A monthly round-up of gastro goings-on around Cambridgeshire
Dine into the Night
Reeling from the success of its Friday and Saturday bite-size evening dishes, The River Terrace Cafe in St Ives has expanded its later opening hours. Alongside a daily food, cocktail and coffee menu (which sports brunch staples such as avocado toast, grilled cheese sandwiches and a full English), in late spring you can expect the cafe doors to be held open until the sun sets on Thursdays, too. Before then, a plethora of small plates are on offer with a medley of flavours: sample the pointed cabbage, tomato and pepper ragu with tahini – or the king oyster mushroom and bok choi noodle salad – all while sat in a Grade II* listed, Tudor-era manor house overlooking the river. What more could we want?
Cambscuisine, a group of six pubs and restaurants across Cambridgeshire including the Cambridge Chop House, has a jam-packed schedule for this year. Its glorious Wine Society dinner returns for 2022 on 3 March, at The Cock in Hemingford Grey – only the second event yet. Guests will be off to a good start with canapes and fizz at 6.30pm, followed by a four-course meal of ham hock and foie gras terrine, smoked haddock ravioli, venison, lemon tart and a chutney-accompanied cheeseboard. Wine from Languedoc-Roussillon – the region from which the Cambscuisine Wine Society procures all its stock – will be harmonised with each dish, while experts are on hand to lend their knowledge. This sociable evening promises to be an informed, but informal treat for the senses. The Wine Society is free to join and tickets for the event are £68 per person, and can be booked via the website.
On the grapevine
Those with a taste for sumptuous tipples can’t miss The Wine Rooms’ themed, weekly wine-tasting Wednesdays. Deep dives into the produce of far-flung, sun-washed regions such as Verona, Tokaj or the Piedmont Mountains are on the menu, alongside choice canapes to match. These bubbling events will quickly become the high point of your week. The Hills Road wine bar and shop has a smattering of sweet and savoury sharing platters to pair with your drink discoveries, such as cauliflower steaks or ricotta and blackberry crumb cake. Follow each week’s theme on social media and don’t forget to book online.
A course in cocktails
Cocktail-lovers are sure to hurry to Milton Road when they hear about an upcoming session in the art of their creation. The Fellows House cocktail making class is one of an abundance of mouth-watering events coming up this March at their twinned food sites, The Sage of Cambridge and The Folio Bar and Kitchen. A mixologist will lead the lesson on 25 March, teaching attendees how to create two thirst-quenching cocktails – so Instagrammable, you’ll be snapping away. Liquors, spirits, fresh fruit and specialised equipment will all be provided, while students can take away a recipe card to remix their concoctions at home.
“Alongside hosting private gatherings, we also open up our event spaces to a thriving calendar of social and cultural events, engaging guests and the community while supporting local creatives,” says Lisa Doran, marketing and events manager at The Fellows House. “We are looking forward to some fun and interactive events throughout March. These include a spring wellness retreat, our regular Cocktails and Canvas art class, and a special International Women’s Day Coffee and Conversation, based on inspirational women from Cambridge past and present.”
Read, steady, cook!
The popular cooking class from local eatery Thaikhun has made its return in time to inject some heat, spice and flavour into spring. Guests will be guided through authentic dishes from start to finish – and no one is left behind! Recurring every Sunday, if you are an admirer of the restaurant, this can’t be missed: five starters and mains from its menu are covered, from pad Thai to tom yum soup. You will soak up the knowledge of head chef Kim Kaewraikhot.
Of the class, he says: “We’re so excited our cooking schools are back at Thaikhun Cambridge. We have taken the time to perfect them, so our guests feel a true taste of all Thailand has to offer throughout their experience. We have some great meals planned, where guests can put their culinary skills to the test, or simply enjoy creating a classic dish in a group environment.” He adds: “The best Thai food comes from using the freshest ingredients, along with the skilful art of preparation, combining the right ingredients at the right time to create an exceptional dish.”
For more food news, check out our article on Love Cambridge’s Restaurant Week, starting next week, 14 March. And now for the drink…
The Grand Reopening
A beloved foodie favourite, Aromi on Bene’t Street has finally thrown open its doors again after a two-year wait. Back and better than ever, fans of its Italian fare have already returned in droves – you may have to compete to find a seat! The 1957-founded cucina slings cheese-oozing sourdough pizza, adorned with seasonal ingredients out of wood-fired ovens, and it cooks up an array of tasty antipasti, rich desserts and smooth gelato. The creamy cannoli and irresistible arancini will have you thinking you are on the streets of Sicily.
Ripe with love
Grape Britannia’s Matt Hodgson shares the best bottles bursting with berry and fruity flavours, perfect for Mother’s Day
Wiston Estate Rosé NV, £28.99
Gorgeous rhubarb, raspberry, strawberry, redcurrant, wild roses and lemon zest flavours brighten this wine from West Sussex, with a slight touch of sherbet on the finish.
Hattingley Valley Demi-Sec 2013, £39.99
This Hampshire sparkler is round and creamy, with rich, caramelised apple and blackberry crumble aromas. Subtle brown sugar, ripe red fruit and pastry caress the palate.
Recipe match: Fab with lemon meringue pie
Lyme Bay Orange & Thyme Gin, £36.99
A marriage made in Devon, between the bittersweet citrus notes and gentle peppermint hints of herb. Serve with a premium tonic and slice of orange.
All wines listed above can be purchased from Grape Britannia on Arbury Road.