Most commonly esteemed for its academia and alumni including Stephen Fry, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking, Cambridge’s vibrant food scene has been relatively underrated in the past. However, with several venues having been awarded Michelin stars and independent start-ups entering the scene on a daily basis, it won’t be long before the culinary delights match up to the area’s obvious academic heights.
Shaina Galvin, restaurateur and owner of local business, Feast & Frolic, explains her affection for the Cambridge culinary scene and the area’s non-stop, natural production line of fresh produce. ‘I’m proud to be part of this modern patchwork of eateries in one of the country’s most historic and beautiful cities, with the vibrant River Cam running through its core. Alongside the traditional eateries Cambridgeshire has to offer, there’s an exciting and burgeoning trend for street food, be it sensational street stalls or inventive food vans. Head to Food Park’s bustling night market and you’re guaranteed to find an abundance of exotic street food.’
The region is graced with plenty of popular farmers’ markets which showcase the best produce around. Shaina is quick to pay tribute to these local wares and the role they have played in her personal success, and the successes of the region as a whole. ‘The markets in St Neots, Ely and Cambridge’s Market Square are delightful places to discover local treasures and chat with suppliers. We at Feast & Frolic are inspired not only by delectable ﬂavours but by the breathtaking, fun and theatrical. Working with wonderful local producers, of which there are many in the region, we focus on quality fresh ingredients, superlatively cooked.’
According to Shaina, the Cambridge food and drink scene would not be the same without the tireless team effort and quality produced by many of its venues, which are ever-growing in stature. ‘Cambridge owes its stripes to the talented collective of individuals and entrepreneurs who bring passion and creativity to the table. We should celebrate the many talented chefs in Cambridgeshire who make our eateries shine, but let’s also appreciate the energy of the front-of-house teams, who work tirelessly to provide wonderful dining experiences and smiles.’
All year round the area provides a delightfully stunning setting for eateries and bars alike; however according to Shaina, this beauty is enhanced during the summer months. She feels that summer is the perfect time for people to explore quaint villages that lie outside the city in order to discover their new favourite restaurants. ‘Summer in Cambridge is simply wonderful. Whether you’re punting down the river with a scrumptious picnic or feasting at a grandiose gathering, the region’s natural beauty is sure to capture your imagination. Outside the city you can discover hidden foodie gems nestled within picturesque villages, such as our own establishments, The Willow Tree, The Eltisley and Seventy Seven.’
For more about dining in the region, check out the latest edition of the Cambridgeshire Food & Drink Guide below.