UPDATE: Cambridge Cookery no longer offers this menu. On Saturdays, the bistro serves a changing, seasonal 3-course set menu.
We already know Cambridge Cookery School is a state-of-the-art learning facility (I wrote about their courses here and here) and their café serves some tasty food during the day (I wrote all about it here)… but did you know they are open on Saturday evenings too?
Every Saturday, Cambridge Cookery School Café transforms into a chilled out wine bar in the evening. It’s a bright, airy space with great views (no more construction, yay!) and ample seating outside. The décor is Scandinavian cool and features commissioned artwork by local artist (and foodie) Naomi Davies.
With the lights dimmed as it gets dark and enjoyable music in the background, the café becomes a wonderful spot for relaxing and socialising. It’s a great place to go if you want to avoid the Saturday night crowds in the city centre.
The Cambridge Cookery School Café is open until midnight on Saturdays and the menu features a selection of global platters, such as Scandinavian, Italian and Middle Eastern. They can be created to serve 1, 2 or 4 people and adapted to a vegetarian option. They use wonderfully fresh produce from Croxton Park in nearby St Neots. There is a cheese platter too and some fabulous mini desserts.
The drinks menu includes carefully sourced wines as well as cider, lager, ale and all the requisite aperitifs: G&T, Pamplemousse Rose, Aperol Spritz, Mojito, Negroni and Bloody Mary.
Paulo and I were kindly invited by co-owner Tine Roche to sample the Saturday Evening Menu and it did not disappoint. The table was beautifully set with flickering candles, crisp cloth napkins and colourful Iittala tableware. We were offered the Pamplemousse Rose, a refreshing cocktail made with Edmond Briottet pink grapefruit liqueur and Prosecco.
We nibbled on some addictive rosemary honeyed almonds whilst we looked over the menu.
Every week the menu features a Saturday Special Platter and on this occasion it was French themed. Our invitation also included the choice of Scandinavian, Italian or Mezze from the regular menu. Having recently returned from trips to Italy and Finland, we chose the Mezze platter.
We started off with the French platter for 2 featuring high quality saucisson, salted butter, Brie, pickled pearl onions, baby pickles, shredded duck, fresh salad leaves and sliced sourdough bread.
A great bonus with these platters is the addition of a “mini hot dish” and in this case it was a heavenly slice of onion soufflé tart.
The Mezze platter for 2 included three dips: baba ganoush (aubergines), hummus (chick peas) and another made with sweet potato. Rather than flat bread, our platter included slices of freshly baked focaccia which was so good, we asked for a bit more as we needed some for all the dips.
The Mezze platter also featured feta baked with lemon and oregano, fattoush, salad leaves, pine nuts and plump, green olives.
The “mini hot dish” was a tasty combination of sweet potatoes, lentils, chick peas, chard and other fresh produce topped with a yogurt-dill sauce.
We enjoyed a glass of white wine (Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico) from Cantina Vignamato in Le Marche, Italy. In fact, the wines included in Cambridge Cookery School Café’s wine list are from producers they visit on their culinary trips to Italy’s region of Le Marche, top-notch New Zealand wineries (chef and co-owner Liz Young is a Kiwi) as well as Sussex Vineyards, an award winning producer of English sparkling wines.
As if our bellies weren’t happy enough, we were treated to some scrumptious desserts. Paulo chose their deliciously light brownie, topped with crème fraiche and a sprig of fresh thyme.
I chose the rhubarb and raspberry fool, topped with fresh mint and crushed meringues. Simple, light and elegant, the fool included bits of fresh fruit and mint throughout and was the perfect size to satisfy my sweet tooth at the end of the meal.
We really enjoyed all of the freshly prepared food and expertly sourced drink. The service was fabulous throughout and the ambience was far superior than I imagined a café to be in the evening. Cambridge Cookery School Café ticked all of the boxes for a relaxing and delicious Saturday evening out.
I was invited by Cambridge Cookery School Café to sample their Saturday Evening Menu. Although the food and drink were complimentary, all views are my own. I did not receive compensation for my review.
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