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.
I’ve raved about The Plough before (here and here). It’s one of my favourite pubs as there is always something amazing going on, whether it is food, drink or entertainment related (check the What’s On section of their website). The Plough is located in the lovely village of Shepreth in Cambridgeshire, even though it has a Hertfordshire postal address. It’s located close to Cambridge, just a short drive or train ride away.
The Plough in Shepreth can now add one more thing to their list of offerings: a rather phenomenal Sunday Lunch menu. They have recently started doing this in partnership with popular catering company Boxed Events, owned by James Knight, a Cambridge based chef with an impressive culinary resumé that includes stints in France and Hong Kong. It’s a good match as the menu reflects The Plough’s desire to offer an informal social dining experience, definitely not “pub grub” or “gastro pub”. It’s just good food expertly prepared with fresh, local ingredients and their Sunday Lunch menu certainly delivers.
The menu changes slightly every Sunday, particularly the starters so they can offer seasonal choices. The mains always include the requisite roast with veg and Yorkshire pudding. However, there is also fish, burgers or a vegetarian option. There’s a great children’s menu too!
Last week, Paulo and I tried the Plough’s Sunday Lunch menu for the first time and we really enjoyed the food and ambience. Owner Nick Davis is a real music connoisseur and loves to spin records, as we do. The menu is matched with a musical theme and on our visit, it was 70s rock music. It wasn’t overwhelming, just loud enough to add some atmosphere and relaxing vibes.
UPDATE: The Architect changed hands in September 2017. It offers a “design your own meal” concept with sharing boards, fish & chips and pie & mash combos. I wrote an updated post so click on this link to read about The Architect’s new menu.
I’ve been following The Architect with interest and was pleased when they announced their first Sunday roast. They even called it “epic”… how could I resist? We were a group of 3, wanting something new for Sunday Lunch so we decided to give The Architect a try (well, one of us is an actual architect so our curiosity was piqued).
The Architect has only recently opened, following an extensive refurbishment when they took over from the County Arms. I was immediately impressed by the exterior: mock-Tudor architecture with sleek signage and a clever compass logo.
The interior truly reflects this establishment’s name: the space has been beautifully designed, with its “industrial meets vintage” decor and juxtaposition of vibrant and muted colours. The lighting lends a cosy and inviting ambience to the place.
The Architect describes itself as a pub and social dining room and it certainly delivers. There are two large communal tables at each side of the entrance near the bar. Made out of wooden wall panels covered in glass with metal tubular clamp fittings that serve as legs, the tables are absolutely stunning and can be used for large groups or as a gathering spot to socialise.
Happenstance…something that happens by chance bringing about a good result. This isn’t a word I use on a regular basis but it describes perfectly my visit to Back to the Garden, a farm shop, café and restaurant in Letheringsett, near Holt. My husband Paulo and I were on our way to Holt and Back to the Garden’s clean, modern signage from the A148 caught my eye. I have a penchant for visiting farm shops so we decided to stop and have a look.
I was immediately impressed by the majestic barn and its double-height windows set against traditional barn doors, which give the illusion of being flung open.
Everything about the building said “come on in”. You can’t get a better welcome than that.