We've been to Manchester and Leeds this past year, and been very impressed by the food/pub/bar/cocktail scene in both places. But what's going in in our home city of Cambridge?
In May there's the main event of Eat Cambridge. We've missed out a bit the last couple of years, as it's been too close to the Cambridge Beer Festival. It looks like the calendar for 2016 is more favourable, so we're already licking our lips.
There's also a thriving Street Food scene. There are a whole host of independent traders who participate, and also some organised events such as foodPark and the Mill Road Feast.
There's a wide range of cuisine to satisfy any taste. I'm very boring, give me a Steak and Honour burger every time. I notice that they've branched out a bit and now have a residency at Novi.
Other burgers exist, of course, The other night I popped into Butch Annie's, and had an excellent burger washed down with a bottle of porter. It's downstairs where Cafe Carrington used to be, and I suspect it doesn't get the trade it deserves because of the location (all you can see is the stairs descending into the depths).
Fancy a tea or coffee and a cake? We have great places like Stickybeaks and Afternoon Tease, or the refurbished Fitzbillies. Walk along Green Street and you can have a proper afternoon tea at Harrietts or Bill's (which is a larger chain that also does much more). Last time I was along there I noticed that Catesby's have an upstairs cafe as well.
The area around the Guildhall and the Corn Exchange has seen some changes. Lot's of big chains have a presence, of course. I still mean to visit the Pint Shop, but it's been full every time I've gone past. What used to be The Cow is now Reys, which I've not tried (it was very empty, and moderately expensive). There's usually a queue at Aromi, I need to get in earlier to try out Bread and Meat, and Smokeworks is hidden away just down Free School Lane.
Mind you, if you're wandering around the centre of Cambridge at the moment the most visible sign if that itsu and Wasabi are following hard on the heels of Yo! Sushi. I understand one being interesting, but a surge to three seems odd.
Mind you, Cambridge is still a little light on decent wine and cocktail bars serving light meals. Oh well, can't have everything.