Food: Bill’s Cambridge

Spring is always a busy time for our household with all four birthdays falling in a seven-week period, starting with mine in April. This year we also had a wonderful family wedding in May, so it really has been a time of non-stop celebrations! 🙂 

Also with an April birthday, twelve days before mine, is my Mum. When I was invited to enjoy a meal at Bill’s restaurant in Cambridge, it was the perfect opportunity to take my foot off the pedal for a while and enjoy a joint birthday lunch.

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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 39: Bird Nibbles

Back in 1979, the RSPB invited their junior members to count the birds that visited their garden at a set time. It encouraged children to get involved with nature and allowed the RSPB to work out the top 10 UK garden birds. Fast forward to 2018, and it’s gone from strength to strength with over half a million people expected to take part in the annual #BigGardenBirdwatch.

Our boys are rarely happier than when they’re playing outside, and as we like to encourage their love of nature we ordered this year’s RSPB birdwatch pack. Within it was a ‘recipe’ for bird cakes. Simple to make at home, we decided to make this our activity for day 39 of #100DaysNoTV.

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Food: Pint Shop

Pint Shop, in the very heart of Cambridge, will soon be celebrating its 4th birthday. Feeling that it would benefit from some sprucing up, the owners not only refreshed the paintwork, but also altered the layout to create two new dining rooms. To celebrate their revamp and new seasonal menu, they held a press & bloggers tasting lunch.

Unable to attend on the day, we were invited to dine on another occasion, and having never experienced their food (but hearing wonderful things about it), we were delighted to accept.

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Day 35: FoodCycle Cambridge

I have vivid memories of being a young girl growing up in the affluent city of Cambridge, not being able to understand why there were so many people sleeping rough, barely surviving. It didn’t seem right or fair, and that helpless feeling stays with me today. That childhood memory, and what I’ve subsequently learned about the plight of the homeless and the disadvantaged, along with an inherent aversion to food waste, compelled me to attend my first FoodCycle session in 2012. 

After a break from volunteering while our children were very young, I rejoined the team in September 2017 for Day 35 of #100DaysNoTV.

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Day 34: Blackberry Sorbet

If there is one welcome sign that summer is getting closer to its end, it’s the abundance of ripening blackberries in the hedgerows. It has become a family tradition to go out and forage, and this year we decided to make something new with our bumper crop.

We’ve owned an ice cream maker for a few years, but it stayed unloved in its box. It was about time it had some use. On Day 34 of #100DaysNoTV we made fresh blackberry sorbet.

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Day 32: Restaurant Dining at Home

Before we were parents, Rob and I used to enjoy holding dinner parties at home. Back then, we totally took it for granted. As other parents of young children might agree, a grown-up evening without interruption, and without you feeling so tired you’d fall asleep on your plate, can feel like a thing of the distant past.

After talking with a group of mummies (we’d met at my “Mummas & More” bloggers talk ) about getting together, we started considering the idea of a dinner party where we all contribute a dish. However, in the end we decided to invite a chef to do all the cooking (and clearing up!) for us. 🙂 On Day 32 of #100DaysNoTV we had a restaurant experience at home! 

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Station Tavern Cambridge

Cambridge Station was built in 1845, when it was located about a mile away from the city centre. Over the next century and a half Cambridge grew massively, until the station and city became one. Over the last few years, the station and its immediate surroundings have been transformed: CB1 is home to new apartments, office blocks, shops, hotels and eateries.

Only in the last few months has the area that greets visitors when they leave the station begun to take real shape. There are some unfinished sections, in particular the taxi rank, but the new businesses are pretty much fully functioning.

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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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