Local Talk

What is Cambridge missing?

(31 Posts)
elsieG Tue 29-Jan-13 15:23:08

Hi All,

Just wondered if you had any burning thoughts on what Cambridge is missing (if anything!). Are there any goods or services that you've experienced elsewhere that you would live to see here?

To get started, I'm finding that the choice of children's shoes leaves me scouring the Internet instead!

Any thoughts?

orchardy Wed 30-Jan-13 14:45:18

An IKEA, and proper countryside, and hills! A couple more good restaurants wouldn't come amiss and the new station in Chesterton can't come soon enough. Other than that, it's a pretty good place!

JimJamboree Wed 30-Jan-13 15:20:05

Do you know, last night I dreamt that there was a decent hill in Cambridge and woke up happy. That's how bad the lack of hills is.

elsieG Wed 30-Jan-13 16:44:13

Ha ha, I also miss hills!

NewtoCambridge Wed 30-Jan-13 19:11:09

Definitely hills and a branch of Waitrose to the north of the city would be great and a Costa in my village and a good family restaurant I could drive to easily when I can't be bothered to cook (Pizza Express/ Wagamama/ Byron).....................

milkcookies Thu 31-Jan-13 10:39:39

It is missing good restaurants!

milkcookies Thu 31-Jan-13 10:40:00

And a House of Fraser, and of course IKEA!

northofcambridge Thu 31-Jan-13 22:12:24

shoes - john lewis is fine in my view
restaurents - does need a bit of searching but they are out there - went to a great on mill rd
but yy to hills

cammel Thu 31-Jan-13 23:25:16

Burr Shoes in Great Shelford is excellent for children's shoes. It is one of a small chain with a sister shop on Milton Road and a children only shop in Saffron Walden so they can get stuff in for you from one of the other shops if they don't have it when you go in.

Good, reliable restaurants are limited in Cambridge. We have never had much success with Chinese restaurants in particular.

Parking is also a nightmare and park and ride is a miserable experience, so decent transport/infrastructure is a bit limited.

JimJamboree Fri 01-Feb-13 10:31:51

People always say Cambridge is lacking in good restaurants but I've never seen it myself - I've never had any problem eating good food, although I should think there are probably plenty of less good places as well.

Hooferoo Fri 01-Feb-13 19:02:02

Boys clothes. Although this seems to be countrywide. My sons are not surfers, rock dudes or rugby players and I am bored of character designs, monkeys, skulls and cutesy slogans. And I can't afford JL and Polarn O Pyret.

orchardy Fri 01-Feb-13 22:30:50

I find H&M quite good for boys' clothes that I don't sob about when they trash them. Is just a pain they only have kids' clothes at the Grafton Centre store - never go to that end of town! Shoes-wise, yes, Burr Shoes on Milton Rd or Charles Clinkard.

Hooferoo Sat 02-Feb-13 10:47:25

I find H&M variable. Sometimes they have lots I like, sometimes nothing. I don't understand why they don't have kids clothes in their town centre store. It's usually the only one I can get to without dragging the kids with me on a Saturday. And that's no fun for anyone. For the first time ever I've bought stuff from Boden.

orchardy Sat 02-Feb-13 18:25:58

I wait for the Boden sale and then even if I have to buy stuff in too big sizes it seems to be worth it in the end. The quality is so much better. Trousers actually last a good few months on my boys. Have tried H&M, next, M&S and they just go through the knees within 3 weeks; I despair! Also boden do some slim fit trousers, which are good because normal trousers without adjustable waists are hopeless for us. Boden tops and coats actually last long enough to do both boys. No more expensive than John Lewis if you only buy in sales...

FatherReboolaConundrum Tue 05-Feb-13 16:10:19

A good fishmongers. Don't like the permanent swarm of wasps around the fish stall in the market. And a permanent ice rink. And hills, obviously.

I've always found the "no good restaurants in Cambridge" claim mystifying. For a small city, having 2 Michelin starred restaurants is good going, and there are several other excellent restaurants, too - 22 Chesterton Rd and the Hotel du Vin, for example. And then there are some really good non-European places - the Peking, the Rice Boat, the Korean place on Mill Road, Bedouin (Mill Road again). There are some areas of Cambridge awash with mediocre (and oddly hyped) restaurants - King's Street, most obviously. But I can't think of many other places of comparable size with a better food culture than Cambridge. gets off soapbox

orchardy Tue 05-Feb-13 23:30:37

Agree 22 Chesterton Rd IS fabulous.

JimJamboree Wed 06-Feb-13 13:09:51

FatherReboola - I completely agree. As you say, 22 Chesterton Road and the Peking are excellent. Rice Boat is very nice, and we're becoming big big fans of Inder's Kitchen (if you've not yet tried it, do). The restaurant in Bourne is very nice too (I think it's Bangladeshi but can't quite remember). I also very much like Fitzbillies for something less formal, especially for a nice lunch. DH has good things to say about The Punter, and we're looking forward to trying Hotel du Vin and Alimentum. The small place on the corner opposite the Catholic Church is nice for a lunch with friends - Oak Leaf Bistro or similar? - and surprisngly full of people having lunch on a weekday. Hot Numbers is lovely for hanging out with coffee and a cake.

I can imagine that there are a lot of less good places bang in the town centre aimed at the tourist trade, but then I never eat there...

sikorsky Sat 16-Feb-13 08:44:40

Independent school places for boys.

MagicalTrevor Fri 01-Mar-13 23:25:34

A christmas market.

Pufflesome Mon 29-Apr-13 12:11:53

Good vegetarian food. Amazed we have only one vegetarian cafe (and a slightly mediocre one at that, in my controversial opinion).

Good independent cafes. Too many nasty chains. I went to Norwich recently and was bowled over by the number of lovely quirky independent cafes serving really good food and drink.

Non-touristy shops in the town centre. I would struggle to buy something like a pack of screws, or a washing up brush, or some cheapish children's toys.... I miss Woolworths.

Where (and what) is Hot Numbers?

thegirliesmam Tue 30-Apr-13 14:18:19

In the city centre itself I can think of two places to sit, eat and feed the kids...McDonalds and Marks and Spencers cafe. (thinking about manoeuvring a buggy, my double to be exact, with ease)

ChestertonCharley Tue 30-Apr-13 15:48:54

OK not buggy-friendly, but Clown's on Kings Street is nice - sensibly priced food, and friendly staff. Italian.
Buggy-friendly (and breastfeeding-friendly) and very central is Michaelhouse cafe.
Got some nice boys' trousers in Debenhams Blue Cross sale.

Agree - a good fishmonger

Pufflesome Tue 30-Apr-13 19:06:29

True, Michaelhouse is absolutely lovely and the food is phenomenal. I'm a bit more take-it-or-leave-it about Clowns, although I know it's a Cambridge institution.

Livingstones cafe (St Andrews Street, in the church) is also central and very buggy and small children friendly. Love the toddler play area!

LittlePoot Wed 01-May-13 13:18:49

Hot Numbers is a newish and lovely coffee bar just off Mill Road (Gwydir St) - really nice, fits a buggy or two, and good place to meet and chill out sometimes. I totally agree with the too many chains and not enough nice independent places - cafes and restaurants but also shops. I was in Brighton before this and it's a different world. It's true there are a handful of nice (and some really excellent) restaurants in Cambridge but more nice little independent cafes to have lunch in would be very popular. And more baby music groups, especially on a Friday!

Pufflesome Wed 01-May-13 19:01:21

Oh, yes - I've actually been to Hot Numbers a few times but didn't realise it was called that! It is nice, but it's often absolutely rammed so wouldn't fancy getting a big buggy in.

I agree 100% that Cambridge would benefit from being more like Brighton in terms of independent places. I don't understand why all the development is focused on attracting more and more chains and not supporting independent shops and restaurants. I hate the fact that it's becoming a clone town.

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