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YOUR MONTHLY FIX OF

LOCAL LIFE

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CAMBRIDGE FILM FEST

AUTUMN FEASTS

FESTIVAL OF IDEAS

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CITY’S ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF CINEMA

HEARTY SEASONAL RECIPES FROM CAMBRIDGE’S FAVOURITE CAFES & COOKS

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S I G N U P TO O U R W E E K LY D I G I TA L N E W S L E T T E R

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EDITORIAL

Editor in chief Nicola Foley 01223 499459 nicolafoley@bright-publishing.com Chief sub editor Beth Fletcher Senior sub editor Siobhan Godwood Sub editor Felicity Evans Junior sub editor Elisha Young

ADVERTISING

Group ad manager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 samscott-smith@bright-publishing.com Senior sales executive Harriet Abbs 01223 499464 harrietabbs@bright-publishing.com Key accounts Chris Jacobs 01223499463 chrisjacobs@bright-publishing.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Alex Rushmer, Angelina Villa-Clarke, Cyrus Pundole, Charlotte Griffiths, Siobhan Godwood, Sue Bailey, Daisy Dickinson, Jordan Worland, Ruthie Collins, Anna Taylor, Charlotte Phillips

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Designer Lucy Woolcomb lucywoolcomb@bright-publishing.com Ad production Man-Wai Wong manwaiwong@bright-publishing.com

MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck

CAMBSEDITION .CO.UK FIND US @CAMBSEDITION 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.

This month’s cover illustration was created by Laura Bryant, senior designer at Bright Publishing

Author illustrations by Louisa Taylor louisataylorillustration.blogspot.co.uk

don’t know about you, but as soon as autumn sets in, there’s little more appealing to me than curling up with a good book. After a summer of guiltily adding books to my ‘to read’ pile then swanning off to a sunny beer garden, the chilly, dark evenings are a brilliant excuse to shut out the world and cosy up with a great read. Top of my list is this month’s Edition Book Club pick: Platform Seven by Louise Doughty. A supernatural thriller set in – of all places – Peterborough train station, it’s got ghosts, revelations, twists, turns and a fiendish whodunnit mystery at its centre. Read our interview with the author on page 20. If you’re not ready to hibernate just yet, good news: October is one of the busiest months in the Cambridge calendar. The Festival of Ideas is back, offering a chance to see our city flexing its brainpower as academics, authors and more come together to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing humanity, from artificial intelligence to saving the planet. We get the lowdown on page 28. Another big hitter, Cambridge Film Festival returns for its 39th instalment this month – bringing the usual mix of indie films, documentaries, world cinema and blockbusters to the city from 17 to 24 October. We speak to Owen Baker from the CFF team about the event’s enduring popularity over on page 24. There’s also Sunday Papers Live – a chance to see a live-action version of the broadsheets while you kick back with a bloody mary (slippers/napping also encouraged) this month – read all about it on page 23. This issue we also chat to Luca Fiorio, the brains behind local bakery Grain Culture. If you’ve tried his life-changing loaves, you’ll understand his cult appeal, and why punters are beating a path to his door each time he opens his Ely bake shop – find out his fascinating story so far on page 64. After our Mill Road feature in the last issue received such a warm reception, we thought we’d head north in the city to shine a spotlight on another area worth exploring: Chesterton. With some of the city’s best restaurants, cafes and pubs, and more new openings on the horizon, it’s easy to see why CB4’s making a name for itself as one of the most exciting postcodes in the city. As always, we’ve also got news on all the best gigs, theatre, art exhibitions and foodie happenings – enjoy the issue and see you next month!

Nicola Foley EDITOR IN CHIEF

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6 ● STARTERS Top things to do and see in the city, plus our favourite social media pics

11 ● ARTS & CULTURE Exhibitions, concerts and theatre highlights to enjoy in October

19 ● ART INSIDER Ruthie Collins, founder of Cambridge Art Salon, shares her arty picks of the month

20 ● BOOK CLUB An unnerving read by Louise Doughty, thriller Platform Seven is in the spotlight this October

23 ● SUNDAY PAPERS LIVE Enjoy the ultimate Sunday with bloody marys, slippers and scintillating talks

24 ● CAMBRIDGE FILM FEST We chat to the organisers of Cambridge Film Festival to find out what’s in store

28 ● FESTIVAL OF IDEAS Get your grey matter working at this fascinating exploration of social sciences and humanities

31 ● AFTER HOURS Comedy, gigs, festivals and more nightlife fun this month

35 ● HALLOWEEN Spooktacular family events, a glamorously ghoulish Halloween ball and more

36 ● FAMILY FUN Theatre for kids, an autumn harvest, and a rave especially for tots and their parents

47 ● FOOD NEWS

73 ● CB4 SPOTLIGHT

The latest gastro goings on and happenings around Cambridgeshire

Reasons to visit this buzzing neighbourhood, from great pubs to a lovely farm shop

52 ● REVIEW

83 ● BEAUTY

We sample the Indian tasting menu at Atithi on Mill Road

Daisy Dickinson rounds up the beauty products on her radar this month

55 ● CHEF’S TABLE

84 ● FASHION

Chef Alex Rushmer on what’s cooking in his kitchen this month

Seasonal style picks to see you through the chillier weather ahead

58 ● AUTUMN RECIPES

91 ● FIRST IMPRESSIONS

39 ● LISTINGS

Some of our favourite local eateries share their top autumnal recipes

How to size up a school when you visit, including the right questions to ask

Our at-a-glance guide to the top events and goings-on this October

64 ● BREAD WINNER

99 ● EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT

We chat to Grain Culture’s Luca about his rise to success

Oaks International School looks at different factors that can affect learning

68 ● CAMBS ON A PLATE

105 ● GARDENS

Dr Sue Bailey dives into local wine history, making some intriguing discoveries

Anna Taylor takes us through this month’s essential garden jobs

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70 ● THORNE WINES

107 ● INTERIORS

We meet the team behind this thriving local independent

Tips and inspiration for your home, plus products we love

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STA RT E R S

@CO.NFUSED

@PHOTO.TELES

@CAPTUREDCAMBRIDGE

O U R FAVO U R I T E C A M B R I D G E I N S TAG R A M P I C S O F T H E M O N T H . H A S H TAG # I N S TAC A M B F O R A C H A N C E TO F E AT U R E ! FOLLOW @CAMBSEDITION ON INSTAGRAM FOR MORE GREAT PICS OF CAMBRIDGE

G R AND DAYS OU T The Grand Arcade has a host of reasons for you to visit in the next few weeks. A student night takes place on 9 October when discount fever strikes. More than 40 stores will have offers – you simply need to take along your student ID to take advantage. Next up is a fashion show in aid of Cambridge Breast Cancer Appeal on 17 October. Tickets can be bought in advance from both the Rigby & Peller and Chesca stores on the first floor of Grand Arcade, or at cambridgebreastcancerappeal.com. All funds go to the breast cancer unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Then it’s time to get festive, with the Christmas Lights Switch-on from 12pm to 4pm on 17 November. Choirs and musicians will build up the atmosphere from midday, with Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Jeremy Sallis helping to switch on the lights at 4pm. grandarcade.co.uk

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STA RT E R S

IC E AG E B E G INS Get your skates on… because Cambridge Ice Arena is now open! The ice rink, just off Newmarket Road, has been number one on Cambridge’s most-wanted list for the next big leisure facility ever since tenpin bowling opened at Clifton Way. Up to 250 people can attend the same session, and as well as paying for individual time slots, shortterm passes are available, too. In addition to public skating, there are ice hockey, curling and figure skating sessions, plus learn to skate and birthday parties. The cafe is the perfect place to refresh, plus catch up with the news using free Wi-Fi. As a not-forprofit social enterprise, the cafe is committed to locally sourced, ethically produced treats. Anyone aged three and up can skate, and for younger children who would like to hold on to a ‘polar bear’ while getting the hang of the ice, they need to be under 1.2m height. better.org.uk CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

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VEGAN DELIGHTS Cambridge Vegan Market returns, packed with stalls featuring a huge variety of mouthwatering favourites from great local businesses. With up to 45 stalls, as well as plenty of food sellers, there will be lifestyle brands, luxury cosmetics, ethical clothing and interesting charities to browse, all under one roof at The Guildhall on 20 October, from 10.30am to 4pm. Expect to find vegan fast food, healthy eats, artisan savouries, sweet bakes, craft cheeses and so much more. Organisers expect the middle of the day to be very busy, so get there early to guarantee you don’t miss out on anything. Tickets on the door (card payments only) are £2 for adults, while kids go in free. veganmarkets.co.uk

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T H E AT R E • A RT E X H I B I T I O N S • CO N C E RTS • B O O K C L U B

IMAGE Travis Burke’s photograph of freediver Chelsea Yamasee, part of the Corn Exchange’s Ocean Film Festival, 24 October

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3-O2CT7 BYARD ART Land, Sea and Sky is an exhibition exploring the world around us, expressing the elements that add to our changing landscapes. Featuring paintings, jewellery, sculpture and more, catch it at Byard Art from 3 to 27 October. Among the artists whose work will be displayed are Susan Evans, Beccy Marshall, Dawn Stacey and Alex McIntyre. byardart.co.uk CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

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OPERATION SURVIVAL Do you like cracking puzzles while up against the clock, with a sense of danger thrown in? Then try Operation Survival. Set against the backdrop of a world in increasing crisis, Fire Hazard Games and the University of Cambridge Museums have teamed up for a wideranging game. Across four museums, players – who may learn quite a bit along the way – aim to create a fictional Foundation for the Future, which could help humanity survive the many challenges facing the environment. There’s just two hours to track down information, solve puzzles and deal with surprise clues. Using the collections at the Polar Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the Museum of Zoology, Operation Survival reflects timely themes. Historical objects reflect the ways we’ve treated the natural world in the past, while technology has helped us understand the environment now and in the future. Before the game is over, teams have to decide how best to save the world, or learn to live with the consequences. Designed for over-18s, no prior knowledge is required and the game can be as casual or as competitive as you like. It takes place on Saturdays, 10am to 12.30pm, from 5 October to 14 December. museums.cam.ac.uk/operation-survival O C T O B E R 2 019

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JONATHAN PIE: FAKE NEWS If no news is good news, then good news is fake news. That’s Jonathan Pie’s philosophy. The exasperated news reporter returns to berate people in power and the journalists apparently holding them to account. Described by Ricky Gervais as “brilliant, brave, raw and analytical, without forgetting to be funny”, Pie has more than 1.2 million Facebook followers and his response to the election of Donald Trump was viewed more than 150 million times. He drops into Cambridge Corn Exchange on 23 October. Tickets from £20.50 (7.30pm start). cambridgelive.org.uk

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CAM BRIDGE L ITE RARY FE S TIVAL Another fantastic selection of big-name authors comes to the city with the winter edition of Cambridge Literary Festival just around the corner. Booking is now open to see experts in politics, history, science and nature, as well as new children’s laureate Cressida Cowell. Ian McEwan makes his debut solo appearance at the festival – which runs from 29 November to 1 December – to talk about new book Machines Like Us. Elif Shafak introduces her powerful, gripping novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, and Will Eaves discusses his Wellcome Book Prize winner Murmur. Newsreaders George Alagiah and Tom Bradby share their talent for fiction, while Dame Darcey Bussell discusses her life in dancing. There’s a chance to see the New Statesman politics podcast, with Stephen Bush, recorded live, and political journalist Steve Richards has a timely discussion on prime ministers from Harold Wilson to Boris Johnson. Festival director Cathy Moore says: “The collective joy to be found in gathering to hear from these eclectic, inspiring and uplifting writers and performers is what I am looking forward to most.” cambridgeliterary festival.com

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THE RISING TIDE: WOMEN AT CAMBRIDGE

It’s 150 years since women were first allowed to study at Cambridge University, and the University Library is sharing the stories of some of those who have studied, taught, worked and lived there in a new exhibition, The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge. Though Girton College was the first residential university establishment for women in the country, opening in 1869, it was not until 1948 that Cambridge offered degrees to women. Those first students in the 19th century had to ask permission to attend lectures and take exams, and usually had to be accompanied by chaperones in public until after the first world war. Dr Lucy Delap, co-curator and Fellow of Murray Edwards College, says: “We hope to illustrate the incredible fight for gender equality in the university, while portraying the fascinating journeys of some of the militant, cussed and determined women.” The exhibition starts on 14 October. cam.ac.uk

CAMBRIDGE FO OTLIGH TS Five humans take you on a whirlwind tour of their bizarre little planet, seen from the outside, in Cambridge Footlights latest show, Look Alive! Learn everything from scratch in a fun-packed trip through the kinks and quirks of life, in Footlights’ annual international tour show, which has played to more than 20,000 people across two continents, now back for a final run. Performances are at 11pm from 8 to 12 October at the ADC Theatre. The theatre regularly has shows at this time – known as ‘smokers’ – often featuring edgy comedy, so this is a great way to not only catch the latest from this award-winning long-running sketch troupe, but also catch two shows in one night. Tickets from £7. adctheatre.com

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TAL KI NG POL I T ICS Politics has gone crazy, and Talking Politics wants to help make sense of it all. From the twists and turns of the Brexit saga to the threat posed to democracy by social media, this Cambridge-grown podcast tackles the most pressing issues of the day, inviting experts and special guests to have their say. It’s recorded each week at the office of host David Runciman, Professor of Politics at Cambridge University, and features writers, historians, scientists, comedians and anyone else who can offer knowledge and insight on the political landscape – yes, including the odd politician. It’s been a runaway success: a chart topper that The Telegraph gushed was “the country’s cleverest podcast,” it’s now at almost ten million downloads. This month, there’s a chance to see an extra special live edition of Talking Politics at Cambridge Junction; beautifully timed for 16 October, aka the immediate run-up to Brexit Day, aka crunch time for British politics. The special guest is Ayesha Hazarika, previously a special advisor to Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband, who’s now a political commentator, stand-up comedian and the newly-appointed editor of The Londoner for the Evening Standard. The event is offering ‘pay what you feel’ pricing, where seats start at just £2.50. “Keeping on top of the relentlessly breaking political news can feel like an impossible task,” comments David Runciman. “What we try to offer is an informative and genuine dialogue, where experts with differing opinions come to explore themes in a collaborative and non-combative way – as opposed to just providing a platform where guests present their views. The result is that you can often hear contributors thinking, changing their minds, or learning from each other in the course of an episode.” talkingpoliticspodcast.com

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C AMBRID GE GREEK PLAY

A trip back in time to the dawn of theatre combined with a long-running institution is back, as the Cambridge Greek play at the Arts Theatre returns. The triennial event, that has featured Tom Hiddleston and Rupert Brooke among past performers, is a performance of Oedipus at Colonus for 2019, from 16 to 19 October. Blind, broken and ravaged by years of exile, Oedipus comes to a sacred grove, the place the gods prophesied that he would die. He seeks the protection of Theseus, King of Athens, as he knows he is about to be betrayed by those he loves. Performances feature English surtitles, tickets start at £23. cambridgeartstheatre.com

BROADWAY GALLERY A season of photography awaits at Broadway Gallery in Letchworth, which welcomes a host of exhibitions through until 1 December. Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery Touring presents One Day This Glass Will Break, an exhibition of 20 large-scale photogravures by Cornelia Parker from three experimental series: Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass (2017); One Day This Glass Will Break (2015) and Thirty Pieces of Silver (exposed) (2015). The pieces explore the artist’s fascination with the physical properties of objects, materials and their histories. Visitors can also enjoy Liz Harrington’s Where Land Runs Out, a series focusing on the fragility and transience of the natural environment. Inspired by desolate coastlines, the exhibition features a series of camera-less cyanotype images made by immersing the light sensitive

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photographic paper in the sea during periods of low and high tide. The resulting images are often combined or layered, creating new landscapes and perspectives. There’s also Sofia Albina Novikoff Unger’s A Slow Longing Collapse to explore, which centres around a video installation that presents the first episode of a planned trilogy which explores the hybridisation of nature and artifice on a global scale. If you’ve got talent behind the lens yourself, you can take part in Photo Letchworth, a competition and exhibition showcasing the skills of local residents. The finalists’ work will be displayed in the main gallery as a supporting exhibition to One Day This Glass Will Break. The winner – chosen by the gallery’s visitors in a public ballot – will receive a £500 prize. broadway-letchworth.com

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OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL Inspiring images and tales from the deep return to the city with this year’s Ocean Film Festival. This is the sixth year it has toured the UK, with its origins in Australia, with the aim to get viewers to go and explore for themselves. “From surfers to fishermen, and marine scientists to artists, these films feature fascinating characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea’s salt spray. It’s your chance to dip your toes into the wonders of the big blue, from a cinema seat,” says tour director Nell Teasdale. The Corn Exchange on 24 October is the place to be, with highlights including A Peace Within, featuring Philip Gray on a mission to paint Mexico’s cenotes – clear-water subterranean pools – and Surfer Dan, featuring the ‘crazy guy with an icy beard’ Dan Schetter, who surfs on Lake Superior in January among deadly currents and icebergs. cambridgelive.org.uk

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AL L T HAT J A Z Z A story of merry murderesses, sleazy singing lawyers and vaudeville vixens set against the glamour of the jazz age, Chicago is one of the most popular stage shows ever. Beginning on Broadway in the 1970s, with a hugely successful revival in the 1990s, it’s made even more compelling by the fact that the story is based on two real-life female murderers in the 1920s – and the media circus that surrounded them. This month, you can see the razzle dazzle world of Chicago brought to life by Cambridge Theatre Company, a local youth theatre group known for their ambitious productions. Running at the Great Hall at The Leys from 23 to 26 October, the show features classic numbers like All That Jazz and Cell Block Tango, with a cast of all-singing, all-dancing young performers. The story follows Roxie Hart, a wannabe Vaudeville star accused of murdering her lover. She persuades her husband to take the rap for it, but when he finds out he’s been duped, he turns on Roxie. Arrested and sent to jail, Roxie meets Velma Kelly, a double murderess, nightclub performer and the media’s top ‘murderer of the week’. As the two women vie for the reporters’ flashbulbs, their behaviour becomes ever more outrageous. “My favourite song is Funny Honey,” says 18-year-old Rosie Dorsett, who plays Roxie. “This is when we see the switch in Roxie’s character and the audience starts to see a different side to her. Roxie is an ambitious character and quite a challenging one, which appeals to me because I wanted to explore the different and difficult characteristics that she has. I also love her musical numbers!” “Our version of Chicago is different to what people have seen before,” she adds. “It’s fun and enjoyable, and it showcases the young talent in Cambridge and surrounding areas.” Director Chris Cuming, a Cambridge Theatre Company regular, comments: “Chicago’s style of production is so iconic with the Bob Fosse choreography that’s intrinsic to the piece. However, when you look at what the piece is about historically, it’s not much different to what is going on in America at the moment, so we’ve tried to look at the story in today’s world and merge Chicago and Orange is the New Black.” Tickets cost £22.50 for adults or £18.50 for kids/concessions, and can be booked via Cambridge Live. cambridgelive.org.uk/tickets

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RUTHIE COLLINS, FOUNDER OF CAMBRIDGE ART SALON, GIVES HER ARTY PICKS OF THE MONTH utumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower”, said Albert Camus, and this feels true with Cambridge blazing so brilliantly at the moment. In this spirit, Pink Is The Warmest Colour, a film presented within mobile queer space Outhouse, is travelling to Kettle’s Yard this month. Running 8 to 20 October, it explores LGBTQI+ heritage in a regional setting. “Historically, queer lives and achievements have often gone unrecorded within regional settings. This project is part of a wider invitation to correct this,” says Ian Giles, the project’s founder. Made from found footage in which only the pink ink has not degraded, Pink Is The Warmest Colour hints at a lack of preservation of LGBTQI+ objects and narratives. The space itself, a cylindrical structure made with clear walls, features LGBTQI+ ephemera from across the East of England. It’s a fantastic installation produced by original projects, in association with First Site, Kettle’s Yard and Outpost, as part of the New Geographies project. On 8 October at 6.30pm there’s a talk and ‘ritual’ (sounds intriguing!) by Brooke Sylvia Palmieri of Camp Books, considering the meaning of queerness as it’s intersected with books and printed media. The project will travel to Colchester, Norwich and Great Yarmouth, so do catch it while you can when it comes to Cambridge. Also opening at Kettle’s Yard this month, on 4 October, is the first ever Cambridge Art Show. This long-awaited show celebrates artists working in

Cambridge today, and those familiar with the art scene in the city will recognise some of the names on the bill. Anna Brownstead, Paul Kindersley and Eleanor Breeze to name but a few, as well as emerging artists such as Luciana Rosado. Watch out for performances from Caroline Wendling (whom some may have met on her public art River Cam commission) and Paul Kindersley. The 22 artists were selected by a panel, chaired by Andrew Nairne, choosing from 460 submissions. It’s a real achievement for those selected. Towards the end of the month, Kettle’s Yard will host a wildflower seed bomb-making workshop. Inspired by scientist and mathematician Alan Turing, it’s on 19 October with Open Ramble East artist Rachel Pimm. Watch out for two participatory installations – Arising and Mend Piece – from Yoko Ono at Anglia Ruskin on 3 October. Written comments, supplied in response to an open call for women to share how they have been harmed simply for being female, will slowly cover the gallery walls as part of Arising. Mend Piece invites us to mend broken pieces of porcelain as a way of mending the world. There’s also a symposium on Yoko Ono at the Heong Gallery on the 3rd, bringing together curators and scholars to explore the many facets of her work to date. All are part of the citywide exhibition Yoko Ono: Looking For that runs until the last day of the year. Can art really ‘mend’ the world? Well, art, kindness and action can certainly

“Kindness is often hidden in a generous spirit of goodwill” CAMBSEDITION.CO.UK

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change things. Why not check out a repair cafe for a reminder of how cathartic mending can be? These pop-up repair cooperatives run throughout the city, offering free mending of any item that can be carried and doesn’t make a mess. No guarantees are given on whether things can be fixed, but those volunteering will certainly give it their best shot. Visit circularcambridge.org for more details. Amelia Earhart said that ‘a single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make up new trees’. It’s a fitting quote for this time of year, with National Kindness Day just around the corner (13 November). I’m working as a writer for this throughout November, exploring kindness – and how it can change the world – with local schoolchildren. Kindness is often hidden in a generous spirit of goodwill, and can move an artist to spend months, even years, working to create something of significance or beauty for the world. Working as an artist teaches you that kindness is an unspoken currency in the creative world – so many great works would never have seen the light of day without the support of countless invisible benefactors. Those friends, artistic collaborators and supporters who encourage you, look after your children while you work, or meet you halfway through a project and cheer you on as you near completion. For all those in need of a spot of kindness-as-inspiration, pop over to north Cambridge to see one of my favourite public art pieces in the city, Kindness Is Always In Season, which is on the side of a Co-Op store in East Chesterton (created by Sa’adiah Khan, Dan Biggs and Samirah Khan). Why be mean? Just be kind. Have a fantastic October, all.

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BOOK CLUB C AMBRIDGE ED IT ION

BRINGING YOU TOP NEW FICTION PICKS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS, DISCOUNTS AND LOTS MORE BOOK CHAT, THE EDITION BOOK CLUB IS A PARTNERSHIP WITH CAMBRIDGE LITERARY FESTIVAL AND HEFFERS WORDS BY CHARLOT TE GRIFFITHS

PLATFORM SEVEN, BY LOUISE DOUGHTY THIS GRIPPING SUPERNATURAL NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF APPLE TREE YARD IS SET AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF PETERBOROUGH TRAIN STATION nyone who frequently travels by train in this region will be all too familiar with the charms of Peterborough Railway Station. Having to swiftly switch services or spend hours huddled on the platforms waiting for a connection is a regular part of the experience for an East-based rail-user – so it may come as a surprise to many of these travellers to learn that Platform Seven, the new novel from writer Louise Doughty (author of multiple bestsellers including smash-hit BBC adaptation Apple Tree Yard) is set almost entirely at the somewhat unprepossessing transport hub. The book is narrated by Lisa Evans, a young woman in her thirties, who we meet on Platform Seven at 4am when she witnesses what appears to be a death by suicide – made all the more tragic by the swift revelation that Lisa died in the same spot, and is narrating the tale as a ghost. The opening scenes of the book were what initially came to Louise as the idea behind the entire story. “I knew immediately that Lisa was a ghost, and that she was trapped at the station,” Louise says, “and I knew that there would be a difficult relationship in her past, and that it would involve some sort of coercive control.” With the original idea firmly in her mind, Louise set about creating a world for her main character to inhabit – a challenge the writer rose to with relish. “The first thing you have to decide is: ‘what is your ghost capable of?’” she explains. “Are they a poltergeist? Can they move

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objects? Because if they can, then they can communicate with the outside world, and that raises all sorts of issues – so I decided straight away that my ghost was not going to be able to communicate in that way. I wanted her to be the omniscient narrator of the lives and loves of other people on the railway station – it’s a complicated narrative style that lives in other people’s heads as well.” Being omniscient gives Lisa access to the thoughts, feelings and emotions of people passing through the

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station, but also those employed by the railway: the characters in uniform are often found centre stage in the book, both driving the narrative onwards and revealing so much of themselves in beautifully drawn vignettes. These sections are deeply affecting to read: we all people-watch at stations and imagine the lives of fellow passengers, yet it’s rarely the workers who feature in these daydreams – Platform Seven turns a welldeserved spotlight on to the hopes and

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BOOK CLUB

LOOK OUT FOR THE CAMBRIDGE EDITION BOOK CLUB STICKERS IN HEFFERS AND GET MONEY OFF OUR MONTHLY PICK HEFFERS IS LOCATED AT 20 TRINITY STREET, CAMBRIDGE, BLACKWELLS.CO.UK

“I believe that those lives have the right to be written about with psychological subtlety” dreams of railway staff. Louise was keen to give this group a ‘proper dignity’. “I do believe very passionately that those lives have the right to be written about with the same complexity, density and psychological subtlety as the lives of people who run art galleries,” she says. “If there’s a passionate belief in my work, I think it’s that: the democratising belief in the seriousness of the lives of these people. You have the cliche that people who work on stations are jobsworths: of course they’re not, they’re complex human beings just like everyone else.” Setting the story at a station did raise literary challenges, as well as opportunities. “The big question of course, when you have someone who’s died at a railway station, is ‘did she fall or was she pushed?’ – and the mystery of her death,” Louise says. “I knew that I didn’t want her to die by suicide, but it’s incredibly difficult to murder someone at a railway station because of all the CCTV. And when you set up a central question like that in a book, you’ve got to answer it in a way that’s simultaneously surprising and inevitable: you’ve got to make your reader go: ‘Oh gosh! Oh – of course,’ almost in the same breath. And that’s difficult.” Louise also enjoyed the idea of writing a ghost story which wasn’t set in a Victorian house, and instead places the spirits in a modern, more commonplace environment. “A lot of people know that place so well – the number of people who now send me screenshots saying, ‘Oh my

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God, I’m passing through the station!’” laughs the author. “And if ghosts really existed, why wouldn’t they be there? They wouldn’t restrict themselves to floating around in white nighties – they’d be everywhere.” Writing a novel set on Peterborough station did have its positives in real life, as well as within the narrative: Louise lives near Kings Cross, so nipping up to research on location was relatively straightforward. In the book’s acknowledgements, Louise mentions Room 132 at the Great Northern Hotel in Peterborough, where she spent many nights researching and writing the novel. “You can see the train platforms, the British Transport Police building and the multistorey car park: if you open the window, you can listen to the announcements, too. It’s not every novel where you can do your primary research while eating an excellently cooked breakfast in bed,” she writes in the book. “I’m aiming for a plaque in that hotel room,” she laughs when asked about the acknowledgement. “I’ll be very upset if I don’t get one. Though a copy of the book in the room might freak out some of the guests! I could have just done day trips to Peterborough, but because I have a family and a very full household, I often went up for several days at a stretch so that I could get lots done,” she explains. “I’d walk around Peterborough, spend a lot of time on the station: luckily I had befriended the British Transport Police, otherwise people

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would have been calling the cops on me a lot, as I was hanging around looking a bit suspicious…” Louise would get up in the morning and work in the room – always starting writing with the first coffee and avoiding email until lunchtime, if possible – then exploring Peterborough to research the answers to questions raised by her writing. “I’m a great believer in going on location to write a novel: I do that as much as possible, wherever the novel is set. I did spend some nights on the station as well – one freezing November night I was there in my fingerless gloves, my parka and my beanie hat – ‘bag lady with laptop’ was the look. I also went out on patrol with the British Transport Police, around the freight depot, shining torches around. There’s just no substitute for that kind of research. Get away from your desk, go out and find the book,” she says. Some books are more fun to research than others. “With Black Water, I was walking the rice fields of Bali at dawn – with this one, I was on Peterborough Railway Station at 4am. And there was a moment when I thought ‘Mm, I think I’ve got this wrong: my next novel’s going to be set in Tahiti,” laughs Louise. One for regular train-users and any readers who enjoy gripping, emotionally charged reads, Platform Seven is an unforgettable tale of relationships, love and loss – and it will certainly make you look at Peterborough Station in a completely different way.

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S U N DAY PA P E R S L I V E

Best

EVERYTHING THAT’S GREAT ABOUT THE SUNDAY PAPERS DISTILLED AND BROUGHT TO YOU AS A LIVE EXPERIENCE elebrate the joys of the Day of Rest this month when Sunday Papers Live returns to Cambridge Union on 27 October. A chance to see the broadsheets brought to life, section by section, while you put your feet up and enjoy delicious food and drink, the event features talks by some of the most engaging speakers in the UK. It’s hosted by My Little Festival, organisers of Wild Wood Disco and family festival Rumpus, and comes to the city as part of this year’s Festival of Ideas. With the Union serving as a grand backdrop, guests can sip on bloody marys, mimosas and wine, as well as enjoying a Sunday roast-inspired sandwich from the fantastic Bread & Meat. There’s a recycled art session to join in with, too, plus – like all good Sundays – there’s a leisurely walk on the cards, led by Cambridge On Foot and promising to reveal plenty of fascinating facts about the city. “We once again have access to an amazing array of speakers through the Festival of Ideas, Sunday Papers Live in London and our own network of great artists and performers,” enthuses My Little Festival’s, Alex Ruczaj. “The theme of this year’s Cambridge Festival of Ideas is ‘change’ and has led us to programme speakers that will inspire positive change in our audience. Imagine reading the very

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best features and articles that the Sunday papers offer and feeling inspired to learn, do, think, read and eat differently. We offer you that as a live experience, as well as a place to relax, laugh and enjoy being with family and friends.’’ Highlights from the programme are sure to include leading geneticist Giles Yeo, who will be cutting through the mumbo jumbo to delve into the world of dieting. Sharing findings from his 20 years’ expertise studying obesity and the brain control of food intake, he’ll take on the clean eating trend, the Paleo diet and more, taking a close look at our obsession with calorie counting. Meanwhile, Tim FitzHigham, writer, comedian and holder of several unusual world records, discusses some of his wackier endeavours, from running across deserts in suits of armour to taking a bathtub on the high seas. It’s hard to escape Brexit chat at the moment, and with B Day looming just days after SPL takes place, poet and writer John Osborne brings his light, humorous

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touch to the issue dividing the nation. An equally spiky subject, hedgehogs, is in the spotlight with Hugh Warwick, who’ll be explaining how these prickly critters could form an unlikely centrepiece for ecological and societal transformation. World news is covered, too, with journalist Azadeh Moaveni, who has been covering the Middle East for two decades, while Dr Magdalena Zawisza, renowned consumer psychologist, tackles the portrayal of gender in advertising. Giving a local flavour will be Emma Thompson, ecologist and founder of Cambridge’s zero waste pioneers, Full Circle. After moving from the front line of conservation science to setting up a company that helps people tread more lightly on the planet, she’ll offer advice on tackling food waste, minimising consumption and reusing, repairing and sharing. All sound good? Grab yourself a ticket from the My Little Festival website, priced at £15 for adults and £10 for 12-16 years. The event runs from 12pm to 5.30pm. mylittlefestival.uk

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Cambridge Film Festival AS THIS CELEBRATION OF FILM FROM AROUND THE WORLD MARKS ITS 39TH YEAR, SIOBHAN GODWOOD FINDS OUT WHY IT’S STILL GOING STRONG n the almost 42 years (it’s had a few years off) that the Cambridge Film Festival has been running, many other similar festivals have come and gone, and the event is now the third longest-running film festival in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. It started life in the old, singlescreen Arts Cinema on Market Passage – sadly no more – and set a pattern for diversity, innovation and an emphasis on world cinema right from the word go. Cambridge seemed like the perfect setting for a festival of this kind, with its love of the arts and its population of students from all over the world – particularly a thriving community of those from countries like Spain, France and Germany, where there is a strong cinema culture. ALWAYS GROWING

When the current Arts Picturehouse opened in the late 90s, the festival moved there, and now it’s held in six venues across the city. Last year the festival did

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three days at the Light Cinema and it went really well, so this year the festival has expanded into having a film there for the entire week. There will also be screenings at Emmanuel College and The Heong Gallery at Downing College. Alongside regular segments including world documentaries, restored and rediscovered films, as well as awardwinning films from international festivals, a new strand for this year focuses on art as moving image, which will be happening at Kettle’s Yard. “It’s an exciting move for us,” says marketing manager Owen Baker. “Partnering with one of the university’s museums is really exciting, and Kettle’s Yard feels like a really good fit for the festival – our aim is to have venues for the festival all around the city, so this is another step in the right direction.” NATURAL EVOLUTION

It’s clear that Cambridge Film Festival is constantly evolving and changing. “It would be easy after so many years to become complacent, or to keep doing things the way that we’ve done them before,” says Owen. “But constantly reinventing ourselves, staying vibrant and passionate, is absolutely key to the way the festival operates, and a huge challenge in an environment where we’ve been running for such a long time.”

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IMAGES (Clockwise, from top) Stills from Zero Impunity, Distances, System Crasher, Stitches and Life Without Sara Amat – just some of the films that are set to screen at Cambridge Film Festival

One way the festival does this is not only to focus on the main event in October, but also on community screenings throughout the year. The Cambridge Film Festival’s ‘in your community’ programme organises screenings in community and church venues around the city. It started in spring 2019 and is running right through until next spring, featuring a series of ‘pay what you can afford’ screenings with special guests – including TV presenters and well-known film critics – who will be introducing films that they love. These events help to keep the profile of the festival up all year round, as well as giving the organisers the chance to try out new things they haven’t done before. “The community screenings are done in conjunction with the council,” says Owen, “they help spread the word about what our film festival is all about to people from Cambridge who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise get involved. The hope is that some of those people will love what we do in the community, and come along to the main festival, too. Everyone who works for the festival loves film, and getting great films in front of people is why we’re here.”

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2 0 1 9 F E ST I VAL H IG H L IG H TS The 2019 Cambridge Film Festival will be screening more than 150 films from over 30 countries, including several from Spain, Germany, Greece, Africa and Iran. There will also be introductions from filmmakers to their own favourite films, and Q&As at venues including Emmanuel College, the Light Cinema and the Arts Picturehouse. The festival has a number of different strands in which films are grouped, helping you identify the kinds of films you want to look out for, or new styles of filmmaking that you haven’t investigated before. Below is just a small selection of some of the different strands and the films on offer. So they can bring the latest and best films from around the world, the festival team are confirming screenings right up until just a couple of weeks before the festival opens. CAMERA CATALONIA

This ever-popular strand is led this year by Laura Jou’s feature, Life Without Sara Amat, a film about the transition from childhood to adulthood which has been critically praised in Spain. Also featured will be Distances, the second film from director Elena Trapé, about a group of friends from university who meet up after many years in Berlin and find their friendship tested by life circumstances and the passage of time. AWARD WINNERS

Winner of the World Cinematic Dramatic Special Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Monos by Alejandro Landes tells the story of eight teenaged guerrillas with guns who watch over a hostage and a conscripted milk cow. Playing games and initiating cult-like rituals, the children run amok in the jungle. Winner of the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, System Crasher is a drama about how the system fails a troubled nine-year-old girl with psychotic episodes, whose trauma goes deeper than anyone can reach. HUMAN RIGHTS

This strand returns with Zero Impunity, a call to action to join a growing global movement that demands zero tolerance for sexual violence in war zones, and On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship, the gripping tale of Myanmar’s disastrous transition to democracy. MICROCINEMA

This strand features a screening of James Benning’s Glory at The Heong Gallery, plus three screenings at Kettle’s Yard, including a film by Cambridge-based filmmaker Sarah Wood. cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

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WE TALK TO OWEN BAKER, CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL MARKETING MANAGER, WHO HAS BEEN WORKING AT THE FESTIVAL FOR SIX YEARS WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SECRET OF CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL’S LONGEVITY?

I think it’s the unerring focus the team has when it comes to curating the festival. We have a small team who are all experts in very particular fields. For example, we have one of the country’s pre-eminent experts in restoration and rediscovered film, and we have an international expert who travels to festivals all over Europe and the rest of the world. So the festival has a very curated feel; every film that makes it in is one that is passionately argued for by someone who has seen it and loved it. In contrast to that, in terms of the way the festival comes across to the public, it has a really nice relaxed feel to it. So those two things together – the very serious, considered aspects of the film choices with the informality of the festival itself – is what I think makes Cambridge Film Festival special. DO YOU THINK THE INFORMAL ATMOSPHERE IS SOMETHING THAT FILMMAKERS VISITING THE FESTIVAL ALSO APPRECIATE?

Very much so. One of the things we always say is that there’s a good chance visitors to the festival will bump into the filmmaker in the bar after the film. It’s very unpretentious and not an ‘industry’

festival at all, there’s no red carpet and there’s nothing being bought or sold here. It’s very audience focused, so filmmakers who are themselves making their films for an audience tend to appreciate that. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE AUDIENCE? IS IT PRIMARILY CAMBRIDGE PEOPLE?

It’s very much a Cambridge festival, and a large part of our audience is local. But we certainly have people coming from further afield, and certainly lots of people from London. One of the nice things about the timing of the festival is that we are immediately after the London Film Festival, so filmgoers who want to avoid the expense of London or want to make it to films they’ve missed in London – we offer them another chance just down the road! A significant proportion of our programming is films that are coming out of London or have chosen not to go to London, so they can come to Cambridge Film Festival instead. WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THAT SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN FILMS CHOOSE TO COME TO CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL?

Increasingly, festivals are becoming the only place to see interesting films. The platform for those films in normal cinema programming is becoming less

and less – and this is a trend not just in the UK, but across the whole of Europe. So the only opportunity to see films outside the mainstream is at a festival, and Cambridge is one of the best examples of that. And that’s why our festival is appealing to filmmakers, too – if you are an independent filmmaker or small distributor, festivals are often now an end in themselves, as there’s little opportunity for getting your film shown even in small cinema chains. So festivals like Cambridge are more important than ever. WHAT ARE YOU PERSONALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST AT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL?

I’m really proud of the fact that we’re bringing some award-winning films from around the world to Cambridge and, in some cases, to the UK for the first time. And on a personal level, I’m excited about the Camera Catalonia film strand. Before I worked for Cambridge Film Festival, it was what brought me to it as an audience member, and the films are always brilliant. The two things for me that are really cool about the festival are: you might get to see a really big film six or 12 months before your friends can see it at the cinema, which is great to boast about; and you get to see films that you just won’t have an opportunity to see other than at the festival, which is a great privilege.

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F E ST I VA L O F I D E AS

CAMBRIDGE’S ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF BRAINS AND BRILLIANCE IS BACK WITH A BANG THIS OCTOBER

hat makes us human in an age of artificial intelligence? What action do we need to take to save the planet? Why does maths make us anxious? Find out at the Festival of Ideas, which returns with 273 mindexpanding events from 14 to 27 October. Asking the big questions about life and the universe every year since 2008, the festival brings together leading voices to discuss some of today’s most urgent, challenging topics. From talks to film screenings and hands-on workshops, there’s plenty to discover on the programme, with this year’s event offering a special focus on the theme of ‘change’; encompassing both technological and socio-political shifts. “The festival highlights the latest thinking about the important topics shaping our lives. Change is everywhere,” explains David Cain, the Cambridge Festival of Ideas manager. “As we change, so do you. And sometimes the smallest change makes the biggest difference. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the University for a series of thought-provoking events this October as we explore change in all its forms, identifying its challenges and embracing its opportunities.”

Artificial intelligence will be a hot topic within the tech strand of the programme, under the spotlight at events including AI: Life in the Age of Digital Machines on 16 October. Bringing together leading researchers from the Leverhulme Centre for Future intelligence and The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, this discussion promises to be a fascinating – and possibly

unnerving – examination of the ethics, trust and humanity of AI systems. Lex Ex Machina, meanwhile, will consider a not implausible future where lawyers and judges are replaced by AI, considering the implications for democracy and the rule of law on the 18th. The next day, Artificial Intelligence and Social Change will zone in on language-based AI systems such as speech recognition, looking at both the

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IMAGES From religious change in Ancient Egypt to the evolution of the European voice, via the role of environmental factors in disease, the Festival of Ideas covers a wide spectrum of thought and analysis

positive and negative consequences of these technologies on society. If you’re addicted to podcasts like Serial or shows like Netflix’s Making a Murderer, you can count yourself among the growing number of true crime enthusiasts. But what’s behind this recent trend? Dr Tanya Horeck thinks social media might be the culprit: join her for a look at our evolution from armchair detectives to internet sleuths on 26 October. Our online habits are also in the spotlight at researcher Tyler Shores’ talk, Has Social Media Changed the Way We Read? This looks at how the switch from books to screens is affecting our reading habits – and what it means for the future of reading (19 October). With the UK declaring a ‘climate emergency’ and pledging to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, Ed Miliband MP is in town on the 17th to discuss the UK’s way forward in transitioning toward a zero-carbon world. Also considering our next steps in the fight

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against environmental devastation is From Climate Change Science to Radical Action (16 October) which brings together a group of experts for a frank look at how we get everyone on board to save the planet. Caroline Criado-Perez, author of the eye-opening recent bestseller Invisible Women, stops by on 19 October for a discussion about data bias in a world designed for men, while gender is considered from a neurological point of view in Professor Gina Rippon’s talk, The Gendered Brain, on the 18th. As the clock ticks down on Brexit, the popular Talking Politics podcast hosts a special live edition at the festival on the 16th – join the team as they attempt to make sense of one of the most interesting, alarming and unpredictable phases British politics has ever seen.

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For a kid-friendly day out, visit the Polar Museum, which is hosting an Arctic Family Day on the 19th: from learning about the animals and people that live in the Arctic to having fun with crafts, it promises to be an illuminating, enjoyable day. Also for families, the prehistory and archaeology day at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on Storey’s Way offers a chance to go back in time and get hands on with rock art, spear throwing and archery, plus see displays of metal smelting and flint knapping. So whether you’re nine or 90, why not get out there and enjoy our city’s dazzling braininess this month? There’s plenty to enjoy for inquisitive minds, old and young, and it’s almost all free to attend. Check out the full programme on the website. festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk

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NIGHTLIFE

THE NIGHTLIFE EVENTS NOT TO MISS THIS MONTH

FRI S KY & MAN NISH: POPLAB Edinburgh Fringe sell-outs for four years in a row, Frisky & Mannish’s humorous musical infotainment features analysis of the molecular intersections between pop songs. So brush up on your pop periodic table and consider just how Coldplay can be so popular when everyone says they hate them. They’re at Cambridge Junction on 12 October, tickets £18. junction.co.uk

THE S TYL I STICS One of the most iconic singing groups ever, The Stylistics are known for their Grammynominated You Make Me Feel Brand New, Betcha By Golly Wow and Stop, Look, Listen among many other hits. Tickets start at £30 for their show on 10 November at Cambridge Corn Exchange. cambridgelive.org.uk

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RICHARD HERRING Catch a live recording of Richard Herring’s podcast – usually recorded at the Leicester Square Theatre – at Cambridge Corn Exchange on 8 November, with tickets priced £20. Previous guests include Stephen Fry, Dawn French, Sarah Millican and Bob Mortimer. Herring has won numerous awards for his comedy, radio shows and podcasts. cambridgelive.org.uk

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NOW BOOKING

OCT

BRAND NEW HEAVIES 14 NOV, JUNCTION, £27.50

Pioneers of the London Acid Jazz scene, with 16 top 40 hits.

EMELI SANDÉ 26 NOV, CORN EX, £38

Sandé tours in support of her Real Life album.

CAM BRIDGE N IGHT FEST IVAL House, breakbeat and disco combine at The Cambridge Night Festival on 5 October at Cambridge Junction. The Cuban Brothers, Seb Fontaine, Kid Crème, Norman Jay and many more will keep the beats going across three stages from 9pm all the way through to 6am. Tickets £27.50, with VIP tables also available. junction.co.uk

BILLY BR AG G 26-28 NOV, JUNCTION, £27.50

Three shows: one current set and two featuring early albums.

DAVE GORMAN The weaver of tales with a PowerPoint by his side returns to Cambridge Corn Exchange on 3 November. Expect Dave Gorman’s detailed thoughts on parts of social media you’ve never considered before, with a laptop and projector. Tickets £30.50. cambridgelive.org.uk O C T O B E R 2 019

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ARDAL O’HANLON 28 NOV, WEST RD CH, £24.50

Father Ted and My Hero star performs his stand-up.

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NIGHTLIFE

Gig Guide

HENG E

JORDAN WORLAND FROM LOCAL MUSIC WEBSITE SLATE THE DISCO GIVES HIS TOP LIVE MUSIC PICKS FOR THE MONTH AHEAD

Self-described intergalactic ravers Henge land on planet Junction on 22 October as part of their Cosmic Dross Experiment tour. Featuring thundering drums and clothes-shredding bass, they’ve played Glastonbury, Blue Dot and Beat Herder festivals this year, and in 2018 picked up the best live act prize at the Independent Festival Awards. Tickets are £13.50. junction.co.uk

peak period for live music, October in Cambridge does not disappoint. There is a packed month at The Portland Arms, where Aussie mind benders Psychedelic Porn Crumpets play their first ever Cambridge show (21st). One of the buzziest new acts of 2018, PPC are renowned for their entrancing live sets. There’s more psychedelia, although this time mixed with pop, at The Portland courtesy of Flamingods on the 17th. The five piece’s unique approach to playing the many instruments picked up on various travels, combined with a far-flung collection of sounds, make for an incredible listen. Japanese noise assassins, Melt Banana, make a welcome return to The Portland on the 31st. Expect blistering rockets of screeching, avant-garde hardcore. Other Portland shows of note include Murray A Lightburn (2nd) Sophie and The Giants (3rd) Josin (14th) and Snapped Ankles (16th). There’s a trio of shows at The Blue Moon this month, courtesy of The Pheromoans (11th) Jake Martin and Heartwork (18th), and Bit Shifter (28th). A busy October schedule at the Storey’s Field Centre includes the beautiful, stark sounds of Jesca Hoop (5th) who is in town promoting her album, Stonechild. The same venue hosts Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys (21st). We’re looking forward to venturing to Mill Road’s Salisbury Club this month when it hosts Swim Deep on the 22nd. Following the release of their last record and a mammoth US tour opening for The 1975, Swim Deep took a self-induced hiatus. The band have returned this autumn with a steely confidence and a collection of their most fully fledged pop songs yet. Bo Ningen bring their ferocious acid punk back to Cambridge on the 6th. Playing the intimate setting of the J2, this one is going to be loud. Elsewhere at the Junction in October, we have The Night Café (7th) touring their highly anticipated and dazzlingly catchy, perfectly indie debut, plus Amber Run (14th) bring their lush, cinematic pop to Cambridge in support of their new album. Other shows of note include Lucy Spraggan (10th) Lamb (20th) and Barns Courtney (21st).

BIG COUNTRY Big Country, one of Scotland’s biggest bands from the 80s, return with a tour where they’ll play the whole of their Steeltown album, 35 years after its release. Featuring original members Bruce Watson and Mark Brzezicki, the band will also play other classic hits, such as Fields of Fire and In a Big Country on 31 October, with advance tickets £25. junction.co.uk

HAPPY MONDAYS Happy Mondays are back on the road with their Greatest Hits Tour, which hits the Corn Exchange on 2 November. Priced at £35.50 a ticket, expect a romp through classic hits like Step On and Stinkin’ Thinkin’.

cambridgelive.org.uk

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H A L LO W E E N

WORDS BY CYRUS PUNDOLE

A ROUND-UP OF THE PARTIES, PUMPKIN DECORATING, PETRIFYING TALES AND POLTERGEIST HUNTS HAPPENING FOR ALL HALLOWS’ EVE NEON MOON

The Neon Moon Burlesque and Cabaret Club’s Halloween party at Cambridge Junction is an institution, without ever being predictable. This year’s show, on 26 October, promises a “dark world of wonder, as you stagger your way to Necropolis – the city of the undead”. The world-class cabaret gets the party started, then festival favourite DJ Fizzy Gillespie keeps it going until the small hours with retro sounds of swing and soul infused with modern bass music. Featuring circus and burlesque performers to amaze on the main stage, and the chance to get glittered up, dress as your alter ego, and be on the dance floor until 2am, it’s one not to miss. Over 18s only, tickets from £20. junction.co.uk PUMPKIN CARVING HALLOWEEN AT VINYL

Get the Thriller experience for Halloween at Vinyl on 31 October. Expect a seasonal curveball in among the floor fillers at the club, which has just celebrated its first birthday. There’s a tempting 50% off drinks before 11pm offer, with free entry if you enter before then, £4.20 before midnight, £5.20 after, and £6.20 after 1am. vinylclub.co.uk HORROR AT HINCHINGBROOKE

Taking jumps and frights to the max is Horror at Hinchingbrooke, with new scare zones this year. Running from 19 to 27 October, it’s an award-winning interactive and realistic horror experience, featuring famous characters from the horror genre come to life. There’s a unique, terrifying atmosphere spread across 13 sets, with 80 actors lurking in the darkness. Groups of eight to 12 people, with no guide, go through a labyrinth of hair-raising shocks and surprises, complete with sound and lighting effects. Tickets from £18.50. enterifyoudare.co.uk

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Head down to Wimpole Hall to create ghoulish shapes and gently gouge out eyes from a pumpkin. Inside the farm’s great barn you can design your own lantern, with carving tools provided – just bring some ideas. Tickets are £4 and all dates from 19 October to 3 November are available. nationaltrust.org.uk GHOST STORIES AT THE LEPER CHAPEL

Catch two spooky Halloween tales at Cambridge’s oldest building, the 12thcentury Leper Chapel, when in situ: theatre’s Richard Spaul performs Ghost Stories on 26 October. He’ll be reading Miss Mary Pask, by Edith Wharton, and Pink May by Elizabeth Bowen. “Both tales, as well as being deliciously scary, have remarkable twists and turns that have made me think about the ghost story genre in a new way,” says Richard. insitutheatre.co.uk

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AUDLEY END FRIGHTENING RIDE

All aboard for a fiendishly fun express service at Audley End Miniature Railway, from 26 October to 3 November. Go deep into the woods on the Audley End Estate to visit the witches at their haunted house – children will receive a trick or treat bag, and the journey features a cobweb-clad clearing where witches chant spells around a cauldron alongside pumpkin friends. Away from the train, there’s creepy crafts, a dance tent and face painters. It’s spooky but never scary, so suitable for all ages. £11 to £14 per person, under-2s go free. Prior booking required. audley-end-railway.co.uk SPOOKY NIGHTS GHOST WALK

CJ Romer and Ross Andrews lead a spooky tour of Newmarket on 31 October, showing places to send a chill down the spine. They will explain the true hauntings and macabre histories of one of the oldest market towns. Tickets £5, over 16s only, start at The Clock Tower on High Street. Walks at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. eventbrite.co.uk

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FA M I LY

RAV E R TOT S Parents and children can get on the dance floor at Revolution with Raver Tots, the award-winning rave for families. From 2pm to 4pm on 6 October there will be DJs playing all forms of dance music, plus face painting, balloons, confetti and giant parachutes, all in a rave atmosphere. Suitable for 12 year olds and under plus, of course, their parents. littlebird.co.uk

TOM GATES LIVE ON STAGE

DOW N ON T H E FARM

Based on Liz Pichon’s character from her bestselling book series, Tom Gates Live on Stage is a new story from the producers of Horrible Histories and Gangsta Granny. Another sad face on the school chart will mean Tom misses the school trip. Can his best friend help, and will Rooster the dog stop eating his homework? Find out from 23 to 26 October at Cambridge Arts Theatre. cambridgeartstheatre.com

Grab your little pumpkins and take them down to Standalone Farm, Letchworth Garden City, for some Halloween fun on 26 and 27 October. Pick your own pumpkin and get creative carving it as ghoulishly as p0ssible, before displaying it on the straw sofa for all to see. The pumpkin ‘brains’ feed the pigs or get spread on the field – how eco friendly is that?! standalonefarm.com

FAMILY CONCERT Colourful classical music comes to Saffron Hall with Heroes & Villains: a Concert for Families, on 6 October. Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra will play Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Grieg’s Peer Gynt among other pieces, with James Mayhew and Antonio RecheMartinez painting scenes from the stories live. saffronhall.com

APPLE DAY AT BURWASH

Burwash Manor’s annual celebration of all things apple (nothing to do with iPhones!) is back on 12 October. There’ll be food stalls, cider tasting, apple pressing, children’s rides, places to be creative and much more. burwashmanor.com O C T O B E R 2 019

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FA M I LY

FAMILY G AMING N IGHT Can you beat dad at Space Invaders, or mum at PacMan? Find out on 26 October when kids young and old join forces, or battle it out, at the latest family gaming night at the Centre for Computing History. As well as retro games, there will be other games to play on modern consoles like Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. Tickets are £9 for adults and £6 for children. computinghistory.org.uk

WEIRD SCIENCE Magicians Morgan and West dabble in captivating chemistry, phenomenal physics and bonkers biology. Qualified scientists, the pair promise explosive thrills, chemical spills and a risk assessment that gives their stage manager chills! They perform three shows at Cambridge Junction on 20 and 21 October. junction.co.uk

BRILLIANTLY BATTY

Learn loads of bat facts and enjoy bat-themed craft activities on 5 October at the Botanic Garden. The event is aimed at five to 11 year olds; drop in any time between 10am to 1pm, no booking required. botanic.cam.ac.uk

B AK I NG CL A S S Master the art of breadmaking at Cambridge Cookery’s parent-and-child baking class on 22 October, where you’ll mix, knead and shape your creations using a variety of different techniques. There’s a morning class at 10am and another at 1.45pm. Tickets from £45. cambridgecookery.com

AU TUM N HARVES T Join local guide and food historian Nora Gardner – aka The Hungry Roundhead – to learn about the flavours and ingredients of 17th-century cooking. On 2 October, 10am to 12pm at Oliver Cromwell’s House in Ely, you can visit Mrs Cromwell’s original kitchen to watch old recipes come to life, hear the stories behind their creation and taste the results. Tickets £15. olivercromwellshouse.co.uk

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EMPOWERING PEOPLE: GENETIC COUNSELLING IN FOCUS A new exhibition, open 19 October to 20 June, demystifies genetic counselling

hat is genetic counselling, what does a genetic counsellor do, and who gets to see one? A new exhibition at the Wellcome Genome Campus explores this vital but often little-known subject. The genome is our entire set of genetic instructions, encoded in DNA, which is packaged in pairs of chromosomes that we inherit from our biological parents. Changes in these instructions can cause a range of health conditions. Genetic counsellors are healthcare professionals trained to work with and support people at risk from, or who have been diagnosed with, such conditions. They draw on a range of different expertise: knowledge of genetics and risk factors, communication skills that explain jargon and make sense of complex situations, and counselling techniques that emotionally support a person. Empowering People: Genetic Counselling in Focus draws on the experiences of genetic counsellors, each specialising in

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something different – from the clinic to research, policy and education. In the exhibition, you will follow the journeys of people referred for genetic counselling; from a first referral, the appointment, and the decision-making process necessary to take the steps that are right for them and for their family. It contains portrait photography by artist and documentary photographer, Chrystal Ding, that was specially commissioned for Empowering People. The portraits capture genetic counsellors

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in their working environments. Like the people that they support, we see them as individuals. The images encourage us to imagine the experience of being in these spaces and the interactions that happen in them. Visit the exhibition on the third Saturday of each month, when the Wellcome Genome Campus is open for you to explore! Open Saturdays are also your chance to meet staff, try hands-on activities and explore the Campus to discover its history and the cutting-edge science that happens there today. It’s an ideal trip for curious people of all ages; come and discover the exciting world of genomics in creative and delightful ways. Open Saturdays are free for everyone, but booking is required. Get your tickets to an Open Saturday at open-saturdays.eventbrite.co.uk

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W H AT ’ S O N

YOUR AT-A-GLANCE GUIDE TO EVENTS AROUND CAMBRIDGE THIS MONTH

2 OCTOBER

5 OCTOBER

ALED JONES AND RUSSELL WATSON

RIP IT UP: THE 70s Olympic gymnast and Strictly star Louis Smith is back in the latest Rip It Up dance show, this time with the decade of funk and disco. He’s joined by Rachel Stevens (S Club 7), Lee Ryan (Blue) and Melody Thornton (Pussycat Dolls). 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange from £25.50 | cambridgelive.org.uk

Jones has recorded more than 30 albums and Watson has spent 52 consecutive weeks at No 1 in the UK and US classical charts at the same time. The two classical artists are now on tour, following the release of their album, In Harmony. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange from £32.50 | cambridgelive.org.uk

2 OCTOBER 5, 12, 19 OCTOBER

WINE TASTING Join Steve Hovington from Cambridge Wine Academy for a guided tour around the wine regions of the New World. Stop-off points include South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. A lively evening with plenty of flavour is guaranteed for all. 7.15pm | Cambridge Wine Merchants, Cherry Hinton Road | £22.50 | cambridgewine.com

OPERATION SURVIVAL Fire Hazard Games’ high-energy survival game plays across four museums. With a live leaderboard, you’ll be clue-hunting against the clock. Join individually, or as part of a team. Over 18s only. 10am | four University of Cambridge Museums | £15 | huntedexperience.co.uk

7 OCTOBER

GARY NUMAN Electronic music pioneer Numan fused punk with synths and pop to score consecutive hits with Cars and Are Friends Electric? in 1979. It’s 40 years since his first UK tour. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | from £35.50 | cambridgelive.org.uk 13 OCTOBER

MEGSON FAMILY FOLK SHOW Folk duo Megson blend their repertoire into a gentle interactive concert for pre-school children. Featuring songs old and new from their album, When I Was a Lad. 11.30am and 2.30pm | Cambridge Junction £6 children, £10 adults | junction.co.uk 14-27 OCTOBER

CAMBRIDGE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS Hundreds of free events including debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions and peformances celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences make up this unique festival. Various times and venues | most events free festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk 16 OCTOBER

PAUL MASON This one-off Cambridge Literary Festival event features award-winning author and broadcaster Mason talking about issues in his latest book, Clear Bright Future. Drawing on economics, big data and culture wars, he will argue that we are still capable of shaping our future. 6pm | Cambridge Union Society | from £10 cambridgelive.org.uk

7-12 OCTOBER

A WOMAN OF NO I M P OR TANCE Liza Goddard, Roy Hudd and Isla Blair star in Oscar Wilde’s tale of wit and drama focusing on the impact of a long-buried secret. 7.45pm, 2.30pm Thursday and Saturday | Cambridge Arts Theatre from £20 | cambridgeartstheatre.com

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16 OCTOBER

OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD 2019 A multi-school careers fair designed for pupils in years 9 to 13, providing all the fine detail on skills and qualifications needed for particular fields. 10am-2pm | Impington Village College | free eventbrite.co.uk

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W H AT ’ S O N 16-19 OCTOBER

THE CAMBRIDGE GREEK PLAY Oedipus at Colonus is this year’s play selected for the triennial event, which has featured Tom Hiddleston and Rupert Brooke in the past. Blind, broken and ravaged by years of exile, Oedipus seeks protection from the King of Athens. In ancient Greek with surtitles. 2.30pm and 7.45pm | Cambridge Arts Theatre from £23 | cambridgeartstheatre.com 17-20 OCTOBER

EDDINGTON CRAFT BEER AND GIN FESTIVAL Sample the tastiest craft beer from independent breweries. There’s a homebrew competition on day one, live music from Swamp Truck on the 18th, and food vans outside the venue each day. 5pm 17/18th, 12pm 19/20th | Storey’s Field Centre | free or small charge storeysfieldcentre.org.uk 17-24 OCTOBER

CAMBRIDGE FILM FESTIVAL The annual selection of big movies before their release date, forgotten gems and the best in cinema from around the world is back, hosted (mainly) at the Arts Picturehouse. Various venues and times cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

8-12 OCTOBER

23 OCTOBER

CAMB R I D G E FOOT L IG H T S : LOOK AL I V E !

If no news is good news, Jonathan Pie the exasperated news reporter decides that good news is fake news. With more than 1.2 million facebook followers, his response to the election of Donald Trump was viewed 150 million times. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange from £20.50 | cambridgelive.org.uk

Forget everything you think you know and learn it all again, in this sketch show about the kinks and quirks of life on Earth. 11pm | ADC Theatre | from £7 | adctheatre.com

JONATHAN PIE: FAKE NEWS TOUR

23-26 OCTOBER 23 OCTOBER

26 OCTOBER

TOM GATES LIVE ON STAGE

ROBIN HITCHCOCK

The quartet begin their final season at West Road Concert Hall with the first two of Beethoven’s 16 quartets. The group plan to play all the quartets across six concerts, all on Wednesdays, with the final one next May. 7.30pm | West Road Concert Hall | from £6 cambridgelive.org.uk

From the team that brought Horrible Histories to the stage, Liz Pichon’s books are adapted in a show for all the family. Another ‘sad face’ on the achievement chart will mean Tom can’t go on the school trip – and moany Marcus Meldrew is making things worse. Various times | Cambridge Arts Theatre from £19 | cambridgeartstheatre.com

Blending folk and psychedelia with wry nihilism, the surrealist poet, cult artist and musician’s musician describes his work as “paintings you can listen to”. With a career spanning over 40 years, he’s often described as one of alternative rock’s father figures. 7pm | Storey’s Field Centre | £19.80 storeysfieldcentre.org.uk

23 OCTOBER

24 OCTOBER

31 OCTOBER

GAVIN ESLER

OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL

MELT-BANANA

Cambridge Literary Festival brings the former Newsnight presenter to the city to talk about his book, Brexit Without the Bullshit, a week away from the current UK departure date from the EU. 6.30pm | McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College | £13 | cambridgelive.org.uk

A new selection of the world’s most amazing films, from above and below the surface of the sea. Be inspired by mind-blowing marine life and those who dedicate their lives to the ocean. 7.30pm | Cambridge Corn Exchange | £16.50 oceanfilmfestival.co.uk

One of the best bands to see live, this Japanese duo have been wowing audiences since the 1990s, utilising their country’s rich noise tradition to create an experience that’s truly out there. 7pm | Portland Arms | £14.85 theportlandarms.co.uk

ENDELLION STRING QUARTET

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WHAT IS LOVE CAMBRIDGE?

Love Cambridge is the brand developed by Cambridge BID to deliver events and projects designed to animate and entertain our city. These include the Love Cambridge gift card, open-air cinema nights, the big Christmas light switch-on, magazines, maps and much more. Follow us on social media to be kept up to date with what’s going on in Cambridge this autumn. LoveCambridge_ Love Cambridge lovecambridge_ love-cambridge.com

STREET AID WEEK Street Aid Week will be taking place for the very first time this year – a chance to shine a spotlight on Street Aid and spread the word to everyone who lives, works and studies in Cambridge. Cambridge Street Aid helps people get off, and stay off, the streets. People are encouraged to give to the Street Aid fund rather than handing money directly to people on the streets, and every single penny raised goes to grants for individuals to help them leave the streets behind. During the week of 14 to 18 October, look out for public events across the city centre and lots of chatter online! Cambridge Street Aid has set a target of raising £2,500 during Street Aid Week – this will

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enable them to give grants to ten new people. OCT For the latest updates you can find Cambridge Street Aid on Twitter or Facebook (@camstreetaid) or sign up for the monthly Friends of Street Aid newsletter. If you would like to get involved in Street Aid Week, please email streetaid@cambridge. gov.uk or phone 01223 457959. Together we can help more people leave the streets of Cambridge behind.

SPOTLIGHT ON REGENT STREET One of Cambridge’s busiest roads, Regent Street buzzes with activity. It’s home to some of the city’s top restaurants and bars, including De Luca, a family-run Italian eaterie which has been a favourite for more than a decade. Pop by at the weekend for live piano music in the cocktail bar. There’s also Parker’s Tavern, the restaurant at the University Arms hotel, which offers great food in a stylish setting, plus The Olive Grove, an award-winning Greek restaurant. Tiffin Truck is another local fave, serving small plates of Indian dishes. For a drink, you’re spoiled for choice; Novi is open until the small hours and has a great cocktail menu, while The Lab, a bar run by scientists, puts a unique spin on your cocktail experience. After a bite and a drink, why not catch a film at the Arts Picturehouse? It will be a hive of activity this month as it serves as the hub for the Cambridge Film Festival (17-24 October), of which Cambridge BID is a proud partner. O C T O B E R 2 019

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BID AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED! Congratulations to all 14 shops and businesses that picked up a ‘Best Overall Customer Experience 2019’ award at Cambridge BID’s annual award ceremony, held at St John’s College on 26 September following two rounds of mystery shopping earlier in the year. Four businesses also scored an impressive 100% in both their mystery shop visits this year and were crowned ‘Overall Winners’ on the night: Fraser Hart, Castle Fine Art, the Conference Office at Gonville & Caius and Lockhouse Games on Regent Street. Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID said: “Excellent customer service plays a vital role in helping high street businesses

CATEGORY LATE NIGHT VENUE RESTAURANT CAFE INDEPENDENT BUSINESS – FASHION & BEAUTY INDEPENDENT BUSINESS – OTHER NATIONAL BUSINESS – FASHION NATIONAL BUSINESS – SHOES & ACCESSORIES NATIONAL BUSINESS – OTHER PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS – OPEN DOOR PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS – OTHER LEISURE/ATTRACTION MARKET TRADER OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION UNIVERSITY COLLEGE B&B

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compete with online shopping. In a recent survey of Cambridge shoppers we found that over 91% are likely to return to a local business if they receive good service. At Cambridge BID we’re committed to helping businesses improve their customer experience year on year, and we’re delighted that more than 150 businesses have once again taken part in our mystery shopper programme.”

WINNER THE CAMBRIDGE BREW HOUSE, KING STREET PUNT YARD, QUAYSIDE LE PATISSIER, ST JOHN’S STREET BURR BRIDAL, KING STREET MILLERS MUSIC, SUSSEX STREET BRAVISSIMO, SUSSEX STREET FRASER HART, GRAND ARCADE CASTLE FINE ART, GRAND ARCADE PREMIER TRAVEL, SIDNEY STREET GONVILLE & CAIUS CONFERENCE OFFICE LOCKHOUSE GAMES, REGENT STREET IL MOLINO UK, SUNDAY MARKET REGENT HOTEL KING’S COLLEGE

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AUTUMN RECIPES • RESTAURANT REVIEW • CHEF’S TABLE • CAMBRIDGE ON A PL ATE

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FO O D & D R I N K

A MONTHLY ROUND-UP OF GASTRO GOINGS-ON AROUND CAMBRIDGESHIRE

N YE AT BEDFORD LODGE See in 2020 in style at Bedford Lodge! The Newmarket hotel is offering two options this NYE. The black-tie gala dinner kicks off with a glass of fizz at 7pm, followed by a luxurious five-course dinner in Squires, Bedford Lodge’s sleek in-house restaurant. The classics ball features champagne and a fourcourse dinner followed by a night on the dance floor. Both options include a traditional piper plus haggis, neeps and tatties at midnight. Prices start at £115 per person. bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk

ELY’S APPLE FESTIVAL

Celebrate this month’s National Apple Day with a visit to Ely’s Apple Festival, a day-long celebration of the fruit, which has been running for nearly 20 years. Taking place on Palace Green, opposite the Cathedral, on 19 October, the event is one of the best-loved apple festivals in the area, featuring competitions, demos, and games including apple and spoon races and an apple shy. You can also bring along your own apples to get identified by experts from East of England Apples and Orchard Project, and join in with non-appley fun such as morris dancing and storytelling sessions. Naturally, there’ll be plenty of tasty apple-based food and drink to try, too, from pork and apple sausages to cider and apple tea. visitely.org.uk

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DULCEDO TO OPEN IN EDDINGTON Dulcedo Patisserie has announced plans to open a branch at the market square in Eddington, the new neighbourhood in the north-west of the city. From artisan chocolates to perfect pastries, delicious dragées and all sorts of other beautifully crafted confections, anybody who’s visited the Hills Road branch of Dulcedo will know they’re in for a treat at this new opening. Here, the menu will also cover coffee from The Brew Project, breakfast offerings, as well as lunch, brunch, tapas and meze evenings. “We are super excited to join the Eddington community and cannot wait to show residents and visitors there what we can offer,” says Andrew Hunter from Dulcedo. “We shall be supplying a selection of breads, patisserie and other bakes. There will also be takeaway options as well as themed sit-down nights, lunches, brunches and tasting nights.” Dulcedo is opening in Eddington in early 2020. @dulcedocambridge

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W EEPING W ILLOW AF T ERNOON T EA The gorgeous Weeping Willow pub in Barrow, Bury St Edmunds, has recently unveiled its latest offering: a playful afternoon tea with mega Instagram appeal. Prices start at £12.50, and guests are treated to giant jelly babies, popping coconut snowballs, marshmallows and raspberry pavlova, plus open sandwiches with roast beef and caramelised shallot, among other fillings. We recommend washing it down with a marmalade gin and tonic. theweepingwillow.co.uk

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© CHRIS ROBERTS

FO O D & D R I N K

RUBBISH COOKS AT PARKER’S TAVERN With estimates suggesting that more than a million tonnes of food are thrown away by the hospitality industry in the UK each year, one local chef is on a mission to highlight the problem and demonstrate that “wonky can be wonderful”. Tristan Welch, chef director at Parker’s Tavern, is launching a Rubbish Cooks pop-up, to take place at the restaurant on the last Monday of every month. A reprise of a concept Tristan hosted with Vanderlyle’s Alex Rushmer in spring last year, the supper clubs will utilise wasted and unwanted vegetables, fruits, seeds and pulses, as well as the classically disregarded parts of fish and meat. At the events, guests will be treated to a three-course meal that includes dishes like crushed wonky vegetable hatchet, bone and vegetable peelings broth, plus stale bread and treacle pudding. It’s priced at £20 per head, which includes a £5 contribution to Jimmy’s Night Shelter. “Restaurants are a notoriously wasteful business and focus too much on premium ingredients and cuts at the expense of good food that might not look perfect,” explains Tristan. “We’ve worked closely with our suppliers who are helping us find new ways to eliminate waste from their supply chains.” To book a spot, email enquiries@parkerstavern.com parkerstavern.com

N E W LOOK FOR LO CH F Y NE Trumpington Street’s Loch Fyne Restaurant + Bar reopened its doors last month, with a new look and an updated food offering. You can expect a great selection of seafood, including grilled Scottish king scallops and decadent shellfish platters, plus a brunch menu that includes a lobster benedict with champagne. Kyle Miller, operations manager at Loch Fyne, comments: “Our refreshed interiors have been designed to provide our guests with the perfect surroundings to relax and enjoy the best of what Loch Fyne itself has to offer. We look forward to welcoming new and returning guests very soon.” lochfyneseafoodandgrill.co.uk

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FO O D & D R I N K R E STAUR ANT REVIEW

Atithi

THIS MODERN INDIAN EATERY IS AN UNMISSABLE ADDITION TO MILL ROAD

tithi – meaning guest in Hindi – opened earlier in 2019, and is now well into its stride. Nestled in the middle of the town side of Mill Road, this smartly appointed eatery offers lunch and dinner options, as well as online-placed takeaway orders. Promising “modern Indian cuisine with a sophisticated twist”, behind the stoves is head chef Kamaladasan, who has extensive experience in Michelin-starred restaurants and who also led the kitchens at Navadhanya and The Tiffin Truck, while in charge of the front is Jose Conduto. We choose the Tour of Atithi: one of us picks their vegetable-led tasting menu, and the other opts for meat and fish – with seven courses ahead, we settle down for a feast. This format is a clever addition to the menu, allowing you to try a little of a lot of different dishes, which feels like a brilliant way to navigate so many intriguing and delicious-sounding plates of food. It also takes away any pressure of having to choose – wave after wave of food simply arrives at the table, and all you have to do is enjoy it. The voyage begins with pappdi chaat: spiced chickpeas, crispy wheat, sweet yoghurt and sour tamarind chutney spiked with pomegranate seeds. It’s a strong opener: we’re left resisting the temptation to simply order eight more bowls and take them away to be devoured on the sofa. That well-judged mix of tangy chutney, cooling yoghurt and crisp, spiced pulses is a simple one, but very difficult to beat. Next up is an entree of paneer stuffed with spiced figs, while across the table lands Harayali salmon: a hunk of Scottish fish coated with a herb and yoghurtbased green chutney that’s served with a coconut-ginger pickle. If you choose the tasting menu but were absent-mindedly expecting curry house-sized servings, these dishes might initially appear small,

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“The voyage begins with a pappdi chaat” but they’re well-sized and packed with flavour – with five more courses in this marathon to go, restraint is no bad thing. Both menus reconvene at this point with a violet potato samosa: a pastry parcel packed with spiced purple potatoes plus peas, blue cheese and Punjabi spices. It’s crumbly yet delicious, well-spiced and savoury, and easily held on the fork with the provided chutney. Next is a sweet fruit sorbet, a very traditional addition to a tasting menu that’s used as a palate cleanser between courses. Though we were both initially bemused by what looked like a mini dessert arriving mid-evening, its sweetness is a surprising contrast to the hot, savoury dishes that surround it – like a resting point in the journey before scaling the heights of the later courses. The main event begins: the vegetable experience presents Malai broccoli, roasted with nigella seeds, garlic, cream cheese and honey, and served with a small bowl of daal makhani and naan. This is an excellent meatless feast: the broccoli pairs beautifully with the fenugreek in the daal and the breads are perfectly structured for scooping mouthfuls of both elements. The other journey stops at a Safrani chicken dish where cream cheese, saffron and mace are used to flavour the chicken

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breasts – served with more of the same daal and breads. By now the table’s laden with bowls: we hold some back to add to the next course, clearing space where we can. The next main course pulls in: Railway Canteen Curry for the meat-eater – a creamy lamb curry finished with classic South Indian spices and potatoes – and a clever kale and potato dish for the vegetarian option, where the kale is turned into a rich sauce to coat the potatoes. Both dishes come with pulao rice, and we’ve held onto some of the bread from the previous course – so this takes us a while to work our way through. The restaurant’s busy by now, packed from the front all the way through to cavernous back (it keeps going much further than you’d expect), with diners either joining us on the Tour or picking dishes from the extensive a la carte offering. A trip to the bathrooms will take you past the neat kitchens, bustling with activity – try and steal a peek through the pass to see the chefs hard at work, making fresh breads by hand and keeping sauces bubbling. The finale arrives: a whack of sugar in the form of homemade halwa, made with heritage carrots and served with a neat disc of creamy mango kulfi. We polish this off swiftly and after being presented with single-use plastic-wrapped microwaved hot towels – the single element of the evening that leaves us with questions – we stroll out onto Mill Road, very impressed with the experience. The Tour of Atithi is a clever way to experience a range of the restaurant’s cooking but any option on the menu won’t disappoint. The team’s excellent service and fresh, modern take on traditional Indian dishes are a welcome addition to Cambridge’s restaurant scene, right in the heart of the city. atithi.co.uk

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FO O D & D R I N K

WHAT:

Modern Indian food with a sophisticated twist

W H ER E: 52 Mill Road

HOW MUC H ?

Tour of Atithi tasting menu from £37 per head; a la carte starters from £6

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FO O D & D R I N K CHEF’S TABL E

Excess in moderation ALEX RUSHMER DISCOVERS THAT HIS ABSTEMIOUS-MEETS-GLUTTONOUS APPROACH TO SWEET TREATS IS DOWN TO HIS DNA

ong before it was either sensible or fashionable, my mum was a fervent anti-sugar advocate. As frustrating as this was as a child, it is something I am eternally grateful for now, being in possession of a cheese tooth, rather than a sweet one. The cereal cupboard contained nothing approaching anything of excitement for two young boys growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, recipes for baked goods had sugar quantities drastically reduced, sweetened fizzy drinks played no part in my childhood, and as for sweets, they were absolutely and utterly verboten. As a concession, we were allowed chocolate, but even this was as part of a weekly and, in hindsight, rather ceremonial, treat: every Saturday the Manchester Evening News would publish a round-up of the day’s football reports on lurid pink paper, after which the publication was titled. On returning home, Dad would hand my brother and I the rolled-up newspaper, inside which were two chocolate bars which would inevitably fall rather dramatically to the floor. The Pink would be dispensed with and we would spend a decent half an hour enjoying the treats, in much the same way that I’d read about in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – taking time to make the most of them in the knowledge that it would likely be another week before we tasted anything quite so sweet again. To modern ears, this may sound extreme. Indeed, writing it all down, it sounds fairly draconian even to me, but it has left me with both an appreciation of the sweeter things in life and little desire to eat a substantial quantity of anything at the saccharine end of the scale, in any great quantity or with any regularity. Mostly I’m content for a meal to finish after the savoury courses, or at the most with a couple of squares of chocolate. Trips to the supermarket rarely include visits to the panoply of colour that is the confectionery aisle, and I never so much as glance at the snack selection when paying for petrol. It’s as if that section of my brain was switched

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“I never so much as glance at the snacks” off, or more likely was never even switched on, thanks to my mother’s efforts. Except for the very occasional situation when it flickers into life and I find myself rather mindlessly gorging on bags of Haribo or handfuls of pick ’n’ mix that have somehow made it into the house. This happens rarely, maybe twice a year, but suffice to say that sweets do not have a long shelf life when their presence has been noticed. It was only recently that I was able to figure out this particular gastronomic quirk that has developed over the last few years. Only when reading about the Swedish tradition of lördagsgodis (the literal translation of which is ‘Saturday sweets’), did it begin to make sense.

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Swedes, usually rather puritan in outlook and not often prone to indulgence, have a long-standing tradition that children are only allowed to eat sweets once a week and when they do, wowee do they go for it. Swedes consume, on average, 17kg of pick ’n’ mix per person per annum. Seventeen kilos! As a point of comparison, in the UK we each manage to munch through a paltry 11kg of chocolate a year. This ‘excess in moderation’, to borrow a phrase from US comic Doug Stanhope, seems to explain the Swedish approach to consumption of sugary treats and also my own. Little did I know my desire to shovel fistfuls of sour-sweets, salty liquorice and chocolate buttons into my face (but only occasionally) was hard-wired into my cultural DNA. So while I’m grateful to my mum for the mostly puritan nature of my approach to sugar, I’m also appreciative of the little greedy devil that appears so rarely on the other shoulder, wearing a Viking helmet and convincing me to make just one more visit to the paper bag that was, until so recently, filled to the brim with treats.

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Soulwarming feasts

RECIPES

READY TO HIBERNATE? SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE CAMBRIDGE EATERIES SHARE THEIR ULTIMATE AUTUMN RECIPES

PARKER’S TAVERN’S WATERCRESS SOUP WITH APPLE & WALNUTS TRISTAN WELCH, HEAD CHEF AT PT, OFFERS UP A COLOURFUL, SEASONAL SOUP TO WARM YOUR COCKLES AS WE HEAD INTO COOLER WEATHER

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INGREDIENTS

• 4 bunches watercress • 1 tbsp butter • 4-5 new potatoes, thinly sliced • 1 apple, finely sliced • 2 pints vegetable or chicken stock • 1 tbsp walnuts • Drizzle of walnut oil • Salt and freshly milled black pepper STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Start by roughly chopping the watercress stalks and reserving the tops for later. Then, in a large pan, add the butter, sweat the stalks, potato slices and half of the apple over a medium heat and season with salt and a good few twists of a pepper mill. When everything is soft add the stock, bring to a quick boil and pop in the watercress tops. Let them boil for a further two minutes, blend and serve straight afterwards. We like to serve it with the remaining apple slices, a sprinkling of crushed walnuts and a drizzle of walnut oil.

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RECIPES

ABOUT PARKER’S TAVERN Stylish, sophisticated Parker’s Tavern is the in-house restaurant at the University Arms hotel. Much like the hotel itself, the food is elegant but playful, frequently nodding to the history of Cambridge – favourites include Tristan’s take on Burnt Cream, and the ludicrously truffly risotto. parkerstavern.com

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RECIPES

TOM ’S CAKES PEAR & GINGER UPSI DE-DOWN CAKE THIS STICKY-SWEET CAKE IS GUARANTEED TO RAISE A SMILE ON A DRIZZLY OCTOBER AFTERNOON. PAIR WITH TEA AND A GOOD BOOK

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE

• Three pears • 150g brown sugar • 150g self-raising flour • 150g butter • 3 large free-range eggs • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp ground ginger • 50g ground almonds • 40g preserved ginger (grated) FOR THE STICKY TOFFEE BASE

• 75g brown sugar • 75g butter • 1tsp ground ginger STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Peel three pears and poach gently in a syrup of 275ml of water, 100g of caster sugar and 1 vanilla pod for around half an hour. Allow the pears to cool, preferably overnight, then halve, core and thinly slice. Grease and line a 9in, deep cake tin. To make the sticky base, cream together the 75g of butter, 75g of brown sugar and 1tsp of ground ginger until the mix is light and fluffy. Spread the mix evenly into the prepared cake tin and then arrange the pear slices on top of the mix, each slice slightly overlapping the other. To make the ginger cake, cream together 150g of brown sugar and 150g of softened butter. Beat the eggs and add gradually to your mix, folding the ingredients together all the time. Sift the remaining dry ingredients together and add gradually to the mix, folding to fully blend the ingredients together. Add your grated preserved ginger to the mixture and fold until fully combined. Spoon the cake mixture on to the pear and sticky toffee base and level off. Place in a preheated oven (190°c/fan 170°c) for 40 minutes. Check the cake is cooked by pressing gently on the top and seeing if the sponge springs back. Allow to cool and then place a large plate on top of the tin before turning over to reveal the cake.

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ABOUT TOM’S CAKES Tom Dolby built up a name for himself selling his delicious wares at farmers’ markets for years before opening up the original Tom’s Cakes in St Ives. A resounding success, it led to the opening of a second branch on Mill Road in 2016, a smart little cafe where everything is made from scratch and the range of delightful cakes flows with the seasons, from summer lavender cake to autumn bramley apple and cinnamon cake. tomscakes.co.uk

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RECIPES

ABOUT THE GARDEN KITCHEN Serving homemade, rustic food from their friendly cafe on Mill Road, The Garden Kitchen also has branches at the Botanic Gardens and Kettle’s Yard. Typical eats include tartiflette, spinach and feta pie and world-beating sausage rolls. thegardenkitchencambridge.co.uk

T H E G AR DE N K I TCH E N ’S SQUA S H SE N SAT ION S ROAST SOME BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SEASONING AND YOU’VE GOT THE FOUNDATION FOR A HEARTY SOUP OR A FLAVOURFUL SALAD. GARDEN KITCHEN SHOWS YOU HOW… INGREDIENTS

• 2 x butternut squash • 2 x small red onions • 4 x garlic cloves • Sprig of rosemary and thyme • Pinch of chilli flakes • Pinch of cumin • Salt and pepper • 100ml olive oil FOR SOUP

• 1 tbsp vegetable stock in 800ml water FOR SALAD

• Goats cheese • Salad leaves or baby spinach • Hand full of toasted walnuts • 2 fresh figs (if you have them) STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Peel and deseed the squash, cut into roughly 1in square chunks, add the roughly chopped red onion. Crush or thinly slice the garlic and chop the fresh herbs. Put all this into a roasting tin and add the chilli, cumin, salt and pepper and olive oil. Roast at 180°c for about 30 minutes or until the squash is soft but still holding its shape. Once you have this roasted you can decide if you’re in the mood for a warm salad or soup. To make soup, tip the tray of squash into a saucepan, add the water and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Blend, and season to taste. Garnish with harissa and toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup freezes well. To make a salad, arrange the roasted squash and onions over the leaves and top with crumbled goat’s cheese, toasted walnuts and seeds. Add the figs and a dressing of your choice, balsamic glaze works really well.

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RECIPES T HE IV Y’S V E GE TARIAN S H E PHE RD’S P IE THIS VEGGIE SHEPHERD’S PIE IS A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN FOR A GLASS OF RED AND A BOX SET

ABOUT THE IVY CAMBRIDGE BRASSERIE Tucked away down Trinity Street, the gorgeous Ivy is an ideal spot for brunch, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or cocktails, offering a menu of elegant British classics. It’s hands down one of the best-looking restaurants in the city, too. theivycambridgebrasserie.com

INGREDIENTS

• 80g chestnut mushrooms • 80g king oyster mushrooms • 440g chickpeas • 250g aubergine, chopped into 2cm chunks • 250g piquillo red peppers in 1cm strips • 30g chopped coriander • 180g cooked red quinoa • 4g of table salt • Salt & freshly ground black pepper FOR THE TOPPING

• 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into evensized pieces • 100g unsalted butter • 25g cream • Salt & white pepper HOT GRAVY

• 50g vegan gravy • 1g chopped parsley • 5g cooked red quinoa STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Place the sliced chestnut mushrooms, one slice of a king oyster mushroom stem and all the sliced king oyster mushroom hats into a large pan with oil and salt and cook down. Once cooked, drain the mushrooms in a colander. Cook the aubergines in the oven at 180° until golden brown. Place the aubergines into a bowl with the chickpeas, cooked mushrooms, red pepper strips and cooked red quinoa. Add the chopped coriander and mix well. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for around 15 minutes until soft; then drain and return to the pan over a gentle heat to remove any excess moisture. Using a masher or ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes and mix them with the butter and cream and season to taste. To assemble, place the mushroom mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with mashed potato (you can pipe this if you have time) and bake for around 30 minutes until a lovely golden colour. Once cooked, garnish with the chopped parsley.

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Finally, add the 5g of cooked red quinoa to the hot vegan gravy and use as you wish.

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RECIPES

B RI X & MORTAR’S WO OD G RI LLED VEN ISON HAUNCH WITH SMASHED CELERIAC, GRILLED YOUNG LEEKS, GIROLLES AND PICKLED BLACKBERRIES, THIS FIRE-COOKED DISH SINGS WITH SEASONALITY AND ROARS WITH FLAVOUR

INGREDIENTS

• 2x 200g venison cuts taken from the haunch • 200g blackberries • 100ml moscatel vinegar • 100g caster sugar • 100ml water • 2 juniper berries (crushed) • Thyme • Olive oil • 1 celeriac head, peeled and cubed • 100ml milk • 150g cold butter • 1 sprig of thyme • Pinch of cracked black pepper • 100g girolle mushrooms • Six young leeks

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STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Marinate the meat in the olive oil, with the crushed juniper berries and black pepper. To make the pickled blackberries, bring the vinegar, caster sugar and water to the boil in a pan then remove and let the liquid cool. Place the berries into a jar, pour over the liquid. Store for up to six months in the fridge. Place the cubed celeriac into a pan, cover with cold water and add the milk. Bring to the boil then immediately lower to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Strain and remove the thyme sprigs; reserve the cooking liquor. Blend the celeriac in a blender, add the butter, season with sea salt and white pepper and add some of the reserved cooking liquor until it’s a smooth, silky texture. Keep hot until needed. Blanch the trimmed leeks in plenty of salted boiling water for two minutes then chill in ice water to refresh. Brush clean the girolle mushrooms with a clean brush, do not wash in water. Fire up your BBQ with the silver birch wood until the wood turns to white hot embers. Bash the embers down to create a nice bed of hot glowing embers. Cook the venison over the hottest part for eight minutes, turning once coloured on each side, and lay the leeks over the cooler embers until nicely charred. Remove the venison and let it rest for four minutes. Place a cast iron pan over the embers until hot. Add a knob of butter and girolles, toss for two minutes then drain on kitchen paper and season. Arrange the celeriac on one side of the plate, add the leeks and top with the cooked girolles and pickled blackberries. Slice the venison, arrange next to the celeriac, and serve.

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ABOUT BRIX & MORTAR Brix and Mortar is the permanent home of mobile dining concept Provenance Kitchen. You can find it on a sleepy road in Whittlesford, south Cambs, serving up brunches, lunches and dinners featuring local ingredients, cooked over charcoal and wood. provenancekitchen.com

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Bread winner

ALL PHOTOS © HARRISON BUNNING

FO O D & D R I N K

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN, LUCA FIORIO DECIDED TO START HIS OWN MICRO BAKERY IN ELY. CHARLOTTE GRIFFITHS FINDS OUT MORE

ntil recently there was little to note about Saturday mornings on St Mary’s Street in Ely. Now, however, you can tell when the weekend’s begun, because of the long line of people – rain or shine – queuing outside a stylish sage green store that’s become the public face of Grain Culture: the bakery everyone’s talking about. Rough-hewn sourdough loaves big enough to feed entire families, wire baskets of toothsome

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baguettes, a wall piled high with bread of every shape and colour – and tray after tray of tempting pastries, glossed to a shine, waiting to be thrust into a paper bag, torn into hunks and enjoyed greedily even before you’ve bustled out of the shop. Luca Fiorio is the baker and brains behind this latest addition to Cambridgeshire’s food scene, but it’s not even 12 months since he was scooping at Jack’s Gelato, where Luca worked after moving to Cambridgeshire from London. “It feels like ages ago – but I only stopped working for Jack at the end of December last year,” Luca says. Prior to landing in Ely, Luca and his wife Robyn had been living in London. Robyn worked (and still does) for the NHS across Islington and Camden, while Luca was earning his keep in restaurant kitchens, where he’d been cheffing since he was 15 years old. “I didn’t want to go to school – I had no interest whatsoever in that,” Luca says of his childhood. “After many fights with my dad, I said, ‘That’s it. I just want to cook’. My dad said, ‘Fine – I’ll sort something out’ – and he found me an internship at Combal.Zero, a restaurant in a castle just outside of Turin.” Led by Italian chef Davide Scabin, Combal.Zero is still regularly listed as one of the 100 best restaurants in the world, and has a strong reputation for innovative and extremely creative eating experiences. It’s quite the place to start your career. “I did that for six months – I didn’t get paid, but my dad was happy to give me money for fuel for my Vespa,” Luca grins. “It was fun. When you’re 15, you just feel like you’re part of something. At the end of that, I got my first tattoo – and then... I was a chef.”

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The young chef worked his way around Italy: he spent winters in kitchens in the north west of the country, cut off by mountains. Then in cosmopolitan Milan, climbing his way up the ladder one rung at a time. Then Greece for a year, where he became a sous chef and met the friends who first encouraged him to move to London. After a brief, unsuccessful return to Italy, which led Luca to swear never to live in the country again, he drove his van across Europe to Blackheath, where he made a home on four wheels – then eventually gave in to his friends’ badgering and moved to their sofa in Stoke Newington. Luca met his wife around the same time: “She moved in, and then we just... stayed together,” he laughs. “When I met her she was working in Medway, in Kent – she started as a locum where she is now, and just climbed up the ranks. It’s a totally different world,” he acknowledges. Throughout his career, Luca has had an obsession with bread. “People overlook it,” he says, when asked why it matters. He

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FO O D & D R I N K

IMAGES (Left) Luca Fiorio standing outside the Grain Culture Bake Shop in Ely. Above and below are a selection of the breads and pastries available on Wednesdays and Saturdays

“Ely’s dying for more businesses like this. You’ve got such a mix of people here, and it’s so pretty” always knew that a bread-based business was in his future, and the young couple had this in the back of their minds while searching for a place outside the capital to call home. They found Ely by chance, and fell in love with the perfect commuter town, then decided to invest in a home rather than building a business – in part because Luca was ready for a break from kitchens: “I worked right until the day the removal guys came to pack up.” Once settled in Cambridgeshire, Luca started working a few days a week with

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Jack, which – along with caring for his children and supporting his commuting wife – filled up a great deal of the young chef’s time. But eventually an opportunity presented itself: like many of Cambridge’s food businesses, Grain Culture started life in their garage. “Imagine just a standard, new-build garage – that was the bakery,” he grins. “I had a double-door fridge for the dough, basically the size of the shutter: and then I had two tiny mixers, 25 litres each, and two tiny ovens. I had a door, and a bench, and a strip about two metres long

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and one metre wide where I could walk. People would say: ‘Can I come have a look?’ But… there was no space,” he laughs. Luca set up the business to sell his bread wholesale and at farmers’ markets twice a month. “And then slowly, slowly I added on to that,” he says. “Eventually, I stopped working for Jack when I picked up a big customer – Provenance Kitchen – that was perfect timing. I had a steady income when I was delivering to them, and I added on various smaller customers in Ely – just slow, steady, at the right pace.”

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FO O D & D R I N K

This calm and careful growth meant he was able to take opportunities when they presented themselves: a chance to take over a professional catering unit meant the business could move out of the garage and step up to the next level. “It’s so weird,” he laughs. “I honestly thought I’d be in the garage for a year. I’d been in there what, two – three months? And now I’m in this unit in Witchford, ten minutes away. There was always a plan, but the time frame was nothing like what it turned out to be. It just all fell into place.” Interestingly, the shop that’s now the site of such bustling weekend trade – soon to be repeated on Wednesdays for a new midweek bake – wasn’t in that plan. “Originally, I didn’t even want a shop – I was working two Saturdays a month, earning pocket money – the wholesale business was taking care of itself – and I was living on the money, having a good lifestyle,” he says. “And then the opportunity of the shop came along: the building was awesome, and it was on the right side of town.” The friendships Luca’s made while selling bread at Ely Market have relocated to the shop, where he now spends a great deal of his Saturdays in conversation with customers, greeting familiar faces and making new connections. This community feeling is something he’s extremely proud of, and which he hopes the local inhabitants also value. “I know most people already: I might not remember all their names – but I know them,” he laughs. “It’s not just about selling to a community, it’s a relationship. It’s a two-way thing.

Imagine if you had interesting stuff to do right on your doorstep – it makes you feel part of something. That’s what my favourite thing about the shop is: it’s all about the community, these people who might have seen each other at schools, at supermarkets – but now they meet at the shop as well. Ely’s dying for more businesses like this. You’ve got such a mix of people here: it’s the perfect commuter town, and it’s so pretty.” Luca talks fondly about the groups of people who would come to his farmers’ market pitch and stock up on bread. “People would walk out laden,” he says. “And now they come to the shop – and they stop coming to Ely only twice a month, they now come to Ely regularly – and they say they can’t wait for me to open on a Wednesday, because they’ll come in then, too. You see all those articles about shops shutting down in Ely – but you just have to come up with something that people want, and build that relationship. There’s a number of people who, though they might not need bread that week, they might not need that pastry, come because they want to support you.” Luca’s schedule and the fact that all his bakes are started two days in advance means he doesn’t currently get a full day off in the week. He’s been known to leave social events early to refresh the leaven and after his children go to bed, will regularly head back to the unit to check on the loaves’ progress. “It’s constant,” he admits. “But I enjoy that, I really do – it’s a living thing, it’s part of what I do. And with bread, there is a degree of flexibility:

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I can manage my own time. It’s all about temperature: I just have to start stuff sooner and let it prove longer, colder…” Like many chefs, he’s not a fan of shortcuts. “I mean – why? There are so many other people taking shortcuts with bread, because they want to produce more, spend less time at work and make it more convenient so they can achieve a decent lifestyle – and I think that’s what ruins it,” he says. “It annoys me. These ‘artisans’. What’s the point? Why are you sending out bread you baked yesterday afternoon? It’s like with restaurants: if you don’t want to work evenings or work weekends – do something else! This is what it takes.” For now, Luca is happy with where he is. He’s stepping back from selling bread on the market to focus on sales through the shop, and adding a midweek bake to the schedule will see even more queues of keen bread-heads lining up to purchase pastries. Collaborative projects are always high

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on his wish list, and he’s regularly found sliding into the DMs of chefs to suggest they work together. “What is it going to bring me financially? I’m not going to live on that order – it’d just be a cool thing to do,” Luca smiles. “We all value what we’re doing. Let’s do it together.” But if the last year has taught him anything, it’s that change is inevitable. So what developments would the baker like to see happen next? “I just want a tight

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operation, producing the best we can possibly produce. We’ve got a great shop; I’m not planning on changing that. Maybe it would be cool to do something similar in Cambridge: one room, stuff gets baked and delivered within half an hour; open two days a week only– when it’s there, it’s there, and you need to queue up to get it,” he says. “The dream for the Ely shop is to have enough people that every Saturday – and I’m happy to do the bake, to wake up at 2am – I’ll drop the bread off, and then, I’ve got this bench outside the shop, to just sit, have a coffee and a chat for a couple of hours – and then start my weekend,” he grins at the thought. “Even as a baker or a business person, I never really thought I could do this. It’s great. The amount of friendships that have come about through the business, just because of... bread.” Luca bakes twice a week from 9am on Saturday and Wednesday, 30a St Mary’s Street, Ely CB7 4ES, @grainculturehq

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CA M B R I D G E O N A P L AT E

A good vintage THE HERITAGE OF EAST ANGLIAN WINE CULTURE MAY DATE BACK TO ROMAN TIMES, BUT, AS DR SUE BAILEY DISCOVERS, IT’S IN THE MIDST OF A FULL-BODIED REVIVAL

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CA M B R I D G E O N A P L AT E itting under ripening grapes with autumn sunshine filtering through vine leaves, I look through two treasured books and ponder the local history of vineyards in this driest part of England. The first is a leather-bound volume, William Speechly’s A Treatise on the Culture of the Vine – exhaustively subtitled as “Exhibiting new and advantageous methods of propagating, cultivating and training that plant so as to render it abundantly fruitful together with new hints on the formation of vineyards of England”. Speechly fulsomely describes the proper restoration of vineyards in this elegant book from 1790 and talks of the ‘Great Vine of Ely’, referring to the abundance of vineyards in our neighbouring city which earned it the moniker of Isle des Vignes. When the grapes were rated as being not ripe enough for wine, they were turned into verjuice, a sharp vinegar alternative that featured heavily in medieval cuisine, for which Ely was particularly renowned. My father gave me Speechly’s book, as well as gifting me his scrapbook filled with cuttings from the 1970s about the development of vineyards near Cambridge. When I recently visited these vineyards, I was transported to those pages that talked about the establishment of the very successful Chilford Hall vineyard in Linton in the 1970s. It has continued to create prizewinning wines, recently scooping an East Anglian Wines gold medal for its 2016 Chancellor Sparkling wine. Going back further, the history of vine cultivation possibly predates the Romans, but the Roman belief that wine was a daily necessity for all, including slaves, meant that viticulture and wine production spread to every part of the empire. Indeed, many of the ancient

Roman techniques and principles can still be found in modern winemaking. The romance of winemaking is exemplified by the owner of local Saffron Grange vineyard, Paul Russell, who says: “When we looked back at the history of our location and land, we discovered in Saffron Walden museum the tusks of a woolly mammoth. I could imagine that some time in the past these wonderful 11-foot-high creatures paraded across the chalk and flint slopes. I had this fanciful image of them roaming through a vineyard 40,000 years ago and so our logo is a golden mammoth called Brut, with grapes caught in his tusks.” He also told me that in Saffron Walden there is an area called the Vineyard. There were 46 vineyards recorded in the Domesday Book towards the end of the 11th century, and although England acquired Bordeaux by the marriage of Henry II towards the end of the 12th century, which encouraged cheap French wine imports, this did not halt the growth of English vineyards. By the time King Henry VIII ascended the throne in the 16th century there were 140 large vineyards in England and Wales. Most were owned by noble families, but many were owned by the Church and then the Crown. The dissolution of the monasteries, together with climate change, meant that as Speechly bemoaned, by the end of the 18th century only a few landowners grew vines on their estates. Not until the late 1940s was there the beginnings of a revival in commercial viticulture in England and Wales. This accelerated substantially in the late 1980s, with more than 400 vineyards being established. Today, there are over 500, with more skilful winemakers and more complex flavours in the wines produced from vines planted more than 30 years ago. The popularity of English wines is evidenced by Grape Britannia, a new addition to Cambridge’s wine scene, with owner Matt Hodgson stocking more than 160 English and Welsh wines. As Matt says, “there is still some scepticism about English wines, but it is accepted in the wine trade that English sparkling wines are world class and regularly beat champagne in blind tastings”. He adds: “When I visited Saffron Grange, I was hugely impressed

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with the quality of their sparkling wines; it’s a relatively new vineyard, but it won’t be unknown for long. We are also lucky to have Giffords Hall, not far away from Bury St Edmunds, with their 30-year-old vines giving a depth and complexity of flavour to their sparkling, red and white wines.” When I spoke to Linda Howard of Giffords Hall vineyard, she mentioned sales soared after winning an award ten years ago from Waitrose for most outstanding rosé. It also produces a red she describes as “bordeaux on steroids”. Paul O’Connor of Hedley-Wright Wine merchants, based in Hitchin, comments that English wine growers often use the British Baccus grape based on MillerThurgau stock, that is dry but aromatic, with an easy lychee-like flavour that he says “makes for a very agreeable glass”. “The vanguard for the UK is sparkling wine at the moment, as we are not far away from the Champagne region,” he adds. “But it will be interesting to see what happens with climate change – watch this space!” The owner of Cambridge Wine Merchants, Hal Wilson, emphasised that the economic benefits of selling wines from the cellar door, plus being able to visit local vineyards, allows viticulturists to display their knowledge and expertise. Local restaurants can also stock English wines and support local producers in this way. So with the 2018 vintage being a very good year, let’s raise a glass to the growing health of the English wine producers.

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Thorne Wines THIS WINE MERCHANT IS ON A MISSION TO SHARE HIS LOVE OF WINE WITH THE PEOPLE OF CAMBRIDGE, AS SIOBHAN GODWOOD DISCOVERS

ames and Ellie Thorne had a winethemed wedding. Aren’t all weddings wine-themed, in a way? Well, yes, if you count just drinking wine – but for this couple, who have been running Thorne Wines together since late 2017, wine isn’t just a drink: it’s a way of life. “I started working as a winemaker in South Africa for a wonderful winery called Vondeling,” says James. “I cut my teeth out there for a few harvests, then came back to the UK and worked for one of the oldest winemakers in the country, Averys of Bristol. Love drew me up to Cambridge, and I got a job at Cambridge Wine Merchants, where I stayed for about seven years.” By this time, James had worked in almost every area of the wine trade, from working in vineyards to selling investment wines – all of which formed the perfect grounding for setting up his own company. “Despite all my experience, it’s

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still daunting, and there’s a lot to learn,” he says. “The wine trade is ever-changing, the vintages are always different, so it continues to excite me and keep me passionate. I’m terrible at any kind of studying, but for some reason, involve alcohol and suddenly I’m interested!” James runs Thorne Wines with his wife, Ellie, with the goal that he would do the trade and wine knowledge side of things, while she handled the marketing and social media side. “She’s good at the things I’m poor at, so she’s the rock, keeping things on an even keel,” James laughs. “Now we’ve got a child, it feels more important than ever to keep the company thriving and growing – we want it to be a success for our family.” Together, they’ve built a wholesale business working with restaurants and bars in and around Cambridge. “Things have gone really well in terms of establishing great relationships with local restaurants such as Restaurant TwentyTwo and Vanderlyle,” says James. “The people we work with are friends as well as customers, and it’s a treat to work with them. We’ve been able to furnish these restaurants with amazing wines, sourcing what they need and what they want, and

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they give us so much room to play with. It allows us to go out there and hunt for really cool things, and discover wines from countries that are lesser-known or varieties that aren’t so common. A good example with Vanderlyle: on the tasting menu (which is always changing with the seasons), one of the most successful wines we’ve had is a sweet wine from Malaga in southern Spain. Most people never will have tasted anything like that.” Another thing that’s been a big success is Thorne Wines’ method of delivering wine to their customers – possibly the most ‘Cambridge’ thing ever. “For most wine traders, their standard route to market is by van,” says James. “But we now do the majority of our deliveries in the Cambridge area by bike. We have an electrically assisted cargo bike from Electric Bike Sales on Newmarket Road, which allows us to load it up with about 60 bottles. It means we can do our deliveries without any traffic issues; we can offer same-day delivery. It’s been one of the best assets and has made things so much easier and more flexible, giving us less time spent in traffic and hopefully saving the planet a little bit, too. We’re working with a new restaurant opening on Green Street, and most delivery companies can only get there before 10am and after 6pm – but on a bike, we can get there any time of day. When we deliver, we are actually

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INDEPENDENT OF THE MONTH

“It’s the best part of selling wine – meeting people from all walks of life and sharing our passion” there seeing our customers and chatting to them, not using a faceless delivery firm.” As well as working with restaurants, Thorne Wines has a thriving business selling directly to customers. “That was goal number one,” explains James. “It’s the best part of selling wine – meeting people from all different walks of life, and sharing our passion for wine. We like to make it a collaborative process, sitting down with customers to talk about what kinds of wines you like, taste a few different bottles. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a wine for a customer that’s just right and ticks all their boxes, whether it’s a big order for a wedding, a few bottles for a dinner party or an occasional box for a treat.” The private sales have led to an evolution in Thorne Wines, too. James’ original plan was to be very focused with around 60 wines for sale – and now they’re selling over 400, from a range of different countries. “And that’s through people asking us for recommendations,

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and us going out to vineyards to seek out wine for our customers,” he says. James has always loved the idea of an old-school wine merchant, someone a customer gets to know and can trust. “But because we’re not tied down to one location, we can take that role a step further, be flexible and spend time seeking out new wines from new places. It’s the perfect mix.” As for plans for the future, James is keen for Thorne Wines to do a bit more partying. “We’ve got into doing wine tastings in people’s homes recently; we’ve got all the glassware, the equipment, the tasting sheets – so we can come round and do a birthday party, or a company event, throw in some charcuterie or antipasti from local food suppliers – and have a bit of fun in a comfortable environment. I mean, what could be better than an evening spent drinking and talking about wine?” Cheers to that! Thorne Wines, thornewines.com, 01223 779361/07775 598029

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IMAGES A selection of the wines available from Thorne Wines, including 4 Kilos 12 Volts wine, Lustau’s East India Solera and Tabula Rasa #V17R

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C B 4 S P OT L I G H T

T HE HAY MAKER S This Chesterton High Street pub offers good food and drinks in a relaxed setting. It’s known for its authentic Italian pizzas, with 13 varieties to choose from and the Caramellata receiving particularly high praise from regulars. Many of the beers are from Milton Brewery and other microbreweries, plus there’s lager from Peak District brewery Taddington. During summer, the beer garden is an ideal spot for a few pints in the sunshine.

THE CHESTERTON AREA IS BUZZING RIGHT NOW. HERE’S OUR ROUND-UP OF THE HOTTEST SPOTS

SATYAM YOGA & WELLBEING CENTRE If you need to get away from it all, relax and recharge, pay a visit to Satyam Yoga Centre: a blissfully chilled out yoga and wellbeing centre on Hawthorn Way. Classes include hatha, vinyasa flow and ‘warm’ yoga, as well as meditation, gong sound baths, pilates and various fitness sessions, taking place across two light-filled studios. The wellness room offers treatments including massages, while Satyam is also home to a rather cool flotation studio, where you can feel your problems float away in the warm cocoon of an illuminated pod filled with Epsom salts and warm water. Benefits include relaxation, increased focus, improved sleep and more – where do we sign up?

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RADMORE FARM SHOP A little bit of the countryside in the city, Radmore Farm Shop has been serving the CB4 community since 2006, when couple Vicky and Ben took the plunge and opened their own shop. They moved around the corner to Victoria Avenue in early 2017, handing over the design to local interiors hotshots, Loci. The shop’s signature rustic charm was retained, but with cool new branding, exposed brickwork and feature lighting, creating a smart little space. Inside, you’ll find crates of organic fruit and veg, jars of pulses and dried goods, fresh bread, home-made cakes, artisan preserves, and a butchery and dairy section. There’s plenty to appeal to anyone trying to live more sustainably, from eco toothbrushes to refills for cleaning products, there’s barely a piece of plastic to be seen. If you’re not in the area but are still keen to try products, check out the delivery service.

TOW NS E N DS L IGHT BL UE C YCLES Townsends Light Blue Cycle Centre has been providing bikes to the people of Cambridge for a staggering 121 years (give or take a few years’ pause during the first world war), making it one of the oldest businesses in the city. Impressive stuff, but perhaps not that surprising given our city’s enduring love of pedal power. It’s popped up on Norfolk Street and Burleigh Street over the years, but has been in its current home on Chesterton Road for around 30 years, now onto the fourth generation of the Townsend family. Aiming to provide top-quality cycles and service, the shop stocks leading brands of men’s, women’s and kids’ bikes, including Pashley, Ridgeback and Genesis, plus its own covetable range of cycles (beautifully made, steel-framed and retro-style). There’s a comprehensive range of parts and accessories on offer, too, from locks and lights to pedals and saddles, and there are numerous qualified mechanics in-house to fix your bike or give it a service to keep everything ticking along nicely. A true Cambridge indie.

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THIRSTY It’s been four years since Thirsty first opened its doors, breathing fresh air into the city’s drinking scene with its fun, accessible and contagiously enthusiastic approach to the world of wine. The company is now known for its perma-packed outdoor pop-up events, not to mention its King Street cafe, but 46 Chesterton Road is where it all began. A little drinks shop with a big dream, Thirsty immediately won fans with its huge choice of wines, many of which come from small producers, and endless line-up of obscure craft beers. It’s been adding to the offering over the years, doing up the space at the back and then the courtyard in response to the need for seating

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for an ever-growing customer base, as well as hosting events that range from tastings and talks to comedy, live music and quizzes. The owner cleverly hopped on the bandwagon of the city’s street food scene when it was starting to emerge, inviting trucks to park up out the front every night of the week and giving customers the irresistible combo of great food (Steak & Honour, Guerrilla Kitchen and Pizza Mondo are regulars), with top-quality wine and beers. It continues to go down a storm and we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there are already plans to roll out the Thirsty brand in yet more corners of the city – watch this space!

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THE WATERMAN

Part of the ever-expanding City Pub Company collection, which also includes much-loved watering holes such as The Petersfield and The Mill, The Waterman opened in 2017 and became an instant hit. It’s a friendly place with bags of personality and a great line in entertaining events, from the Retro Night (cheapo Malibu and cokes, karaoke and 80s tunes), to the themed quizzes and film screenings. We love the courtyard out the back for a pint and a bite in the sunshine, or when you want to cosy up, head into the ‘potting shed’ for a board game or two. Beer nerds will enjoy the “fresh, futuristic and fun” range of craft brews, including some made by sister pub The Cambridge Brew House, and there’s even Prosecco on tap. Plus, if you really overindulge, The Waterman has stylish bedrooms upstairs, which you can book for the night. Food-wise, there are tasty brunches, nibbly finger food, Sunday roasts and epic burgers, with lots of options for veggie and vegan diners.

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NO 30 As with its neighbour, The Waterman, No 30 is owned by City Pub Co, but rather than serving pints, this outpost serves artisan coffee, hearty soups, sandwiches and salads. What it lacks in space it makes up for in cosiness, and there’s plenty to tempt on the menu, from American-style waffles to charcuterie boards or a vegan burgers. Don’t miss a tipple from No 30’s small but perfectly formed cocktail list: ours is a Bakewell Fizz.

T H E P ORTL AN D ARM S A lynchpin of Cambridge’s gig scene, The Portland Arms has a reputation for being the place to discover great local bands and under-the-radar gems. With a capacity of 200 in its main room, it’s the only mid-sized live music venue in the city, fulfilling a vital function for acts that can’t yet fill the Junctions and Corn Exchanges of the world. From hip-hop to folk to death metal, you can expect acts from the whole musical spectrum, along with the odd comedy night. There’s been an inn at this site since the 1880s, with current licensees Hayley and Steve Pellegrini taking the reins in 2004. Under their steer, The Portland has gone from strength to strength, including the addition of a tiki hut in the courtyard. When all the dancing gets too much and you need a refuel, there’s a menu of pizzas and pub grub, plus small plates including calamari and chicken wings.

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RESTAURAN T T WEN TY-T WO A Chesterton Road fine-dining favourite for four decades, Restaurant Twenty-Two was given the new lease of life it so badly needed in the spring of last year, when new owners Alexandra Olivier and Sam Carter took the reins. Interiors refreshed and menu completely transformed, the revamped eatery immediately won the hearts of both Cambridge foodies and journalists from the national press. And why are so many beating a path to this Chesterton Road town house’s front door? First, the food is nothing short of exquisite: artfully presented plates of dazzlingly clever cooking using top-quality ingredients, all of which are carefully described by the pitch-perfect waiting staff. Second, for the calibre of what’s on offer, it’s a bargain, with a five-course tasting menu priced at £50. And finally, its friendly, accessible atmosphere belies the genius behind the hobs, offering a fantastic fine-dining experience with none of the snootiness that tends to come part and parcel. Restaurant Twenty-Two, we salute you.

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STIR Chesterton’s cafe culture may not yet be as evolved as parts of the city like Mill Road, but this neighbourhood can lay claim to one of Cambridge’s very finest coffee shops: Stir. A large, airy space on the corner of Chesterton Road and Hawthorn Way, it is deservedly always thronging with customers and full of life. The cafe opened in 2015 with the simple mission of creating the kind of place that owners Judith and Matt Harrison would like to spend time in themselves. That meant top-quality coffee (sourced from Bury St Edmunds’ Butterworth & Son), home-made cakes and a social hub that brought the community together. Fast forward four years and they’ve made good on their original goals, and then some. The food offering, once limited to toasties and cakes, has expanded into elaborate brunches and sourdough pizzas, and in 2017 Stir took over the space next door to open a bakery and shop, which runs alongside the main cafe. A team of skilled bakers creates a huge selection of breads, focusing on sourdough and other slow-fermented loaves, as well as viennoiserie and sweet treats including chocolate brownies and flapjacks. Like the sound of that, but don’t want to leave the cosiness of your kitchen? If you live within a two-mile radius of Stir, you can get your loaf delivered fresh, via bicycle, to your front door each week through the bakery subscription service. As well as top food and coffee, Stir hosts a busy schedule of events for the community, which ranges from pilates sessions to creative workshops – check out the blackboard in the cafe for info on what’s coming up.

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COMING SOON!

Next spring, there’s going to be one more great reason to visit Chesterton: the revamped Tivoli pub. Another from City Pub Co, it’s set to open in summer 2020, with plans including two nine-hole crazy golf courses, a yoga studio and bar. Plus, you can expect delicious street food. Stay tuned for updates!

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B E AU T Y

WORDS BY DAISY DICKINSON

ith autumn here and chillier spells creeping up on us, it’s a good time to think about switching up your skincare routine. Whether this means considering a winter SPF (yep, that’s a thing), a richer moisturiser or a new gadget, read on for my favourite picks this season. I’m a big fan of SPF; it keeps you younger looking, and your skin protected. An SPF should be worn every day because ultraviolet, an invisible radiation, is present all year round. For time-saving protection, I recommend It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (£32, Boots). With a whopping SPF 50+ UVA/UVB broadspectrum sunscreen, your skin will be fully protected and also glowing with a beautifully flawless finish. I am totally sold on its natural-looking but buildable formula. There’s also no flashback for those worried about photography. Be sure to pop along to Boots, Petty Cury, to check out the new It Cosmetics counter, and if you need any persuasion to purchase the Superhero Mascara (£19) while you’re there, then let this be it. Silky, long, thick lashes for miles – my absolute favourite. If you’re feeling a little weather-beaten, a face mask is a wonderful way to unwind and rejuvenate tired skin. Use an exfoliator before your mask to get rid of dead skin that your mask would be otherwise wasted on. I love Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash, £10 from Boots or Sainsbury’s. A gentle yet effective skin polish, it smells incredibly citrussy and leaves skin renewed. Once your skin is feeling fresh, nourish it with a mask suited to your skin type and needs. If you’re feeling flush, I recently tried (and loved) Goldfaden MD Facial Detox Clarify + Clear Mask (£58, SpaceNK). Packed with grapefruit seed oil, raspberry fruit extract and grape, it works to pull out impurities and rejuvenate skin. Non-drying and utterly refreshing, this mask is suitable for

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breakout-prone skin. For a more pursefriendly option, Glossier’s Mask Duo (£30, glossier.com) gives you a £6 discount for buying the Moisturizing Moon Mask and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack together. One detoxifies and the other hydrates. Lots of people worry that oils might add grease or clog pores – but there’s no need. Face and body oils are a wonderfully natural way to add hydration and promote supple, soft skin. Angela Langford Bloom and Glow (£20.50, angelalangford.com) is packed with chia seed and buckthorn, great for calming inflammation and restoring radiance. For the bod, Olverum Dry Body Oil (£36, bathandunwind.com) is a beautifully lightweight oil spray with heady bergamot and bitter orange leaf oils to leave skin feeling spa-fresh and relaxed. For fans of salon treatments who like the idea of gadgetry at home, a new device from BeGlow, the Tia (£199, lookfantastic. co.uk), uses pulsation technology to remove impurities and make-up more effectively than cleansing with hands. The pulses smartly adjust from 4500 times per minute to 8500 times per minute according to your skincare needs, and work to firm and tone muscles for a youthful lift. A great environmentally conscious alternative to wipes, the silicone design is ultra-hygienic for deep cleaning.

THE ONE THAT I WANT Ditching the cleansing wipes and choosing an environmentally friendly option for facial cleansing is a must, and these Facial Rounds from Marley’s Monsters (£14.95 for a bundle of 20, liveinthelight.co.uk) make it so much cuter. Available in a bunch of awesome patterns, they’re made from cotton flannel so are easy to throw in the wash, and they can be used many times over.

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FAS H I O N

BUTTON PINAFORE £18, Matalan LIME JUMPER £18, Matalan

FREDERICA BROGUE £85, Dune London

YONDAL DRESS IN PLEORANGE £49, Dancing Leopard

KATE MACMAHON, UTILITY BOILER SUIT £89, Debenhams, Grafton Centre

AS THE SEASONS CHANGE, EXPERIMENT WITH RICH COLOURS AND COSY TEXTURES

PLEATED DRESS WITH BELT DETAILS £49.99, Zara, St Andrew’s Street

ANIKA FEDORA NAVY £45, Hobbs, Grand Arcade

YELLOW TEDDY COAT £90, Oasis, Market Hill

TAN FAUX SUEDE ANKLE BOOTS £14.99, Shoe Zone, Fitzroy Street

ELOUISE TOP £179, Hobbs, Grand Arcade

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S P OT L I G H T O N L E A R N I N G • MA K I N G T H E M O ST O F O P E N DAYS

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E D U CAT I O N

First impressions VISITING A SCHOOL CAN HELP YOU DECIDE IF IT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD – BUT WHAT SHOULD YOU BE LOOKING FOR? CHARLOTTE PHILLIPS INVESTIGATES

hen it comes to sizing up a school, nothing beats a visit. However good a school looks online (and all, invariably, radiate star quality), seeing the staff, facilities, headteacher and pupils – in all their 3D glory – gives you real time, real life insights no online presence can match. Go along to an event this academic year and schools will be ready and waiting, conscious of the need to cater for increasingly clued-up parents who are far clearer about what it is they want their children to gain from the educational experience than previous generations, and far less likely to accept what they’re told at face value. These highly evolved parents live different lives from their own parents

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and grandparents. For a start, many more of them work. According to government figures, seven out of ten parents in twoparent families are in employment, almost half full time. “For many families, the point at which the children come along is part of a more deliberate life plan, which includes two working lives and careers,” says John Attwater, principal at King’s Ely. “As a result, the process of finding a school is taken on as any other major project would be in their professional lives.” Savvy and focused, they bring the same professional perspective when it comes to looking for schools that they apply to other areas of their lives, and will often have carried out a huge amount of research before turning up at their first school open day. They’ll want to ensure that it’s as natural for their daughters to opt for STEM subjects as their sons, and that schools are constantly re-evaluating the education on offer so it’s transformational and inspiring, as well as meeting the needs of tomorrow’s careers. Within all this, they need to demonstrate that kindness and caring are as much a part of the timetable as robotics and rugby.

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QUEST IONS PAREN TS ASK SCHOOL S Do you provide wrap-around care? How early can I drop off my child (for working parents)? How do older pupils travel to school? What clubs do you offer? How does the pastoral care work? Which is right for my child, single sex or coed? Do you offer evening meals? Can my child flexi-board? Where do pupils go when they leave?

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“Some schools like to focus efforts into open days on set dates” One change is that they will often start to visit schools far earlier than they used to. They’ll investigate prospective senior schools when their child is, say, in year 5. If they’re considering nurseries, they may start the process before their baby is born. “They are often looking at more schools and then looking to shortlist two or three to bring their children to,” he says. They’ll want clarity about how the education on offer will dovetail into their busy lives. While the facilities can be out of this world, says Richard Settle, principal of Sancton Wood School, for working families it won’t just be about how amazing they look and how they’re used but the commitment required – and the complexities that can arise as a result. “If your child is signed up for a play, this will link to who’s going to do the commute, pick them up, drop them off and take them back for evening rehearsals or on a Sunday morning,” he says. “You do need to look at the whole picture and ask yourself if it is going to be a good fit in all these areas.” Tracey Headland, admissions officer at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, is also seeing a rise in informed, well-prepared

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parents whose in-depth knowledge really shines through. “An increasing number of our parents are new to independent education,” she says. “They are professionals who often have very demanding jobs – they really know what they want and are very knowledgeable.” They’re looking for schools, she says, that “go above and beyond for their daughters”. That means not just strong academic provision, but excellent musical, creative and sporting opportunities, firstclass pastoral care and, most importantly, an underlying focus on happiness. Another major change is that it’s no longer just the parents who are involved in the decision-making process. Increasingly, it’s a matter for the whole family. “The biggest difference in the past generation has been the extent to which parents say that their children will have the final say in their school choice,” says John Attwater. Some schools like to focus their efforts into open days held on set dates during the year, packing in the crowds so they can showcase the whole school’s multi-disciplinary talents in one go. Other establishments prefer a smaller-scale approach. St Faith’s, for example, has dispensed entirely with mass

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CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S SCHOOLS BY NUMBERS 161

‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ primary schools

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5,600

‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ secondary schools

number of local children sitting GCSEs in 2019

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percentage of pupils in 2019 achieving good maths and English GCSE passes

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LOOK OUT FOR… The headteacher’s presentation Science experiments (the noisier the better) The toilets (pristine WCs mean a school that cares)

gatherings in favour of individual family tours. These are bespoke, personalised and very popular, tailored to what each individual family wants, and needs, to see. Highlights, says headmaster Nigel Helliwell, might include “appreciating the joy of break time, visiting the dining room and even enjoying our delicious catering”. In essence, “we want prospective families to witness everyday school life at St Faith’s,” he says. At King’s Ely, John Attwater sees a trend towards friendlier, more informal open events that may happen mid-week with a focus on ‘real’ school life. There’s often a highly interactive component, like the chance to meet a boa constrictor and skunk at St Mary’s, or pet Blue the dog – who helps listen to readers – at Sancton Wood. In addition to being popular and fun, they also give families a feel for what school life is really like. So while parents today come across as better prepared for the school search than in previous arrangements, is there anything they might overlook when they’re doing their research? While desk research is important, John Attwater also stresses the importance of looking for the more intangible qualities of the school. It’s the nuances – the ethos, relationships and underlying warmth – that will really tell you if you might have found the right place for your child.

However thorough parents’ investigations, they’re also investing in something they won’t actually be using themselves and haven’t experienced, in many cases, for a good ten years or more. That’s where the pupil’s perspective comes in. Frequently recruited as expert guides on school tours, their impressive maturity and self-possession in the face of a battery of questions is often what ultimately sells a school to prospective parents. And while nobody would ever suggest choosing a school based solely on what its current pupils say about it, educators agree that their perspective can be invaluable when gathering information. That means paying attention not just to what they say, but how they say it. “Just as much attention should be paid to how the pupil wants to engage with you, how happy they are to have a go at answering your questions and how palpably proud they are of their school, as to the detail of what they actually say – which you might want to check later,” stresses John Attwater. But what if you visit a school where all tours are strictly under adult management and any questions to pupils are guided – and often answered – by teachers? One easy way of seeing just what’s going on in the classroom is to ask to see pupils’ exercise books, says Richard Settle.

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“Pupil books are a great barometer because you’ll actually see, if you flick through, whether pupils are making progress. Is this work marked, does the pupil have pride in what they’re doing – and are they getting feedback?” He also stresses asking not just about top line exam results, but how the school approaches the whole knotty issue of testing. “We often get asked why we don’t do SATS,” he says. “We don’t believe in over testing children and it means our teaching can be more creative and deliver on the whole of the national curriculum rather than teaching towards an exam. The effect this has when our pupils come to sit their GCSEs is clear to see.” The hallmark of a successful school tour, formal or informal, is that any visiting parent should leave with the impression of a school that has the interests of the children in its care at the heart of everything it does. “Above all, schools recognise that the huge investment parents are making in entrusting the most precious years of their child’s life to us is a privilege that schools must earn, not a prize we deign to hand out on our own terms,” concludes John Attwater.

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E D U CAT I O N E D U CAT ION SP OT L IGHT

The good struggle HEADTEACHER AMANDA GIBBARD FROM OAKS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL EXAMINES THE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEARNING

chools need to focus on children learning. This is a fairly obvious statement. However, many things that happen in schools and are seen as ‘learning’ may actually be confused with the factors that affect learning. These can include resources, curriculum, events, management, the building, health and safety, test results and, of course, teaching. All of these things are important to ensure that children can learn – but they are not actually the learning itself. So, what exactly is learning and where does it take place? Of course, the simple answer is that learning takes place in children’s brains! It happens when repeated experiences become hardwired into the brain and is when someone (adult or child) gets better at something. If we are searching for children that are truly learning or ‘getting better’ at something, what should we be looking for? It is possible to come up with two different types of learning that are important. One type of learning can be characterised as ‘new learning’, where students’ brains are actively working on new knowledge, skills or understanding they have not seen before. They are in a good struggle, but need to ask questions and rely on the teacher or other support material as they try to attach knowledge to things they already know, or practise skills for the first time. Their recall, performance or

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discussion is, at the beginning, hesitant and unsure. It is often rough and ready until the student begins to get a little more comfortable. New learning is never smooth and never ‘successful’ at whatever level the student is performing. Students at the new learning stage look for relatively frequent reassurance they are on the right track in order to stay motivated. The other type of learning, equally important to the process, is ‘consolidating’ learning. Here, brains are working just above their comfort zone. However, the students are confident and able to work mostly independently from the teacher and other support material. They need to think and go slow, sometimes making mistakes and needing a little coaching from peers or the teacher. There is a focus on getting better at a clearly identified knowledge, skill or understanding, and their attention is highly targeted on this. Students at the consolidating level still need support and reassurance, but much less frequently than at the new learning level. They are more comfortable with what they have to learn and how

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they have to learn it, but they still have some way to go before their learning becomes fixed. Students at this stage have a relatively clear idea of what they need to do to get better and what it will look like. At Oaks International School, leaders and teachers are practising being able to recognise these two types of learning (‘new’ and ‘consolidating’) through close observation and discussion with the children in their classrooms. They are also developing a clear understanding of what it looks like when children are ‘treading water’ or ‘sinking’. That is, where the child is either insufficiently challenged or learning is inaccessible. Looking at learning first enables us to see where adaptations to teaching or resources are needed, or perhaps when a child needs greater reinforcement or a challenge. Putting the child at the centre, rather than the teacher, and closely observing learning before teaching is helping us ensure that our students have the best chance of getting better in all of the areas we offer at Oaks International School.

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© SAINSBURY’S

E D I T I O N LO V E S • AU T U M N GA R D E N S • STO RAG E SO L U T I O N S

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GA R D E N S

ANNA TAYLOR, OWNER OF ANNA’S FLOWER FARM IN AUDLEY END, SHARES WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE GARDEN THIS MONTH s autumn sets in, October sees mixed weather conditions; warm southerly winds whisper memories of the previous months and early morning mists, storms and dark evenings pre-empt what’s to come. In our area, frosts might come as early as late October, but while the month is chilly and changing, it is usually still reasonably mild. This is the perfect time to maintain the lawn. Collect up fallen leaves and store in bags or a chicken wire frame out of the way, and allow them to slowly decay through the winter. Rake the turf, removing any moss, and scrape the soil back a little. A vigorous job for a dry day is to aerate grass roots by pricking the soil down to 5cms depth with a garden fork – do this over the entire lawn to de-compact heavy soils. When you’re done, sprinkle grass seed and a dusting of topsoil or loam over the holes or gaps and the grass will quickly get away with the warm soils and autumn rain. Granted it will look an absolute mess, but it will give you a beautiful lawn next spring. This month, I bring in tender plants including aeoniums, pelargoniums and succulents and complete my least favourite job in the garden, bulb planting. It’s a task with nothing to immediately show for

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it, simply hiding bulbs beneath the soil. However, I do love seeing stems pushing optimistically through frozen soil with a promise of new flowers and, invariably, I wish I’d planted more! This year, I am going to grow fritillaria uva-vulpis with its glaucous foliage and little nodding brown and yellow flowers that last well in the vase, and muscari in shades of true blue. This grape hyacinth has a poor reputation for taking over the spring border but buy species bulbs such as muscari aucheri ‘ocean magic’ in pale spring blue or bicoloured muscari latifolium in true blue and dark inky navy and you won’t regret it. These also look great with the diminutive narcissus bulbocodium; a small, sunny yellow, bell-like flower. I plant up pots with these to grace outdoor tables so I can closer enjoy the delicate plants, then remove to a hidden spot as they die down after flowering.

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In the garden now, we are also enjoying autumn favourites, such as rudbeckia ‘Sahara’, which is a delicious mix of cappuccino-coloured blooms and blush pinks through to rusty browns and oranges. They are both gaudy and chic, but robust both in the border and vase. This month is the best in the year for cutting and arranging. I enjoy the different textural elements I can use from fennel seed heads, fluffy flowers of calamagrostis brachytricha grasses and spikes of persicaria amplexicaulis ‘firetail’. I grow a lot of crocosmia, not really for the arches of orange flowers but more for the bulbous seed heads that come afterwards. These are all long-flowering garden stalwarts. They add so much more interest, both in the border and the vase, than at any other time of the year, setting off arrangements of dahlias or and branches of seeds, nut and rosehips beautifully.

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INTERIORS

A NEW SEASON IS THE BEST TIME TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND ORGANISE YOUR SPACE. FROM BEAUTIFUL BOOKCASES TO CHIC CABINETS, ANGELINA VILLA-CLARKE UNCOVERS THE BEST STYLISH STORAGE FOR A SLEEK, STREAMLINED HOME

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INTERIORS

bedroom should be a place of serenity – where you can rest your head and find peace at the end of the day. But piles of clothes, cluttered surfaces and toppling books will do nothing to help you create a tranquil retreat. For small rooms, look for innovative storage solutions that will help with clearing away surplus items – headboards that have hidden shelves or ottoman beds that lift up to give you extra storage. It doesn’t have to look sensible or boring, either – you could opt for sumptuous velvet blanket boxes and pretty mirrored dressing tables to keep a room looking glamorous. “Storage is a crucial part of any bedroom design, but all too often these items become objects of necessity rather than things we really love having in our homes,” says Adam Brown, director of the Painted Furniture Company. “We aim to ensure that every piece of furniture is

beautiful enough to work as a feature all on its own, rather than just acting as a place to ‘hide things away’.” For substantial storage, bespoke, fitted cabinetry is the best answer, and will work to maximise odd room shapes and quirky corners. Based in north Norfolk, Edmund & Sedgwick are specialist cabinetmakers and work with customers to devise bespoke solutions – from artfully made wardrobes to covetable libraries – all created by skilled craftsmen. Neville Johnson also offers made-tomeasure bedroom furniture and reveals the latest trend is a headboard with builtin bedside cabinetry. “It can incorporate reading lights, niches for books, drawers and cable management for charging devices overnight,” explains Simon Tcherniak, senior designer. Meanwhile, Adam Black, co-founder of Button & Sprung, agrees that more people are opting for dual-purpose furniture, such as ottoman beds or models that include under-mattress storage space. “People are increasingly looking for ways to utilise their bedrooms more efficiently – perhaps it is the Marie Kondo effect! After all, the idea of clever organisation, coupled with decluttering unwanted items, has been linked to a happier mindset,” he says. When it comes to living rooms, think cleverly about which items of furniture you choose. Built-in shelving with cabinets can work well in alcoves, while large Chinese trunks that double up as side tables can hide a multitude of magazines, throws and gadgets.

Previous page Gunmetal shelving unit, £385, and tables, prices vary, French Connection Above Bespoke furniture, prices vary, Neville Johnson Left The Poppy ottoman storage bed, from £1,195, Button & Sprung Right Longleat bookshelf, prices vary, and Monroe chair, from £3,110, The Sofa & Chair Company

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HOW TO H I DE I T AWAY NICOLA BISSOLI, HEAD OF INTERIOR DESIGN AT THE SOFA & CHAIR COMPANY, GIVES HER TOP THREE TIPS

For larger rooms, choose generously proportioned storage, so it has a sense of belonging and doesn’t feel misplaced. For smaller rooms, elect for free-standing units that allow you to see the floor – the smaller footprint will create a feeling of openness. Mirrored furniture is a good option for small rooms, as the finish creates the feeling of a larger space.

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INTERIORS

S T U DY I T WORK WITH A CLEAR MIND WITH THESE DESKS FROM JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS

Dark Oak Hairpin desk, £299

Dark Calia desk, £599

“Think about materials, shape and texture as well as function”

Top Storage bench with tweed cushion, £365, Alison at Home Middle Intelligent ASP paint in Pleat (wall) and Heat (shelving), from £21 for 1L, Little Greene Bottom Hamilton desk, £220, French Connection

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How you use colour in a room is also important for creating a feeling of space and enhancing storage. Little Greene’s new Intelligent Paints range is kind to the environment, has lasting durability and comes in a range of rich contemporary colours. Use one of these new, bold hues behind shelving to make it a feature. Or, alternatively, paint the walls and cabinetry the same shade to avoid any large pieces looking obtrusive. “Storage is often the Cinderella of interiors – ignored and hidden from sight. But given what an important part it plays, it should be proudly on show,” comments Alison Cork, founder of homewares store Alison at Home. “Sleek entrance-hall benches can double as shoe storage, ottomans come in all shapes and sizes – and can work as seats, side tables and stools, as well as storage – and even free-standing clothes rails can be visually elegant. Think about materials, shape and texture as well as function, and you will make your home work that much harder – while making it look equally effortless.” At French Connection, Catharine Denham, the company’s head of homeware, says this season is all about minimalist, chic storage solutions. “Inspired by a sleek, industrial aesthetic, classic styles are made modern with striking materials,” advises Catharine. “Our French cane cabinet, for example, is crafted from light natural cane and durable mango wood. It’s perfect for everything from clothes to textiles, fine china or electronics.”

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INTERIORS S TOCK I STS Alison at Home 020 7087 2900 alisonathome.com Button & Sprung 03333 201 801 buttonandsprung.com C P Hart 03458 731 121 cphart.co.uk Dragons of Walton Street 020 3544 2000 dragonsofwaltonstreet.com Edmund & Sedgwick 01328 829 326 edmund-sedgwick.co.uk French Connection 0333 400 3284 frenchconnection.com John Lewis & Partners 01223 361292 johnlewis.com Little Greene 020 7935 8844 littlegreene.com Maisons du Monde maisonsdumonde.com Neville Johnson 0161 873 8333 nevillejohnson.co.uk Nubie 01825 724 160 nubie.co.uk String Storage at Skandium 020 3633 7626 skandium.com Painted Furniture Company 01285 656 041 paintedfurnitureco.co.uk The Sofa & Chair Company 020 8993 4415 thesofaandchair.co.uk

“Storage is a crucial part of any bedroom design”

When it comes to what is often the smallest room in the house – the bathroom – any storage needs to work twice as hard. Look for mirrors with cabinets fitted behind, sinks with drawers or cupboards underneath, and invest in attractive baskets and tubs to keep toiletries out of sight. “As a rule, we have less bathroom space now than we did a decade ago. However, we also have more bathroom products,” says Rachel Martin, C P Hart’s merchandising director. “Revealing as much floor as possible gives the idea of a larger room, so wall-mounted storage has become increasingly popular. Incorporating storage beneath a wallhung basin is also a good way to utilise bathroom space.” With a global approach to homewares and a pretty aesthetic, Maisons du Monde offers a multitude of furniture that can be used to hide away our essentials: “The trick is to opt for functional yet stylish pieces,” is the advice. “With a footstool that doubles as storage, a dining table that

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folds into a cabinet, or a coffee table with a swivel tray, you can win back some space without compromising on style! You can then add warmth to the atmosphere with the right soft furnishings, from cushions to layered throws and rugs.” Anyone who has ever stood on a piece of Lego will know that, most of all, it is children’s clutter that can have a mind of its own. Invest in plenty of toy boxes, box shelving and felt tubs to hide away those pesky strewn dolls, bricks and games at the end of the day. String’s modular, flexible storage system, meanwhile, can be customised to suit different spaces and budgets, and has a design that can change as a child grows. Its contemporary, industrial look is also perfect for a teenager’s room. “Storage for children should bring a sense of fun and playfulness,” says Lucinda Croft, creative director at Dragons of Walton Street. “Our wardrobes, shelves, drawers and toy boxes can be personalised with lovely artwork that can be refreshed and updated as the child grows.”

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CHILD’S PLAY AMANDA SHORT, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF NUBIE, GIVES HER ADVICE

Fabric storage baskets are a great option when placed on the floor or lower shelves – they offer easy accessibility and will encourage children to tidy away after play. Placing books on display will encourage children to read more. Plate racks or picture rails are fantastic for displaying bright book covers and also create a decorative wall display.

Opposite page Workshop shelving unit, £140, Maisons du Monde Main image Duravit Luv double drawer unit, £2,714.40, Luv Basin, £656.40 each, C P Hart Top String System in ash, from £72, String Above Cambridge toy box, from £660, Dragons of Walton Street

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KRISHNA MANGO WOOD COFFEE TABLE £215.50, maisonsdumonde.com

GOOSEBERRY BRAIDED BASKET from £15, weavergreen.com

GREEN WALL STORAGE BASKET £16, dibor.co.uk

E DI T ION

MYLIA STORAGE OTTOMAN £249.99, my-furniture.co.uk

ROSE IN APRIL STRAW NAVY TASSLE BASKET £49, nubie.co.uk

BALCOMBE TRUNKS set of two, £139, alisonathome.com

ROOBA MEDIUM BASKET £17.99, carandkitchen.co.uk RUMBA DESTRUCTURED CHEST OF DRAWERS £108.50, maisonsdumonde.com

RAVELLO SHELF £419.99, my-furniture.co.uk

PADMA SIX DRAWER CHEST £699, johnlewis.com

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Profile for Bright Publishing

Cambridge Edition October 2019  

Cambridge Edition October 2019