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Cambridge EDITION YOUR MONTHLY FIX OF

LOCAL LIFE

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W E LC O M E

Welcome.

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E D I TO R I A L

Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com Senior sub editor Lisa Clatworthy Sub editors Catherine Brodie & Siobhan Godwood

A DV E RT I S I N G

s you may have gathered from our cover, this issue officially marks the sixth birthday of Cambridge Edition – and indeed my sixth anniversary as editor. As such milestones are prone to doing, this landmark brought about some reflection on my part, prompting me to have a good leaf through the stacks of old issues which SIGN UP tower, perilously high, around my desk. We’ve come W E E K LY TO O U R D a long way – but as much as we’ve evolved, it was nice N E W S L E I G I TA L TTER to see how true we’ve stayed to our original ethos, too. Six years ago we set about creating a magazine that we hoped would inspire people to get involved in life in the city and showcase all the amazing stuff Cambridge has to offer – from the mainstream events to the quirkier side of life in the city. We launched shortly after a think tank had put out a much-quoted study which damningly surmised that Cambridge was the “worst clone town in Britain”, on account of its lack of diversity on the high street and absence of independent retailers. That spurred us on to do our bit to promote the ‘indies’ in the city, which we did and still do believe are pivotally important to Cambridge’s unique character. Now of course, the city is brimming over with great independent businesses, especially of the food and drink variety. Street food, pop-ups, microbreweries, food fairs, delis and more indie cafés, pubs and restaurants than you can shake a stick at now characterise our city’s endlessly expanding foodie scene (a topic that Alex talks more about on page 57), but that’s not all that’s changed. Development has come thick and fast, the population swells and the tech cluster continues to boom, along with the property market. It’s been a fascinating time to chronicle the city, but for all its modernisation and growth, Cambridge remains as it has always been; a city with a completely distinctive personality – both historic and high-tech – that fizzes with ideas, energy and creativity. If Cambridge Edition can go even a tiny way to representing that, I’ll know I’ve done my job. We decided to mark our birthday by unveiling a new look for the magazine, which I hope you’ll enjoy exploring. Thank you all for reading and supporting the magazine – and here’s to the next six years!

Nicola Foley Editor in chief

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Cambridge

EDIT

Account director Natasha Blatcher 01223 499457 natashablatcher@bright-publishing.com Senior sales executive James Player 01223 492240 jamesplayer@bright-publishing.com Senior sales executive Mary Underwood 01223 499458 maryunderwood@bright-publishing.com

C O N T R I B U TO R S

Alex Rushmer, Angelina Villa-Clarke, Jordan Worland, Ruthie Collins, Siobhan Godwood, Daisy Dickinson, Elodie Cameron, Sam Cooke, James Luxford, Alex Ruczaj, Bill Sewell

DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Designer Flo Thomas 01223 492242 flothomas@bright-publishing.com Ad production Lucy Woolcomb 01223 499468 lucywoolcomb@bright-publishing.com

M A N AG I N G D I R E C TO R S

Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck 01223 499450

FIND US @ CAMBSEDITION

CAMBSEDITION .CO.UK CAMBRIDGE EDITION MAGAZINE • Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridgeshire CB22 3HJ, 01223 499450, cambsedition.co.uk • 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

C OV E R I M AG E .

Our celebratory sixth anniversary cover, artwork by Flo Thomas.

AUTHOR ILLUSTRATIONS BY LOUISA TAYLOR louisataylorillustration.blogspot.co.uk

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Contents. 7 Reasons to be cheerful.

59 Recipes.

Excellent things to enjoy in Cambridge this April

Local foodie hero Bill Sewell, owner of Michaelhouse Café, shares his favourite recipes

9 Nightlife.

65 Drinks.

15 Music blog.

66 Just the tonic!

After-dark fun, from live music and club nights to comedy

Jordan from Slate the Disco gives his top gig picks for the month

17 Arts & culture.

A round-up of arty, cultural happenings in the city, from exhibitions to theatre

27 Cambridge on screen.

We take a look back at some of Cambridge’s most memorable appearances in cinema

32 Art insider.

Ruthie Collins shares her creative picks of the month

35 Cambridge Literary Festival.

Our city’s treasured book festival is back with a star-studded line-up

36 State of the art. The local groups innovating at the intersection between art and tech

39 Competition. Win a luxurious minibreak at Dunston Hall in Norfolk

68 Independent of the month.

This month we’re celebrating the lovely Larder, a foodie haven at Burwash Manor

72 Family.

Our top ten ideas for family fun this month, featuring outdoorsy activities and shows

Our at-a-glance guide to some of the best events in town this month

79 Education. An insight into the value of continuity in education

82 Beauty.

Beauty fiend Daisy Dickinson’s got some hot new brands she’s dying to tell you about...

91Interiors.

46 Food news.

Editor Nicola pays a visit to a firm city centre favourite

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76 Listings.

101 Home store of the month.

53 Review.

91

Alex Ruczaj on Cambridge’s gin revolution, and where to pick up the best of the bunch

Interiors expert Angelina Villa-Clarke shows you how to create your dream garden, just in time for spring

All the goss on Cambridge’s foodie circuit

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Elodie from Chesterton Road drinks shop Thirsty on the perfect springtime wines

45 Hero eats.

Three things you need to eat in Cambridge right now

C O N T E N TS

66

In the spotlight this month, Design Republic

108 Property news. The latest news and commentary from the local property market

54 Foodie top 5.

The ultimate list of brunch spots in Cambridge

57 Food column.

Local restaurateur Alex Rushmer offers his monthly nugget of foodie wisdom

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Reasons to be cheerful. B AT H I N G UNDER T H E S K Y. Regulars at festivals including Secret Garden Party and Wilderness, Bathing Under the Sky are now hosting regular events at Bourn Golf & Leisure. Guests can spend a blissful few hours relaxing al fresco in steaming wood-fired hot tubs, enjoying a few glasses of fizz and generally having a fabulous afternoon. There are also extras including street food, massages and saunas available – try it for yourself on 29 and 30 April, plus 1 May, when there are morning and afternoon sessions available to book. bathingunderthesky.com

Brand-new foodie hotspots. Cambridge’s foodie scene continues to blossom, with the arrival of some great new additions of late. First up, the Mill Road neighbourhood has welcomed The Petersfield, a brand-new, and rather smart, pub-restaurant which you can find out more about over on page 47. This month will also see the launch of Honest Burgers in the city centre, who are promising to shake up the city’s burger scene at their new premises, the building formerly known as Reys (or The Cow pub if you go back a little further). We caught up with one of the company founders to find out more – read all about it on page 50, and happy feasting!

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NEWS

The Literary Festival is back. Our city’s celebration of words is back this month, bringing an impressive line-up of guest speakers to venues across the city from 18 to 23 April. As eclectic as ever, this year’s Cambridge Literary Festival line-up includes inspiring business leaders, top chefs, slam poets, politicians, historians and, of course, more literary sensations than you can shake a stick at. Turn to page 35 for the full story. cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

RECORD S TO R E D AY C E L E B R AT I O N S . Saturday 22 April sees the return of Record Store Day: a chance to celebrate the unique culture of independent vinyl shops up and down the country. Mill Road’s indie record shop, the much-loved Relevant, will be hosting a day of fun and vinyl appreciation, including the sale of some highly covetable limited edition records and lots of great live music – head down, grab a beer and a bite to eat, and catch some performances from top local artists. relevantrecordcafe.co.uk

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NIGHTLIFE

April nightlife.

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7 2 APRIL M A X I JA Z Z A N D T H E E - T Y P E B OYS . Best known as the frontman of Brit electronica act Faithless, Maxi Jazz pays a visit to Cambridge this month with his new band The E-Type Boys. Having spent around two decades touring the globe, racking up more than 15 million record sales and generally being part of one of the most successful dance music bands ever, Maxi’s back with a brand-new bag – and it’s rather different, to say the least. Maxi Jazz and The E-Type Boys explore funky blues and guitar music, woven through with dubby basslines, poetic lyrics and smooth vocals. Describing themselves as “a powerful rock band, a Wild Funk outfit, tight and direct”, the band are at the Cambridge Junction on 27 April and tickets are £22.50. junction.co.uk

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CIRCA WAV E S .

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WONKY DISCO ALFRESCO. Kicking off Wonky Disco’s 2017 run of events, this month’s opening party on 16 April is gearing up to be an event not to miss. Taking place on the outdoor terrace upstairs at city centre nightclub Lola Lo, it’s Cambridge’s one and only rooftop party, taking place from the afternoon into the early evening. You can expect colourful decorations, cocktails and beats (mostly of the house music persuasion) provided by local DJs including Stuart Banks, Henry Kirkup and Margaret Scratcher. It’s free entry but guest list only, so your only way of getting in is by dropping them a line – you can find out more on the Wonky Disco Facebook page. Takes place from 2pm to 9pm.

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Hailing from Liverpool, indie boys Circa Waves make the kind of exuberant, impossibly catchy guitar pop that you can’t help but bop your head to. Very much the successors of bands like The Kooks and The Strokes, the band was formed in 2013 and is made up of frontman Kieran Shudall (vocals, guitar), Sam Rourke (bass), Colin Jones (drums) and Joe Falconer (guitarist). If you like pogoing to rousing choruses and sunshiny tunes, you’ll love ’em – catch them at Cambridge Junction on 4 April. Tickets are £17. junction.co.uk

The Jesus and Mary Chain. Though they’ve never bothered the charts much, the musical impact of The Jesus and Mary Chain – with their pioneering, feedback-heavy, white-noise utilising, dense sound – paved the way for everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Formed in the early 80s, the band hails from East Kilbride in Scotland, and is based around a writing partnership between brothers Jim and William Reid. Heavily influenced by the likes of The Velvet Underground and The Stooges, as well as the grand soundscapes of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, they secured cult status over the decades with albums such as Psychocandy, Darklands and Automatic. The band are back on the road in support of their latest studio album, Damage and Joy, which was released last month. The Jesus and Mary Chain will be at Cambridge Junction on 3 April and tickets to the show are £32.50. junction.co.uk

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Now Booking. RUSSELL BRAND.

24 M AY, C O R N E XC H A N G E , £30. 2 5

After quickly selling out, a second date has been added for the comedian’s Cambridge visit, when he’ll perform his Re:Birth show. cornex.co.uk

The Unthanks. Folk duo The Unthanks come to Cambridge this month as part of their How Wild the Wind Blows tour, which celebrates the music and poetry of Molly Drake, mother of Nick Drake and extraordinary songwriter in her own right. It’s been said that sad songs are the best songs, which would account for the enduring popularity of The Unthanks, who are known for their deeply melancholy, hauntingly beautiful sound. Made of up sisters Becky and Rachel Unthank, the duo draw upon the tradition of English folk, and in particular Northumbrian folk music, and are a much-loved regular fixture at the Cambridge Folk Festival where they’ve appeared frequently over the years. The show takes place at the Corn Exchange on 27 April and tickets are £25.25. cornex.co.uk

W H E AT U S .

29 M AY, J U N C T I O N , £19. 50

Five albums in, Wheatus are still going strong even though their Teenage Dirtbag days are a long way behind them. Catch them next month at the Junction. junction.co.uk

FUTURE ISL ANDS.

1 J U LY, J U N C T I O N , £25 Baltimore-based synth-pop heroes Future Islands come our way this summer – sure to deliver an energetic show to remember. junction.co.uk

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Holy Moly & The Crackers describe their sound as circus folk, which sums up their gaudy, hoedown carnival style nicely. Blending gypsy folk, waltz tempos, blues influences and French zazou, they’re a seven-piece noise machine who know exactly how to get a crowd going. They’ll be bringing the party to Cambridge Junction on 25 April and tickets to the show are £11.50. junction.co.uk

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SECRET GA R D E N PA RT Y.

20- 23 J U LY, A B B OTS R I P TO N , F R O M £102

Cambridgeshire’s wildest, most glittery party is set to descend again this July, and the organisers have announced it will be the last ever outing for SGP. Get booking! secretgardenparty.com

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THE CRAIG CHARLES FUNK & SOUL CLUB. Craig Charles’ CV is nothing if not varied. Best known to many as vindaloo-loving layabout Lister in sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, he went on to present Robot Wars and Takeshi’s Castle – both of which ended up being huge cult TV hits. Most recently his acting career has seen him portraying philandering taxi driver Lloyd Mullaney in Coronation Street – a role which he played for over ten years before eventually leaving to pursue other ambitions. Charles’ main passion though, and that which brings him to Cambridge this month, is his love of music – specifically funk and soul. As well as performing in his own bands throughout his career, he presents the very well-loved Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, a BBC Radio 6 Music Saturday night staple, and the network’s biggest listener draw, pulling in around 250,000 funk fans weekly. On the show, he delves into his dazzlingly huge record collection, stretching from stone-cold classics to red-hot new releases, via a few modern remixes and interesting covers. And that’s pretty much what you can expect from his stint on the wheels of steel at Cambridge Junction this month when he stops by on 1 April. It’s sure to be a funked-out night of dancing to great tunes. Takes place from 10pm to 3am, and tickets are £17. Over 18s only. junction.co.uk

Caro Emerald. The beguiling Caro Emerald stops by in Cambridge as part of her Emerald Island tour, which hits the Corn Exchange towards the end of the month. Blending retro jazz with contemporary pop, Caro has carved out a distinctive niche since the release of her 2010 multi-platinum debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor. Since then – always gorgeously attired in flamboyant, vintage-inspired fashion – she has gone on to release the number-one album The Shocking Miss Emerald, racked up 2.5 million record sales, 40 million YouTube views and a slew of awards. Catch her doing her thing on 25 April. Tickets start at £37.75. cornex.co.uk

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B O OT L E G B E AT L E S . Relive the music and magic of the Fab Four this month at the Corn Exchange, when The Bootleg Beatles stop by for a night of nostalgic fun. The world’s most famous Beatles tribute act, the band continues to wow audiences around the globe with their faithful recreation of The Beatles’ immortal music. Tracing the journey of The Beatles right through the swinging 60s, the show offers a not-be-missed celebration of Beatlemania featuring pitch-perfect vocals, authentic costumes and instruments and an orchestral ensemble. The show takes place on 12 April and tickets are priced from £22.75. cornex.co.uk

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MUSIC

Music blog. J O R DA N WO R L A N D F RO M L O C A L M U S I C W E B S I T E S L AT E T H E D I S C O S E L E C T S H I S M U S T- S E E G I GS I N CAMBRIDGE THIS MONTH

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hoegaze icons, doom rockers and a ‘bluegrass AC/DC’; April’s live music offerings in Cambridge are a mixed bag. We start on Chesterton Road where the gritty grooves of The Wytches and their Portland Arms show on 19 April gets many thumbs up from us. The trio released their sophomore album, All Your Happy Life, last year, and there’s no difficult second album syndrome here – it offered up an irresistible slice of black-hearted, comedown psychedelia with a dash of baroque ’n’ roll. The Wytches aside, there’s plenty more to get your teeth into at The Portland: also grabbing our attention is the bassy, rich and barbed, razor-edged and loud sounds of Part Chimp on 13 April. Welsh indie-roots band Rusty Shackle are in town on 20 April meanwhile, brandishing their distinctive folk-roots sound and armed with an electrifying mix of rampant fiddle, scorching electric guitars, pounding drums, searing trumpet and banjo. Last year Hannah Peel released an exquisite, distinctive album, full of vibrant, direct colour in the early stages of the record, contrasting with esoteric, dreamscape movements towards the end. She stops by at The Portland on 4 April, while Jessica Hoop, on 3 April, completes our recommendations for this venue. April sees the Blue Moon host the excellent Sweet Revenge (1 April) and then fuzz noiseniks Thee Telepaths (8 April) as part of their new album tour. Psych-driven fuzz and beat four-piece from Kettering, Thee Telegraphs have an in-the-red sound that fuses wonky electronics, Krautrock and warped psych. A huge month at the Cambridge Junction starts with the seminal Jesus and Mary Chain on 3 April. Fronted by the Reid brothers, Jim and William, The Jesus and Mary Chain first reformed to play the Coachella festival back in 2007. Despite regular touring – most notably a 2015 world tour which revisited their landmark album Psychocandy, which was originally released in 1985 – it took some time before they could agree on a plan to record a much-mooted latest album. Said album Damage and Joy dropped last month, so expect a set that mixes classics and new material.

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Circa Waves bring their newly released second album to Cambridge on 4 April. Different Creatures is the grittier, after-dark counterpart to the breezy summer vibes of its top ten predecessor Young Chasers, exuding a new-found swagger. The line-up that night is completed by the exceptional Inheaven. This quartet’s thrashing, no-limits take on pop is well worth getting in early for. What do you get when AC/DC fans play rock covers in a bluegrass style? Hayseed Dixie, obviously, and they’re back in Cambridge on 21 April. Plus, John Wheeler (singer and all-round main Dixie) has upped his sticks from the US and currently resides in Cambridge, so he’s one of us now… Hertfordshire four-piece The Hunna are considered one of the brightest lights in indie rock. While The Hunna are essentially a straight-up, high-octane rock band, their guitar-driven sound has a pounding, futuristic edge to it. Having worked with producers such as Tim Larcombe and Duncan Mills, The Hunna have carved out a string of huge songs that already boast over 1.75 million Spotify streams and five million video views. They’re at the Junction on 26 April. This month’s final Cambridge Junction tip goes down on 27 April when you can see Faithless’s Maxi Jazz return to his roots with funky blues guitar music alongside his new band, the E-Type Boys. The celebrated Northumbrian band The Unthanks bring their How Wild The Wind Blows tour to the Corn Exchange on 27 April. The project unearths the wistful and intimate compositions of Molly Drake, mother of singer-songwriter Nick Drake. These charming, secluded and melancholy songs offer an insight into the work of Nick Drake, revealing Molly Drake as perhaps the most overlooked influence on the cult musician – and as a fascinating songwriter. Sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, whose knack for sensitive reinterpretation has seen them tackle everything from traditional English folk to Antony and the Johnsons, turn their attentions to these forgotten songs. n

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Arts & culture. W E E X P L O R E T H E A R T S A N D C U LT U R E S C E N E I N C A M B R I D G E , S H OWC A S I N G S O M E O F T H E M A N Y E XC I T I N G E X H I B I T I O N S A N D S H OWS TA K I N G P L AC E A RO U N D T H E C I T Y

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Pink Martini. Back in 1994 in Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was an eager politician-in-training, busily attending every political fundraiser he could with ambitions of one day running for mayor. Dismayed by how consistently abysmal the music was at these events, he began a mission with an avowed goal of creating a beautiful, inclusive soundtrack for political fundraisers for causes such as civil rights, the environment and affordable housing. And so the ‘little orchestra’ Pink Martini was founded, a genre-crossing, multilingual musical melting pot of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop which now features more than a

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dozen musicians and performs at high-profile events around the globe. The band has now played with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony at the Kennedy Centre, the San Francisco Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as TV appearances including Later... with Jools Holland and Late Show with Letterman. They stop by in Cambridge as part of their 21st birthday tour, which visits the Corn Exchange on 13 April. Tickets cost £29.75 to £32.75. cornex.co.uk

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Abigail’s Party. In the 40 years since its theatrical debut, Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party has become an undisputed classic of both stage and screen. Set in a suburban living room, the action revolves around a gathering of neighbours hosted by the insufferable Beverly. Between cheese and pineapple sticks, Demis Roussos records and too many glasses of (refrigerated) beaujolais, tensions begin to rise in the group. Prejudices are unmasked, awkward silences become heated rows and two marriages begin to unravel before the play takes a sudden, tragic turn. Abigail’s Party comes to Cambridge Arts Theatre, in all its hilarious, excruciating glory, from 10 to 15 April. Tickets start at £23. cambridgeartstheatre.com

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CAMBRIDGE D R AW I N G SOCIETY SPRING EXHIBITION .

©HELEN CLARKE

The best of local painting talent is featured in Cambridge Drawing Society’s (CDS) Spring Exhibition at the start of the month. Over 300 works including paintings and drawings using a wide variety of techniques, together with fine art prints and sculptures, will be on display at The Pitt Building on Trumpington Street from 1 to 8 April. CDS expects it to be one of their largest exhibitions in years and artist applicants have to impress a selection panel to have their work chosen. With no more than two works by the same artist, you’re guaranteed to see a wide selection of gorgeous, inspiring art. Open every day 10am-5.30pm, closing at 4pm on the final day. cambridgedrawingsociety.org

The Play That Goes Wrong.

17-22 APR

Spotting a rare mistake in a play is always off-putting, but the idea has been taken to extremes with hilarious results in The Play That Goes Wrong. The award-winning West End smash hit from Mischief Theatre comes to Cambridge following in the footsteps of Peter Pan Goes Wrong a couple of years ago. Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 20s murder mystery, but the accident-prone thesps have to battle against all the odds to reach the curtain call. Catch it from 17 to 22 April at Cambridge Arts Theatre. Tickets are £18 to £33. cambridgeartstheatre.com

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OFFSIDE. A play about three female footballers from different centuries pursuing their dream profession as footballers, Offside is a story of passion, determination and overcoming obstacles for the love of the beautiful game. Inspired by the extraordinary experiences of real life female footballers, it’s presented by Futures Theatre and written by Sabrina Mahfouz and local poetry powerhouse Hollie McNish. The pair bring their spellbinding lyrical flair to the dialogue, which provides an absorbing narration to this uplifting story. Catch it at Cambridge Junction on 24 April, tickets are £12.50. junction.co.uk

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H I S TO N H A N D M A D E . There’s a chance to see a range of beautiful arts and crafts from local designer-makers this month as Histon Handmade returns for its second outing on 15 April. Established by Claire Howieson last November, the debut Histon Handmade show was a roaring success, welcoming hundreds of craft lovers and Christmas shoppers from the region through its doors. This time around, exhibitors include Jo Clark, who’ll be showcasing her distinctive prints and cards, as well as Roxana de Rond, a local illustrator who creates gorgeous depictions of people and places, including many of Cambridge. There will also be ceramics from Rachel Dormor and Sarah Went, textiles by Anna Osbourne, metal clocks by Rebecca Stark, handmade books from Edel Hopkin and jewellery by Abi Cochran. The event runs from 12-7pm at St Andrew’s Centre in Histon. histonhandmade.com

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The Renaissance era is most commonly characterised as a period of secularisation and worldliness, but, as a new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam shows, religious beliefs and practices remained deeply embedded in every aspect of day-to-day life. Featuring a remarkable collection of sculptures, jewellery, ceramics, paintings, illustrated books and printed images, Madonnas and Miracles explores the role of religion in the Italian Renaissance home. Made possible as a result of European funding, the exhibition is the fruit of a four-year project carried out by the University of Cambridge and members of the Department of Italian and the Architecture, History and History of Art faculties. Through extensive research in neglected archives and collections across the peninsula, hundreds of hitherto unseen sources and artefacts have been collated, informing a new perspective on the role of the divine in everyday life during this fascinating period. The collection, which features some 50 objects from the museum’s own collection as well as hundreds of important works on loan from Europe, includes a broad range of domestic items ‘supercharged with spiritual significance’. Crockery and cutlery, jewellery, rosaries, statuettes, prayer books and crucifixes help to paint a picture of family life, miracles, the role of the saints and religious reform. The exhibition will have a special focus on the role of the household Madonna and the family’s connection to it. The image of Mary, often displayed on a bedroom wall or above a threshold, served as a focus for domestic worship, providing comfort and security to those who dwelled there and also serving as a role model for motherhood – the latter being beautifully depicted in one of the Fitzwilliam’s own paintings, Pinturicchio’s Virgin and Child with St John, which shows Mary teaching Jesus to read. Sitting alongside the illuminating collection of everyday items will be masterpieces by venerated artists including Filippo Lippi and Annibale Carracci, while the exhibition will also highlight the multisensory nature of devotion by introducing the use of different media. Visitors will be able to hear the voice of an elderly Italian woman repeating her Ave Marias and Paternosters while they admire rosaries, or hear the musical notation adorning a set of knives brought to life by the choir of St John’s College. Madonnas and Miracles runs until 4 June. fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

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© SARAH VIGLIOTTI

Pinturicchio, Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist, c.1490–5

© THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

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F R E E E V E N TS AT L A DA N T E . Founded in 2008, La Dante began life with a purpose of helping the local Italian community to raise their children as bilingual. Fast forward to 2017 and it’s blossomed into a vibrant European cultural centre, offering a huge range of Spanish and Italian lessons, plus events including film clubs and tapas nights. Language lessons are available for all levels, from complete beginners to those with an advanced ability, and all are taught to be enthusiastic native speakers. The school sees people signing up for all sorts of reasons (from romance to business!), including many older students who are keen to keep their brains active and healthy.

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If you’re interested in finding out more, La Dante is hosting a series of free events this month at their Hawthorn Way centre. There’s a Spanish arts class on 1 April (1011am), a Spanish cinema class on the 3rd (7-8pm) and a free Italian for beginners class (1-3pm), followed by a free session for intermediates (6-8pm). There will also be a Film Club Night on 27 April, in which L’ultimo bacio (The Last Kiss, 2001), will get a screening from 7pm to 9pm. Written and directed by Gabriele Muccino, this lovely romantic comedy is sure to charm you - and inspire you to polish up your Italian, of course! ladante-in-cambridge.org

European Union Chamber Orchestra. The Cambridge Classical Concert Series continues this month with a visit from the world-renowned European Union Chamber Orchestra on 6 April. Featuring Guy Johnston as principal cellist, the performance features a programme of works by some of the world’s best-loved composers, including Mozart, Haydn and Tchaikovsky. Head to Heffers Bookshop on Trinity Street at 6pm for a pre-show talk, which is free to concert ticket holders. cornex.co.uk

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Cambridge on screen.

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JA M E S L UX F O R D TA K E S A L O O K AT H OW C A M B R I D G E A N D I T S S U R RO U N D S H AV E P L AY E D A PA R T I N S O M E O F C I N E M A’S G R E AT E S T M O M E N T S

he British film industry is booming thanks to a wealth of resources and talent coming from the UK. British directors, actors and studios are creating everything from the latest Star Wars adventures to low-budget indie gems. Part of this boom is thanks to the incredible array of locations available, and few places boast as impressive a CV as Cambridge, which has welcomed film crews for years. Like any good actor, Cambridge and the surrounding areas have played many varied and interesting roles. Its prestige and architecture have seen it become a character in its own right, often retelling famous stories that happened on its very streets years earlier. What you may not know, however, is the number of different places Cambridge has ‘played’ over the years, both real and fictional. Whether you know it or not, chances are that the streets, buildings and vistas of Cambridge have featured in some of your favourite movies. So, what keeps Hollywood so interested in the area, and what qualities make it so perfect for silver screen magic? Many writers captured the history of Cambridge long before cinema was even invented, and now this most visual of art forms has been retelling the city’s stories. In 2015, The Theory of Everything became actor Eddie Redmayne’s golden moment, winning him an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and pretty much every other acting award for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking. As many know, the origins of Hawking’s greatest work come from his association with the University of Cambridge. As such, much of the story of his early years was filmed around its buildings. Of these, the pivotal May Ball scene, where Stephen falls for Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), is arguably one of the film’s signature moments. It takes place on the lawn in front of the New Court Building by the River Cam, where the filming was watched by the real Hawking and Wilde. An equally striking but sadder story is that of poet Sylvia Plath, portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2003 drama Sylvia. One of the very first shots in the film is the Oscar winner, on a bicycle, tearing through Trinity Lane before arriving at Clare College. King’s and St John’s Colleges also make an appearance in the film, which also starred soon-to-be 007 Daniel Craig as Ted Hughes. Many other productions, such as period drama Maurice (1987), starring a young Hugh Grant, were filmed around the city, but surprisingly one of the

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Gwyneth Paltrow aboard a punt as Slyvia Plath in Sylvia (2003)

City centre back streets in The Theory of Everything

most famous Cambridge-based films wasn’t actually allowed to be shot there. Chariots of Fire (1981) was refused permission to film its infamous Trinity Great Court Run scene on the grounds of Caius College, with Eton stepping in for the soon-to-be Oscar-winning film (some wide shots of the area did make it to the screen, however). Aside from the obvious advantages of telling a story where it originally happened, these films all take advantage of Cambridge’s timeless quality. All the films mentioned above were filmed decades after ➥

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Ely Cathedral makes an appearance in 2009’s The King’s Speech

the events they depict, yet aside from period dress (and making sure no one’s checking their phones) the history that covers these streets means cinema audiences can be transported back to the past in the most authentic way possible. So, we’ve seen how a location can portray itself, but how many can stand in for the most famous landmarks in London, or even the battlefields of France? The county’s Ely Cathedral is one location that has stood in for a number of different parts of the country in several notable movies. It has ‘portrayed’ the court of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana) in the steamy 2008 drama The Other Boleyn Girl, co-starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as sisters who are at separate times vying for the heart of the king. It was a busy time for the cathedral, which a year earlier had brought to life the court of Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett) in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Several key sequences, such as an early meeting with romantic interest Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), are filmed in the building’s magnificent Lady Chapel. Most recently, Ely Cathedral took a starring role in big-budget Netflix series The Crown, in which it stood in for Westminster Abbey as the setting for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding. It also masqueraded as Westminster Abbey for 2010’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth. Further afield, Nene Washes became Second World War France for weepie Atonement, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley as lovers torn apart by a sister’s jealousy. The RSPB-protected nature reserve was not quite so serene on film, as it appears during the part of the film where James McAvoy leaves to serve his country overseas. The variety of all these projects show the versatile vistas on offer in Cambridgeshire, and how streets or buildings that we locals may take for granted can be seen in a new light through the magic of cinema. Indeed, sometimes it takes an outsider’s view to truly bring out the personality in a place, and a few great Hollywood directors have done just that. In the late 80s Tim Burton brought Batman to the big screen, in an epic Hollywood blockbuster that changed the way we looked at caped crusaders. The film’s influence can be felt almost 30 years later on the comic book movies of today, and Cambridgeshire had a hand in the birth of its greatest attraction. Early on in the film, an elaborate and grizzly fate awaits Jack Nicholson’s gangster, Jack Napier, who falls into a vat of toxic waste to emerge as the Joker. Little Barford Power

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Ely Cathedral posing as Westminster Abbey in Netflix series The Crown

The Bridge of Sighs peeks into shot in The Theory of Everything

Ely Cathedral in The Other Boleyn Girl

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SMALL SCREEN CAMBRIDGE.

Telly faves featuring our fair city

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Ely Cathedral took a starring role in the Netflix series The Crown, in which it stood in for Westminster Abbey

Despite having a population of under 1000, this small village has been immortalised in a Pink Floyd song, novels and now the hit TV show starring James Norton and Robson Green. The series films in Cambridge as well and has been described as the new Inspector Morse.

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David Jason looked very different in this 80s mini-series, as the porter of a fictitious University College in Cambridge. The series was a huge hit in the States, winning an Emmy.

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Station near St Neots served as the exterior for the sequence, and can be seen exploding as the Batmobile speeds away. Earlier on in that decade, the region also welcomed a true Hollywood legend, Charlton Heston, in the horror film The Awakening. Co-starring British actress Susannah York, Heston plays a Cambridge University professor forced to destroy an Egyptian spirit who has possessed his daughter. We’ll be honest with you, it’s not Mr Heston’s greatest work, but it may be a thrill for some to see the Planet of The Apes star at Lord’s Bridge, and around the University buildings. Undoubtedly the biggest must-see for any film geek, however, is Bassingbourn Barracks, just ten miles southwest of Cambridge. Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket ripped up the rule book for war movies, and is regarded as the iconic film-maker’s last truly great film. The story follows a group of US marines as they are trained and then deployed during the Vietnam War. The early part of the film is the most famous part, as star Matthew Modine and his fellow soldiers are put through their paces in a hellish boot ➥

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The cult series about a suave antiques dealer played by Ian McShane filmed episodes based in Cambridge, including one episode where our hero suspects a Cambridge don of forging a seemingly valuable bible.

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H O M E TOW N G LO RY. The Cambridge natives who made it in la-la land.

This image and the below show Bassingbourn Barracks in Full Metal Jacket

RICHARD AT T E N B O R O U G H

One of Britain’s greatest actors, the late Lord Attenborough was born and spent the early part of his life in Cambridge, where his father was based as an academic at Emmanuel College.

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Bassingbourn Barracks is forever etched in film history following its transformation into a US military base for Full Metal Jacket camp in South Carolina. At least, on film they were in South Carolina. In reality Bassingbourn Barracks was completely transformed into a US military base, to the extent that palm trees were flown in to give it a more authentic look (and remained there for a while after when the production forgot to pick them up again!). Arguably a key part of the film, it meant the now-closed army training centre was forever etched in film history. Whether it’s a sweeping romance, an inspiring and award-winning film or a popcorn extravaganza, Cambridge has played a part in many films we all know and love. We’re all used to seeing our favourite stars in faraway locations that look almost too perfect, but the on-screen presence of the streets, buildings and countryside right on our doorstep can give us a different perspective, and reveal just how magical a place Cambridge can be. n

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From a legend of yesterday to a star of tomorrow, the young star of War Horse was born and raised in the area. His mother, Bridget Smith, is leader of the Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats.

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Incredible as it may seem, the star of Grease was born in Cambridge and spent the early part of her childhood there before she and her family emigrated to Australia.

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The Art Insider.

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t’s extraordinary what you see when you look for the miraculous. Get inspired by the new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Madonnas and Miracles, and take some time out to go searching for miracles this month – you’ll be surprised at what comes up. Displaying more than 100 important works on loan from around Europe, plus almost 50 objects from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection, Madonnas and Miracles explores religion in the Italian Renaissance home. Devotion, worship and prayer were at the heart of family life in a domestic world imbued with spiritual meaning. Artists and makers played a vital role in celebrating the divine in everyday life – through dolls, amulets, sculptures, illustrated books and paintings. It’s hard not to be stirred by the likes of Botticelli’s Virgin and Child with an Angel, which you can see at the exhibition. Any mother will know the sense of incredible love between a mother and her child (dads too!) – it’s something that does come close to the divine. Yet, it’s hard to view the Madonnas on show without seeing how they’ve been vigorously desexualised, sanitised and polished. They glow with a perfectionist innocence that many modern-day mothers may find alien – while also seeing an ideal that is still impossibly familiar. Revering family life and devotion is something to be celebrated, but on our own terms. It’s extraordinary, though, to uncover the strength that is attributed to the Virgin Mary in Renaissance Italy, and her ability to bestow miracles. Renaissance Italy witnessed an ‘explosion of interest’ in miracles according to

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Madonnas and Miracles, a book edited by Maya Corry, Deborah Howard and Mary Laven. New cults devoted to the Madonna or Christ were everywhere in Italy. You can see entire ‘scenes of miracles’ in the exhibition – something we could all do with seeing that little bit more recently – and they’re a throwback to a time when worship and prayer was closely associated with health. I’m sure you will adore seeing a wooden baby Jesus doll at the exhibition (which survived an earthquake last October) from the Franciscan nunnery of the Poor Clares of Santa Chiara in Italy – hailed by many as a miracle. While searching for the miraculous in art, from rainbows to iridescent light, this month, I’ve found inspiration from Cambridge-based light artist Chris Wood, whose work invokes a sense of wonder. “My main source of inspiration is simply the phenomenon of light. My work is a continual exploration of light and it never fails to surprise me,” says Chris, whose influences include the wonderful Olafur Eliasson. Light, she says, is an “unbelievable magical phenomena.” Chris is represented here in Cambridge by Byard Art, so watch out for her installations, which have been commissioned and exhibited by the likes of Harrods, Fendi fashion house and The Wellcome Trust. Her installation, Seeds, is hanging in the reception of Rosie Maternity Hospital, plus more of her work can be spotted in various places around the city, including the side of the Future Business Centre and Hotel Felix. Light, which we often take for granted, is transformed into awe-inspiring installations and creative encounters that shine – everyday miracles, indeed. Long associated with divine intervention and miracles, rainbows which arc over Cambridge can be spotted in the photography of Thomas Endlein, whose work is on sale at the Lawson Gallery on King’s Parade. Endlein, who once won the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, was inspired by Cambridge while studying in the city for a PhD. His photographic work on the colleges in Cambridge earned him an Associateship with The Royal Photographic Society – you can check out more of his awe-inspring shots of the city on his website endlein.org. Or, pop into Cambridge Contemporary Crafts to enjoy a rainbow of lace butterflies by Vikki Lafford Garside – these sumptuous beauties are full of all the miracles of springtime.

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R U T H I E C O L L I N S, F O U N D E R O F CA MBRIDGE ART SALON, GIVES HER ART Y PICKS OF THE MONTH

Above An earthquakesurviving baby Jesus doll on display at the Fitzwilliam Right Iridescent art from local light artist Chris Wood Top and left Photographs of Cambridge by Thomas Endlein, whose work is on sale at the Lawson Gallery

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The Secret Museum, by Molly Oldfield, which you can buy in Cambridge Waterstones, tells us all about unusual archived works throughout the world, such as (drum roll) Nabokov’s very own blue butterfly genitalia cabinet. Yes, novelist Vladimir Nabokov collected the willies of blue butterflies and kept them in tiny glass vials, which are stored in Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. Whether that counts as a miracle or not, I’ll leave to you all to decide! But when sifting through life’s day-to-day worries – from climate change or world politics to a sick relative – an appreciation of devotion in its many forms, which anchors us to what we love, can feel like it’s nothing short of miraculous. Pulitzer Prize-winning US poet Mary Oliver puts it beautifully in the poem, I Worried, which is taped to the toilet door in Satyam Yoga’s Wellbeing Centre (on Hawthorn Way). “Finally, I saw that the worrying had come to nothing. / And gave it up. And took my old body / and went out into the morning, / and sang.” Next time you think it’s tempting to hide away and howl into that pillow – try looking for miracles, instead. Here’s to a miraculous April, all. n

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Cambridge Literary Festival.

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his year’s Cambridge Literary Festival, according to founder Cathy Moore, will “reflect the extraordinary times we find ourselves living in”, grappling with some of the tensions of the day whilst also celebrating the “comforts, pleasures and creativity that shape the ever-changing human experience.” To that end, the festival organisers have assembled a star-studded line-up of eminent writers, politicians, campaigners, historians and scientists, as well as an imagination-sparking array of children’s authors, poets and, of course, more literary sensations than you can shake a stick at. First up, the new fiction contingent is looking as strong as ever, featuring appearances from heavyweights such as Sebastian Barry, Kit de Waal and festival patron Ali Smith, who’ll be selecting some of her favourite debut writers for a showcase on the 23rd. James Runcie, author of The Grantchester Mysteries, is sure to be another highlight – catch him captivating and beguiling with tales of his protagonist Sidney Chambers on 23 April. The State of the Nation strand of the festival serves up a scintillating series of talks covering everything from Brexit and Trump to the perils of technology. In the New Statesman Debate, on the 22nd at the Union Chamber, the house will put forward the motion that – with the rise of populist politics, nationalism, fascism, financial crises and a split in the Labour Party – we are currently living through a new 1930s. The same day, welfare state champions Polly Toynbee and David Walker will discuss their joint book Dismembered,

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an eye-opening appraisal of the attack on the state, its funding and ideology, and the impact of this on all of us. In Prejudice and Pride, a panel featuring cook and campaigner Jack Monroe, journalist Paul Flynn and writer Andrew Solomon will take a reflective and celebratory look at the highs and lows of the last 50 years in LGBT history. Brexit: What Next? meanwhile, sees a panel of experts consider what longerterm impact the process of leaving the EU might have – and whether there may in fact be good times ahead. Harriet Harman, who joined the House of Commons in 1992 and has remained a Labour MP since, will discuss her new book, A Woman’s Work, on 22 April. Elsewhere, filed under Lifestyle, you can enjoy a delicious diversion with Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers, who’s new book Home Cook is bursting with ideas on how to enjoy fantastic food every day of the week. The longest serving editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman pays us a visit on the 22nd, offering an inside look at the world’s most famous fashion magazine. A duo of entrepreneurial powerhouses, fragrance guru Jo Malone and Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed, are in discussion on the 19th, when they’ll be comparing notes on their careers and offering motivation and wisdom to others. There’s also world affairs, art, architecture and environmental talks to seek out, as well as a colourful line-up of kid-friendly events, including a celebration of the works of the inimitable Jaqueline Wilson; former children’s laureate and internationally bestselling author. For the full programme, visit the Cambridge Literary Festival website. n cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

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State of the RU T H I E C O L L I N S E X P LO R E S H OW C A M B R I D G E I S P U S H I N G B O U N DA R I E S AT T H E I N T E R S E C T I O N B E T W E E N T E C H N O LO GY A N D A R T

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ambridge has long been famous for its technology cluster, its so-called Silicon Fen home to a staggering concentration of high-tech businesses and geek giants. “If you live in Cambridge, you are going to be impacted by technology – whether that’s through work or play,” says Paul Smith, founder of creative industries network, CamCreatives. “Co-working spaces like CambridgeSpace, based in Chesterton, plus initiatives like hackathon, show how we can use technology to achieve goals.” Major businesses including Bouygues UK leapt at the chance to support e-Luminate, a shining example of art and tech working together in the city. The festival lays on stunning light installations each year, as well as promoting environmentally sound technologies and showcasing advances in light-related technology, research methods and manufacturing. Bouygues UK’s Samantha Mayo, site co-ordinator for The Triangle Project here in Cambridge, described the event as “a fantastic way to showcase the exceptional architecture of this city in an innovative way”. Elsewhere, arts organisation Collusion has just launched in_collusion, a two-year, £1 million funded arts programme. Supported by the Arts Council, plus the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership, the move formalises Cambridge as a centre of excellence for research and development into this art-tech crossover. Co-founders Rachel Drury and Simon Poulter were drawn to the area for a combination of factors. “We felt there was a distinct opportunity in Cambridge. What can be done here, can’t be done elsewhere,” says Simon. “You have this concentration of academics, talent and surrounding cyber parks, and companies like ARM are in the area – the ARM ‘chip’ that is included in every single android was developed here.” ARM, of course, grew out of Acorn – whose earliest computers helped launch vintage hit games like Killer Gorilla, Pacman and Chuckie Egg into the world way back in the early 80s. Now a significant haunch of the UK’s gaming industry is based in Cambridge – home to concept artists, as well as one of the UK’s largest independent gaming studios, Jagex.

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“Cambridge has been a big player in the UK gaming scene since that scene began,” says Jeremy Thackray from the Centre for Computing History. “As so many popular home computer companies emerged in the area in the 80s, it was only natural that software companies would grow up nearby. Pioneering games like 1984’s Elite, a space-faring exploration game that brought an entire galaxy to life for disbelieving players, were developed by tiny teams of visionary coders in bedrooms and back offices.” Families should head to the museum’s Family Gaming Night in May, or check the website for Easter holiday events (computinghistory.org.uk). Artists also offer vital scope to critique technology, too. Some of you may have spotted Data Shadow, an innovative installation by Mark Farid that appeared in the city centre in 2015, commissioned by Collusion as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. This startling piece helped raise pertinent questions on human rights, privacy and data – encouraging onlookers to consider just how much of our private information is shared.

There’s a real feeling that artists offer huge value... Tech companies are attracted by their way of thinking

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The role of data in contemporary culture today is explosive – check out claims that the fun personality quizzes on Facebook mine data that helped sway the outcome of Brexit. “Art is very useful for making the public understand what their data says about them,” said Dr David Stillwell at Collusion’s January data-culture lab. “It doesn’t become personal until it’s their data being displayed in a way that makes them understand what it means about themselves.” These artist data-culture labs are part of 80 events planned as part of in_collusion, which offers professional development intensives for artists working in tech-art. There are more planned in May and June this year on virtual and augmented reality, plus artificial intelligence. Practical ways for artists to use technology, such as the Microsoft HoloLens, and ideas discussed at the labs, will be available on the Collusion website. Many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as reducing climate change and inequality, will be explored by the in_collusion programme, plus how technology might impact them. Technology plays a huge role in helping to reduce inequality, allowing “the ever-important issue of technology’s impact on society to be explored in a bold, innovative way,” says Dominic Vergine, head of sustainability and corporate responsibility at ARM. In line with this, artists from January’s lab, including Henry Driver, explored the falsehood of digital imagery in the media and fashion industry and how far these images impact the decisions of real people. Jo Lawrence meanwhile, who is working on a code opera, is looking at the concept of data scientists as puppeteers, manipulating the huge amount of code in our daily lives that we don’t see (eg. on our phones). “There’s a real feeling that artists offer huge value,” Simon Poulter says. “It’s easy to get lost in the corridors

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of technology, so it’s interesting to explore other avenues with artists. They think in different ways. Tech companies are attracted by their new forward thinking.’ Collusion are also working collaboratively with artists on research and development projects in Wisbech and King’s Lynn clusters, as well as others, offering a fantastic opportunity for artists and creatives to get involved. Interested practitioners can join the meetup groups in each cluster and drop Collusion a line at info@collusion.org.uk. For more on in_collusion, visit collusion.org.uk. n

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Win a minibreak at Dunston Hall!

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Hero eats.

AFTERNOON TEASE C R U M P E TS . For reasons unfathomable to me, crumpets seem to have fallen somewhat out of fashion over the last couple of decades. But if you have a penchant for these stodgy little delights (and won’t settle for vastly inferior shop-bought versions), then I suggest you hotfoot it to King Street’s Afternoon Tease. Perfectly toasted and fluffy inside, these beauties are created by Dovecote Bakery and have been a stalwart on the menu at Afternoon Tease since day one. Dripping in butter and with a dollop of home-made jam (made by owner Jo’s mum), you’ll struggle to find a better comfort food in the whole city. You may also, on occasion, be treated to the Stack o’ Crumpets: a nearmythical menu addition in which two stacked crumpets are married with oozing cheddar, a fried egg and – brace yourselves (and your arteries) – a couple of thick rashers of bacon. A nice bit of crumpet indeed.

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Buffalo Joe’s wings & blue cheese dip.

More American than apple pie, Super Bowl snack staple buffalo wings have officially won the hearts and bellies of us Brits now. And while there’s an ever-growing number of places you can get your wing fix here in Cambridge, as far as we’re concerned street food truck Buffalo Joe’s rules the roost. Their Korean-inspired goch-ya wings are a much-hyped and delicious twist on a favourite, but our heart belongs to the original buffalo wings, served with blue cheese dip. The chicken wings are faultless: tender, crisp, buttery and spicy in exactly the right measure – a match made in heaven for the cooling, salty sauce. They’re fried until crisp and then slathered in Buffalo Joe’s lip-smackingly good coating, which consists of Frank’s hot sauce (a superstar in the world of wings), teamed with Tabasco and butter. It’s a winner each and every time.

© DAISY DICKINSON © PHOTO CREDIT

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STEAK & HONOUR M AC ’ N ’ C H E E S E . Cambridge street food legends Steak & Honour opened up their first bricks-and-mortar premises, which you’ll find on Wheeler Street, back in January. The response was rapturous, and rightly so – few burgers can hold a candle to Steak & Honour’s consistently perfect patties – but it’s one of the sides that’s got us hot under the collar this month. Steak & Honour’s mac ’n’ cheese is yet another reminder of how talented and meticulous the chefs running the place are: breezily elevating a straightforward dish into a showstopper which demands your taste buds’ attention. The macaroni (tender but perfectly firm) is smothered in a creamy, rich sauce created with Emmental, American cheese, Cheddar and a good bit of mustard, which is then dolloped onto the grill and sizzled to create a gorgeous, crisp coating. The crowning glory is a zigzag of sour cream – an unexpected but brilliant addition which cuts through the creaminess with scrummy results. You can thank us later.

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Food news.

A M O N T H LY RO U N D - U P O F GA S T RO N O M I C G O I N GS – ON IN CAMBRIDGE AND T H E S U R RO U N D I N G A R E A

Find your perfect dining venue with Meet Cambridge. If you’ve been tasked with planning an event, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by all of the choice on offer in our area – which is where Meet Cambridge comes in. A venue-finding service for event spaces around the city and surrounding area, the company has an impressive selection of venues on its books, from historic colleges to hotels and other unique properties. Their portfolio is teeming with options for those looking to organise a foodie event, be it a banquet, intimate dinner, afternoon tea, garden party or Christmas celebration for a large group. Dine in style at a Cambridge college, feasting on a bespoke menu washed down with top wines from the College cellars, carefully chosen by trained sommeliers. Meet Cambridge can act as a one-stop shop for getting all of the details sorted, meaning all you need to do is soak up the majestic dining hall and be waited on hand and foot by a fleet of butlers – you can even arrive by punt if you’re dining at one of Meet Cambridge’s venues with river frontage (how perfectly Cambridge is that?). As the weather begins to warm, you can take advantage of some of Cambridge’s most beautiful, impeccably manicured gardens, enjoying a drinks soirée with canapés, an elegant tea party, an informal barbecue or a hog roast – Meet Cambridge has bags of al fresco options, both in the city and in the surrounding area. Large or small, there’s a dazzling range of venues which would make great settings for a launch event, birthday party, charity function or family celebration, from iconic city centre buildings such as Corpus Christi College and Jesus College and sleek and contemporary hotels such as the DoubleTree by Hilton, right the way through to glorious countryside locations such as Rectory Farm and utterly unique ones, like Ely Cathedral. meet-cambridge.com

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GIN & GINGERBREAD. The Varsity Hotel is mixing it up this Easter with a fab foodie event with a boozy twist. On 23 April, at the hotel’s Six restaurant, join in with a Gin & Gingerbread masterclass and a slap-up lunch. Sample top gins, find out more about the spirit and get creative making gingerbread houses. Tickets are £18.50 for the masterclass only and £39 including the two-course meal. sixcambridge.co.uk

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FOOD & DRINK

THE PETERSFIELD OPENS. Now we know there’s not exactly a shortage of fantastic pubs in the Mill Road area – in fact it’s probably got the highest concentration of brilliant boozers anywhere in the city – but that doesn’t mean we’re not excited about the arrival of The Petersfield. Located in the building previously home to the well-loved Backstreet Bistro (RIP), this new Sturton Street pub and restaurant comes our way courtesy of the ever-expanding City Pub Company, who are also responsible for local favourites including Cambridge Brew House and The Old Bicycle Shop. Inside, as we’ve come to expect from this group, it’s smart and vintage in style, with lots of dark wood, quirky art and rich, deep colours. They’ve made the most of the venue’s courtyard, which is now a small but perfectly formed, fairly-light adorned, peaceful little haven (and definitely one to add to your list when you’re looking for an al fresco pint in the neighbourhood). There’s a nice beer selection, and we’re hearing excellent things about the food too, which is of the gourmet pub grub variety (think beer-battered haddock and chips, steaks and pies), plus you can pick up brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. thepetersfield.co.uk

Eat Cambridge 2017 cancelled. Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that all has been quiet on the Eat Cambridge front this year, which we’re sad to announce is because the organisers have decided to give this much-loved local foodie festival a year off for 2017. The annual event, which offers a huge celebration of independent food businesses in the area, launched in 2013 and has since become a beacon of Cambridge’s flourishing foodie landscape, serving as a showcase of the many great food and drink enterprises around the city. The decision to cancel the 2017 event was made as a result of difficulties securing the venue for the festival’s main event, the

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all-day food and drink fair which usually takes place on a Saturday in May. “Running the festival each year takes a lot of work and many intricate details go into the advance planning of Eat Cambridge,” said Heidi White, who joined a team of two local event organisers in 2013 to found the festival and now organises it alone. “It’s a huge, and growing, voluntary project for me, and the planning timeline for securing venues, sponsors and sorting through stallholder and fringe applications works to incredibly tight deadlines. Unfortunately, a setback like losing our usual main event venue is a big one, and, after much time spent trying, I

couldn’t get an alternative in place in time to do the festival justice and organise, promote, and execute it in the usual professional way. That’s an important thing for me, and what makes it such an enjoyable event for all concerned, so I made the difficult decision to cancel Eat Cambridge this year and focus on next year’s event.” Rest assured that the event will be back bigger and better for 2018, when you can expect a jam-packed fringe programme, more festival events and a variety of new venues – stay tuned to Edition where we’ll be bringing you all the announcements in the lead-up. eat-cambridge.co.uk

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News from foodPark. There’s lots of exciting news to report from foodPark, our city’s nomadic street food collective, as they announce brand new pitches and some rather exciting collaborations. Last month saw the launch of Tap Takeovers, a series of boozy special events at the Blue Moon pub which will be running on the first Thursday of every month throughout the summer (6-10pm). Each month, breweries will be taking over the taps inside the pub to serve up innovative and exciting tipples, whilst outside in the car park you’ll be able to pick up delicious street food from Cambridge’s top traders. Coming up for April is a visit from Tiny Rebel Brewing, who’ll be showcasing a delectable selection of beers – pop in and try them at your leisure or sign up for the official tasting with expert beer tasters. On 1 April, meanwhile, foodPark launches their new collab with Cambridge Wine Merchants’

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newest wine bar, located at the University Centre on Mill Lane. With a gorgeous location overlooking the River Cam, this new event will take place each and every Saturday night throughout April, offering a chance for hungry Cambridge folk to enjoy fantastic street food and great wines from CWM. From 5pm to 9pm, you’ll find the foodPark gang parked up outside the ground floor of the wine bar, with favourites like Buffalo Joe’s, The Tin Kitchen, Holy Schnitzels, Churros Bar, Guerrilla Kitchen, The Wandering Yak and newbies Kura Kura all making appearances. All you need to do is grab something delicious to eat and a glass of wine, fizz or beer, then decide if you want to eat inside the retro lounge bar or go and relax out on the grass by the Mill Pond. Sounds like Saturday evening perfection to us! foodparkcam.com

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OPEN

ING

HONEST BURGERS.

If there’s one foodstuff which really seems to be capturing the imagination of Cambridge folk right now, burgers would be it. From indie eateries to gourmet chains and street food trucks, patty purveyors continue to proliferate around the city – and as of this month, there’s a new one vying for the crown. Honest Burgers, a cult favourite in the capital, has taken over the building previously home to Reys chicken shop on Corn Exchange Street (a prize city centre location which the Pizza Expressowned Reys never managed to make work). Our hopes are high for Honest Burgers though – for starters, they’re among the London restaurants responsible for the current burger revolution in the first place. When they opened the doors to their first outpost in Brixton in 2011, however, the landscape looked very different indeed. “The burger scene in London was pretty much non-existent back then,” recalls Tom Barton, co-founder of Honest Burgers. “There was MEATliquor, but that’s about it. It’s crazy when you look at it now; the burger thing has just erupted! We were really lucky – we had a very good break.” Now of course, things are different – you can barely move for high-end burger joints in London, and the rest of the UK is following suit. Honest Burgers alone has blossomed into a chain of 18

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branches, but its founders are quick to assure that the core values of the company remain exactly the same as when they started out. “Quality, simplicity and great service have always been at the heart of the business,” says Tom. “And we’ve always felt that what makes us unique is our respect for our ingredients. We want to source the best ingredients possible. We’re a champion of British flavours too.” It seems to have stood them in good stead. Honest Burgers’ towering patties and addictive handmade Rosemary chips have helped them expand at a seriously impressive rate – leading to their Cambridge launch at the start of this month. “This is going to be our first restaurant outside of London,” explains Tom. “We just fell in love with the restaurant, and we know there’s a burger appetite and a really cool street food scene and eating out scene in Cambridge so we’re really excited to be part of that.” And Tom’s menu recommendation? “An Honest Burger with Red Leicester. It’s such a great combo, the cheese melts really well and it’s got this gloopy gooeyness, but with loads of flavour too. Keep an eye out for the Cambridge only burger too, which we’re developing at the moment. It’s tasting really good and will champion local suppliers”. honestburgers.co.uk

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Five gin experience. The Senate, located at St Mary’s Passage, is set to host a night of ginbased indulgence this month, featuring a variety of exciting tipples. Nuzzled up beside St Mary’s Church on one side, and overlooking the university’s Senate House on the other, this handsome little bistro has an unbeatable city centre location with swoon-inducing views of one of Cambridge’s most postcard-perfect corners. Pop by on 5 April for a five gin experience, which will be serving up deliciously different takes on mother’s ruin, including a grapefruit and tarragon variety, red Thai chilli and a strawberry and black pepper gin. The event runs from 5.45pm to 10pm and tickets are £35. thesenatebistro.com

Spring showcase at The Gog.

Celebrate the arrival of spring at The Gog this month, where they’re hosting a seasonal showcase on 15 April. Pop down between 10am and 3.30pm to enjoy tasters, cooking demos and appearances from fab local suppliers including Pinkster Gin, Kandula Tea, Hibiscus Lily and Robyn’s Cakes. Outside they’ll be firing up the Big Green Eggs to whip up some tasty treats, while inside there will be an abundance of gorgeous food and drink to try and buy. thegog.com

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E AT I N G O U T

Pint Shop. WORDS NICOLA FOLEY

A

prime city centre location, a great beer and gin selection and a muchlauded food offering have earned Pint Shop quite a reputation since it opened its doors in late 2013. The concept is clearly working (the recently opened second branch in Oxford is testament to that), and all signs point to the fact that despite increasing competition from all angles, Pint Shop is still pulling in the punters in a big way. The downstairs dining room was packed on our late Saturday afternoon visit, a steady stream of families, couples and groups of friends pitching up for a feast. The space, deceptively huge, is simple and modern, with parquet flooring, industrial lighting and works by local artists on the walls. Its mission statement is emblazoned on the front windows: Meat. Bread. Beer. And it does those things, excellently, but in reality the remit is a little broader – and while it’s hard to deny Pint Shop is a bit of a meat-lover’s paradise, there’s definitely enough to tempt a vegetarian diner too. We got stuck into the impressive drinks list with gusto, opting for a pint of the waiter’s recommendation, the delightfully hoppy Samuel Smith Organic Pure Brew, while deliberating over Pint Shop’s food menu, which screams

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with crowd pleasers. The creativity bubbling away in the kitchen shines through, as does the passion for seasonality and British flavours. Forgoing the bar snacks, we dove straight into starters: rich, oozing cheese and onion croquettes with a gorgeous mustard sauce for me, and herby baby back ribs with a swoosh of fruit and chilli sauce for my partner. Such a universal hit were they that we voiced our doubts over whether the mains could live up to the standard established – but the good news is that they raised the bar even higher. I couldn’t resist Pint Shop’s posh kebab, an open flatbread loaded with luscious, smoky devilled lamb shoulder meat, crunchy salad and lashings of chilli sauce. A symphony of colours, textures and bold flavours, this little stunner elevates the kebab from regrettable fast food to elegant menu star. I stole a mouthful of my dining partner’s pork belly main and can confirm it was faultlessly cooked: crisp on the outside and meltingly tender underneath, a holy grail Pint Shop achieves through low and slow overnight cooking. A light, apple and mustard sauce cut through the fattiness of the meat balancing it all out nicely. My advice is not to skimp on sides, which turned out to be some of the best bits of the meal. Triple-cooked spuds – crisp, fluffy and swaddled in creamy truffle and cheese sauce – are every bit as indulgent as they sound, but my must-try was the deep-fried artichokes, which were perfect platefellows for the accompanying chunky flakes of rosemary salt. We couldn’t manage them but the desserts looked to be well worth saving space for. Rather, we rounded things off with some cocktails, including the Pint Shop No.5, a seasonal fruit-steeped gin number. Tasty, and potent. We ended our meal, as I’ve ended every meal I’ve had at Pint Shop, raving about the food. I have to give a special shout-out to our waiter, whose pitch-perfect service was the cherry on the cake of an outstanding meal. It’s really pleasing to see how Pint Shop has made the transition from freshfaced newcomer to firm favourite, establishing itself at the forefront of Cambridge’s gastro revolution. It continues to serve as a shining example of just how exciting the food scene in our city has become. n pintshop.co.uk

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Cambridge’s best brunch spots. ESPRESSO L I B R A RY. Bright, spacious and uber-stylish, Espresso Library on East Road is a solid favourite for many locals for a lazy late-morning feast. They’re big on wholesome, seasonal food and speciality coffee, and cater especially well for vegetarian and vegan diners. Get stuck into a scrumptious slice of frittata, a goodness-filled bowl of granola with fruit compote and Greek yoghurt, mashed avocado with smoky chickpeas or a melty and delicious Welsh rarebit on sourdough. Coffee boffs will enjoy the ever-changing array of offerings from different roasteries to try, whilst cyclists (we hear there’s a few of you in Cambridge), will enjoy the café’s bike theme and being able to hang their beloved steed on the wall while they eat. Espresso Library brunch is served from 7am to 12pm on weekdays, all day Saturday and from 8am to 3pm on Sundays. espressolibrary.com

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MillWorks.

A johnny-come-lately to Cambridge’s blossoming brunch trail, MillWorks is the latest outpost from local restaurant group Cambscuisine. From the beautifully restored watermill wheel to the glass flooring through which you can see the river rushing past underfoot, the building itself is fantastic, and always buzzing with happy diners. Sip on a Hot Numbers coffee or order yourself a Sweeney Todd’s Bloody Mary (an homage to an old incarnation of this historic building), then get stuck into a fabulously indulgent Full English with juicy, smoky barbecue beans, streaky bacon, sausage, fried eggs, grilled mushroom, tomato and plenty of sourdough bread. There are also lighter options such as pancakes with maple syrup and blueberries, smashed avocado on toast and bacon and egg in brioche rolls, plus a rather decadent pulled pork shoulder with Béarnaise sauce on toast (which we’re salivating at the mere thought of). Brunch is served at MillWorks from 11am to 3pm on Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. themillworks.co.uk

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FOOD & DRINK

Probably the only place in the city you’ll need to make a reservation at to guarantee a table at brekkie time, the Old Bicycle Shop became an instant hit with the city’s brunch fans when it opened last year. Inside, like its sister pubs The Cambridge Brew House and The Punt Yard, it’s hipster heaven, with mismatched furniture and vintage bicycle parts aplenty. But this is no case of style over substance: the brunches here are next-level. Our fave is the hearty, herby, duck egg shakshuka with its hunks of sourdough for dipping, but the sweet potato pancakes with honeyed figs, toasted Brazil nuts and yoghurt deserve an honourable mention too. There’s also standard brunch fare such as streaky bacon sandwiches and eggs Benedict/Royale/Florentine, and to make your morning that bit sweeter, there’s a great selection of cocktails, including their take on the obligatory brunch Bloody Mary (the Bloody Transfusion Vodka). Brunch is served at the Old Bicycle Shop from 10am to 5pm on Monday to Sunday. oldbicycleshop.com

© CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS

O L D B I C YC L E S H O P.

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Fitzbillies.

3 AFTERNOON TEASE. Everything about this King Street café makes us smile, from its cheery interior to its friendly staff and scrumptious cakes. Begin things with an Afternoon Tease coffee, then select your brunch dish of choice. It’s always fun to discover what’s new on the ever-changing menu, but whatever they’ve dreamed up that week, you can guarantee it’ll be packed with top-quality ingredients from great local suppliers. Stalwarts include banana bread (dripping in butter and utterly delicious) and perfectly poached eggs on sourdough. Brunch times are 8am-12pm Tuesday to Friday, 9am-3pm on Saturdays and 10am-3pm on Sundays. afternoontease.co.uk

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This Cambridge institution needs no introduction – but as well as world-class Chelsea buns, it also delivers one of the finest brunches in the city. Our personal favourite is the Full Fitzbillies, an exemplar fried breakfast with plump sausages, thick rashers of bacon, perfectly cooked eggs, freshly baked, buttery sourdough toast and chunky hash browns. They get a million extra brunch points for also offering morning-friendly cocktails like Bloody Marys and mimosas – ideal if you fancy a spot of pre-midday boozing. If you fancy something a little lighter, there are dishes such as crushed avocado on sourdough toast with chilli oil and seeds, granola with fruit compote and gorgeous fluffy pancakes, which come drenched in honey with juicy ripe figs and a dollop of crème fraiche. Heaven. Brunch is served at the Trumpington Street branch every day until 4pm. fitzbillies.com

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We’ve come a long way.

FOOD & DRINK

S I X Y E A R S O N F RO M H I S F I R S T C O L U M N F O R E D I T I O N , A L E X TA K E S S T O C K O F J U S T H OW FA R THE FOOD SCENE IN THE CIT Y HAS COME

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WORDS ALEX RUSHMER

ust over 16 years ago, in early winter 2000, I boarded a train at Stockport station and travelled to Cambridge for the first time. My two interviews were scheduled for the following day and an old school friend, a couple of years my senior, had offered me a floor and a sleeping bag for the night. Seeking both sustenance and Dutch courage, I wandered through the eerily quiet city streets, chilled to the bone by what would soon become a painfully familiar icy wind. The search ended, rather embarrassingly, in a Burger King followed by a swift pint in an identikit bar, decorated in that way all chain bars were kitted out in the late 90s. I adored Cambridge immediately. I loved its architecture, its politics, its incredible ability to be so forward-thinking and yet almost compressed by the very weight of its own history. I loved the idea of being a part of a city that had such a sense of confidence and identity. But the food scene here wasn’t so much non-existent as actually bordering on irrelevant. Of course, there were a few shining beacons – I remember a gloriously decadent summer picnic, gorging on Dolcelatte and crusty bread from the Cambridge Cheese Company – but those beacons were few and far between. How far we have come. I was reminded of this when reading over the first-ever column I wrote for this magazine a full six years ago. If the first decade of the 21st century saw a sea change in the food and dining scene in Cambridge, the second seems to have given us a complete overhaul. I ended that first piece with a plea: a plea for all of us to get out there and support the independent shops, retailers, cafés and restaurants – and it seems that’s exactly what happened. Cambridge has become a city that adores its food and one that has become a proud and vocal supporter of those who cook, create, craft and sell their produce here and in the surrounding area. A nervous 17-year-old interviewee would have a very different experience from one just six years ago, let alone 16. There is a street food scene that beats that in many of Europe’s capital cities. There are watering holes that have redefined the very notion of what a pub should be. There are coffee shops and cafés that would rival the best that the Antipodes have to offer as well as truly worldclass restaurants. Cambridge has done to food what it has done to countless other commodities

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Cambridge has become a city that adores its food and one that has become a proud and vocal supporter of those who cook, create, craft and sell their produce here and subjects throughout its history: embraced, improved upon and delivered them back out into the world to share with anyone and everyone who is hungry and willing. So where now? What will there be to write about in another six years? This groundswell of enthusiasm is inspiring. Those who may have been put off from pursuing their own ideas can only be encouraged by the passion shown by those who are already doing it. I’m excited to see what happens next, and if you’re hungry, you should be too. n

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A DV E RT I S E M E N T F E AT U R E

Adventures in Bill’s Kitchen.

© PHOTO CREDIT

BILL SEWELL, BESTSELLING FOOD W R I T E R A N D OW N E R O F C A M B R I D G E ’S MICHAELHOUSE CAFÉ, SHARES SOME OF H I S FAVO U R I T E R E C I P E S A H E A D O F T H E L AU N C H O F H I S L AT E S T B O O K

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ood has been close to Bill Sewell’s heart all his life. Brought up above his parent’s Kensington antique shop, his memories of family meals are of no-frills, home-made and taste-bud pleasing dishes. His own forays into baking began when he was studying history at Trinity College, when his recipes were snapped up by a local health food shop, inspiring him to take up various cooking gigs over the following years. He took the plunge and opened his own place up in 1989, the award-winning The Place Below in the crypt of St Mary-le-Bow. A few years later he set up the acclaimed Café @ All Saints in Hereford, then St David’s Cathedral Restaurant and finally, Cambridge’s own Michaelhouse Café. Although originally vegetarian, Bill and his cafés now enthusiastically embrace a richly omnivorous cuisine, featuring carefully sourced local and free-range chicken, pork, game, lamb and beef. Particular Michaelhouse favourites include the remarkably named Wobbly Bottom goat’s cheese and the sublimely smoked salmon from the Chapel and Swan Smokehouse. “Sustainability is a crucially important theme in cooking today,” says Bill, “and my new book includes chapters on cooking from your own garden, using leftovers (the finest food of all!), along with tips to make even the most meagre ingredients mouth-watering and delicious.” Bill’s Kitchen follows the success of earlier books Food from the Place Below and Feasts from the Place Below, offering a ‘greatest hits’ of his food from the years. “These are the recipes which have stayed with me, my cafés and my family and friends,” he explains. “Recipes such as real bread, slow-cooked meats, fresh herby salads, luscious cakes and naturally wonderful vegetarian food.” Bill has taken a rather different tactic with the publishing of his new book, opting to use a crowdfunded model to bring the project to life. “Commercial publishing is constrained by a brick wall of economic factors, and thankfully Kickstarter crowdfunding is changing all that,” he says. “It gives people a chance to support the book during its creation in some really exciting ways, such as sending one of our luxurious Michaelhouse café brownies to friends anywhere in the UK, pre-ordering copies of the book, joining me for a hands-on bread baking course, or even having me cook for you and your dinner party guests!” n You can follow Bill on Twitter @billsewellsfood and Instagram @Bills.Kitchen.Cookbook; search BillsKitchen on Kickstarter.com from 1 May for info on the campaign.

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A DV E RT I S EFM OEONDT & F ED AT RU I NRK E

P E R F E C T L E M O N S H O RT B R E A D . This recipe, adapted from Felicity Cloake’s excellent Guardian column, is buttery, delicate and crumbly – and extremely moreish. These are at their most spectacularly delicious when still slightly warm

Ingredients

• 250g butter • 125g caster sugar • 285g plain flour • 90g ground rice • 2 lemons – finely grated zest only • extra caster sugar for sprinkling on after baking

Step-by-step guide

1. Preheat the oven to 130°C (fan). Grease and line two 30x40cm baking sheets or the equivalent. 2. Put the butter (very soft) and the caster sugar into a large mixing bowl, and beat with a handheld electric

mixer until very soft and fluffy. Add the flour, ground rice and lemon zest and mix swiftly with a large spoon so it is beginning to come together. Then use your hands to pull it all together into one blob. 3. Roll the dough out to 0.5cm thick and cut out rounds with a 7cm diameter cookie cutter. Do not use extra flour when rolling out the dough. Reuse leftover dough until it’s all used. 4. Put cookies onto baking sheets leaving a little space between in each one. 5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 6. Bake for 50 minutes until cooked but not brown. 7. Leave on the tray for two minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with caster sugar. I find that sifting the caster sugar through a tea strainer makes it easier to do an even coating. Store in tins with baking parchment between layers.

TO E N S U R E T H AT YO U R S H O RT B R E A D I S A LWAYS P E R F E C T :

• Use plain flour not a strong white bread flour • Make sure the butter is really soft before beating it with the sugar • Don’t be tempted to omit the ground rice. It adds a delicious nubbly texture which is perfect for shortbread. • Make sure you don’t overwork the dough • Remember to chill the biscuits before baking

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A DV E RT I S E M E N T F E AT U R E

L U X U RY SA LT E D C A R A M E L & WA L N U T C H O C O L AT E B R OW N I E S . A seriously luxurious brownie which is perfect with a cup of strong coffee. The recipe is derived from multiple sources, but primarily from Bakers, a famous New York bakery

Ingredients

• 375g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into rough chunks • 325g butter • 500g light muscovado sugar • 6 eggs, lightly beaten • 1tsp vanilla essence • 200g plain flour • 25g cocoa powder – sieved to remove lumps • 200g walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted • 375g tin of Carnation caramel • 1tsp salt for caramel and a pinch of salt for the brownie mixture

Step-by-step guide

1.Grease and line a baking tray 25x35cm or equivalent. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan). 2. I n a large pan melt the chocolate and butter together over a low heat for three to five minutes, stirring regularly until they are both completely melted and amalgamated. Break up any lumps in the sugar, mix it in and allow to cool the mix to room temperature. 3. O  nce the chocolate mixture is cool, mix in the eggs and vanilla extract, a small amount at a time, mixing as little as possible.

4. Gently mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt – again mixing as little as necessary. Finally, briefly stir in the toasted walnut pieces and pour the whole mixture into the prepared tin. 5. Beat the salt into the caramel to loosen it up a bit. Then spread the caramel all over the top of the uncooked brownie mix. Use a knife or spatula to swirl the brownie and caramel together. Don’t worry about too much prettiness as you probably won’t be able to see a beautiful pattern after it’s baked. 6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until slightly crusty on top and just set.

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AU B E R G I N E , C H I C K P E A S & C AU L I F LOW E R I N A C H I L L I & P R E S E R V E D L E M O N TO M ATO SAU C E . Hearty and packed with flavour, it’s the preserved lemon and barely cooked cauliflower that give this recipe its character

Ingredients

• 600g aubergine, diced in 2cm pieces • 100ml olive oil for roasting • salt and pepper • 3 peppers (red and yellow), in fat strips • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped • 1 walnut-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped • 1tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground • 1tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground • 1tsp turmeric, ground • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped • 1 small cauliflower in small florets with the stalk finely sliced • 1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced • 500g passata (or pureed tinned tomatoes) • half a preserved lemon, finely chopped • 450g tin chickpeas • small bunch fresh coriander (about 30g), roughly chopped

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Step-by-step guide

1. Begin by roasting the diced aubergine. Toss the pieces with about half of the olive oil and the salt and pepper and roast on lined baking sheets at 200°C (fan) for 25 minutes until soft and well-browned

around the edges. Put to one side. Repeat this process with the peppers. 2. Make the chilli paste by blending together the garlic, fresh ginger, coriander and cumin seeds, turmeric and chopped chillies and half of the remaining olive oil. 3. Cook the cauliflower florets in plenty of boiling water until just tender. This will only take about a minute if you are using a big pan of water with not too much cauliflower. Drain them and put straight into cold water. As soon as they are cold drain and put aside. 4. Cook the onion in a very large pan (relative to the number of onions you are cooking) in the remainder of the olive oil over a low-ish heat until they are soft but not browned. 5. Add the passata, the chilli paste and the preserved lemons. Drain the chickpeas but keep the liquid and add half of it to the pan. Simmer over a medium heat until the sauce has reduced by about a third. 6. Add the roast aubergines and peppers, chickpeas and cauliflower, stirring everything together. Heat through thoroughly. Taste and add salt and black pepper as necessary. Use the chopped coriander to garnish each portion as you serve it. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

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A little spring in your step.

A DV E RT I S E M E N T FD E AT RIN UKS RE

E L O D I E C A M E RO N F RO M T H E T E A M AT T H I R S T Y G I V E S H E R P I C K S O F T H E V E RY B E S T W I N E S T O D R I N K THIS SPRINGTIME

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W O R D S E LO D I E C A M E R O N

have been observing a fascinating time over the last few weeks – and no, I’m not referring to Brexit or Trump, but the arrival of spring. Pottering around Cambridge on a bike, it’s amazing to see how the city has transitioned slowly yet dramatically over the course of a few weeks, from the depths of winter into this season of renewal. I enjoyed spotting snowdrops, which were followed quickly by handfuls of yellow and purple crocuses. Mornings started to seem slightly lighter, and before I knew it every supermarket and farm shop in town was piled high with bunches of daffodils. Yes, of course, there were the obligatory high winds, showers and a bit of hail, but then, hey presto, a bright sunny weekend – and of course my mind moves to what to drink. At this point my excitement for spring hits fever pitch and I’m thinking about what bottles to pull out. Immediately those thoughts of big, bold malbecs and comforting riojas make me want to pack up my hot-water bottle and throw my sheepskin slippers away with abandon. I want to try new vintages of fresh wines, chill down whites, open light reds and yes, I’ve even started thinking about rosé! Spring is a great time for wine; in summer we crave fresh and light, something refreshing to while away long evenings with friends. This season, however, offers a far more complex array of options, with the selection of fresh produce ensuring that our tables are interesting and diverse. Easter brings traditions of lamb, whilst the milder weather makes us lean

towards light dishes with fresh vegetables and fish, and our drink choices match accordingly. Spring is a great time for white wines with oomph: pastas and risottos with spring vegetables and prawns, or fish dishes with creamy accompaniments all cry out for chardonnay. The former matches with lighter unoaked styles and the latter moves into richer oaked styles – go for cool climate, new world wine or burgundy for elegance and style. I tend to find lighter reds are a joy at this time of year, like a soft pinot noir bursting with cherry coupled with roast chicken, or a sankt laurent from Austria if you want to try something different. For those who are keen to keep their reds a little fuller with their leg of lamb on Easter Sunday, a peppery syrah from the Northern RhÔne will always be a trusted friend. Equally a juicy Galician mencia will lighten the mood and provide some lively floral and fruity flavours for this ‘middling’ season. Personally, I also love any excuse to crack open a bottle of riesling; these beautiful, dry aromatic wines, with fabulous acidity, pair brilliantly with smoked salmon, crab and spicy dishes from south-east Asia. Last but not least, it is definitely not too early to open a bottle of rosé, especially if there is even a hint of sunshine. A delicate, salmon-hued wine from Provence with spicy prawns or grilled tuna is hard to beat, and if we are really lucky it may even start to feel as though summer is just around the corner. n All wines mentioned are available from Thirsty, Chesterton Road or at wearethirsty.co.uk.

TO P 5 S P R I N G T I P P L E S .

1 2 345 Chardonnay, Chemin des Pins 2015, Languedoc, £9

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Mencia, Viňa Roboreda 2015, Spain, £13

Sankt Laurent Pure 2012, Artisan Wines, Austria, £12.50

Riesling Kalkmergel 2015, Rings, Germany, £15

Rosé, Domaine des Jeanne Prestige 2015, Provence, £10.50

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Just the tonic! W I T H T H E G I N R E VO L U T I O N I N F U L L S W I N G, A L E X R U C Z A J G I V E S T H E L OW - D OW N O N T H E ‘M O T H E R ’S R U I N ’ C A M B R I D G E HAS TO OFFER

WORDS ALEX RUCZA J

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© PINKSTER GIN

I

FOOD & DRINK

t seems everyone has gone gin mad, especially us Brits, who spend an estimated £1 million a day on the spirit. That’s an awful lot of gin! Having well and truly shaken off its ‘mother’s ruin’ image, gin has hit the mainstream in a big way, with artisan gins popping up all across the land. London may still be the epicentre of the revolution, but Cambridge has its own gin thing going on: a leading distillery, great local gins and some super-cool bars and pubs offering incredible gin lists. We set out to discover the gen on gin in Cambridge, and get to the bottom of why we all love it so much. First stop is The Cambridge Distillery, which has become world famous since its humble beginnings in a house in Histon in 2011. The company’s gin tailoring service, which enables individuals to create bespoke gins according to their tastes, is the first in the world. The Distillery has also innovated with their own gins, most famously creating Anty gin, flavouring gin with red wood ants foraged from the forests of Kent, which is now a bestseller around the world. The Cambridge Distillery also waves the flag for Cambridge flavours with its Seasonal Gin, using local botanicals to create a new tasty gin four times a year (another first). The Distillery’s growing worldwide recognition and popularity was partly responsible for the opening of the Cambridge Gin Laboratory, under the cobbles on Green Street, in November 2015. “We started winning lots of awards, which prompted a high interest from all over the world. People wanted to come and see what we were doing,” says Will Lowe, master distiller and co-founder of the Cambridge Distillery alongside his wife Lucy. “We wanted to create an interactive space where anyone could come to learn about and appreciate our gin. We’re currently booked up three months in advance.” The lab offers a range of events, tastings and experiences at different prices, and you can choose to be guided through the history of gin production, learn how to taste like a professional, or blend your very own gin. All activities include a nice G and T on arrival. How very civilised.

Another agreeably civilised and popular gin with a local connection is Pinkster. This gin is made at one of the oldest distilleries in the country in Warrington, but the maceration process, using local raspberries to flavour and colour the gin a delicate pink colour, is done just outside Cambridge in Barley. Pinkster has also gone global, but owner Stephen Marsh cites Cambridge as Pinkster’s ‘heartland’ and he doesn’t see our thirst for gin slowing anytime soon. “Gin is a very accessible drink. It appeals to both sexes and to all ages. When we launched there were 120 gins on the market, four years later there are 800.” This, he says, makes the gin business highly competitive, but ultimately it’s a good time for the gin enthusiast. “Nowadays people want a smooth drink and won’t accept substandard gins, which is fantastic for gin lovers.” Cambridge Wine Merchants have certainly noticed an increase in demand for quality gins; they now stock over 180 varieties, and that list has more than doubled in three years. Alice Archer, head of events at Cambridge Wine Merchants, puts our seemingly insatiable desire for gin down to its breadth of flavour. “There really is a gin for everyone. The flavour excitement is huge; it’s just so versatile.” Alice now runs a regular gin club on the first Tuesday of every month at the Cherry Hinton branch, where gin novices and connoisseurs alike can go and taste five different gins per session, along with a few nibbles and tonic water, if they want it. “At gin club I get people to try the gins neat on ice and they are always surprised that they like it. We look at different flavour groups; we’ve tried fruity, floral, spicy, wood, seaside, Christmas and even detox gins that are flavoured using superfoods like goji berries.” The Cambridge gin scene is looking pretty healthy from where we are standing, with bars and restaurants, new and old, offering a huge array of gins, stocking the local stars and many more. The Royal Standard has Pinkster in pride of place in a fabulous dispenser alongside 55 others. The Pint Shop stocks several Cambridge Distillery gins, and an amazing 120 in total. Our love of gin doesn’t seem to be waning; on the contrary, in Cambridge gin is on the up and up, with plenty to see, do and drink – responsibly, of course. Chin-chin! n

C A M B R I D G E G I N S P I R AT I O N . Our guide to the top five gin things to do in Cambridgeshire 1. Cambridge Gin Lab: Learn about it, taste it, blend your own bottle, and don’t miss Gin Dating on 19 May. It costs £150 for two people to make their own tailored gin. 2. Gin Tailoring: Rather than make your own bottle, enjoy an audience with The Cambridge Distillery’s award-winning master distiller who will measure your palate and create a unique blend for you in the VIP tasting room of their new distillery in Grantchester

(by appointment only). You could also drop in and buy some of their gins from the small shop at the front of the distillery. 3. Vera Gin: Check the Plough at Shepreth’s website for this cheeky pop-up. Vera (Lyndsey Spellman) has a great knowledge and sparkling wit. Fun times and gin, what more could you want? 4. Gin Club at Cambridge Wine Merchants: At 7pm on the first Tuesday of every month join Alice

Archer for gin tastings at the Cherry Hinton Road branch. £15 per session, or £12.50 if you were there the previous month. Book via cherry@cambridgewine.com. 5. You’ve just missed the Gin Festival in March, but why not sign up for the Cambridge Cocktail Weekend, during which you can sample Pinkster and many other gins and gin-based cocktails from Cambridge bars including La Raza and Ta Bouche.

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The Larder at Burwash Manor. F RO M FA R MYA R D H O N E S T Y B OX T O C A M B R I D G E F O O D I E I N S T I T U T I O N , T H E L A R D E R H A S C O M E A L O N G WAY

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W O R D S S I O B H A N G O D W O O D P H OTO S BY N I C O L A F O L E Y

0 years ago, The Larder, that foodie destination now known and loved across Cambridgeshire and beyond, was nothing more than an honesty box on the Burwash farm selling homegrown asparagus and sweetcorn. “The stand was set up by Mike and Sue Radford, the farm’s owners,” explains Clare Rosier, co-manager at The Larder. “The idea was that you just took what you fancied and left the money in a tin.” The business grew naturally from there, and in the late 80s became a proper shop, occupying one of the old stables on the site. About four years ago, The Larder was doing so well that it outgrew its premises, so a new, timberframed barn was built, becoming what’s now known as the Food Hall. The farm’s asparagus plays an important part in the life of The Larder to this day. Every year they hold their asparagus festival, a day spent celebrating the delicious vegetable in all its glory. “It’s one of the highlights of our year, and a really lovely day for families and food lovers,” explains Clare. “We do a treasure hunt, and in a marquee on the lawn we have cookery demos from Ursula Ferrigno, a fabulous chef who’s been working with us for years. The wine merchant here at Burwash does a bar, and it’s just a wonderful way to spend a day in May.” Working out when the asparagus is actually going to grow is a tricky science, however. “It comes up overnight,” explains Clare, “and if the temperature drops too low then it just dies. So it’s all a bit of a guessing game! Last year when Dave, the farm hand, came into the shop waving the first stalk of asparagus, we all screamed so loudly we terrified our customers! There’s something so special about being able to tell people that what they’re buying was in the ground just an hour before: there aren’t that many places that can claim that, these days.” Asparagus may have been the thing that got the shop started, but The Larder has come a long way since those early days, and now stocks more than 1500 products. But its size and success hasn’t distracted the team from their vision. “Our focus is still really good quality, local and – where possible – organic produce,” says Clare, “and we try to champion small,

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local producers wherever we can. If we get someone coming in with a jar of marmalade, saying that they want to start a business, then we want to be able to help them grow. We’ll support them until they’re big enough that one of the supermarkets picks them up, and then it’s time for us to say goodbye, as we can’t compete with the prices that the supermarkets pay.” This means that the team really have to stay on their toes, visiting food fairs and farmers’ markets, searching out new, up-and-coming suppliers. As well as the asparagus festival, The Larder has three other annual events that form a part of its calendar. Each February plays host to Love Food, which is a weekend celebrating local food and drink, where visitors get the chance to sample delicious treats from The Larder’s many suppliers.

Being independent, local, and having a personality and a genuine relationship with our customers is what sets us apart and makes us special

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A DVIENRT DIE S EOMFETNHTEFM E AT ON U TRH E

The asparagus festival takes place in May, and then Sizzling Sunday is on the Sunday before the second May bank holiday. It’s a chance for guests to taste the delicious bacon, ham and sausages from the farm’s rare-breed pigs. “We do a huge barbecue, and our beer suppliers here set up a bar, and it’s just fantastic to see the farm strewn with people drinking beer and eating pig!” says Clare. Then, last but not least, The Larder teams up with all of the other businesses at Burwash Manor for Apple Day, usually on the second Saturday in October. “It’s a big charity event, a family day out, and last year we raised £5500 for the Sick Children’s Trust.” The Larder prides itself on its commitment to seasonal produce, which goes hand in hand with

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the team’s determination to source produce locally. “We get people coming in asking for our custard tarts on a Monday,” says Clare, “and we have to tell them that we only get those on a Wednesday and a Friday. I love that element of being a farm shop: we get things on the day that people make them, and we just have to work around it. And people do; our customers actually change their shopping habits based on what things we sell on different days, and it’s really lovely to have that two-way relationship.” Clare is fiercely proud of The Larder and of what makes it stand out, as an independent, from the supermarkets and multiples. “There are so many places now where you could go and do all your shopping, and not speak to a single human being. We have a rule that if someone comes into The Larder, we should behave as if they’ve walked into our front room. Being independent and local, and having a personality and a genuine relationship with our customers is what sets us apart and makes us special.” Being part of the burgeoning Cambridge foodie scene is something that the team at The Larder are really proud of, too. “Cambridge has seen such a fantastic resurgence in the last few years,” says Clare. “We used to be described as a clone town, but now we have a really thriving independent food industry. It’s really exciting to be a part of that.” n The Larder, Burwash Manor, New Road, Barton, Cambridge CB23 7EY | burwashlarder.com

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Top

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FA M I LY DAYS O U T.

2

THE NOISE NEXT D O O R ’S R E A L LY, R E A L LY G O O D A F T E R N O O N S H OW.

Improv impresarios The Noise Next Door bring their Really, Really Good Afternoon Show to Cambridge Junction on 8 April, promising to serve up a taste of their laugh-a-minute, off-thecuff antics. The sell-out sensation, who create spontaneous songs, perfect punchlines and outlandish characters – all on the hop – was described by The Daily Telegraph as “hilarious… a superior kind of chaos”. Catch them in action at 3pm, tickets are £6 per child and £10 per adult. junction.co.uk

Robin Hood. Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men pay a visit to the city this month for a special Easter panto on 11 April starring Gareth Gates. The show comes our way courtesy of Anton Benson Productions, who’ll be bringing the fun and frolics of Sherwood Forest to Cambridge in an all-singing, all-dancing rollercoaster ride through pantoland. Can the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham be outwitted? Can Robin win the hand of the fair Maid Marion? Find out at the Corn Exchange, tickets are available from £15.25. cornex.co.uk

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EASTER BAKING. If your little ones love chocolate, they’ll adore Cambridge Cookery School’s duo of classes with master chocolatier Gloria Dominguez Martinez, aka Mama Bombon. Taking place on 11 and 12 April, from 10am to 12pm, these hands-on sessions begin with an introduction to the magic cocoa bean, covering the history of chocolate and why tempering is so important when working with chocolate. Then, kids will get a chance to make their own chocolatey Easter treats, using fresh herbs, cream and fruits for delicious fillings. They’ll each get a beautiful box to arrange their creations in, as well as enjoying a very special cup of hot chocolate at the end of the class (£50 per child). There’s also an Easter Baking class on 13 April, which is suitable for children aged seven to 12 years. Taking place from 10am until 12.30pm, the session covers the joys of bread making, from the basics through to creating spiced buns, tasty saffron plaits and cute little pink beetroot rolls (£55 per child). cambridgecookeryschool.com

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A DV E RT I S E M E N T F EFA ATMUIR LY E W I M P O L E AT E A S T E R . There’s a busy schedule of family-friendly events this Easter over at Wimpole, including the return of the popular Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. Always a hit with little people, this runs until 17 April and offers a chance to explore the beautiful grounds of this historic estate, solve clues and snaffle up plenty of choccie treats! Then, from 18 April, it’s lambing season at Wimpole’s Home Farm, where you can watch the arrival of teeny lambs into the world, take a lambing quiz and more. Other spring fun includes egg and spoon races, Easter card making in the activity barn, contemporary art in the park and ‘Wellies and Wool’ tours. The gardens are gloriously flourishing at this time of year too, with a carpet of daffodils and other spring blooms, making it the perfect time for a stroll around. nationaltrust.org.uk

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EASTER F U N DAY AT WA N D L E B U RY.

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Head over to Wandlebury on 15 April for an Easter Fun Day which includes both indoor and outdoor fun. The sessions, taking place from 11am to 1pm or 2pm to 4pm, are aimed at kids aged five years and up and include a craft session using natural materials, plus outdoor trails and chocolate prizes. Tickets are £8 per child. cambridgeppf.org

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Family fun at Cambridge Leisure. With a cinema, bowling alley, and a variety of family-friendly places to eat, Cambridge Leisure Park is ideal for entertaining little people (and grown-ups!) over the Easter holidays. Catch a film, get stuck into the games and amusements at Tenpin Bowling and then choose between eateries including Frankie & Benny’s, Nando’s, Five Guys and Chiquitos. cambridgeleisure.co.uk

S P O RTS C A M P S AT C H E S T E RTO N S P O RTS C E N T R E .

If you’ve got a little footie fan on your hands, ship them off to Chesterton Sports Centre over the Easter Holidays for their Soccer Schools, which are open to boys and girls of all abilities aged four to 12. Run by our local team, Cambridge United FC, these schools are fun and inspiring for the kids, as well as being an ideal solution for any working parent during the school holidays. The centre also runs weekly swimming ‘crash courses’ during the holiday breaks and half terms. Ranging from splash about sessions for the teeniest ‘ducklings’ to more advanced pool-based activities such as water polo, rookie lifeguard and diving. Check out the website for all the info. chestertonsportscentre.org.uk

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FA M I LY

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Wow! Said the Owl. Presented by Little Angel Theatre, this adorable theatre show features a curious little owl who is determined to stay awake and see what daylight might bring. Blending storytelling, puppetry and music, it’s based on the children’s book by Tim Hopgood, and invites audience members to marvel at the colours of the world, from the pink glow of dawn to a dazzling rainbow. It’s suitable for children aged two to five and shows take place at 11.30am and 2.30pm on 9 April. Tickets are £6 per child and £10 per adult and there will be a free arts and crafts session in the Junction’s foyer before the shows. junction.co.uk

B E N & H O L LY ’S LIT TLE KINGDOM.

This month, step into a colourful, magical land where everyone is tiny and music, fun and games await around every corner. From the makers of Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom tells the story of fairy princess Holly and her best friend Ben, an elf. Featuring helpful ladybirds, floods of jelly, Nanny Plum the tooth fairy and lots of laughs, their adventures are sure to delight the whole family. Join the fun at the Corn Exchange on 19 and 20 April, tickets from £15.75. cornex.co.uk

GET TING DRESSED. Dive into a world of colour, texture and movement at Cambridge Junction this month, when Second Hand Dance present Getting Dressed on 6 April. An energetic, engaging dance show, the production takes the process of putting clothes on as its inspiration, encouraging us all to be creative and join in the fun, climbing through mountains of clothes, plunging into piles of pants and swinging in swathes of skirts. Getting dressed will never be the same again! Shows take place at 11.30am and 2.30pm and tickets are £6 per child and £10 per adult. There will be a free arts and crafts session in the Junction’s foyer before the shows. junction.co.uk

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What’s on. A RO U N D - U P O F E V E N T S I N A N D A RO U N D C A M B R I D G E S H I R E T H I S A P R I L

2 APRIL ALEXANDER O ’NEAL

O’Neal performs 30 years of Hearsay, the album that spent two years on the UK album charts and saw him perform six sold-out nights at Wembley Arena, a record for an African American. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | £34.75 cornex.co.uk

3 APRIL THE JESUS A N D M A RY C H A I N

Brothers William and Jim Reid defined the beginnings of shoegaze and grunge that groups such as My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr would follow. Catch their orchestrated, dense sound with the odd pop convention thrown in.

7pm | Cambridge Junction | £32.50 junction.co.uk

3 APRIL JESCA HOOP

As well as working with Guy Garvey and Peter Gabriel, Hoop has being a nanny to Tom Waits’ children on her CV. She’s emerged as a leading female singer-songwriter, and tours in support of her new album. 7pm | The Portland Arms | £13.20 theportlandarms.co.uk

5 A P R I L T H E AT R E W O R KS H O P S

Nature meets self-expression in workshops run by Vital Sparks Theatre Company. Preschool children must be accompanied.

10-10.45am, 11-11.45am, 12-3pm | Wandlebury Country Park | £5 preschool, £20 primary ages cambridgeppf.org

7 APRIL B R O M P TO N B I K E R OA D S H OW

Talk to the experts, view the Brompton range of bikes and arrange a test ride with Rutland Cycling to claim your free Brompton Buff (T&Cs apply) All day | Grand Arcade (ground floor) | Free to attend rutlandcycling.com

10-15 A P R I L A B I GA I L ’S PA RT Y

Mike Leigh’s undisputed classic. This version of the drinks party from hell stars Amanda Abbington, best known for her appearances in Sherlock, as Beverly, who, along with her estate agent husband, invites new neighbours and a nervous divorcee over. 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm | Cambridge Arts Theatre | £23-£42 cambridgeartstheatre.com

12 A P R I L BUSHCRAFT

26 April Ventoux. The story of cyclists Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani, whose drug-fuelled race on the titular mountain in 2000’s Tour de France was a classic, before their cheating came to light. 2Magpies restage the race using video and bikes to ask how far will we go to succeed? 7.30pm | Cambridge Junction | £12.50 (£8 concessions) junction.co.uk

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A chance for eight- to 12-yearolds to learn basic bushcraft skills such as making fires, cooking over them, whittling and tracking. Booking in advance essential. 10am-4pm | Wandlebury Country Park | £45 (£40 members) cambridgeppf.org

17-22 A P R I L T H E P L AY T H AT G O E S WRONG

Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are set to perform a 20s murder mystery in this play within a play – but everything that can go wrong does go wrong for this ludicrously accident prone group of thesps. 7.45pm, Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm | Cambridge Arts Theatre | £18-£33 cambridgeartstheatre.com

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Talks, readings and more at what has become not just Cambridge’s number-one literary event, but high up on the national calendar for those who love books. Times, venues and prices vary, check the website. cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

19-20 A P R I L B E N A N D H O L LY ’S LIT TLE KINGDOM

Join Holly, Ben and all their friends as they help Gaston the ladybird clean up his messy cave and then go on a trip into the Big World with the tooth fairy, Nanny Plum. An exciting, enchanting, magical and musical adventure. Wednesday 4.30pm, Thursday 10am, 1pm, 4.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | £15.75, £17.75, under-16s £2 off cornex.co.uk

21 A P R I L H AYS E E D DIXIE

Pioneers of rockgrass, the folk foursome put a banjo-tinged sheen on classics from AC/DC to Journey, plus plenty of their own material too for a rocked up treat. 7pm | Cambridge Junction | £20.50 junction.co.uk

22 A P R I L BEGINNERS B L AC KS M I T H COURSE

Learn the techniques of this old craft in Wimpole’s blacksmith shop, and take home what you make. Learn the correct use of tools, including hammer and anvil, and create a ram’s head hanging hook. 10am-4pm | Wimpole Hall | £120 nationaltrust.org.uk

24 A P R I L O F F S I D E

Set in 1881, 1921 and the present day, four women live and breathe football. Each faces different obstacles to achieve their dream

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21-22 April Ballet Central 2017. A family-friendly show ideal for both dance enthusiasts and those new to ballet. Young and dynamic dancers showcase newly commissioned works and celebrated masterpieces. Friday 7.45pm, Saturday 2.30pm | ADC Theatre | £11-£14 adctheatre.com

job, but the possibility that the game could change their futures is tantalisingly close. 7.30pm | Cambridge Junction | £12.50 (£8 concessions) junction.co.uk

25, 28-29 A P R I L TO S C A

English Touring Opera’s take on Puccini’s classic, Tosca. Brimming with lust, corruption and intrigue, leading to Tosca facing an impossible choice. 7.30pm | Cambridge Arts Theatre | £23-£42 cambridgeartstheatre.com

26 A P R I L S O U T H AFRICAN WINE TA S T I N G

From floral sauvignon blancs to smoky syrahs and bold bordeaux blends, explore the great and good from a dynamic wine producer. 7.30pm | Cambridge Wine Merchants, Cherry Hinton Road | £20 cambridgewine.com

26-27 A P R I L PAT I E N C E

The Gilbert and Sullivan all-singing,

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all-dancing comedy pokes fun at Victorian society, with willowy poets, sighing maidens and burly officers brought to you by English Touring Opera. 7.30pm | Cambridge Arts Theatre | £23-£42 cambridgeartstheatre.com

28 APRIL CAMBRIDGE D A RTS M A S T E R S Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld headlines a talented field of players that includes Cambridgeshire’s own darts world champ Martin Adams. 7pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | £20-£30 cornex.co.uk

2 9 A P R I L SA M BAILEY

X Factor winner and former prison officer returns to the stage in support of her new album, Sing My Heart Out, following work on the stage as Mama Morton in Chicago. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | £27-£32 cornex.co.uk

27 March-8 April La Strada. A stage adaptation of Federico Fellini’s Oscar-winning masterpiece. An impassioned tale of love and loss, set in post-war Italy, after a mismatched pair stumble across a ragtag circus. 7.45pm, Tuesdays and Saturdays 2.30pm, no show 2 April | Cambridge Arts Theatre | £18-£33 cambridgeartstheatre.com

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E D U C AT I O N

Putting primary education first.

M AT T H E W O ’R E I L LY, H E A D O F J U N I O R S AT S T M A RY ’S S C H O O L , C A M B R I D G E , C O N S I D E R S T H E I M P O R TA N C E O F C O N T I N U I T Y I N E D U C AT I O N , F RO M P R I M A RY L E V E L U P WA R D S

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any educators and parents view the efforts of primary teachers as somehow ‘less’ important than their GCSE, A level and university counterparts. But primary education sets the tone for a child’s entire education experience, so it’s essential that these years are positive and provide children with a springboard to propel them confidently through education and beyond. What do we think of when we recall our own experiences of primary school? Some of us will have happy memories of team games, creative projects or discovering the joy of independent reading. We might not recall so quickly the process of getting to grips with the rules of formal classroom behaviour, such as how to work as a group, formulate ideas or give and receive constructive criticism. Neither are we likely to remember practising the art of staying focused on a difficult challenge for the first time. As adults we are all too aware that projects need to be completed, and that accomplishment comes from striving that bit more, but at the age of four these are brand-new skills that need to be learnt. These initial learning experiences have more of an impact on the way we subsequently approach learning than we might realise. Primary years are where children start to understand who they are, often based on what they think they are good at and what they enjoy, and so it’s vital that they spend their primary years happily and productively. Providing this solid foundation is key; but even the best-laid plans fail when not followed through, so the next stage of children’s education must build upon this foundation and not work against it. For that reason, there are huge advantages to a joined up approach between primary and secondary education. An awareness of the different experiences children will have had, in terms of styles of learning, daily routines, expectations, giving of feedback, school values and curriculum content, helps to deliver this.

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At St Mary’s, our Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form teachers all come together for professional development training days four times each year, so, for example, teachers from reception through to A level are up to speed with the school’s growth mindset approach and emphasis on developing essential oracy skills. We are also able to share subject specialist teachers across our schools. Our STEM co-ordinator starts working with the girls in reception on creative projects and sees the girls’ inquisitiveness spark throughout their time at Junior School in preparation for their learning at Senior School, which they are able to tailor to their interests. Similarly, our house system – in which each house ‘family’ has a couple of girls from each year group – continues from Junior School through to Sixth Form and works to develop friendships between year groups by supporting the vertical integration of our girls. Being able to plan in this way is of enormous benefit as pupils approach each transition through the school. The continued development of multi-academy trusts (MATs) across the UK supports this approach too, with primary heads sitting on governing bodies of senior schools to promote continuity from one learning environment to the next. A disjointed education system, where children’s early experiences become mismatched and even contrary to what they encounter when they arrive at senior school, only works to undo the accomplishments of the children and their primary teachers. It’s not right that children are left to figure out changing styles of teaching and different levels of expectations by themselves at the same time as they are getting to grips with new teachers, peers and subject content, and this is why it is important that there is dialogue between schools and that primary school heads are given the chance to speak for the whole of a child’s education. n

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ST CHRISTOPHER SCHOOL. A T R U LY I N D E P E N D E N T S C H O O L

AT ST CHRISTOPHER SCHOOL in Letchworth Garden City we aim to help children between the ages of three and 18 become self-disciplined, self-motivated and creative thinkers and to develop them as independent learners who are able to make informed choices. These are very important years that are part of the journey from childhood to adulthood. There are plenty of new friends to meet, new subjects to learn, new activities to try out and new challenges to tackle. There will be successes and there will be failures, all of which need to be met with the right attitude. At St Chris we have high expectations of all within the school. We expect excellent behaviour and maximum effort. We also expect everyone to

T R AV E L L I N G TO S T C H R I S TO P H E R .

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Located only five minutes from A1(M) Junction nine, the 38-acre campus is located in central Letchworth Garden City. We have a daily bus service and train links to Cambridge and Royston. If you have never visited us before then do come and have a look – you’ll be amazed at what you find.

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work together, to enjoy their time at school and have fun working hard. Our students develop self-confidence while with us and have admirably varied plans for the future. The school is situated on a spacious 38-acre purpose-built campus. Our highly qualified staff use the very best resources to engage and enthuse the students. When the school was first founded the Daily Herald reported that the school was based ‘not on the sameness of children, their conformity to type, but on their differences’. This concept, like the fact that children can choose what they wish to wear to school and that all are addressed by their first names, was distinctive in 1915. Today, these are modern practices that continue to support our highly effective learning and teaching as they have done for more than a century. We have been pioneering a distinctive and innovative approach to education for 100 years and our methods have stood the test of time. We believe – and universities, parents and employers tell us – that our approach produces well-rounded, highly capable individuals with the skills and confidence that allow them to thrive in the modern world. We can think of no better role for a school. Words can never adequately describe the sense of purpose that exists within the school, or reflect the levels of respect and trust between all teachers and children. Only a visit can do this and this is a school that needs to be visited. n

Open days & contact info. SAT U R D AY 6 M AY 2 017

Takes place 9.30am-1pm, no appointment is necessary. We welcome applications throughout the autumn, spring and summer terms. Alternatively, if you would like to book an individual tour of St Chris or would like more information, please contact the registrar at admissions@ stchris.co.uk, call 01462 650947 or visit the website. stchris.co.uk St Christopher School, Barrington Road, Letchworth SG6 3JZ

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The next big thing.

DA I S Y D I C K I N S O N G I V E S T H E L OW - D OW N O N T H E U N D E RG RO U N D B E AU T Y B R A N D S O N T H E I R WAY T O WO R L D D O M I N AT I O N – A N D T H E C U LT P RO D U C T S YO U N E E D I N YO U R L I F E

W O R D S & P H OTO S BY DA I SY D I C K I N S O N

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OFRA COSMETICS

Named after the creator herself, Ofra Cosmetics started in South Africa and is now hot on the USA beauty scene. Known for its long-lasting liquid lipsticks and pigmented shadows, it’s thankfully now possible to purchase products from within the UK. Head to hookedupshop. co.uk to explore the range, where I recommend the Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed, £16.99, a nude-plum collaboration between Ofra and Instagramfamous beauty guru Manny Mua.

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T H E O R D I N A RY

Trending brand of the moment, The Ordinary takes pride in offering clinical formulations with integrity, not to mention prices that are easy on the wallet – you’ll recognise ingredients used by this skincare line from products that often cost more than double the price from bigger brands. Head to asos.com and treat yourself to the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 for just £6, a hard-working hydration support serum. The range is also totally cruelty free, as well as being free of all parabens and nasties.

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H U DA B E AU T Y

Followers of my blog and my Instagram (@thedayseyesuk) will know I’m a huge fan of false lashes and liquid lippies, and Dubai-based company Huda Beauty – named after make-up artist Huda Kattan – more than excel at both. With a modest range available from online store cultbeauty.co.uk, stock up on the falsies, my favourite being the Samantha Lashes #7, £15.50. These fully synthetic lashes are so soft and fluffy, and thanks to their curved shape they are easy to apply – I promise!

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PÜR COSMETICS

I’m often surprised that this brand continues to largely go under the radar – it has over a decade of experience in producing great, multitasking skincare and make-up. The entire range is stunning, and certified cruelty-free. A product which you really have to try to believe is the Afterglow Illuminating Powder, £22.50, which has intense, creamy, pigmented pay-off for a super sharp highlight. Available in Marks & Spencer, you can swatch to your heart’s content before you commit.

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B E AU T Y B A K E R I E

Presented in pleasingly funky packaging, Beauty Bakerie is an indie which is now available in the UK on cultbeauty.com. All themed around confection, from the Flour Setting Powders to EyesCream eyeshadow palette and BROWnie brow pomade, it’s the vegan Lip Whip, £16, which flies the company’s flag. On the liquid lipstick spectrum, this is as hardcore as they come. Non-drying, this formula won’t budge, smudge, or transfer! Use a facial oil or the brand’s removers to wipe away at the end of the day. The shade Take me for Pomegranate, is pictured here.

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NANSHY

Taking the guesswork out of buying cruelty-free make-up, nanshy.com offers a beautiful range of make-up application tools which are all hand assembled and synthetic. Choose from a huge collection of precision products in Onyx Black or Pearlescent White. I’ve been happily applying my powder with the Large Powder Makeup Brush in Onyx Black, £10.95.

3INA

Pronounced “Mina”, this innovative beauty brand aims to make make-up fun! With a range of professional-standard products, you’ll see some wicked bold shades within the collection, including vibey eyeliner and coloured mascara. I tried out The Longwear Lipstick – liquid lipstick, in the shade 503, £6.36. A perfect mid-tone nude, the formula is surprisingly hydrating and long-lasting. While it doesn’t completely dry down, meaning it’s not totally transferproof, it does feel super comfortable and supple to wear all day.

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OH K!

Cute, weird, exciting and totally effective, South Korean beauty and skincare brands are becoming more popular over here. Packaging is often bonkers – in a really great way – and I’ve found the products work really well. Concentrating on a multitude of skin complaints such as oil production and open pores, I’m loving Oh K! and their Deep Clean Multi Step Mask With Charcoal, £7, asos.com. It’s an easy-to-follow three-step mask, which promises to leave you squeaky clean.

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BBEEAU AUTTYY

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Property edition.

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H O M E S TO R E O F THE MONTH. CAMBRIDGE P R O P E RT Y N E W S .

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I T ’S T I M E T O G E T YO U R GA R D E N R E A DY F O R T H E N E W S E A S O N A H E A D. INVEST IN CHIC FURNITURE, BRIGHT P L A N T S A N D S T Y L I S H AC C E S S O R I E S T O M A K E T H E O U T D O O R S YO U R N E W L I V I N G RO O M

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© FARROW AND BALL

WORDS ANGELINA VILL A-CL ARKE

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ROOM TO B R E AT H E . From outdoor rugs to stylish daybeds, there is a wealth of garden furniture and accessories to choose from to make your garden more than just a green space outside. The new generation of designs enables us to extend our homes and use the garden as a second living room – once the weather warms up, of course. But what are the first steps in prepping the garden? George Seabright, owner of G&M Landscapes, says, “Spring is the busiest time of year as the garden wakes up from winter. Digging over is a good way to break up compacted heavy soils, allowing air and water in, as well as improving drainage. Weed and feed your lawn in early spring and over-seed sparse areas. For the first few cuts of the season make sure the mower blades are not too low. If you’re using a spray weedkiller, try to do it when rain is not expected and on a calm day, to reduce the risk of spray blowing onto any plants you want to keep.” Think about how you will use your space outside. For a practical patio area, opt for Stone and Ceramic Warehouse’s sophisticated Altea Paving, which is perfect for a seamless home-to-garden transition. For more of a relaxed way to spend the long days, invest in modern, modular sofas and chairs, such as the Egg chair available from Wyevale Garden Centres or Neptune’s Harrington sofa. The safari-themed Lene Bjerre collection, available at Sweetpea and Willow, includes the chic Judith hammock and Clara couch. For something even more glamorous, Bridgman’s Hampstead Jewel daybed brings a touch of Ibiza to your lawn. Sian Lowri Allpress at Jo Alexander, a Cambridgeshire-based garden furniture specialist, gives her advice: “Think of the garden as an extension of your home and install comfortable sofas and daybeds with big, plump cushions and parasols to keep cool this summer. At Jo Alexander, we are influenced by a Far East design ethos – and our pieces, such as the reclaimed teak furniture range, are designed in Indonesia, China and Vietnam.” Meanwhile at John Lewis, a tribal, Amazonian theme is on trend. “Go for global-inspired prints in earthy colours and woven textures for a bohemian edge,” says Vicky Angell, Outdoor Living buyer at John Lewis. “Consider statement pieces of furniture paired with vibrant oversized floor cushions in leafy green shades, to truly embrace the jungle fusion vibe in your own garden.” ➥

Top Jo Alexander’s Tuscan Teak dining table and six chairs, from £2315. Above middle Design Project chaise with table, £699, one arm sofa, £650, armchair, £325, stone coffee table, £200, all from John Lewis. Above Teak Longstock round dining table and six chairs, £1399, from John Lewis. Left Egg Chair, £399, from Wyevale Garden Centres. Right Valencia Teak daybed, £1995, at Jo Alexander.

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123 W H AT ’S B LO O M I N G ? James Swayne, of garden designers The Dirty Digger, gives his top three tips for garden trends for 2017

Dense areas of bulbs.

With good selection, bulb planting provides an all-year coverage of colour as they pop up at different times. Bulbs are zero maintenance and with well-thought-out planning, they give dramatic results throughout the year.

Rustic materials.

The rustic look is very popular. Use natural products, such as sandstone and oak sleepers, to create an organic feel. These are materials that will age well with the garden and will not have to be replaced.

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Dramatic topiary.

Hedge cutting is an art form and there is a definite demand for box hedges and large shrubs with that wow factor.

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TA L K I N G P O I N TS .

T H R E E M U S T - H AV E S FOR A STYLISH GA R D E N

Give the eye something to look at with a modern garden sculpture, like the metal spheres at Moore Designs.

Add innovative lighting in the form of Exo’s glow-in-the-dark furniture at My Furniture.

Once the weather gets balmier, dining al fresco is one of the joys of the summer season. Vanessa Arbuthnott, textile designer, agrees: “Outside entertaining should be as comfortable and stylish as indoor dinner parties. Create comfort and style with fabric canopies, oilcloth-covered tables and an abundance of cushions. The fabrics in my Bohemian collection lend themselves well to summer entertaining due to their breezy colour combinations.” Extex’s huge range of outdoor textiles are weatherproofed and practical for outdoor gatherings without skimping on the style factor, while Lexington Company’s Hamptons-inspired tablecloths and crockery give a smart aesthetic. Kristina Lindhe, founder of Lexington Company, says, “Eating al fresco with cotton napkins, light colours and tea lights is the ultimate way to spend an evening – all you need is good company.“ Whether you choose a rattan-style dining set, a modern metal look or a traditional wooden style, go for furniture that is practical, hardwearing and something that can easily be stored away or covered in the winter months. ➥

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A Morsø firepit gives a welcoming ambience and can be used to barbecue food.

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E AT A L F R E S C O .

Above Vanessa Arbuthnott’s Bohemian collection of fabrics, from £49.50 per metre. Below Extex’s range of outdoor fabric from £48.75 per linear metre.

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GA R D E N I N C O LO U R .

Top Sandtex’s exterior satin paint in Gentle Blue, Cloudy Day and Fern Canopy, from £17.64 for 450ml. Above Christopher Wray’s Solar Outdoor Light, £705. Right Little Greene’s Juniper Ash and Atomic Red, from £29 for one litre.

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Look again at paint colours for the garden – there’s now more choice available than ever before so opt for newer shades than the standard brown, black and forest green. Sandtex’s 10 Year colours are exceptionally long-lasting and come in contemporary hues, such as Hot Mustard and Cloudy Day (a pale grey). “Make an ordinary garden extraordinary with upbeat paint colours inspired by nature,” advises David Mottershead, managing director of paint experts, Little Greene. “Look to colours that create a contrast to green foliage – our Atomic Red works particularly well.” Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball, also agrees that being creative when painting outside features helps to add a sense of style to the garden. “You don’t need acres of land or lots or garden furniture to create an inspiring outside area. If you have minimal space to play with, look at metal railings and masonry walls as an opportunity to freshen up your garden. Soft multitonal blues, bold greens and greys, like Pigeon, have a relaxed feel and are perfect for gardens.” Finally, don’t forget that stunning lighting features do not have to be confined to the house. Chris Jordan, managing director at Christopher Wray, says: “Decorative exterior lighting is really essential in creating a relaxing outdoor space. Architectural plants are most conducive to lighting and multi-stem plants allow the light to travel through the canopy creating volume and depth. Add drama to an exterior space through lighting tall trees, up lighting the trunk and the canopy from multiple locations.” n

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Stockists. BRIDGMAN 020 8804 7474 bridgman.co.uk

CHRISTOPHER WRAY 020 7013 0180 christopherwray.com EXTEX 01634 718871 extex.co.uk FARROW & BALL 01223 367771 farrow-ball.com G&M LANDSCAPES 01767 677 953 treeandlandscapes.com JO ALEXANDER 01954 768 536 joalexander.co.uk JOHN LEWIS 01223 361292 johnlewis.com LAURA ASHLEY 0871 223 1407 lauraashley.com LEXINGTON COMPANY lexingtoncompany.com LITTLE GREENE PAINT COMPANY 020 7935 8844 littlegreene.com MOORE DESIGNS 01403 865950 mooredesigns.co.uk MORSØ 01788 554410 morsoe.com MY FURNITURE 0845 309 6356 my-furniture.co.uk NEPTUNE 01793 427300 neptune.com SANDTEX sandtex.co.uk STONE AND CERAMIC WAREHOUSE 020 8993 5545 stoneandceramicwarehouse.co.uk

THE DIRTY DIGGER 01284 388 300 thedirtydigger.com VANESSA ARBUTHNOTT 01285 831437 vanessaarbuthnott.co.uk WYEVALE GARDEN CENTRES 0344 272 3000 wyevalegardencentres.co.uk

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© LAURA ASHLEY

SWEETPEA AND WILLOW 0345 257 2627 sweetpeaandwillow.com

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WIRE TEA LIGHT HOLDER

£3.50, wilko.com

WELCOME GNOME

£56.95, limelace.co.uk GARDEN CLOCK AND THERMOMETER

£40, gardentrading.co.uk

DISTRESSED METAL DORSET GARDEN MIRROR

£128, thefarthing.co.uk

Edition loves.

DROOG SHADYLACE GREEN PARASOL

£284.95, designmyworld.net

BARKER AND STONEHOUSE CASTELLO TABLES (SET OF TWO)

JACKY GARDEN FLOOR CUSHION

£95, barkerandstonehouse.co.uk

£35, raggedrose.com

METAL GARDEN BENCH

£198, miafleur.com

SALSA GARDEN CHAIR

£60, johnlewis.com

LAGUNA INDOOROUTDOOR RUG

£49.95, cuckooland.com

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A DV E RT I S E M E NI TN FT E AT RIO UR S E

Design Republic.

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WORDS ANGELINA VILL A-CL ARKE

f you are looking for a kitchen that will become the talking point of your home, or a bathroom that will be your ultimate go-to retreat, then look no further than Design Republic’s award-winning designs. Since the brand was first launched in 2003, by Max Spenser-Morris, it has become renowned throughout Cambridgeshire and Suffolk for its contemporary kitchen and bathroom designs. “Italian brands such as Scavolini are showcased within our showroom,” says Max Spenser-Morris, Design Republic’s managing director. “We look for names that dare to be different with new materials, colours and finishes. This fits perfectly with our own philosophy. Scavolini products are at the cutting edge of kitchen design, in terms of visual appeal as well as quality, and this is where Design Republic always aims to be.” Design Republic also works with a number of other marketleading brands, such as Quooker boiling water taps, Sub-Zero and Wolf professional appliances and the innovative berbel odour extraction units, and many of these can be seen at its new flagship showroom in Bury St Edmunds. “Our new showroom certainly marks an important moment in time for Design Republic,” says Max. “While we have been designing beautiful bathrooms and kitchens for a long time, now we have the ability to physically show people what we can do. Just as you wouldn’t buy a new car without seeing it and touching it first, so the same applies to a new kitchen or bathroom.”

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Buying a new kitchen is one of the biggest investments a homeowner makes and can be a daunting prospect for many. Max’s advice is to firstly think about how you want to use your room, giving attention to worktop space (a prime consideration), having enough storage and practical requirements such as sinks and appliances, before you consider visual appeal. “Do some research to get an idea of the kind of design you might like,” he suggests. “Gather together some cuttings to take along to your designer, but go with an open mind, as not all of what you wish for may work in reality. Seek advice from the experts. We are here to help.”

D E S I G N R E P U B L I C ’S TO P T H R E E K I TC H E N T R E N D S .

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Brushed metal. Combine copper with marble worktops to create an elegant, timeless look. Vinyl wall coverings. With so many colours and designs to choose from, vinyl can be extremely decorative and is incredibly practical and simple to clean. Professional appliances. The domestic kitchen is taking a lead from the professionals, with homeowners keen to invest in appliances that help them cook like chefs. Bathrooms, too, have become increasingly important rooms in our homes. They have emerged to become a place of sanctuary, with more people looking to invest in furniture and design. “The focus on bathroom design has certainly changed over the last decade or so,” agrees Max. “Today, the bathroom is second only to the kitchen in terms of selling houses. Consumers are eager to incorporate design ideas that make the most of what is often a compact footprint. Minimal design is on-trend.” Design Republic makes sure that it keeps one step ahead of new developments in design. In terms of surfaces, for instance, it offers a choice of granite, natural stone and composite stone – an extremely durable option available in designs that emulate the look and feel of the real thing. “Knowing what the next big thing is is key for us. We invest a lot of time in attending the leading trade shows in Europe where we can see first-hand the new products coming to market and decide whether to bring them back to the UK. The future for us is to essentially keep working with market-leading brands and to create beautiful kitchens and bathrooms for our customers.” n For more information visit design-republic.net or call Design Republic on 01284 812590.

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RETIREMENT LIVING IN CAMBRIDGE. T H I S D E V E L O PM E N T O F 74 A PA R TM E N T S O N T H E E D G E O F T H E C I T Y W I T H C O U N T RY V I E WS H A S S TA R T E D W E L C O M I N G I T S F I R S T R E S I D E N T S

Property info. • Balcony or terrace to all apartments • Landscaped communal gardens • Cycle storage • Social areas • Lift access to all floors • NHBC guarantee

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ednes to Satu rday fro day m 10am t o 4pm.

Residents of Warburton House will be able to enjoy amenities such as an on-site hair salon (subject to business occupancy), communal areas and communal gardens. The development is full of useful features designed to provide comfort, independence and peace of mind alongside the freedom to live life to the full. It provides a friendly environment where residents can comfortably retain their independence in retirement, or plan for it, with the reassurance that their apartment is equipped for any future needs they may require. Costing in excess of £11 million to build, construction work began on Warburton House in December 2014. This prestigious new development opened its doors to residents in January 2017 and offers four floors of accommodation providing a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as the exclusivity of a range of facilities conveniently located within the development. Of the 74 flats, 45 will be available for rent and 29 will be released for shared ownership sale. n

Above The exterior of Warburton House

© PHOTO CREDIT

WARBURTON HOUSE provides those over 55 with beautifully designed homes near the heart of Cambridge. Woven into its natural surroundings, yet still within close proximity to the centre of the city, it is a brand-new development of 74 luxury retirement apartments available for sale or rent. Forming part of the Ninewells development, a new community on the outskirts of Cambridge, Warburton House provides independent yet flexible living to those people who may need it now or in the future. The development is located on the southern edge of Cambridge with views over rolling countryside, green spaces and allotments. Set in a beautiful natural environment, created around southern views of the Gog Magog Hills, Ninewells provides all the benefits of a countryside location but with the added advantage of being within convenient distance to everything Cambridge has to offer. Available to buy or rent, the apartments themselves are high-specification, contemporary, one- and two-bedroom properties. They have been designed specifically to cater for the needs of the over-55s and to provide residents with the ability to live independently in stylish modern surroundings, while the on-site facilities encourage communal living.

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A DV E RT I S E M E N T F E AT U R E

Further details.

• bpha has worked closely with architects to develop a future-focused plan for people and place. • At the heart of this vision is the ‘green fingers’ concept: a series of green spaces that make a connection with the countryside and act as viewing corridors to the Gog Magog Hills. • Due to the topography of the site, there was a requirement to design a complex drainage system and it was decided to make this a feature of the site, which has resulted in a number of wet ponds that are served by roadside swales and rills.

© PHOTO CREDIT

C O N TAC T B P H A .

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Warburton House offers beautiful interiors

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N V I S I T B P H AO P T I O N S . O R G . U K ( P R O P E RT Y R E F E R E N C E 3773 ) , C A L L 0 3 3 0 0 5 3 5132 O R E M A I L I N F O @ B P H AO P T I O N S . O R G . U K

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Added on Rightmove.

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ightmove is great. It’s the best website. It really is. The best. (That impression works better in real life than on paper; it’s supposed to be that Wotsitscoloured chap from America with the odd handshake). Every agent puts their houses on Rightmove in perfect detail for all to see; the site even emails you instantly when something new comes up that suits your criteria. I’ll regularly get a phone call from an excited house-hunter wanting to book a viewing within minutes of sending a property over to Rightmove. It doesn’t have a monopoly in the property searching stakes, but last time I saw stats it was over twice as busy as its nearest rival Zoopla, so it’s a massively important part of what we do as estate agents and we have to look at how Rightmove works when we market our properties. For example, we used to put houses on the market at £499,950, because that looks cheaper than £500,000. We don’t do that now because if someone chooses £500,000£600,000 in the drop-down menus on Rightmove then a house at £499,950 doesn’t show up, whereas at £500,000 exactly it shows up in both searches up to £500,000 and searches £500,000 and over. I suspect we weren’t fooling anyone at £499,950, but you get the point. A few years back Rightmove started adding a small, but critical bit of information to every property listing. Tucked-away in small type, it went unnoticed for a little while but once people started spotting it the way in which they judge properties changed forever.

W H AT ’S W R O N G W I T H I T ?

It simply shows the date a property was first put on the site. That’s all. And never before has so much been read into such a small piece of information by so many. Knowing that something has been on for a couple of months is enough to terrify the nervous buyer. “Everything in Cambridge sells fast, so what’s wrong with this one? It must be rubbish, I’m not even going to see it” – is what I imagine they say to themselves. Even if they can’t see what’s wrong with it, they’re convinced there must be something – something obvious to other people that isn’t to them. The problem is that there is often a genuine reason why something appears to have been for sale for a while. For example, a property that shows as being added three months ago might have been initially sold quickly, but then the buyer got eaten by a crocodile whilst fishing in Thriplow and so it went back on the market. So initially it sold in two weeks and in reality has only been back on the market a week, but that blasted date says it’s been for sale for three months and that is powerful enough that many buyers won’t even ring to talk about it. Or maybe

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S A M C O O K E , PA R T N E R AT L O C A L AG E N T S C O O K E , C U R T I S & C O., EXPL AINS WHY ALL MIGHT NOT BE AS IT SEEMS ON THE BIGGEST P RO P E R T Y H U N T I N G S I T E OF THEM ALL

they will ring, but won’t believe the whole crocodile story when I tell them, after all, estate agents mainly lie about most things as I’m sure you know. Because of this mentality, agents quickly work out little side-steps to reset the date. Changing the price by £5 used to do the trick, but they closed that loophole so now you need to change it by at least 2.5%. We then started taking it off the market for a couple of days then putting it back on, which worked for a bit, but then Rightmove changed it so something had to be off for 14 days before it would show as new. Then they changed it again so it has to be off for more like three months. As quickly as we come up with workarounds, they shut them down. And what for? To give potential buyers an insight to how popular something is? So what? Why does it matter? How is that information useful? Why would someone want something more just because other people want it? But that’s how our minds work; if other people want something it must be great, if they don’t it must be awful, even if you don’t know why. I’m sure Gola made perfectly good tracksuits in the 90s, but you wouldn’t have caught me wearing them. I bet there’s a name for it in psychology. Does it sound like I’m whingeing a bit? I’m not actually; this is never a whingey column, it’s informational. I’m telling you all this to help you, because some of the best purchases are the ones that have been for sale for a while, ones that are the unfortunate victim of Added on Rightmove. If you can overlook that date and judge a property purely on its merits you might just get a better deal than if you get into a bidding war on the house everyone wants just because Rightmove says it was added two days ago. So get the Tippex out, cover up that bit of your screen where the date appears, have faith in your own judgement and you just might snag a bargain. It’s my top tip for spring 2017. That, and to not go fishing in Thriplow until you’ve at least exchanged contracts. n

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P R O P E RT Y

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I V Y H AU S , F OX TO N . A pad with serious wow factor, this place will set you back a cool £1,695,000. Designed and built by acclaimed German company Huf Haus, it’s sleek and unapologetically modern throughout; a remarkable, light-filled space full of glass and exposed structural timbers. There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms, a rather cool decked terrace and a state-of-the-art kitchen with granite work surfaces. If you’re worried it looks a little cold, don’t be – there’s underfloor heating throughout the house and all the windows are double glazed too. The house is currently on the market with Strutt & Parker. struttandparker.com

New Saffron Walden development from Bloor Homes. Construction work has started on a new development in Saffron Walden from Bloor Homes. Located at the former Ridgeons site off Ashdon Road, the Mortimers Gate development will eventually provide 160 homes, as well as open spaces including a children’s play area. Comprised of two- and four-bedroom homes set across 12 acres, the first homes are due to be released by the summer. “We are delighted that construction work is now under way at Mortimers Gate”, said Terry Tedder, regional managing director at Bloor Homes Eastern. “We look forward to transforming this brownfield site into an attractive new neighbourhood close to Saffron Walden’s historic town centre. Mortimers Gate will provide much-needed new housing to meet local demand and we are expecting a high level of interest from people looking to take their next step on the property ladder.” For more information, or to register call 01799 668505 or visit the Bloor website, bloorhomes.com.

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Cambridge Edition April  
Cambridge Edition April