It was a huge blow to Cambridge’s food scene when Cotto had to close its doors at The Gonville during the pandemic in 2020. This revered restaurant owned by chef Hans Schweitzer and his partner Ruth was a top dining destination, having begun its existence on East Road in 2008 and steadfastly becoming a Cambridge institution over the years. I wrote about Master Chef Hans Schweitzer’s prestigious culinary history and my past dining experience here.
Those of us who missed the gastronomic delights and fantastic hospitality provided by Hans, Ruth and their team are delighted that Cotto is back. The restaurant has a new home in the impressive Cambridge Country Club, which boasts a golf course as well as wellness, spa and dining facilities in Bourn, Cambridgeshire – about 10 miles west of Cambridge.
The entire F&B service at the Cambridge Country Club is being run by Cotto, which includes the Spikes Bar (casual breakfast, lunch and drinks), Cotto Lounge (lunch, Afternoon Tea, Sunday Lunch and evening fine dining) and Garden Suite (parties and events). The Food & Beverage facilities are open to everyone – not just members of the Club. Cotto’s much-missed evening fine dining is due to start after some finishing touches, so diners will once again be able to enjoy chef Hans’ beautiful and delicious culinary masterpieces.
In the meantime, my Sunday Lunch in the Cotto Lounge was a fine dining experience in itself with chef Hans’ signature style, presentation and menu, all impeccably executed by the team and coupled with the same excellent service I’ve always experienced at Cotto.
UPDATE: Cotto restaurant is no longer at The Gonville and has now re-opened at the Cambridge Country Club. Read my post on the new location here.
There’s no doubt the food scene in Cambridge has been steadily evolving but Cotto has remained a top dining destination for 12 years and counting, initially at its humble location on East Road and now at the luxurious Gonville Hotel. In fact, chef-owner Hans Schweitzer’s culinary presence in Cambridge goes even further back than that. He opened Confiserie Schweitzer on Magdalene Street in the late ‘80s and is responsible, along with a partner, for Midsummer House’s existence by converting the old Victorian home into a restaurant.
Hans Schweitzer trained as a Master Chocolatier (read on for the chocolate piano, one of his most famous creations). He qualified as a Master Chef (Maître de Cuisine / Küchenmeister) and earned a Michelin star at his restaurant in Germany, both before the age of 30. We are indeed fortunate to have a chef of this calibre in Cambridge.
With the move to a purpose-built section of the refurbished Gonville Hotel in 2017, Cotto now has the sumptuous setting to match its renowned tasting menu. Not to be confused with the hotel’s Atrium Brasserie, Cotto sits prominently in a modern glass extension at the front of the hotel, with a beautiful terrace overlooking Parker’s Piece.
This was me and Paulo’s first visit to the new location, after having dined several times at the previous one. We kicked ourselves for waiting so long to go back. After all, we stayed at The Gonville Hotel in the past and also enjoyed Enchanted Cinema’s screenings in their beautiful gardens so we really had no excuse for not booking dinner at Cotto sooner, other than time flies!