Food: The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

The Ivy. Those two words conjure up images of the rich & famous, of opulence, glamour, a place to see and be seen. In 2017, The Ivy in Covent Garden celebrated its centenary; having begun life in 1917 as a modest café, it quickly gained in popularity becoming an iconic London destination, known the world over.

My home city of Cambridge is now home to The Ivy Brasserie; it’s one of the newest restaurants to join The Ivy Collection. Opening day was Wednesday 14th March 2018, and I was invited to join a Bloggers’ Breakfast that morning. Would The Ivy live up to its reputation?

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Day 29: Ely Christmas Cracker

For a festive hit in mid-November, there are few places better than Ely Cathedral. Their annual two-day Christmas Gift & Food Fair is an event attended by people from all around the country. In contrast, the #ElyChristmasCracker was all about local people.

Since the Cambridge blogger community – CambMeetUp – began in March 2015, there have been a number of local meetups around Cambridgeshire, and when Lauren decided it was time that Ely held one, I was more than happy to help organise. On Day 29 of #100DaysNoTV I co-hosted a blogger event for the first time!

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Day 27: Talking Blogs

For Day 27 of #100DaysNoTV I did something I never believed I would (or could) do: I gave a talk about my blog to a group of people I’d never met before. To say I was out of my comfort zone is a massive understatement! But, I survived and, for many reasons, I’m so glad I went through with it.

I was invited to give a talk at a Mummas & More event, and Emily – the brains behind it all –was so lovely that I felt I couldn’t say no. When I told Rob about it, the fear set in: I would be speaking aloud, publicly, about myself. That’s something I tend to steer well clear of!
In a heartbeat Rob said, “Do it. It’ll be good for you.” It was the little nudge that I needed.

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Fashion: Emily and Fin at Lilac Rose

It’s rare that you get a chance to browse in shops after hours so it was a real treat to spend an evening at Lilac Rose in Cambridge. It was a chance to reacquaint myself with their shop on Bridge Street: one of the prettiest areas of Cambridge city centre.

Lilac Rose have been in Cambridge since 2010 and describe themselves as “. . . an independent fashion boutique selling women’s clothes, jewellery and accessories.” After a quick browse it’s clear that their handpicked dresses have a real emphasis on colour and print (they definitely don’t do plain!) and what might not be obvious at first, is the importance they put on the way the dress fits and feels; I’d say they have their priorities right!

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Skincare: Neal’s Yard Remedies

The wonderfully named Bee Lovely Hand Cream is the only product by Neal’s Yard Remedies that I had ever used and, I have to admit, that was a freebie! (It was in my goody bag from the CambMeetUp bloggers event last March.) So when I was invited to their press event in Cambridge I used it as a chance to really get to know the brand better.

They held the event in their little shop on the city’s beautiful Rose Crescent.  At the time I posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: “Neal’s Yard is possibly the prettiest shop in Cambridge”. It’s absolutely true, and Cambridge isn’t exactly bereft of beautiful shops. 🙂

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Food: The High Tea Club

Afternoon tea and High tea

Are they the same, similar or different?

Well, nearly two hundred years ago Afternoon Tea became fashionable with the upper classes who would eat around 4 o’clock to stop the tummy rumbles between lunch and dinner; they’d nibble on dainty sandwiches and cakes with an abundance of tea. It would be a relaxed affair in the drawing room on comfy chairs.

The working classes had their Tea after a hard day’s work and so it was a more substantial family meal, and would normally include hot food and meat; basically it was their main meal of the day. It seems this became known as High Tea as it was eaten up at a table, literally sitting high, with Afternoon Tea taken at a low table.

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Food: Hotel Chocolat Cafe Cambridge

If you were asked to name a luxury chocolate brand, chances are – if you live in the UK – your first answer would be Hotel Chocolat. Since the first shop opened in 2004 the brand has expanded and evolved over the last ten years and there are now over 80 stores worldwide.

With the manufacturing facility in Cambridgeshire the business has strong links with the Cambridge area. The founders had a dream of opening a new type of cafe in Cambridge city centre – in their words, “our first ever ‘refuel station’ where the cocoa and coffee love match is united at last”.

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Day 10: Blogtography Workshop

I decided a while ago that so much blood, sweat and tears goes into writing my blog, it really deserves better images; the iPhone takes amazing photos, but it was time to invest in something a bit more professional. After lots of research (thanks, Rob!) and camera holding, we bought my shiny new Nikon D5500. I just had to figure out how to use it! Luckily, help was at hand.

On Day 10 of  #100DaysNoTV I pottered down to Jesus Green in Cambridge for a Blogtography Workshop with Karen Harvey of I Don’t Like Peas.

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Food: Wasabi Sushi & Bento

For a major fan of sushi (that’s me!) an invite to a tasting event at the brand new Wasabi in Cambridge was always going to be met with a resounding and immediate “Yes!”. Even better, there was a plus one option so I was able to take my lovely hubby. And so, on 17th June, Rob and I went to the #WasabiCambridge pre-launch evening.

There were a few concerns raised on social media ahead of the event about the venue’s readiness: a few hours before there was clearly still quite a bit to be done for the official opening the next day.

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Day 2: Blogger Event

On Day 2 of #100DaysNoTV I joined other bloggers from across East Anglia for an event in central Cambridge. It was the first event of its kind in Cambridge for local bloggers.

When Rob and I were planning our #100DaysNoTV project, I can honestly say I never expected to be invited to attend a blogger event, and certainly not this early on my blogging journey. I felt very fortunate to receive an invitation to this special occasion and didn’t hesitate to accept.

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