s doing. In fact there’s a proud call to arms on the restaurant’s website which points out that although there are thousands of ‘Indian’ restaurants serving ‘curry’, that term is almost as misleading as ‘chop suey’ is to Chinese cooking – and there are many culinary delights to be found in Bangladeshi cuisine. Zia tells an evocative tale of his birthplace, the city of Sylhet in northeast Bangladesh, where the locals enjoy fish from the lakes, creating sour pickles or eating fruits from the nearby hills of Assam; all of which contribute to the distinctive flavours of Sylheti cuisine. A Tudoresque frontage hides the low-ceilinged, multi-roomed dining area which boasts branded carpets and sleek but stylish décor. We were shown to a table near the front of the restaurant and sprawled ourselves across a large eating area ready for the task ahead. With the unusual and interesting dishes to come later, we couldn’t resist kicking off with poppadoms and assorted chutneys – which is, to my mind, an excellent way to judge a restaurant. We were both happily surprised by the crispy, non-greasy snappable discs of deliciousness, as well as the large tray of sauces and spices which accompanied the traditional wire basket. A small bowl of dry, red coconut chutney was a new one on me

but hugely tasty, while the classics like lime pickle and mango chutney also got polished off eagerly. We followed the poppadoms with two vegetable samosas, their flaky pastry almost bursting at the seams with gently spiced potato and green peas, and were then presented with a small plate of chicken tikka. The morsels of meat were buttery, lightly spiced and mouth-wateringly delicious. Luckily for my belly, my vegetarian companion left that second plate of food all to me. I’m always torn when visiting an Indian restaurant: plump for the old favourites or dare to try something new? With so many unusual, exciting dishes on offer and in the interests of science I asked our friendly waiter to recommended a main course, and without hesitation he pointed me in the direction of the uree bisi – a medium curry dish with coriander, green chillies and the seeds of Bangladeshi runner beans. Having eaten my fill of chicken in the first round, I chose the lamb version of this dish and was not disappointed: rich and perfectly balanced with the al dente beans mixed through the flavourful sauce, this was a really tasty surprise and I’ll be looking out for it on future visits. Served with plain rice, a single portion was more than


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enough for me and I soon had to throw down the fork in contented defeat. My guest, a die-hard fenugreek fan, opted for a vegetable methi curry with a plain naan for scooping purposes – she proclaimed the dish to be delicious and to ensure I’d heard her correctly, kept repeating her one-word judgement in between mouthfuls. We also chose a tarka dal, which arrived at our table and made me grin from ear to ear. A dal is, in my opinion, the perfect winter dish: warming, belly filling and extremely tasty. This one was no exception and would make a great lunch option for any Sawstonites looking for a quick hunger-queller. If you find yourself in south Cambridge and in need of a well-spiced, finger-licking feast, look no further than Kaz’s of Sawston. Perfect whether you’re dining in a large party or a smaller group, this excellent eaterie is extremely happily welcomed to the village – and it’s worth noting that if you’d rather drag your feast back to your sofa to eat in your pyjamas (no shame in that) Kaz offers 10% off all takeaway orders. 84 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 837025,

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This month, guest chef Estefanía Led Ramos from ¡Qué Rico! Tapas offers up a duo of tempting tapas dishes For 4 glasses

Ingredients 1 avocado 400g smoked salmon 1 lime spring onion wholegrain mustard white vinegar

for the yoghurt sauce 100ml natural yoghurt 75ml milk 2tbsp mayonnaise 1 clove garlic parsley (to taste)

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Marinated smoked salmon & avocado A tasty and refreshing nibble or appetiser, great for whipping up any time. Serve cold in small transparent glasses, and if you fancy elaborating, it works well with a yoghurt sauce.

Step-by-step guide To marinate the salmon 1. Chop the smoked salmon into small pieces and thinly chop the spring onion. 2. Squeeze the lime and strain the juice. 3. In a bowl, mix the smoked salmon and the spring onion and add a generous teaspoonful of wholegrain mustard and a teaspoonful of vinegar, with the juice of the lime, to taste. Combine the mixture, cover it and let it rest for about four hours. For the yoghurt sauce 1. Chop the garlic. 2. Put the natural yoghurt, two spoonfuls of mayonnaise, milk, parsley and the garlic into a bowl. 3. Blend the mixture and keep it in the fridge until you plate up. Plating up 1. Halve the avocado. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and mash it in a bowl. 2. Divide the mashed avocado between the serving dishes (transparent bowls or glasses are good). Layer the marinated smoked salmon on top with a pinch of wholegrain mustard. Serve with the yoghurt sauce.


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Wine Match Savoury candy This mouth-watering dish is always impressive and very simple to make.


sweet ham ( honey baked, but not crumbed, for example) blue cheese (Stilton if you want a British touch) pitted prunes foil 1. Warm a little of the blue cheese until it’s spreadable. 2. Lay the slice of sweet ham on a piece of foil that’s a little bit bigger. 3. Spread the melted blue cheese along the slice of ham, leaving a third of the slice without the cheese so that you can roll it. 5. Line up the pitted prunes over the cheese. 6. Take the foil from one side and roll over the slice of ham until both ends are together. 7. Cut the roll into small pieces and serve on a plate.

Making tapas is a brilliant excuse to try out lots of flavour combinations, as these recipes show, and also encourages us to be adventurous with our wine selection. With the ham, try a Sauternes, the classic sweet wine of Bordeaux, which has sweetness and mouth-watering acidity and is a great accompaniment to blue cheese and fruit. A half bottle of Chateau Gravas 2009 Sauternes, from a small estate surrounded by the much more extravagantly priced Chateaux, is £11.75 at Cambridge Wine Merchants It may be January but what more excuse do you need to crack open some sparkling wine than to accompany the delicious smoked salmon dish? In fact, a good Prosecco will go really well with the slightly salty salmon and the smooth texture of the avocado blend. Prosecco Extra Dry NV Beato Bartolomeo Breganze can be bought for £11.49 at Cambridge Wine Merchants.

In association with Cambridge Wine Merchants

For more information on ¡Qué Rico! Tapas, see


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Simply delicious

After the excesses of the festive season, many treat January as a month for plainer fare, but simple doesn’t have to be boring, says Alex Rushmer nspiration is a commodity in short supply come January. Festive indulgence can leave us feeling ‘fooded out’ by the time the new year rolls in and external pressures often cast the beginning of the year as a time for pious austerity of the sort a Franciscan monk might consider a little over the top. Ingredients too can seem a little dull when compared to the delights that crowd the table and fill the fridge over Christmas. Combine these two factors and it swiftly becomes clear why some commit to the miserable asceticism of the cabbage soup diet or the absurd myth of the detox. Despite a brief flirtation with the not-so-masterful Master Cleanse, I have shied away from such culinary self-flagellation and intend to do so for the rest of my adult life. It’s just a matter of doing a little work and looking a little harder, so much so that I now find the start of new year one of the most exciting times to cook. Rather than resigning myself to the sadness of boiled brassicas and plainly roasted roots, it’s my job to find inspiration in these vegetables; to coax and nurture flavour from deep within their gnarled and hardy exteriors. A moment of epiphany is all it takes to transform one’s attitude to winter foods, especially vegetables, from one of boredom to one of excitement and anticipation. For me it came with Brussels sprouts and a simple recipe from Rowley Leigh, one of the founding fathers of what we now regard

Images courtesy of Waitrose


Rather than resigning myself to the sadness of plainly roasted roots, it’s my job to coax and nurture flavour as Modern British Cooking (ie ‘cook whatever the bally heck you want, but do it properly and for goodness sake, use the best ingredients you can’). The sprouts were blanched briefly in boiling water and plunged immediately into an icy bath before being halved and sautéed slowly in plenty (and I mean plenty) of butter. A sprinkle of salt and a few chestnuts were added at the end. This simple preparation taught me two significant and essential techniques to create a dish of unashamed simplicity and untold deliciousness: sweetness, bitterness, richness, nuttiness – all are present and I vowed I’d never cook sprouts any other way. I never have. The same thought, care and attention can, and should, be applied to all ingredients but even more so when dealing with something hardy enough to thrive during the fickle English winter. Celeriac is rapidly becoming my favourite vegetable, but it is constantly jostling for position with the cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli and cavolo nero, all of which I despised as a child, possibly


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because they were boiled into submission. Rather than cooking in water, many of these require the moisture to be driven off to intensify their often delicate and distinctive flavours. Salt baking is a method I use regularly, especially for tough roots such as beetroot and the aforementioned celeriac. Here, egg whites are whisked to the texture of meringue and fine table salt added in place of sugar, this is then used to completely cover the roots before the whole lot is placed into a moderately warm oven for a few hours. The crispy meringue is chipped away leaving only a wonderfully intense and tender vegetable in the middle. A slightly less time-consuming alternative is to simply roast your roots. The addition of rapeseed oil, a few sprigs of thyme, four or five cloves of garlic and a pinch of sea salt can make all the difference. So rather than eschewing the much maligned produce of January, use it as a jumping-off point for inspiration and an excuse to learn some truly valuable new cooking techniques.

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A monthly round-up of gastronomic goings-on in Cambridge and the surrounding area


ASTRONOMY & DINING For a dining experience with a twist, try The Varsity Hotel & Spa’s Rooftop Astronomy Masterclass and Dining Experience, taking place on 14 January. The evening begins at their unique rooftop garden, where you’ll snuggle up under blankets while learning all about the night sky above. Paul Fellows, chairman of the esteemed Cambridge Astronomical Association (CAA) and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, will host the masterclass, utilising high-powered laser pointers to pick out and explain the most beautiful and interesting celestial objects. You’ll also get to try out some telescopes for a deeper look into the cosmos, whilst the nature and mysteries of the stars, planets, moons and galaxies that can be seen overhead are explained. As well as exploring the heavens, you’ll be invited downstairs to enjoy a delectable dinner at the stylish River Bar Steakhouse & Grill, famed for its tender 28-day aged steaks, gourmet pies and exquisitely matched wine. Two courses are included, plus a glass of bubbly. The package costs £49, and guests must arrive at 6.45pm for the meal to start at 7pm.

The 18th Winter Ale Festival takes place in Cambridge this month, run by Cambridge & District CAMRA. It’s held at the University Social Club on Mill Lane, and will feature a wide range of beers, from locally brewed ales and other British favourites, to foreign beers which you might not have tried before – or be able to get in your local. There’ll also be a good offering of ciders, perries and other beverages. It runs from 23 to 25 January, so don’t miss out.

One Pot Wonders! Always a great place to learn more about food, Cambridge Cookery School has launched a brand new class for 2014 – One Pot Wonders. The class, held at their sleek, modern kitchens, is a perfect one for winter. While the frost lies thick on the ground, there’s nothing more comforting than a warming stew – though traditional recipes can be a tad too rustic. Here, you’ll learn some modern twists on old classics, as well as recipes from around the world. On the menu is Greek spanakopita, hot and tangy chorizo and butter bean casserole, Tuscan chicken and roast vegetable traybake and braised lamb and orzo hotpot. You’ll also make a five-minute oat and coconut crumble, plus chocolate and marshmallow brownies. The class also includes plenty of tea, coffee and lunch with wine. 28 January, 10am to 2pm, tickets £110. Visit their website for details of their other January classes.

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CAMBRIDGE FOOD & WINE SOCIETY For their January wine and dining event, Cambridge Food and Wine Society are holding a Greekthemed evening at The Olive Grove Restaurant on Regent Street. It’s open to members and non-members, and like all their events, promises to be a relaxed, sociable way to mix with other foodies and wine connoisseurs – or learn a bit more if you fancy brushing up on your culinary expertise. The meal includes three delicious courses, plus a talk on Greek wines from the winery owner, and takes place on 18 January. It’s £27 for members, £30 non-members and starts at 8pm. www.cambridgefoodandwine

NORD CAFÉ Lovely Scandinavian shop Nord, a treasure trove of beautiful homeware, gifts and other Nordic delights, has expanded its offerings to include a café, selling locally produced cakes and other treats such as traditional Scandistyle open rye rolls. This new venture follows their move from Bridge Street to a new premises in Sussex Street last month. Light and airy, with lots of interesting objects on display, Nord is a lovely addition to Cambridge’s café scene. You even get a little biscuit with your coffee (always a nice touch), and they’ve just installed an ice cream counter from Jack’s Gelato, including their famous liquorice flavour. Other items on the menu to look out for are Nord’s smoked herring platters. Surely a first for Cambridge? Check their website for details of upcoming evening events, too, from poetry to live music – all with a Scandi theme.


Fiona Pâtissière If you happened to visit Spa Ely in December, you may have noticed an enticing pop-up patisserie in the vicinity. It was set up by Fiona McDuff, a cancer research scientist who lives in Ely and who hopes to further her passion for baking. Fiona won the Cambridge Bake Off last summer, which has spurred her on to think bigger. She currently makes cakes to order through her website and hopes to run a few more pop-ups in the new year. “Winning the Cambridge Bake Off gave me the confidence and contacts I needed to try to take my passion for

cakes further,” Fiona explains. “Outside of London it’s difficult to find high-quality patisserie. The kind of cakes and treats you see through the window of a French bakery, the sort of cake that looks almost too beautiful to cut into. I want a cake that doesn’t disappoint on flavour either. “I wanted to get a feel for the market in Cambridgeshire. I live in Ely and so contacted Caroline Bailey, owner of Spa Ely and the founder of Your Ely which supports local businesses, with the idea of running a pop-up patisserie. Caroline was incredibly supportive so after a few months of planning, Fiona Pâtissière


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launched on the weekend of 6- 7 December. The weekend went extremely well – I’m not sure what will happen after Christmas, but I am in talks with Boudoir Femme about running a pop-up there in the new year.” Watch this space!

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LOCO We LOVE the sound of this brand new restaurant, which opened on Mill Road just a few weeks ago. Based where the old Locomotive pub used to be (for those of you who remember), it serves Mexican street food and Mexican-inspired cocktails, and looks sure to be a popular addition to this multicultural corner of Cambridge. It’s being run by brother and sister Rakhi and Kalpesh Brahmbhatt, two Cambridge residents with a taste for Mexico. “We’re aiming to bring proper Mexican street food to Cambridge, not the sort you usually associate with Mexican restaurants. We want to provide something completely unique for the people of Cambridge, and to be welcoming for everyone. We’ve lived here a long time, so the Mill Road and O P E N IN G Cambridge community is important to us,” says Rakhi. “We’re Indian, but there are so many Indian restaurants already on Mill Road. We’ve been to Mexico lots of times and love Mexican food. We’ll have corn tortillas, chicken tinga, carnitas and, my favourite, churros and chocolate. We’ve also got really nice mixed bean and beef burgers, sweet potato pies… There’s a good variety on the menu with lots to choose from, from mild to wild.” Follow them on Twitter for more updates: @TheLocoMexican


Pop-up supper club A new pop-up supper club is being held at the Black Cat Café, Mill Road, on 23 January, featuring Spanish-inspired dishes prepared by ¡Qué Rico!. The Cambridgebased catering company will be bringing us a slice of Spanish-style comfort food, and there’ll be five courses plus dessert, using authentic Spanish ingredients. Costs £25 per person. Bring your favourite tipple to have alongside (£3.50 corkage). Estefania from ¡Qué Rico! is also guest chef over on our recipe pages this month – head to page 42 for details on how to whip up some delicious tapas dishes, including savoury candies.

Burns’ Night dinner Celebrate with the Cambridge Scottish Society as they toast the great Robbie Burns at a lavish dinner on 25 January. Taking place at Sidney Sussex College, the traditional meal will involve Scotch broth followed by haggis, neeps and tatties, with the haggis being paraded round the dining room to the sound of a piper playing. During the traditional reciting of Address to a Haggis, it is stabbed with a dirk before being served. Speeches take place after the meal, with the most notable being the ‘immortal memory’, in which a speaker says something about the life and writings of Robert Burns. They’ll end the evening with Scottish Dancing for everyone – being full up is no excuse! Contact Kathryn Coles (01223 233191) for tickets (£35 each) and further information.

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Cocktails at De Luca’s Make sure Christmas isn’t the only time you catch up with friends, get something in the diary before you forget – like cocktail making at De Luca’s! The top-floor cocktail lounge is perfect for an evening with the girls, whether it’s for a birthday, hen do or just a civilised get-together. An experienced bartender will teach you how to make three different cocktails, to be consumed at your leisure, along with canapés, at an extra £10 per person. The course lasts two to three hours and costs £25 per person. Six guests maximum.

Shop & Cook Already onto a winner with her Cambridge Food Tours, Gerla de Boer has hit upon another top idea for local and visiting foodies. On her Shop & Cook tours, you’ll spend the morning visiting local shops to choose the ingredients you’ll cook with later. On-hand experts will lead the tour, showing you how to select the freshest foods through look, taste and smell. Then, head back to a specially equipped kitchen to prepare your locally sourced meal. Shop & Cook tours are currently for private parties and corporate events only, but will be open to the public very soon.


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THE COW We Cambridge folk know there’s only once place to go for a great midweek pizza deal, and that’s the ever-popular Cow pizza kitchen, pub and bar on Corn Exchange Street. Made fresh on site every day, their pizzas come in all manner of thicknesses (try Pizzaluna for a fluffy, cheese-enriched dough, their hand-stretched Signature dough or a healthier Ellipse Pizza), with plenty of toppings to choose from. The Meat Medley and Peri Peri Chicken are big favourites with the staff, we hear, and you can pretty much travel round the world with their eclectic menu, which hops from Bolognese Calzones to Crispy Duck and Hoisin, via BBQ Chicken and Louisiana Pulled Pork. Pizzas all fall in around the £8/£9 mark, making them not only the freshest but some of the most reasonably priced in town, AND it’s two for one on all 12” pizzas all day Tuesdays. While its rep for great pizzas hasn’t changed, you might find the pub looks a little fresher and smarter than when you last visited. It was taken over by Dean Holloway in September last year, who has brought the décor bang up to date, with funky frames on the walls and new cow-print stools at the bar, maintaining that fun, relaxed environment it’s come to be known for – with a bit of added sophistication. “I wanted to give the place a quirkier feel,” says Dean, who moved to Cambridge from

Farnborough for the job and is loving his new location. He’s also shaken up the drinks menu, adding some tasty cocktails into the mix. Try the English Garden – a delectable muddle of Hendrick’s gin, elderflower liquer, lemon juice and mint – for a taste of spring, and don’t forget it’s two for one on cocktails every Thursday. “From January we’ll have lots more cocktails on the menu, and we’ll be making it all a bit more theatrical too,” says Dean. “The gingerbread martini is really popular at the moment, it’s got that real warming taste which is great for winter.” The Cow also has a range of red, white and rose wines, international bottled beers and ciders, and it’s open until 1am MondayThursday, and 3am Friday and Saturday. Expect plenty of great entertainment during these late evenings, as Dean also has plans to open the venue up to live musicians, with the redecorated downstairs room making for the ideal performance city centre performance space. “I want to turn the venue into a real hub, with a bit of everything: from live music and comedy nights to quizzes,” he explains. “The aim is just to make it a little bit more quirky and funky, so people know us as that fun, quirky Cambridge bar.”

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NEW YEAR, Thinking of setting up a new business? The good news is that Cambridge is a hotbed of start-up success stories. Here’s what’s on offer locally to help you on your way anuary is a common time to take stock and feel motivated to make changes in your life to reach personal goals. For many people in our area, setting up a new business appears increasingly to be the way to real fulfilment. It’s not hard to see why they might be tempted. Liberation from the grind of the daily commute and the trauma of unsympathetic bosses are the motivation for some. For others, it’s the itch that has to be scratched – the unstoppable urge to convert a drawing board idea into a reality. While everyone is familiar with some of the biggest names to have taken root

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in the area over the years, Microsoft and AstraZeneca amongst them, successful start-ups have also had a huge impact on the city’s much-touted growth, turning it into an economic wunderkind. Figures produced by Centre for Cities, a leading research organisation, put us ahead of almost every other major UK city when it comes to the number of patents filed – more per 100,000 of population even than London – and lower than average levels of youth unemployment. Thus far, the best known has to be Raspberry Pi, the incredibly cheap, credit card sized micro computer that is helping to bring the joys of programming to youngsters round the world. Also making headlines are firms like Aurasma, founded

in 2011 and making waves with their jawdropping augmented reality applications. “Cambridge is probably the UK’s most evolved tech cluster. All the skills are there, and the rounded base of experience and support from those who have done it before,” says John Yeomans, who is chairman of Cambridge Angels – a group of high net worth individuals who mentor and invest in Internet, software, technology and biotechnology start-ups. It’s a virtuous circle. As entrepreneurs succeed, more money flows into the area from keen investors. Sina Habibi, current president of Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), says that since 1999, winners of the annual CUE ‘Ideas


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NEW take flight’ competition for budding hightech and bioscience businesses have received half a million pounds worth of prizes – and subsequently gone on to raise a further £100 million in funding. So great is the hype that it can be easy to assume that, like Jack and his giant beanstalk, all you have to do is throw your magic bean of an idea into the fertile, enterprise-nourishing atmosphere and almost overnight, you’ll have got your hands on your very own little golden goose. But though Cambridge is a hotbed of innovation and boasts endless start-up success stories, it’s by no means an easy ride along the way. “The national statistic is that one in three small businesses fail within three

years,” says John Yeomans. “There is no obvious make or break point: almost every entrepreneur regularly faces the challenge, at the beginning of the month, of how she or he will pay the wage bill at the end of the month.” Loneliness, too, can be a major issue. The very freedom that being your own boss can bring has its downside, explains Mark Goodson, a local sales consultant and business mentor who set up Camjelly, an informal meeting place where entrepreneurs can get a much-needed injection of conviviality. “I think a lot of people underestimate the psychological aspects. They are used to working in a company where they’ve got others to talk to and bounce ideas off. You

Business experts rate staying power as the musthave quality that any empire builder must possess


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can be flexible and there’s the lack of red tape, but the one thing they all miss is having conversations, the gossip and the normal day-to-day human contact.” Unsurprisingly, the area’s business experts rate staying power as the musthave quality that any putative empire builder must possess in abundance. “It’s down to determination and drive to overcome the problems at each make or break point,” says John Yeomans. Help is never far away. It’s also breathtaking in scope. The CUE competition, for example, open to all those with an affiliation to the University, has three different stages, each with increasingly valuable prizes and judged by business success pin-ups such as Jack Lang, a former Cambridge graduate now described as a ‘serial’ entrepreneur. First up come £100 awards for the best 100-word descriptions of a

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business idea, followed by ten £1000 prizes for successful 1500-word executive summaries. At the third and final stage, six £5000 prizes are awarded on the basis of a formal business plan. Though the financial rewards are no doubt welcome, it’s the validation that your idea has potential and the support to help develop your initial idea that is priceless. “Most entrants come from very technical backgrounds, engineering departments, mathematics, or physics and don’t have much business exposure,” says Sina Habibi. “We give them training on how to do it.” And that free-flowing spirit of enterprise is generously distributed, with the University casting a giant (and friendly) shadow with a range of superb resources for the budding entrepreneur. Courses, from a post-graduate diploma in entrepreneurship to The Enterprisers programme, aimed at anyone contemplating a business start-up, and Ignite, which is geared towards offering budding high-tech and life-science firms the chance to develop ideas and strategy in a structured environment. But there’s more, far more, with resources as flexible as the individuals they support. Every week in November and Februrary, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Cambridge Judge Business School runs Enterprise Tuesday for start-up wannabes within the University together with local business folk. “We’ve had enthusiastic sixth form college students and people from charities. Everyone’s welcome,” says programme manager Frances Bycroft. The sessions – all free – consist of formal lectures followed by an hour’s networking session, and can spark joint ventures, with like-

DAVID GILL MANAGING DIRECTOR, ST JOHN’S INNOVATION CENTRE Tell us what you do: We’re a business incubator offering experience, contacts, resources and a presence in the community, at the heart of the Greater Cambridge technology cluster. We also provide training events that specifically match our tenants’ needs. St John’s was the first innovation centre of its kind in Europe and gives early stage knowledge-based companies everything they need to accelerate their growth, with tailored services and flexible accommodation. Effectively, our tenants provide the brilliant ideas while we sort out the behind the scenes stuff. What makes you different? Networking is a feature of daily life here. We hold social events for the 85 companies who use the Centre at least once a month. Our tenants say it feels like a club and with so many brilliant and ambitious people under one roof, my job can feel like being head of a school teaming with highly creative – and competitive – students. Are entrepreneurs born or made? We all have to search for the entrepreneur inside ourselves! Some people of course find it easier than others, just some are better at singing or running. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have to learn through example and – above all – experience. So embrace your failures as much as your successes! How easy is it to be successful? Napoleon assumed that all his generals would be highly technically competent and brave, but he asked them also to be lucky. The same is true for entrepreneurs – timing matters. What makes our area such a good place to be for budding businesses? Cambridge has the great advantage now of 50 years building up the right infrastructure, hard and soft: intelligent money, no end of creative ideas, flexible space and specialist advisers. But the real secret weapon is that it is a safe place to do risky things: entrepreneurial role models are plentiful and generous with their time. It’s OK to take risks around here. What advice would you give the next generation of entrepreneurs? Listen to as many exemplars as you can – in lectures or after dinner or one to one. Then make your own mind up and go for it, but keep on learning and adapting as you go.


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minded people teaming up to get new businesses off the ground. That social element is something David Gill knows all about. As managing director of St John’s Innovation Centre, he describes his job as being akin to a head of a school teaming with brilliant, creative pupils who need a helping hand with the behind the scenes stuff. The 85 companies who use the centre are, he says, second stage business innovators who have been going for around 18 months. “If you move in, your tenancy is looked after and you also have access to a team who can advise, guide and introduce you to other key players in the area.” Social events, held at least once a month, make effective networking a feature of daily life. And that same can-do attitude applies elsewhere. Cambridge Business Lounge can do everything from writing an engaging online blog to providing virtual admin support, while ideaSpace – which also funds Camjelly get-togethers – describes itself as a hub for young businesses. Giving innovators a feel-good environment to work in, shared with other similarly buzzy entrepreneurs, it also offers the confidence boost of advisors drawn from similar fields to offer feedback and advice. While getting a business off the ground is never going to be easy, getting started in a supportive, wellresourced location like ours makes an unbeatable difference, thinks Frances Bycroft. “There’s a very open culture. A lot of successful entrepreneurs really want to help and give something back.” And when it comes to founding a successful business, it’s happiness rather than fame or fortune that should be your goal. Each year, 25 leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs fly over to share their expertise with CUE students. Though the trends and technology change rapidly, the centre message remains the same. “They say success and money come along if you do what you like to do,” says Sina Habibi, who is completing a PhD and setting up his own business, in addition to his CUE duties – the equivalent of three full-time jobs – and regularly survives on just three to four hours sleep. “You lose your night’s sleep and you want to do it.”

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- EBEN UPTON CEO, RASPBERRY PI Tell us about the business: We’re a not-for-profit business, based on Castle Hill in Cambridge. We produce the world’s cheapest personal computer, at $2535, and do all our manufacturing in South Wales. Since launching in February 2012 we’ve sold well in excess of two million units to a mixture of young people and adult hobbyists. What does our area offer start-ups? A critical mass of technical and business talent, a thriving angel investor community, and a global brand. There’s a cachet that comes with being a Cambridge tech start-up in particular that’s hard to find (almost) anywhere else. What does the Cambridge effect mean for you? Of course the team that developed Pi was split between Cambridge (where we did the chip design and a lot of the software) and Cheshire (where the board design was done), so we’re not purely a Cambridge-area company. That said, I think we did benefit from that critical mass of like-minded people. What helped you most when you first started the business? Two things. Through the University we had the opportunity to spot the problem, and through local industry (in particular Broadcom Cambridge) we had access to the technology required to build the product. It helped that several of us on the project had run start-ups before and could afford to lend money to the foundation to get it off the ground. What was the biggest problem you had to overcome? Finding a way to hit the target price point, without a doubt. What advice would you give the next generation of entrepreneurs? Start small, fail fast, but above all do something. An afternoon trying to make a profit selling something on eBay is worth a term of entrepreneurship lectures.


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- EMILY MACKAY FOUNDER, CROWDSURFER Tell us about your business: Crowdsurfer is the first aggregator of data in the crowdfunding and peer-to-peer finance industry. There are around 900 live websites covering 78 languages in 70 countries where you can participate in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer and we’re watching another 300 up-and-coming sites. Crowdsurfer turned a year old on 6 December, and our first analytics dashboard for organisations and investors affected by or interested in crowdfunding is on its way early in 2014. It’s the fourth start-up I’ve worked in. The second I’ve founded. And hopefully the second I’ll exit one day too! Are entrepreneurs are born or made? The spirit is born and the skills are learned. What do you think has contributed to your success? It’s flattering to be thought of as successful, I feel like I’m always working very hard to get there! Accolades such as being listed as one of the Top 100 People defining digital business in 2013 by TechCityInsider, is a great honour though, and helps keeps me striving to achieve more. Building something, such as Crowdsurfer, that has never existed before is never easy. I liken it to running through the woods in the dark. There are no signposts and you never really know if you’re going the right way, or when you’re going to fall over, but if you have the right combination of good innate judgement and luck you get through to the other side.


BUSINESS CENTRE CB1 Business Centre is located at 20 Station Road in the heart of Cambridge city centre. The centre provides fully inclusive flexible shared or private office spaces (from half a day up to three or more years), virtual office services such as call answering and mail forwarding, and high-quality meeting facilities. The centre is ideal for start-ups looking to get up and running quickly and, most importantly, flexibly. All of the services are designed to provide a professional business environment for companies from day one – whatever their size. There are a number of exciting start-up companies based at the centre, alongside larger or more established companies. It is proving to be a great environment for enterprise and innovation in the city, less than a year after opening.

What helped Crowdsurfer most at the start? I have the support of some phenomenal people who have unerring faith in me and useful address books. It’s absolutely critical to have close support in the early days, to keep you motivated and confident. They’re the sort of people you can pick up the phone to at any time and ten minutes later you’re back on track. What does our area offer start-ups? Location is becoming less and less important in the digital world. Who really cares where your registered office is? What matters is are you visible in the right publications and events, and do you have access to a talented team (so Cambridge scores very highly in this regard). I spend a fair bit of time in London at FinTech events but Cambridge is fantastic for nurturing a young tech company. We really do need a TechHub or Google Campus though, as early-stage free working and networking space is non-existent; it’s a notable gap in Cambridge. What advice would you give to the next generation of entrepreneurs? Just get out there and start. It’s messy and exciting and hard. Cut corners. Change your plans. Talk to your customers as much as you can. And a decent pick-meup music playlist works wonders for re-energising yourself at the end of a bad meeting.


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- MICHAEL PRIESTNALL CO-FOUNDER, CAMBRIDGE CARBON CAPTURE Tell us about your business: We have developed a process that captures carbon dioxide from the combustion of hydrocarbons as solid carbonate materials. The world produces about six billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. Just one mine in China containing six billion tonnes of serpentine, normally a low-value mineral, could be converted to mop up a year’s emissions, so the potential is not just vast but world-changing. What do you think has aided your success? In a lot of start-up ventures, speed to market is critical. However, with this sort of technology, it’s a very long-term market. By taking the gently gently approach, we can keep making progress and building customer relationships without giving away all our equity in return for a small amount of money or running out of cash. What does our area offer start-ups? There are some very useful aspects, notably the Cambridge ‘brand’. The UK has a reputation for low carbon technology in any case and being part of Cambridge, and having a very strong relationship with the University gives us the stamp of technical authority and a lot of credibility. Cambridge is a better place to be than many others, particularly for those who are able to start up on very low funding. What helped you in the early stages? Because the work we undertake is so exciting, it’s given us access to students and researchers who want to work with us. They get an insight into our technology while we get very high-quality free work done for us! What advice would you give the next generation of entrepreneurs? Perseverance is critical. Whatever you do, it’s going to take a lot of your personal resource and time, so make sure your idea is absolutely rock solid. Don’t waste your time on something which is not really likely to be successful.


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- BARNABY PERKS CEO, PSYCHOLOGYONLINE Tell us about your business: We are a secure messaging service for patients to undertake cognitive behavioural therapy with a therapist, launched in July 2011 with investment from Cambridge Angels. In 2012, the pilot project in Surrey led to a three-year contract starting in April 2013 serving a population of one million across the county, referrals coming direct from GPs. Second investment round in 2013 brought in Imperial Innovations, Harvard Business School Angels and Clearly Social Angels alongside Cambridge Angels. Ten staff are based in offices in Swavesey. Nationwide network of 130 freelance Clinical Affiliates, all BABCP accredited CBT therapists. Clinical data shows 60-70% recovery (compared with national average for face to face of 45-50%) after an average of 6-7 sessions of therapy (compared with national average for face to face 10-12 sessions). Currently receiving around 100 referrals per month and growing fast – we expect to receive ten times this number by the end of 2014. What helped PsychologyOnline most right at the start? Good-quality clinical data published in a peer-reviewed journal to validate our approach. We ran a 300-patient clinical trial that led to a publication in The Lancet. A creative and imaginative lead investor, Andy Richards helped us to create a vision for where the business could go and build a team and investor base to enable it to happen. How important was the location in the success of the business? Critical – we based ourselves near Cambridge to give us access to the best talent. Cambridge is a magnet for bright people as creativity and opportunity are here in abundance and it’s a great place to live. What advice was most useful – and what really helped? Build a strong team including some experienced people who’ve done it before. The support of Cambridge-based investors such as Andy Richards and Sherry Coutu has enabled us to be ambitious and focus on growth. What advice would you give the next generation of entrepreneurs? 1. The quality of your product or service will determine success – in our case measured by clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. 2. Focus on supporting, enabling and motivating your team by creating an environment that is open, honest and non-hierarchical. 3. Be ambitious.

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FASHION News Picks from the indies Our favourite styles from local independent fashion boutiques








Laird London We always love to report on the opening of a new independent fashion store in Cambridge, but this one has really caught our eye. Uber cool hat specialists Laird London have just opened the doors of a stylish new boutique on Green Street, in their first foray out of London, where they already have shops in Covent Garden and Soho. The business is the brainchild of Alex and Zofia Torun-Shaw, who wanted to provide a contemporary but quintessentially British selection of top quality headwear, along with exceptional personal service and expert knowledge. Inside you’ll find a treasure trove of handmade headwear, which ranges from flat caps to wool hats to fedoras, trilbies, pork pies, bowlers, top hats and just about every other style you could hope for, in a dizzying array of colours and fabrics, as well as some equally tempting accessories to complete your look. The store is open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm.


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It might seem unlikely, but velvet has been making a determined comeback of late, and the beauty of this trend is its versatility. With the addition of a crisp collar it says prim, Upper East Side Princess (check out Missguided’s cute skater dress) or, at the other end of the scale, a high-neck crushed velvet crop top offers instant 90s grunge – a key trend of the season. BRIGHT BLUE VELVET CROPPED T-SHIRT £20 RIVER ISLAND







f lorals


Save your pretty pastel colours for springtime and allow your florals to take a turn towards the dark side this season, with abstract botanicals in moody, edgy tones. There are loads of great pieces inspired by wintery blooms on the high street – but our very favourite is this slinky ASOS slip dress, a real wardrobe staple in the making.

TALL Boots


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Gilets never seem to go out of fashion – and they’re the perfect piece to take you from winter to spring. Opt for a heritage chic look with this classic Barbour number from John Lewis, work the ‘safety orange’ hue so prevalent on this season’s catwalks with this Ralph Lauren version, or go for an urban vibe with Topman’s hooded denim gilet.




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If Christmas has left your jeans feeling a little tighter, and weeks of munching mince pies has left you craving nothing but fruit, try an aroma fruit wrap to help get you back on track. Pure Day Spas, which can be found in Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots, offer four kinds of Aroma Wrap, each lasting 55 minutes and designed to tone your body and give you back some of those vitamins and minerals you might be missing. Try a pepper and grapefruit slim effect for a detoxing and firming experience; the lemon and mango firm and tone for a sculpted, smoothed effect; the citrus energy boost for energising and improving circulation, or the calming vanilla and ylang-ylang treatment to relax mind and muscles. Treatments cost £50.


SEANHANNA WINS SALON GROUP OF THE YEAR Hair and beauty salon group Seanhanna, which has branches in London, Cambridge and Bristol, saw out the year with a bang as they accepted the award for Group of the Year at the Fellowship of British Hairdressers Luncheon. Seanhanna is one of the UK’s leading hair salon groups, known for exciting and innovative signature cuts and colours. Skyler McDonald, creative director, commented after the win: “We’re so delighted with this award. It really is very special. It’s our second time winning this award and one that our clients really respond to. We continue to watch The Fellowship Awards going from strength to strength and it’s always great to be part of their success.”

A new day spa and wellness centre opened at the Lensfield Road Hotel last month, providing an oasis of calm right in the heart of the city, which is sure to prove popular with us busy Cambridge folk. The launch was held on 2 December, and saw guests invited to enjoy mini treatments and a tour of the new facilities. The spa uses products by Ytsara and SUNDARI and as well as facials, massages, holistic treatments and a relaxing thermal suite (check out the ice fountain), they also offer their very own signature gold leaf facial, which you won’t find anywhere else in the world! Call 01223 355017 to book or see their website for treatments.


LIGHTER LIFE Start the year as you mean to go on with Lighter Life, which offers a range of plans to suit you. The Total Plan is their fast-track plan and involves weekly group sessions and replacing meals with four daily food packs, containing all the vitamins and nutrients you need. There are groups for men too. If you’re not sure where to start, just get in touch for a free consultation. The Cambridge representative is Michele Austin, contact her on 01223 362172 or at


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Residents of Bar Hill have gained a brand new spa, in the shape of Total Relaxation, which opened recently in Gladeside. Open seven days a week, it offers facials, body treatments, waxing, manicures and pedicures, lash and brow treatments and hairdressing. Francine Cox, who has worked as a therapist for over ten years, opened the beauty and therapy treatment salon in The Old Farmhouse – breathing new life into the building which had been abandoned for three years. Gents aren’t left out either, with a range of treatments on offer for men, including relaxing massages and more. Contact 01954 789344.

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Look after yourself, in both body and mind – take your pick of relaxing and rejuvenating offerings from local fitness studios and well-being clinics Watermelon Wellness Retreats Shun dreary diets and gruelling fitness routines and be kind to your body with a wellness retreat, now operating from Cambridge. The brainchild of Jenny Cattier of Cambridge Superfoods and Amber Brammah of Lovefit Training, Watermelon Retreats aim to provide women with time out from their hectic lives and to focus on relaxation and rejuvenation, for both body and mind. “We are the antithesis of gruelling

exercise regimes and rabbit food nutrition,” says Jenny. “We have run two retreats in Spain and already have a loyal customer base. We’re all about enjoying exercise and good nutritious food: we pick luxury accommodation and ensure there is plenty of downtime to read, chat and recharge. The ultimate aim is to excite people about looking

after themselves and to bust the myth that being healthy is boring or tough.” The next retreat is planned for March.

Mindfulness Stress Reduction Course With the rush of the festive season now safely over, January is a great time to rebalance our minds ready to tackle whatever the year ahead brings us. Over at Camyoga in Shelford, they’re hosting an eight-week course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which begins this month. Developed by renowned mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, thousands of people worldwide have benefitted from the techniques taught on this wellness boosting course. During the eight weeks, you will learn how to retrain your way of thinking, so you begin to notice habitually negative reactions and learn how to respond to the situation in a kinder and more mentally beneficial way. Starts on 14 January (6.15-7.45pm) and places can be booked through Camyoga’s website.

Alizonne Cambridge Fed up of the normal January diet drudgery? You’ll be over the moon to hear that a new clinic, Alizonne Cambridge has opened in Bar Hill, offering safe and sustainable weight loss without the need for surgery. Alizonne Therapy is a medical doctor-led alternative to serial dieting meaning we can achieve our ideal weight without going under the knife – what’s more, the programme also looks at body contouring and reshaping as well as firming up the skin during weight loss to ensure we look our very best and don’t fall victim to the saggy skin that is often associated with weight loss. Originating in the Netherlands in the 90s, Alizonne Therapy was first brought to the UK in 2006 by Dr Mark Palmer and there are now 21 licensed clinics across the country. Refreshingly, this isn’t a onesize-fits-all kind of weight loss programme and you will receive a tailored treatment programme taking into account lifestyle and existing medical conditions.


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Alizonne Therapy is made up of four key elements: ultrasound treatments to break down fat stores; skin tightening; a nutrition diet based on high protein meal replacements – it won’t all be munching on leaves though as we’re assured that pizza, pancakes, pasta and other such delicious foods are all on the menu; lastly there is maintenance in which natural food groups are gradually reintroduced into the diet. To make sure you are on the right track, the team at the clinic medically monitor you throughout using blood tests and detailed body composition analysis to ensure that you are losing fat and not muscle. Typically, you can expect to lose about three stone within nine to 15 weeks, with men generally losing weight faster than women. Alizonne Cambridge is offering no obligation appointments if you fancy a chat to find out more about the therapy.

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Whether it’s ultra traditional or sleek and modern, a fireplace is the natural focal point of a room. Think creatively, add a few unexpected design features and your fireplace will not only exude warmth but style as well, says Angelina Villa-Clarke


here’s something so evocative about a fireplace. It can make a dramatic design statement in a room and will undoubtedly be the most stylish feature in any space, from which your room’s décor can be built around. Harking back to a bygone time when life would revolve around the fireside, many of us still yearn for that cosy, homespun feel in our homes. Pick the right design, be it traditional or contemporary, and a fireplace can command your attention the minute you step into a room, as well as effectively and economically warming your home.

TRADITIONAL A fabulous restored fireplace can be the true highlight of a home. When other period features may have been stripped away over the years, a fireplace is often the only element left in place telling the house’s history and revealing its personality. Whether it’s a large open inglenook style or perhaps an elegant cast-iron art nouveau surround, if you are lucky enough to have an original fireplace in your home, then make sure you make the most of its features. Many period fireplaces have unique original tiling inset into their surrounds, for instance. Make it central to your room’s design by picking out a small colour element found within it and build your room’s colour scheme around this shade. If you’ve always yearned for a period fireplace but feel unsure about whether its style is accurate for your home, then the advice is not to worry too much! Paul Chesney, managing director of one of the UK’s leading supplier of luxury fireplaces Chesney’s (02076 271410, www.chesneys., agrees. “Unless you are determined to ensure that the fireplace you select is absolutely historically correct for the property, don’t become too concerned about period,” he advises. “If you live in an Edwardian house it is unlikely that you will restrict your choice of furniture to pieces from that era. Generally speaking people choose things because they like the look of them and the same should apply to fireplaces. Architectural

styles of fireplace from the 18th and early 19th centuries are versatile and work well with most interiors. The clean strong lines of these pieces will suit both minimalist and more cluttered interiors. It is also possible to mix contemporary and period FOCUS THE MIND Accentuate your fireplace with this Enchanted Mirror, details very successfully by £59.50, from Adventino (08451 203224; combining a period style surround with a more modern for an efficient and economic fire grate.” way to heat their home. While an open fire is Unfortunately, much of the aesthetically pleasing, most heat is lost up the chimney people are disappointed to BYGONE DAYS Armorial Coal Bucket, with an open fire.” discover that it is not the She continues: “A most energy-efficient choice £85 from Adventino (08451 203224; woodburning stove is for heating a room. Rising in a good alternative. There’s so much popularity, in its place, is the woodburner, choice on the market – and we really with the classic option working have something for everybody – from wonderfully alongside beautiful traditional traditional pieces to ultra-modern designs. period fireplaces. We always advise on what is right for the Nicola Harding, managing director at client and their needs, though, rather than Anglia Fireplaces, based in Impington in selling for sales’ sake. Most of the time, we Cambridge, (01223 234713, www.fireplaces. can adapt what somebody already has in comments: “Many houses in the their home, but just make it more efficient Cambridgeshire area have traditional – like keeping the traditional look but fireplaces, complete with hearth and adding in a new woodburner. Our latest period surround. These would have been additions are by a Spanish company called warmed by open fires in years gone by. Traforart – they supply fireplaces that are But these days, many people are looking


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BLAZE OF GLORY The clean lines of this Art Nouveau Barbara Hulanicki fireplace suit both modern and traditional rooms. From £2340 (02076 271410;

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BELOW Classic Station Clock, £49.95 (

The beauty of a traditional-looking fireplace is that its characteristics beckon us to simply ‘be’

THIS IMAGE This Jotul F500 woodburner can be fitted in place of a less economical open fire. From £990 (01449 678659; www

like works of art and which give a real wow factor to a room.” The beauty of a traditional-looking fireplace is that its characteristics are welcoming and beckon us in to simply ‘be’. A unique feature in the fast-paced world we live in. If your home doesn’t come complete with original models, then look to one of the experts. English Fireplaces (01730 887 210, specialises in elegant hand-carved marble, limestone and sandstone fireplaces. Its team of master masons can create authentic replicas of period designs, as well as contemporary options, utilising varying crafts and techniques first developed in fireplace creation during the 17th and 18th centuries. Mike Johnson, director of English Fireplaces, explains their unique value: “Gone are the days when the fireplace was boarded up and hidden behind layers of plyboard and wallpaper,” he says. “More recent years have seen a return to their

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popularity and not only for their functional heating purpose but even to the point of becoming the focal point in a room. “These hidden gems are being reawakened into a very different and much faster-paced world and this is only serving to help us appreciate the benefits a fireplace can bring to the home, more than ever before. “Staring into the flickering flames offers a rare chance to reflect and think,” he continues. “In today’s world, we are used to filling our rooms with noise and distraction. We don’t often give ourselves the chance to sit and quietly reflect: fireplaces provide the right environment to do just that.” Tom Hodgkinson, author of the book How to be Idle, is an advocate of idleness. “Fireplaces are one way of introducing reflection into your life. Reflection and inner stillness can help us sift through our thoughts and troubles, think through life’s challenges, daydream, relax and generally create a sense of calm and clarity.”

BELOW You can reduce your bills with a multifuel woodburner – similar models are available at Cambridge-based The Chimney Corner (01223 906098;


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CENTREPIECE Get the wow factor with a statement fireplace. Diamante fireplaces, from £7071, from Anglia Fireplaces (01223 234713;

A stove adds character, style and ambience to any room. New simpler models are definitely popular CONTEMPORARY When it comes to making a statement, one of the new-style, stand-alone woodburners can be a thing of beauty. With more and more imaginative and ultra-modern designs around, it means that the contemporary home can also enjoy a roaring fire. Italian company ERGO ( stocks MCZ wood-fired stoves, which come in a range of design-conscious shapes and have clean, simple lines. Many of the models have rear smoke outlets, making it possible to avoid a visible flue – ideal for minimalist lovers. The company also stocks more elaborate, ceramic stoves by Sergio Leoni, another Italian specialist. These outlandish pieces come in rich colours and are perfect for those who want the wow factor in large rooms. Simple, stand-alone burners are also the star of the moment at Heritage Classic

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Fireplaces, based in Great Yeldham, (01787 238 123; www.heritageclassicfireplaces. Sales manager Debbie Larnach has 25 years of experience and has seen their popularity grow. “A stove adds character, style and ambience to any room. They add value and appeal to properties and the new simpler models coming out are definitely popular at the moment. As a family business, we pride ourselves on our customer service and attention to detail. We offer both traditional and contemporary styles and we’d advise any customer to come to our large showroom to see our selection. We can then help them choose a stove that will reflect their lifestyle and personality.” Lisa Wright, client liaison and installation manager at Cambridgebased The Chimney Corner (01223 906098,, agrees: “The demand for woodburning stove installations is on the up, which is


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MODERN INNOVATIONS Ramp up the style factor with the T-Eye, from £6070, from Anglia Fireplaces (01223 234713;

CONTEMPORARY CHIC Modern spaces can be warmed by the addition of a design-led woodburner. The X5 Natur is from £4185 from Anglia Fireplaces (01223 234713;

LOOK NO FURTHER The Doria Central is like a piece of art, from £5615 (01223 234713;

largely due to rising fuel prices. The Ecco Stove range that we supply is innovative and stands head and shoulders above traditional woodburning stoves due to the design and material. “The Ecco Stove heats the entire house rather than the room it is situated in, without the use of radiators, and can reduce fuel bills by up to as much as 75 per cent: a most welcome and innovative development.” Other modern innovations, such as biofuel fires, mean that it is not just large period properties or super-slick homes that can boast a fireplace. James Cameron, managing director of Glow Company ( reveals that they are perfectly suited for smaller homes. “Just because you live in a flat or small space doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the warmth and cosiness that only a fireplace can bring. Being clever with the space that you have is key and real atmosphere can be achieved using the effects of real flames. Biofuel fires are sleek, stylish and more importantly flueless, which means that they can be placed anywhere in your home. Contemporary and convenient, biofuel gel fires can be wall mounted or freestanding without the need for professional installation or maintenance. Simply fit in your key location, add bioethanol fuel, and you can have the comfort, warmth and atmosphere of real flames without the need for chimneys, flues or outside wall fittings.” A one-stop shop for cutting-edge furniture, Go Modern (02077 319540,


CE01_068-074 (INTERIORS)hbSG.indd 73 are suppliers of Cocoon Stoves, a Spanish-based manufacturer of bioethanol fires. Available in jet black or shiny stainless steel, the futuristic models can hang from a ceiling of fit flush onto a wall, and are a modernday version of the classic fireplace. “There are many advantages to having a bioethanol stove,” says Tina Mahony from Go Modern. “The fuel is generally considered to be a ‘greener fuel’, produced from common crops such as sugar cane, potato and corn. It also gives a superior heat output with a long burning time – our models provide heat for up to eight hours. Bioethanol fires are also incredibly flexible – you don’t need any electricity or gas to power them – and with tariffs heading skywards this winter it’s a great alternative source of energy. “You don’t need to have a chimney or flue to use them and the portable ones can be moved from room to room (or even outside on a crisp evening!)” BELOW Cocoon stoves give a futuristic feel; from £1930, Go Modern (02077 319540;

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INTERIORS PRINTED MATTER Logpile wallpaper plays on classic fireside emblems. £52, Roddy & Ginger (020 8676 4404;

WITTY TOUCH House interesting objects in a Victoriana-style glass dome, from £39.95 (

COSY UP Add a contemporary touch with modern prints, such as these pillows, £28 (020 8676 4404;


DON'T BE SHY Use artwork above your fireplace, from £79, Lorna Syson (

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Once you have your chosen fireplace or stove in place, make the most of it by adding in a few stylistic details that will add a punch to your room’s décor. Many living rooms have the TV as the focal point, instead why not do away with yours (or at least tuck it away in a cabinet) and make the central point of your room the fireplace? Group cosy chairs or stools around it complete with sumptuous rug, and the look is instantly sophisticated. If you have an unfussy surround, complement it by hanging bold artwork on the wall above. It will extend the eye up from the fireplace and keep its place as the focus of the room, as well as making the fireplace an extension of the art. Lorna Syson’s oversized wallflowers (, which come in a range of vivid colours and are made from individually cut satin petals, add texture and an element of surprise and are perfectly suited to a simple fireplace. The designer Lorna Syson comments: “When looking to decorate your fireplace, it is important to choose something which matches the scale and style of your fireplace. For example, for modern sleek fireplaces, look at using more minimalist décor. It will make it a standout focal point in your room.”

ABOVE Line up a row of jewel-coloured tea glasses to brighten up your mantelpiece, £14.95 for six (

Instead of art, you could also use statement wallpaper, but only on the chimney breast. The Logpile wallpaper by Roddy & Ginger (02086 764404; www. adds a touch of humour with its modern print of logs in bold colours. Candles and lanterns are classic additions to a fireplace. Use clusters of different candlesticks or scented candles in different sizes and heights – but all in the same colour – for an immediate effect. Alternatively, a row of pretty, multicoloured Moroccan glasses or sculptural vases can give an instant lift. Look for updated versions of traditional objects – such as bookends, mirrors or stag heads – to keep the area looking modern. The Victorian glass dome, for instance, is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Put a quirky object inside to avoid it looking too old-fashioned and turn it into a witty statement. Most of all, make your fireplace your own by simply adding pieces you love. Less is more for the hearth to really become the heart of your home.


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DISCOVER A love of language

Rather than an ill-fated fitness regime, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to learn a language for 2014? Jennifer Shelton visits La Dante to find out more ou’re never too old to learn a new language, and anyone thinking of making a New Year’s Resolution could do worse than setting out to master a foreign tongue in 2014. As well as being a huge asset when travelling abroad, it could open doors career-wise and even help keep your brain healthy and active – like doing a crossword, but more helpful when ordering a pizza. La Dante is a language and cultural school based in Chesterton, Cambridge. Run by Giulia Portuese-Williams, it teaches Italian in a fun, practical way and is suitable for absolutely everyone, from three to 83. “We started in 2008, in a small office in Norfolk Street, teaching English, Italian and French,” says Giulia. “Now we have a really special premises off Chesterton Road with a real Italian feel: we serve Italian coffee, we have a big library of books and DVDs and we organise lots of cultural events too.” It’s this combination of learning the language inside out and

becoming immersed in the culture that sums up La Dante’s ethos, and makes the centre unique. As well as learning from trained tutors, students can expect cultural excursions, cookery workshops and other sociable activities to provide a well-rounded grasp of all things Italian. “It’s a more natural way of learning – it’s not all about sitting down and learning the grammar from textbooks,” explains Giulia. “Though we do run classes for GCSE and A-level, our students don’t necessarily come here to pass exams. It may be that they have a second home in Italy, or that they love the food and go there on holiday a lot. I had one student who had a girlfriend in Italy, and he couldn’t speak a word of Italian. But within six months he was able to introduce himself to her family. “Students are taught by qualified teachers, all native speakers. We hold seminars about literature, we watch contemporary films and we also have a special series of programmes with one of the keepers from the Fitzwilliam Museum, where we talk about Italian art. In December we had a lovely event at Limoncello where we tried some Italian aperitifs and had a laugh – that’s what it’s all about.” Giulia feels strongly about the positive effect learning a language can have on memory and maintaining an active, enquiring mind – and insists that there’s no age limit to learning a language. “We teach toddler groups right up to our oldest student, Margaret, who is 80, and a delight to teach. Research says that learning a language helps beat dementia and has really important advantages to maintaining a healthy brain. Of course, when you are young, you absorb things more easily, but people of any age progress very quickly at La Dante.” The staff at La Dante also teach English to the Italian community in Cambridge, providing a friendly hub for the Italian


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population in the city, while teaching English to both beginners and improvers. “We are a bilingual cultural association and teach English to Italians too. We can offer help to families who have just moved to the area, and provide a focal point for the Italian community in Cambridge. “I think it’s extremely important to understand other languages and cultures,” Giulia adds. “It’s all about communication. I regard my children as European – and I think it’s especially important for young people to speak more than one language. Research shows that bilingual children are more flexible when it comes to problem solving, and for work purposes it’s such an advantage. Monolingual isn’t the way forward in the world any more.”

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Elite Swimming Academy Ltd is a private swim school offering first class results for children and adults. Set up by English Channel Swimmer Edward Williams in 2007, Elite Swimming Academy has successfully transformed thousands of people’s swimming skills. The big thing that makes them so different to other swim schools is the fact that they have such small classes with a maximum of just 3 students per class. This combined with the highest quality of teachers available and exceptional customer service means that they get children swimming years ahead of their time to the extent that most of their 3 year olds can do front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke by their fourth birthdays! On line progress reports, free badges & certificates, and a designated relationship manager to speak to whenever you need anything enhance the experience further and set Elite apart from all competition. “Our goal is to provide a fast track service for our students to progress

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their swimming skills quicker and to a higher standard than anywhere else. We may be a little more expensive than other schools but we actually work out vastly cheaper in the long run as our students finish their lessons years quicker than their peers. In affect you get a safer more confident child at a much younger age which gives our parents massive piece of mind.” Edward Williams – Director of ESA For more information visit or call 01223 633 699 for a chat about what they can do for you. “Fabulous! I saw clear progress in just one lesson. I am a teacher and could have filmed the lesson for use in professional development! Excellent use of assessment for learning, clear instruction, personalised per participant and clear explanations of how and WHY! Super. We will be booking lessons for Christmas holidays if available.” Mrs N Gabb

“I must let you know that although we have only had 5 lessons with you so far, I am more impressed with the progress that Jacob has made in just 5 lessons than he has made in 5 years of our previous swimming lessons! Clear instruction, superb attention to detail and sheer professionalism every step of the way.” L Davies

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Dr Heather Martin from St Faith’s introduces the Young Philosophers’ Club t was easy to get conversation going at the Young Philosophers’ Club (part of the school’s provision for academic extension and comprising a group of intrepid Year 5s). Our starter question? What is the meaning of the word ‘philosophy’? To foster a disciplined response I refer them to the dictionary, and since Classics has recently been added to their timetable they are gratified to discover the Ancient Greek etymology which gives them ‘loving (philo-) knowledge or wisdom (sophos)’. We spend a few minutes considering the subtle differences between these nouns. But then it dawns on us: the very verb ‘consider’ comes from the Latin ‘consedere’ – ‘to sit with’. Already we are thinking self-reflexively about what we are doing, thinking about thinking. We really like the idea that ‘thinking’ is about sitting companionably with a question, caring enough to spend sofa time with it (‘sofa’ from the Aramaic ‘sippa’,‘mat’, via Arabic and Turkish). Philosofa (me), foolosopher (Erasmus): it’s the Laughter Club from now on. I introduce Socrates as ‘the father’ of Greek philosophy. Little did I realise the impact this name would have. In true merchandising spirit, one enterprising girl immediately proposed setting up a business, her inspired USP being that discerning customers would naturally choose socks by Sockrates. She was heading straight to Dragons’ Den. Agreeing that Socrates was a subversive role model, the children seized the opportunity to wear their school ties as bandanas and untuck their shirts, in a purely experimental and philosophical way, of course. I knew I would have to steer a firm ship, since previous young philosophers – remorseless in their application of the Socratic method - had failed to get beyond lesson one as they questioned my every proposition (but later went on to study economics at Cambridge University and classical Greek at Oxford).

My pupils were partial to metaphysics but less taken with empiricism, which seemed to tread the more familiar path of scientific observation and proof. None, however, could resist scepticism. They compared the words ‘god’ and ‘dog’ under the verifiability principle, arguing that you could point to the second but not so readily the first. The apparently simple assertion ‘there is a dog’ was dismissed in favour of Bertrand Russell’s much funnier alternative, ‘I see a canoid patch of colour’. And Russell led us straight to Jorge Luis Borges, whose character Funes finds it disturbing ‘that the dog at three fourteen (seen from the side) should have the same name as the dog at three fifteen (seen from the front)’. The children quickly grasped the distinction between knowledge by description and knowledge by experience, expressing concern for the well-being of the first human beings on earth. Wittgenstein famously wrote that ‘the limits of our language are the limits of our world’; in expanding our vocabulary we push back the boundaries of imagination and intellect. His phrase ‘language games’ refers to the rules that govern all forms of language, but nonetheless implies the principle of play. For children words are objects to be played with, less for their own sake than the wealth of things they signify; not least the conventional nature


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of the signifier itself. Wittgenstein also used the metaphor of the city. To conduct a reasoned exploration of the complex world of language, to link the Lego bricks of words together persuasively, we would need to think critically, to discriminate and to choose both wisely and well. The word ‘critical’ returns us to Socrates and his would-be rescuer Crito, who, in Plato’s dialogue, disagree as to whether the condemned man should opt for the ‘easy’ path of execution or the more difficult one of escape. Our brief foray into philosophy as a subject has taught us something about philosophy as a method: the discipline of logical argument. Our ideas were buzzing around; we needed to bring them to order and subject them to rigorous scrutiny. ‘I only know that I know nothing,’ Socrates proclaimed after profound philosophical investigation. We found ourselves arriving at the same conclusion, feeling rather wise as a result. ‘Nice cogitating with you,’ says one boy as he leaves the classroom. Over the holiday he made himself a business card. Under his name there appeared the single, eloquent word: Philosopher. Dr Heather Martin is Head of Modern and Classical Languages & Head of Extension and Enrichment at St Faith’s School in Cambridge.

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Cambridge Edition January Issue