There is a British film that came out this year called the Theory of Everything. It’s the story of physicist Stephen Hawking and his life with his ex-wife Jane Wilde. It’s based on Jane’s memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. The film received four Golden Globe Award nominations. Although quite sad, I enjoyed the movie. Hawking completed his degree at Cambridge so many scenes were set on the campus with all of its lovely bridges, rivers, and cobblestone streets.
The film was so beautiful that we decided to spend the weekend in Cambridge. No, not really. Our friends Gray, Gustavo, Rosi, and Lucas were going to be there and we had a free place to stay so we went! (lol, I actually watch the film after our trip.. I know, so embarrassing)
Cambridge is a nice college city complete with beautiful university buildings, cobbled streets, museums, shops, and probably some of the smartest people in the world.
We left early Friday morning in the pouring rain. We left our apartment at 5am to walk a mile to the bus stop to take the bus to the airport. Then, we took our first “low-budget” commuter airline, Ryanair to London Stansted airport. From the airport, we took a train directly to Cambridge and walked another 10 minutes the place we were staying at. (Total Travel Time: 5 hours)
Since it was raining, our itinerary is not as “organized,” but here were some of the highlights!
210 East Rd, Cambridge CB1 1BG
This coffee shop reminded me of something from the hipster scenes of Oakland or the Mission. There were bicycles hanging from the ceilings, communal farm tables, local art, and healthy green smoothies (that I made Andrew order). It’s so nice to be in a coffeeshop when it’s raining outside. I got a chai latte. Good, but nothing to rave about.
13 Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD
SO GOOD! There is nothing better than dumplings and chewy hand-pulled noodles. It feels and tastes so good. Their dumplings were amazing, especially their lamb and cumin dumpling. That was bomb. It had a strong and bolder flavor compared to most dumplings we have had. The dumpling skin was thick, but not too doughy. We also ordered niu rou mien (Beef Noodle Soup). I was expecting thick chunks of beef, but got slices instead. Noodles were excellent though. This was the best Chinese food we’ve had in the UK so far.
Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB
I love free. This is another free museum in the UK. It’s pretty big with lots of collections of historical pieces from all over Europe (and the world). It’s #3 on things to do in Cambridge. However, since I’m not the best person to enjoy museums with, it wasn’t my favorite thing to do.
51 – 52 Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RG
The real reason I wanted to go here was to try a Chelsea Bun. A dessert with my name on it?!? Of course I have to try it. Fitzbillies has been in Cambridge since 1921 and is famous for its sticky chelsea buns. They’re similar to a cinnamon roll, but sweeter with currants. It probably had too much sugar for me, but it was yummy.
King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1ST
We went to Evensong service at King’s College. They have choral services on Friday evenings. The service starts at 5:30, but we started getting in the queue (”line”) around 5pm. The Choral Scholars (made up of undergrads from King’s College) sing during the service. By the time we arrived, it was dark and they don’t allow photos, so I don’t have any pictures. The chapel itself is amazing. They have the highest ceilings I have ever seen. I would highly recommend visiting a service at King’s College to hear the choirs and to enjoy the beautiful building.
1 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SJ
We went here for dinner. Service was great and they have a pre-theatre 2-course dinner option for £14. Andrew got a smoked salmon and crayfish appetizer and the lamb shoulder. I ordered an orange carrot soup (sounds weird, but it was surprisingly very good) and a nut roast wellington with butternut squash, celeriac, and a creamy mushroom sauce (see picture). Overall a good meal, but I wasn’t exactly impressed by it (my rating: 3/5).
15 Trinity St, Cambridge CB2 1TB
Andrew got the Grilled Cod & Chips (aka fries) with a salad and I got the
Caesar Salad with Anchovies. Andrew really liked the fish. Salad was very large. I thought there was too much dressing, but Andrew thought it was perfect. Overall, it was a good dining experience.
The thing about Cambridge is that if you visit, you should really know someone who is studying there who can get you into the colleges for free. Otherwise, you need to pay a fee to walk around. Sometimes, the colleges are also closed to the public. However, they are really beautiful. The picture above is of Trinity College.
Below is Isaac Newton’s apple tree that inspired the theory of gravity.
Punting and the River Cam
It was way too cold, wet, and rainy to go punting, but we saw people punting in the cold rain. It must be so nice during the summer. The River Cam is really beautiful, especially with those old, academic buildings in the background.
Market Hill, Cambridge, CB2 3NJ
In the Market Square, there is a bunch of vendors selling items and food. They’re there Monday-Saturday. We stopped by this Belgium Waffle vendor and got a plain waffle and it was AMAZING. There is no need for nutella, or any of the other sweet toppings. It was served warm and was so good.
98-100 Mill Rd, Cambridge CB1 2BD
We got reservations at Bedouin, a Moroccan/North African Restaurant. Andrew ordered the Tagine Kefte Bedaoui (lamb meatballs) and I got Adess dziria (lentil stew with spinach and butternut squash). Our friend Gray ordered the Tagine Beldi (slow clooked lamb) that smelled, looked, and tasted excellent. Sorry, the restaurant was too dark to take pictures.
Queen Emma Primary School, Gunhild Way, Cambridge CB1 8QY
We went with our friends to a friendly church in Cambridge. They currently hold their services in a primary school. I don’t know what it is, but it felt very homey to go to a church in a school instead of an old historic church building (probably because I’ve gone to church at a school for the past 5 years). Sorry, no picture.
Cambridge was a very beautiful, friendly city. The fact that the buildings were more pink, salmon, red, cream colors also seems to brighten the city compared to the gray buildings of Edinburgh. I loved the little streets (where there are no cars) and all the shops and stores you can walk into (although I always thought I might be run over by a cyclist). When we were walking back to the train station, a friendly local asked us if we needed directions who was probably the friendliest British person we have ever encountered.
“While there is life, there is hope.” -Stephen Hawking