A lovingly refurbished pub with rooms surrounded by a 1,000-acre historic deer park in North Norfolk, The Gunton Arms hit the mark on all counts: stunning location, stylish accommodation, cosy pub, great staff, fantastic food & drink and impressive art collection. It was the perfect getaway, only two hours from Cambridge.
Paulo and I visited The Gunton Arms with our friends Peter and Jenni, who had dined at the restaurant and were keen to repeat the experience in our company, as well as stay on the estate.
The location was a little difficult to find but it added to the cachet of a unique hideaway. We spotted the neon sign to reception where we registered our arrival.
We were directed to the car park and once inside the remarkable inn, staff welcomed us and showed us to the residents’ lounge, the coffee/tea making facilities and our rooms.
The Moringa Tree, a small but perfectly formed café owned and run by Nilu Karun, is a welcome new addition to the village of Haslingfield, just south of Cambridge. Nilu named the café after a beloved tree in her native Sri Lanka.
This child and dog friendly café offers a warm welcome, friendly service, free wi-fi, great hot and cold drinks as well as light lunches and homemade bakes. There are potted plants for sale and books to peruse on site.
Every detail in the stunning space has been conceived with care, from the soothing pastel pink and green colours to the beautiful plant arrangements that adorn the shelves. It’s like stepping into a leafy oasis. The café is a real Instagrammer’s paradise and I couldn’t help taking photos. It’s just so pretty!
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’ve been following the progress over the past year of Cambridge Cookery School’s move to new premises and I’m delighted that the café is up and running. It’s a bright and airy space and it’s hard to believe that almost a year ago, it was just the bare bones of the old Rattee & Kett building. It’s located on Harrison Drive, off Hills Road via Homerton College.
When the refurbishment was complete, the café’s adjoining cookery school was up and running right away and I had the pleasure of attending a few classes (I wrote about them here and here). I had a sneak peek of the café back then and I couldn’t wait for it to open. The full potential of the café is still in its infancy as there are two large construction projects going on. Once all of the builds are finished (residences, student accommodations, offices, etc) the café will be in a better position to cater to the people living, studying and working in the area. This includes a mobile coffee van.
The café’s décor, inspired by Scandinavian design, is stunning yet functional (there are power points for laptops and mobiles built into the seating). Bright, bold colours lend a cheerful air to the space.
Grub Club Cambridge is run by Vhari Russell (The Food Marketing Expert, providing marketing and retailing support for food and drink businesses) and Kelly Molson (Rubber Cheese, a design agency working with the food, drink and hospitality sectors). It is a networking club based in Cambridge for food and drink professionals and their aim is to put producers, retailers, buyers and businesses together in order to build relationships. And they do it at some mighty fine places. As the Producers’ Dinner was part of Eat Cambridge, it was open to anyone with an interest in good food and drink who wanted to feast on Fitzbillies’ tantalising menu.
Photo courtesy of Vhari Russell
The event was very well attended. Fitzbillies had a full house with three very long tables all occupied by fellow food and drink enthusiasts.
My trusty Creamy Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle is a very easy recipe to make… with impressive and delicious results. It works best with ribbon-cut noodles, i.e. pasta that is long, wide and flat, such as tagliatelle, fettucine or even pappardelle. The only prep involved is dicing the smoked salmon and chopping the parsley. Everything comes together quite quickly. You prepare the ingredients whilst the water for the tagliatelle is boiling, then you make the cream sauce during the pasta’s cooking time.
A vegetable stock cube (dissolved in boiling water to make a paste) enhances all of the flavours of this dish.
The recipe calls for double cream but for a low fat alternative, you can use Elmlea double light cream – 284ml.
It’s very important to keep in mind that the cream sauce will thicken quite quickly in the skillet, so don’t let the cream sauce boil or even simmer. Keeping the heat low whilst you stir the double cream will keep the sauce from becoming a thick, gloopy mess. At this point in the recipe, you are merely heating the double cream slowly so it combines with the smoked salmon and the spices.
Once you have drained the tagliatelle (best cooked al dente), work very quickly to coat the pasta with the cream sauce. Serve immediately as this dish is best eaten hot. The cream sauce does not reheat well so it’s not a good idea to keep leftovers.