On Friday morning I ventured back to my old university city to reunite with my old pals. We wanted a night out at our old regular Friday night spot, Propaganda at Fez where many drinks were drunk and fun was had. After 2 hours of delays, an absolutely mammoth journey of 6 hours from Bristol to Cambridge was finally done (thanks National Rail – always a pleasure…) and I could get on with enjoying the time I had with my friends.
We stayed in the Travelodge Newmarket Road which is in a convenient location close to the central area and reasonably priced. The staff were also really friendly and polite so I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again should we have another meet up in our old stomping ground.
As we were more pressed for time than we planned to be due to the train delays, we thought we’d have a quick dinner at a nearby Frankie & Benny’s before getting ready and beginning the night – we were wrong to assume this and despite a half empty restaurant, our food took 40 minutes to arrive so needless to say I wouldn’t recommend the Newmarket Road branch if you want speedy, tasty food.
After getting ready we headed to Fez. It’s a student night on Fridays so drinks are fairly cheap and you can always get a deal; we actually went outside of term time so students had actually gone home for the summer which may have been the reason for why it was far less busy than I can remember it being before. When we used to visit as students, it always queued down the street to get in and it was generally packed by 12 – on this occasion it hadn’t really filled out so at 1am we cut our losses and headed onto Revolution. Again it was a student night so cheap drinks were on offer and it was much busier than Propaganda. Perhaps the new Propbox night at Revolution is stealing Fez customers? If we go again I think I’ll make sure we either visit in term time so that more students are around to fill up the venues, or we just head straight to Revolution instead – which is a painful thought as my heart does truly lie with the slightly more grimy, sweatier Fez!
The following afternoon after a lazy morning sleeping off our fuzzy heads, we spent the day catching up properly in a cafe in the shopping centre Grand Arcade. As we had spent three years living there, we didn’t do any touristy activities however I can’t talk about Cambridge without recommending punting…
When the sun is shining, it’s difficult to think of a better way to spend an afternoon than punting along the Cam. Admittedly, I’ve only tried to actually punt on one brief occasion – needless to say I won’t be doing it again – so I opt for either going with a tour company or getting a big group together and letting someone else do the hard graft on a private hire boat!
Or if you’re on a tight budget and don’t fancy forking out around £10-£15 for a shared tour, it’s just as amusing to sit by the river watching people punt past. If you’re lucky you’ll see someone who is clearly unable to drive or control their boat, which provides some great riverside entertainment.
Alternatively, if you are seeking repentance from your Friday night activities, you’d may as well repent in style at a King’s College evensong and listen to one of the world’s best choirs in a beautiful setting. Personally, I enjoy going to the occasional service but even if that’s not your thing, the building itself is still worth seeing and it would be a shame to miss out on hearing a world-class choir.
Other than generally walking around, taking in the sights of this quintessentially British city and it’s stunning and gothic architecture, that just about wraps up my suggested itinerary for a short but sweet visit to Cambridge.
Follow and tweet me @evierosetravels or comment below if you’d add anything to the essential to-do list in Cambridge!