Cafe@abantu moved to Cambridge in January 2018 and is a welcome addition to the independents in the city centre. When popular café Stickybeaks decided to close their doors, Cafe@abantu’s owner Wendy Slade saw an opportunity to take her business to the next level and moved the café from Bourn to Cambridge.
I’ve been following Abantu’s journey since I first started this blog, from their original location at Manor Farm in Bourn (here), their subsequent move to Wysing Arts Centre (here) to their new premises on Hobson Street, at the heart of Cambridge city centre.
It can be argued that Cafe@abantu’s prominent location means it can no longer be described as a hidden gem. It’s visible at the end of Sussex Street, a very pretty pedestrian area. However, Cafe@abantu is still a gem amongst the usual high street chains and retains all of its charm.
The interior hasn’t changed much from Stickybeaks but I’m happy that my favourite table, the tiled colourful one, has been given pride of place by the window. It’s also heartwarming to see that Abantu’s original wooden sign has been retained.
The café isn’t big but it’s bright, cheerful and welcoming. Free wi-fi is a bonus! Although the café is small and can’t accommodate a large number of prams, it is child friendly and features a bambino menu.
Cafe@abantu’s food offering sometimes changes, particularly the lunch options, so it’s a good idea to check out the latest menu at the window and in a box on top of the counter. The food on display in the counter can be difficult to see when there is a queue at the till, but it’s definitely worth having a good look.
Breakfast is served until 11:30am and includes dishes such as eggs benedict, grilled halloumi with buttered mushrooms and free range scrambled eggs. Lunch options range from quick sandwiches and salads to a selection of hot dishes.
Menu staples include bobotie, a tasty South African meatloaf with a creamy topping accompanied by sliced banana and mango chutney, as well as vegan mushroom stroganoff on sourdough toast.
There is always a selection of tantalising homemade cakes and bakes so do check them out on the counter to the left. There are gluten free and vegan options too. Cafe@abantu’s coffee and loose leaf tea are ethically sourced by Matthew Algie, a Fairtrade certified company based in Glasgow.
A strong ethic and a lot of dedication went into creating Abantu over 12 years ago, first as a gift shop then as a café. It’s nice to see its progression into Cambridge’s independent scene.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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