A Spring Weekend in Cambridge

I was incredibly envious of one of my favourite bloggers, Sasha Wilkins, over the Easter Weekend. You see, she spent my favourite holiday in my second favourite city before retelling it in splendid detail. However, my envy was short lived as three weekends later I was off to the same city for my own weekend away.

The city was Cambridge and my partner in crime was Fee, who you may recall from her Christmas guest appearance. I first met Fee back in 2011 during our first year of reading History at university. Since then we’ve both been on something of a rollercoaster but have managed to come out the other side relatively intact and even better friends. Now reading a masters in History at Cambridge, Fee invited me down for a weekend to have a catch up almost a year after our last exam.

Fee chilling out on Clare Bridge

After a ridiculously early wake up call (urgh, 6.30 wake up to grab a lift to the station), I arrived in Cambridge to glorious, sunny weather. Once I met up with Fee, we headed straight to her flat to drop off my luggage and enjoy a slice or two of toast with houmous. Once our stomachs had been satisfied and my arms rested, it was time to explore Cambridge Town. A mere ten minutes away from the city centre, the walk in (and out) is through the park land surrounding the River Cam. Once in town, we headed straight to The Fudge Kitchen, which still holds something of its enchantment from my childhood. With our Canadian Crunch fudge purchased, it was to Clare’s Fellows Garden that we headed to lap up the sun.

The view from the bank of Fellows Garden. I cannot believe how blue the sky was.

We lapped up some rays for a while, waving at the friendly tourist-laden punts as they went by. Just the ticket for getting over a stuffy, sleepy train journey. I cannot remember the last time that I felt quite so at peace with my life and everything surrounding it.

Unfortunately we could not forget our lives all together, staring idly at white clouds. So we meandered back to the flat, where we began to glam up for the evening’s event. You see, Fee was taking me to Formal. For all those who haven’t been initiated into the world of Oxbridge, Formal is a weekly formal meal in the college’s great hall. Everybody is encourage to dress formally and students can wear their gowns. And the food lived up to the atmosphere.

Starter: Mediterranean Vegetables with a Ratatouille Sauce
Main: Chicken in a Mushroom Sauce with Roast Potatoes and Vegetables
Wine: Merlot
Cheese board and coffee
We started off in the MCR with a glass of sherry before moving into the Great Hall. I don’t have I have ever felt so nervous about a meal but being in a room full of Cambridge post-graduates, I was convinced I would say or do something stupid. Fortunately, I managed to keep myself together and even talk to a few people (shock horror!). After the rather divine meal, though I stuck to the celery and grapes from the cheese board, we headed back to the MCR for more drinks. And then it was back home to grab a little sleep.
Judy’s Vintage Fair in Cambridge Guildhall
The Saturday after turned out to be a very lazy one. We didn’t get out of bed until 10am, to enjoy a very slow breakfast of Country Crisp while watching Midnight in Paris. A film I had never seen before but I loved it, particularly Tom Hiddleston appearing as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Two hours later, we finally got dressed, picked up Jenny (Fee’s friend) and headed out for a bit of shopping.
As you may have guessed from the picture above, our shopping trip was of the vintage variety. Fee had tracked down the Cambridge Vintage Fair, which happened to be on that Saturday. So the three of us headed towards the Guildhall to enjoy a girly afternoon rifling through the rails. And we even manage to scoop up a few bargains. I picked up a (very) 80s top in aqua and a beautiful Breton cardigan, which was the bargain price of £2. Fee picked up a beautiful floral blouse for the same price.

Fee had a real thing for hats. Unfortunately she didn’t feel she could excuse buying one.

After we done shopping and browsing, it was decided that afternoon tea was the perfect way to rejuvenate ourselves. And so began the five minute long decision-making about what to eat. But when you have a choice of up to ten cakes lined up in front of you, taking five minutes to choose one seems fair.

Homemade lemonade with blueberry and lime cake, complete with sugar crunch topping. Cake bliss!

Afternoon tea finished, we headed back to the flat. As we had a few hours to kill until Eurovision, it was time for another movie and more toast with houmous. We then got changed, a little bit glammed up, before heading over to the MCR to join everyone else for the annual cheese-fest that is Eurovision. There was a large amount of support for Ukraine to beat Russia but Conchita Wurst from Austria won over nearly all of us for Austria. However, it did make for a rather fabulous end to a wonderful day.

Choice of drinking vessels over the weekend. I felt the Henry mug summed me up in comparison to Fee’s choice of wine glass.

Sunday was less relaxed than Saturday as Fee offered to take me to chapel so that I didn’t miss church. As the service was at 9.30am, it was a somewhat earlier wake up call but so very worth it. I now go to a Baptist church and previously have attended low Anglican services, so a high Anglican chapel holy communion was a different experience. There were only about six of us along with the minister so it was a very intimate affair. I’m not sure that I agreed with all the bowing to the altar but the sermon was fantastic.

Afterwards we picked up food from Sainsburys so that we could prepare lunch. We had invited round Fee’s closest friends for a Sunday lunch of jambalaya followed by D.I.Y. ice cream sundaes. The food was fantastic as was the company. It was particularly nice to catch up with Ned, guitarist/singer/songwriter of August and After, who I had met at Fee’s Game of Thrones party. But all too soon people were heading off to revise (it’s university exam time) and I had a train to catch. So farewells were said before Fee and I headed off to Cambridge station to catch my train.

And that was my weekend in Cambridge. It took me six hours to get home (grrr, 1.5hr wait at a station 20 minutes from my town) but it was worth it to spend 3 days in one of my favourite cities with one of my favourite people.

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