The lowdown A Regency hotel given a regal refresh. Best for Literary types and plugged-in creatives. The University Arms serves up a glorious mix of studied elegance and sleek facilities, making it a must-visit for out-of-towners and Cambridge locals alike. Reopened after an £80 million makeover, the hotel – originally built in 1834 – has been stunningly reimagined, from its classical façade (renovated by architect John Simpson – his portfolio also includes projects at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces) to the sumptuous interiors crafted by Martin Brudnizki, whose modernist take on timeless good looks – deep sofas, tassel-trimmed lamps and statement chandeliers – is perfectly in tune with the Regency setting. Comprising 192 rooms and suites, the accommodation ranges from the uncluttered Cosy rooms to the premium Suites, which include their own individually curated libraries. Dishes at the adjoining Parker’s Tavern restaurant (also open to the public) feature head chef Tristan Welch’s whimsical interpretation of Victorian delicacies, such as fidget pie, a pork pie baked with apples and mustard, and, while rounding off the evening in the glamorous bar, we started to imagine our wit and intelligence expanding by the hour… A place to broaden the mind, then, as well as relaxing the body. Book it Double rooms from £208 (universityarms.com).
FROM TOP A spacious suite at the University Arms, where traditional styling comes with a modernist twist; the bar at Parker’s Tavern; and the hotel lobby has been restored to its original, Regency elegance