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.
I was delighted when I discovered Sweet Vaasa on my trip to Vaasa, Finland. Just a short distance from the market square, it’s a real gem of a place! Contrary to what the name might suggest, Sweet Vaasa doesn’t only make cakes and bakes. They offer a variety of savoury items too… sandwiches, wraps, massive salads (from the menu or buffet) and their Meal of the Day (such as warm salads, risotto and grilled chicken). They offer a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and lactose free menu too.
Sweet Vaasa bake all of their cakes and treats from scratch and I was impressed at the variety on display. It was so hard to choose, every single creation looked absolutely phenomenal. More than just little works of art, they tasted fresh and delicious. I could tell that Sweet Vaasa hold true to their ethos of using natural ingredients and avoiding additives and preservatives. Even their salad dressings are freshly made and thereby free of any unnecessary E numbers.
I have been struggling to find decent tapas for quite some time so when I found out I was going to Liverpool I knew I just had to go to Salt House Tapas as I had heard great things about the food. I had no idea what to expect but the imposing listed building which houses the restaurant made a good first impression.
Salt House Tapas in Liverpool
I never had tapas in Spain and don’t really know what traditional tapas are supposed to be like, if there is even such a definition. However, the emphasis at Salt House Tapas is delicious, expertly prepared food with fresh ingredients. They certainly delivered!
The restaurant’s layout and close tables lend a wonderful convivial atmosphere.
The eating of tapas is very much a social activity. These are little plates that are meant to be shared and enjoyed together.
UPDATE: Cafe@abantu is no longer located at Manor Farm, Bourn. In July 2016, it moved to Wysing Arts Centre which is also located in Bourn. It’s run by the same owner who continues to provide their popular menu, as well as some new items. It is a beautiful setting that includes an outdoor terrace and free parking. I wrote an updated post so click on this link to read about the new cafe@Abantu.
UPDATE 2: In January 2018, Cafe@abantu moved from Bourn to Cambridge at a city centre location at 42 Hobson Street, CB1 1NL (where Stickybeaks used to be). Read my post on the new location here.
Tucked away in converted stables with pedestrian access for locals “in the know”, it is literally a hidden gem.
For those driving in, turn into the path by the sign and A-board opposite the surgery then make a loop around to the car park in front of the café. You will be greeted by a lovely patio with ample seating, perfect for those sunny days.