Work up an appetite for a feast of dining deals
Words by Miriam Balanescu
Following a Covid-enforced hiatus, Love Cambridge Restaurant Week is making its joyful return from 14 to 25 March – and bouncing back bigger than ever. In its third year, a feast of dining deals will again be provided in a bid to entice foodies to the city – celebrating the best that Cambridge’s hospitality industry has to offer.
Behind the event is Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID), an organisation aiming to improve the experience of the city’s visitors, workers and residents alike, through events and initiatives. “We hope that Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity for people to try new places or visit somewhere they may not have been for a while – helping to support the local economy at the same time,” explains Kristian Foreman, marketing and project manager at Cambridge BID. “We all know how hospitality has been badly hit in recent years, but we are very lucky to have such a vibrant food and drink scene in Cambridge. There are some amazing places to eat in the city, which keep bringing people back.”
Building on the success of previous years, Restaurant Week 2022 will include an additional five days of discounts. You can take advantage of special set menus priced at £5, £10, £15 and £20 at a bounty of venues across the city, from Bagel Box in Market Square to The Cambridge Brew House on King Street. Of the restaurants showcased, French, Spanish, north Chinese, Alsatian and many more
cuisines are on the menu.
One restaurant staple, Smokeworks, is pitching in, offering a main, side and drink for £15 – just the incentive needed to send us running for this beloved BBQ joint. “The standout dish is our half-rack of smoked baby back ribs served with wickedly naughty loaded fries,” says restaurant owner Max Freeman. “It’s perfect washed down with a pint of Smökevurks, our BrewBoard collaboration session ale. If that doesn’t appeal, our crispy chicken wings or a jackfruit sandwich might fit the bill.”
Another fire-fuelled dining spot has only recently thrown open its doors, but is fast becoming a top pick with locals. “Since its arrival a few months ago, Garden House has become popular with residents and nearby businesses, thanks to our grill-focused menu created by head chef Adam Wood,” says Graduate Cambridge general manager Chris Douglas. Nestled next to the River Cam, the restaurant’s signature offerings include a twist on Cambridge burnt cream, plus a range of sophisticated cocktails. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a two-course dinner for £20 at this stylish venue. There’s delicious fare at Stem & Glory, too, which serves pioneering plant-based cuisine. During Restaurant Week, two courses from the award-winning eatery can be enjoyed for £19.95. “Cauliflower wings and kimchi pancakes are our most popular plates,” states business development and sustainability officer Rosheen Toner. “We have added several new options this month. Diners can expect creatively executed plant-based dishes, bursting with flavour! Offering our whole menu during Restaurant Week lets you see how living a plant-based life is easy.”
Fancy a hit of flavour from across the Atlantic Ocean? “Around Latin America, life has a distinctive beat,” says Katrina McGrath, head of marketing at Las Iguanas. “It’s a celebration of friends and family, rhythmic music, boldly spiced flavours and a laid-back lifestyle. Explore the region’s remarkable dishes and enjoy our favourite recipes – Las Iguanas is your ticket to celebrating life the Latin American way.”
In the wake of the pandemic, events like Love Cambridge Restaurant Week are more crucial than ever for boosting the hospitality industry. “People are understandably more cautious about eating out right now,” says Kristian. The economic impact of Restaurant Week in 2020 was £22,500 for businesses taking part; the increased numbers of visitors attracted to the city by the event should also have positive repercussions for other sectors in Cambridge, too.
Along with the array of offers and special menus up for grabs during Love Cambridge Restaurant Week, the BID will be renewing the event’s associated competition. Participants are entered into a draw with a chance to win a £100 gift card to spend in over 200 locations across Cambridge. To take part, redeem an offer at one of the participating restaurants from 14 to 25 March and share a photo of your experience on social media, along with the hashtag #CambridgeRestaurantWeek.
If you are interested in the dining discounts, head to the Love Cambridge website and download the voucher for the deal you would like to redeem. Full menus for all restaurants at Restaurant Week 2022 will be confirmed nearer to the event, although it is recommended that you book directly with the venue in advance. Some offers will only be redeemable on certain dates and times, so make sure to visit the website for terms and conditions before you go.