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Jul 20, 2009 01:23 PM

Cambridge Eating

I am in Cambridge in August and was hoping to visit Midsummer House, however they are shut throughout the late summer, any recommendations in and around Cambridge would be more than welcome.


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  1. We stayed in Cambridge a couple of years ago and had a lovely lunch at a village pub, the Three Horsehoes, in the village of Madingley nearby. We did not find anything good in Cambridge, despite extensive research here and elsewhere. We stayed at the Hotel Felix which tried hard but did not come up with anything remotely worth the prices. Our conclusion: consider Cambridge a feast for the eyes, not for the palate. Would LOVE to be proved wrong on that score. http://www.threehorseshoesmadingley.c...

    1. Agree with GretchenS...there isn't much there. Last weekend lunched at la Strada...meh and dinner at the pub near Clown's cafe (same side of the street--a block or so before Clown's--don't remember the name). Had a Stilton/beef pie that came with nice veg and ok chips. Probably the best bet in town--wish I could come up with the name...anyone?

      1. I can't believe Cambridge is STILL rubbish for food - it was like that when I was a student there nearly twenty years ago now. It didn't bother me much at the time because I was poor. But my friend is a fellow of Clare College and hasn't found anywhere decent either. That's probably why she lives in London!

        3 Replies
        1. re: greedygirl

          It's interesting to me that both university towns, Cambridge AND Oxford do so poorly when it comes to having good restaurants. There must be an economic reason or something else that keeps it that way year after year. The best meal I had in Oxford awhile back was at the Ashmolean, and that's not saying much!

          1. re: zuriga1

            Thanks for all the thoughts on the baron landcape of dining that is Cambridge. Anyone out there got possible alternative destinations nearby? I have car and will travel


            1. re: stanleyk

              It's worth the short drive out to Newton - few miles south of Cambridge - to go to the Queens Head for lunch. It's a very old pub which serves amazingly good sandwiches (or meat platters on a sunday - doesn't seem to be any difference, other than the fact that the meat hasn't been put inside the bread ...).

              The menu is really short, but really good quality ingredients - just beef, ham or cheese sandwiches, I think - and they also have a soup each day (red or brown) and toast with dripping - delicious. Great beers too.

        2. How far are you willing to travel? Up north there is the seafood of Cromer and there are some good pubs near Norwich.

          6 Replies
          1. re: zuriga1

            Probably not that far, although I know that area and it is great. I am heading to Cambridge from a few days in Whitstable, so something on route could work for me too. I guess, Essex/Southern Suffolk area?


            1. re: stanleyk

              What about Orford? Long time since I have been but it still has a strong reputation for smoked fish, and has some good low key outlets. Another option is Southwold which has the various Adnams restaurants, again some time since I visited, but the Crown was good (for a pub).

              1. re: PhilD

                I'd just add a vote to the Three Horseshoes, which really is the only other sensible option in the absence of Midsummer House. If you're a Cambridge alumnus you can eat at the restaurant (not the canteen) at the University Centre which is very satisfactory, but I don't think it's open to members of the public.

                1. re: MattClay

                  I didn't know that. Where is the University Centre?

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    The University Centre is at the end of Mill Lane, around the corner of The Mill Pub over looking the Mill Pond green. The 1st floor restaurant - Riverside - is surprisingly excellent with a real flair for local food and traditional English dishes.

                  2. re: MattClay

                    Restaurant 22 in Cambridge proper always had a good reputation. Is it worth a visit these days?

              1. re: pj26

                Alimentum is excellent. It's not in the city centre so may have been overlooked by some of the above.

                At the moment most of the best dining in Cambridge is outside the city centre anyway - Alimentum, De Luca Cucina, Back Street Bistro and The Kingston Arms are all to the south and Rice Boat is in Newnham just a little on to the west.