On Saturday 26th November, 9 guests and myself, Miss Sue Flay, walked the streets of Cambridge and went on a Cake Crawl (armed with Secluded Tea Party Goodie Bags to collect our cake-based treats as we went) and guided by my personal knowledge we visited of some of the best places for tea and cake in our very own beautiful city.
The day was a little damp and drizzly, but it didn’t stop us from marching from venue to venue to spend 30 – 45 minutes at each one enjoying a good old chat and tasting some treats pre-ordered thanks to my very organised cake tasting skills ; )
We started at Hotel Du Vin on Trumpington Street and the lovely team allowed us to take over their Library to enjoy their delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes, a Fruit Tea Loaf and a Selection of teas… and that was just for starters…. They also sent us away with a cute little bag of treats including a gooey fudge brownie and they even treated us to a teacup full of G&T to fuel us before heading out the door. Bliss.
We then hopped over to the newly re-opened Fitzbillies, where Tim & Alison had the Chefs table waiting for us in the Bakery itself, what an honour it was too! We got to see them preparing their world famous Chelsea Buns, as well as enjoy them ourselves from the tier left for us to tuck into at our leisure alongside a good strong cuppa. They had even laid a beautiful vase of flowers in the middle of the table and Tim allowed one of our guests to take some professional photos of him whilst we were there. Great fun and a great stop to make on this quick stop cake tour.
We then skipped up to Kings Parade to stop opposite one of Cambridge’s most famous landmarks, Kings College, which is very important to me personally as my Grandfather was once the Head Gardener here, so it always makes me smile when I pass this beautiful college. No matter how cold it was today, we stopped to have a scoop of Benets Homemade ice cream and we even braved the chill and sat on the wall outside Kings College to enjoy this refreshing treat. Some of us had a sorbet to cleanse the palette.
A quick sidestep onto the Cambridge Market Square to visit the ever so charming Thomas at T&S Foods, where we sampled some of their stunning Caribbean Carrot Cake and took some home with us to enjoy later when we had a need for a second cake fix. He nattered away to us all, mentioning that he in fact produces his food in Norfolk and runs 3 market stalls in the area every weekend. A local star who has been here for years and hopefully many many more to come!
A swift detour to Bill’s Cafe on Green Street allowed my guests to enjoy the walk through the picturesque Rose Crescent, of which most of them had never seen or walked through before. This was an opportunity to show off my tour guide skills and show the cobbled streets of Cambridge. All this walking certainly helped to burn off a little of the cake-cals. We had a pre-booked table in the corner of this bustling cafe, where we were served a plate each of their fantastic warm scones, with Bill’s Strawberry Conserve and Clotted Cream along with a few pots of English Breakfast Tea to warm the cockles. They also gave each guest a free pot of Jam to take home with them too, which was such a lovely touch to the afternoon.
We completed our Cake Crawl with a dessert inspired cocktail at 12a Cocktail Bar in the Market Square. This was mentioned to The Host a month or two prior to the event, thanks to his knowledge of my sweet tooth by this point, and the designing of many a dessert inspired cocktail previously shaken up for me. We were seated in a relaxing dark corner, surrounded by Jazz music on the jukebox and some beautifully ribbon-tied scrolls with a choice of cocktails from either Tiramisu, Lemon Meringue or a Cranberry Club. I went for the first option, and oh my goodness, it was sublime! And a refreshing way to end the Cambridge Cake Crawl – We all went off with very content tummies, believe me.
You can view some of the write ups from my fellow cake crawlers by clicking on the links below, and I am so pleased that they had as much fun as they did. This was a complete trial, but it worked so well and was a great way of getting to know lot’s of lovely new faces and I can see them all tweeting and connecting through social media even now, so it’s a great way to meet new people.
Needless to say,I cannot thank the venues enough for helping with this event and being so hospitable and of course, there will be another event similar to this for early 2012, so keep your eyes peeled…. Or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
to get your name on the waiting list for the next Cambridge Cake Crawl.
Miss Sue Flay
I stumbled on your blog whilst googling ‘afternoon tea in Cambridge’, and this is the perfect post. I’m a student at Cambridge University so I’ve been to a few of these places (I live above Sainsbury’s so Bill’s is a very short walk from me!) and I love the Caribbean stall in the market as well. I”m very jealous of you being able to go into the bakery of Fitzbillies, I like their chelsea buns but I stopped off once to buy this almond cake thing and it was delicious!
So I just wanted to stop by and say hi! I like your blog 🙂