Attitude - - Travel -

Ear­lier this year, my boyfriend and I un­ex­pect­edly found our­selves back at uni­ver­sity — sort of. This time round though, our term was short, just a week­end, and the only thing we were study­ing was a res­tau­rant menu.

Cam­bridge is home to one of the UK’s top uni­ver­si­ties, and the city’s Uni­ver­sity Arms ho­tel re­opened last year af­ter a re­fur­bish­ment over­seen by ar­chi­tect John Simp­son and in­te­rior de­signer Martin Brud­nizki.

En­ter­ing through the gi­ant tim­ber door, guests are greeted by the concierge stand­ing in front of a larger- than- life photo of Win­ston Churchill. The war- time PM has a cigar in one hand, and is dressed in

a pin- striped boiler suit. The strik­ing pho­to­graph sits on a Cam­bridge

Blue- painted, pan­elled wall and as we explore the build­ing we find clas­sic mid- cen­tury prints, Vic­to­rian etch­ings and de­tailed botany draw­ings on other walls.

Our home for the week­end is the Hawk­ing Suite, named af­ter one of the uni­ver­sity’s most fa­mous stu­dents.

It’s a large enough room to have a book­shelf in the mid­dle, di­vid­ing the bed from the lounge, and a TV on ei­ther side so you can curl up in bed or on the sofa and in­dulge in a film — The The­ory of Ev­ery­thing, per­haps? The bath­room fea­tures retro tiles, a mar­ble- topped bath stand and Har­ris & Co toi­letries, in­clud­ing salts for the roll- top bath ( which I can con­firm is big enough for two).

In Parker’s Tav­ern, the Cam­bridge Arms’ res­tau­rant, we dine on Bri­tish clas­sic dishes be­fore sam­pling the bar’s cock­tail menu. Perched on turquoise leather stools with el­bows planted on the cop­per- topped bar, we or­der a cou­ple of sig­na­ture drinks and re­tire to one of the comfy so­fas.

No visit to Cam­bridge is com­plete with­out glid­ing along the river on a punt. As we drift un­der the Bridge of Sighs, I think: wouldn’t it have been lovely if our for­mer uni­ver­sity days had been as tran­quil as this week­end escape?

uni­ver­sit­yarms. com

Words Markus Bi­daux

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