If you live with a football fanatic chances are you’re going to hear nothing but World Cup chat for a full four weeks (14 June to 15 July – just in case you needed a warning!). Don’t worry, we’re here to give you a helping hand to escape the off-side rule and penalty shoot outs. So let’s hear it for the girls as we kick off our list of 10 things to do to avoid the football…
Brunch in Norwich & Cambridge
Forget dinner, brunch is where it’s at. So much more than just eggs, the region’s bistros, cafes and restaurants are serving up tasty dishes complete with plenty of coffee and mimosas! The perfect excuse to catch up with friends, tuck into stacks of pancakes, fluffy egg whites or avocado on toast while the coffee keeps on coming. If you’re in the mood for a tipple, take advantage of the bottomless brunch at Smokeworks (£30pp) and Carluccio’s unlimited Prosecco action (£26pp) in Cambridge or visit Revolucion de Cuba (£23pp) and William and Florence (£25pp) in Norwich. Read our guide to the best brunch in both cities here.
Cocktail bars in East Anglia
We don’t need much of an excuse to get the girls together for a catch up and cocktail. Take up your own corner in a booth at the likes of The Ivy Brasserie in Cambridge or St Albans or on a sunny day hit the roof of The Varsity Hotel in Cambridge and choose from the extensive cocktail list. For something a little different, avoid the quarter-finals on 6 and 7 July with a visit to the Norwich Gin Festival!
Spa days in the East of England
Everyone needs a little pamper session now and then, and with no TV or radio in sight, use the World Cup month to sit back, relax and indulge at one of the region’s glorious spas. Most offer half and full days and afternoon tea options. Why not go all out and book an overnight stay? If you need some inspiration read our guide to the best summer spas.
Games for the last 16 kick off on 30 June with two matches taking place. If it’s likely the boys of the house will be glued to the TV, put on your feathers and glitter and head to Fling Festival in Chelmsford’s Hylands Park. A fun creative festival designed to be a playground for adults, immerse yourself in a day of live music, surreal theatre, arts and crafts. Headliners include punk legends Buzzcocks. Make sure you book tickets in advance.
Yoga in Cambridge
Mindfulness seems to be the buzz word of 2018. Take some time to yourself and quieten your mind with a drop in yoga session. There are hundreds of locations across the region offering various types of yoga such Hatha, Vinyasa and Bikram and classes to suit all needs and abilities. A few of our favourites include Hotpod Yoga (hotpodyoga.com), The Yoga Studio in Norwich (www.theyogastudionorwich.co.uk) and Cam Yoga (www.camyoga.co.uk).
A day at the beach
Oh we do love to be by the sea, and this summer the shores of Suffolk are offering so much more than ice cream! Stop by Southwold and Aldeburgh at the end of June for some great entertainment. The Southwold Art Festival runs from 23-30 June and will include over 30 events featuring music, comedy, art and drama.
The free Music by the Sea open air charity concert returns to Aldeburgh on 30 June with a great line-up of national and local artists performing live from 4pm until dark. Dance the day away and refresh at the Prosecco, Pimm’s and beer marquees. A sensational firework display will bring the evening to a rousing finale at 10pm.
This summer outdoor cinemas are more popular than ever. Cult classics will be popping up on the big screen across the region at the likes of Luna Cinema, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary with more screenings than ever before (www.thelunacinema.com), the Essex Outdoor Cinema (www.essexoutdoorcinema.com), the Sundown Cinema throughout Hertfordshire (www.sundowncinema.co.uk) and Enchanted Cinema in Cambridge (www.enchantedcinema.co.uk).
Short European breaks
With husbands and boyfriends entertained by the football, why not take the chance to jet off with the girls for a mini break in Europe? Norwich Airport, London Stansted and London Southend Airport have all launched a number of new European routes this summer – sun, sea & sand, yes please! Check out the latest flights here.
Tuck into good grub
This month sees some of the region’s finest food on display. Sample the delights of East Anglia at the Cambridgeshire Food Festival on 23-24 June. There’ll be plenty of great food and drink to sample and buy, plus amazing cookery demonstrations, free activities and more, including dancing. There are also camping tickets available for the whole weekend. This really is a weekend of foodie fun to remember. You can also dance the afternoon away to music from local talent.
Shop til you drop
One of the best things about important World Cup dates, if you love shopping, is that usually shopping centres are pretty empty. Cue the good the car parking space, and a leisurely pace around the stores. June is a great time to pick up a bargain in the summer sales. However for consistently low prices visit Freeport Braintree, which has just opened a new Havaianas pop up. The new shop is located between the Ted Baker and Nike stores and will offer the brand’s signature flip flops, espadrilles and sandals, plus eyewear, bags and even lilos. Perfect for hitting the beach or cutting a dash at a pool party!