Browns has been a Cambridge institution since it opened its doors in 1987. The beautiful building was part of the old Addenbrooke’s Hospital originally built in 1766 and the outpatients department, with its majestic columns, was built as a memorial to King Edward VII in 1914.
I visited Browns a few times when I moved to Cambridge and I have to admit it was looking a little tired and the spaces didn’t flow. Browns has now been completely transformed thanks to an extensive interior refurbishment. It’s contemporary and luxurious with a touch of glamour in every area, from the sweeping bar and its grand piano to the various purposely designed spaces for public, semi-private and private dining. Ideal for parties, family gatherings, business meetings and romantic dinners, there are sections for every occasion.
I have been meaning to pop into The Chequers in Orwell for quite a while now as I don’t live too far away. Sometimes when places are practically at your doorstep you put them off thinking you’ll get to them eventually. I’m certainly guilty of doing just that, but fortunately I have remedied the oversight and will be a faithful customer from now on.
The Chequers is located in the beautiful village of Orwell. Don’t let the postal address deceive you. It’s listed as being in Hertfordshire but Orwell is really a South Cambridgeshire village, only 8 miles from the city of Cambridge. Actually, its location is ideal, practically of equal distance between Royston and Cambridge and very close to historic Wimpole Hall.
Owned by David and Tina Cheng, The Chequers is a village pub and restaurant with a nice, cosy bar but it also offers an astounding menu in its small dining room. David Cheng is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef with an impressive culinary resumé, including a stint at Downing College in Cambridge. Paulo and I visited at dinnertime and the whole team, from the kitchen brigade to service staff, worked really well together. The food and service were flawless. I have to mention our excellent waiter Sean, who was friendly, professional and helpful.