Cambridge Foodie: New Year in Cambridge

What a year it has been! Let’s hope 2020 will take us to calmer waters. I hope you’ve made a whole host of wonderful plans to celebrate the festive season as it is truly such a beautiful time of the year, and of course, your final chance to enjoy what remains of 2019. What’s in your diary? Are you going to party all night long or curl up on the sofa at home with a hot drink?

Back home, I would have stayed in with family or friends enjoying a lovely meal and, of course, oliebollen! These soft dumplings are a true end of year tradition in the Netherlands – plain, with currants, or with apple and cinnamon. From November onwards, you can spot vans selling them everywhere. The Dutch don’t go away with just one however, but bags filled with them! They are incredibly moorish, especially dusted with icing sugar.

This year I will be heading to Norfolk for a few nights. I am looking forward to long walks with the dogs, drinks around a crackling fire, delicious food and good company so that I am ready to take on 2020.


I love this part of the world as the beaches remind me of the ones in the Netherlands. 2019 started with a bang for me, overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge from one of the restaurants on the 47th floor. It was magnificent! A memory to be cherished forever.

Do you have any end of year traditions? There are many fascinating ones from across the world. In Spain, eating 12 grapes at midnight ensures a year of good luck. If you find a pile of broken plates on your doorstep, you know that you are in Denmark, whilst in Brazil, eating lentils is said to guarantee good fortune for the year ahead, as lentils represent money. Eating grapes sounds like an excellent idea to me!

If you fancy a lazy night in without too much hassle, you could get some tasty ready-made food or create a cheese and charcuterie board. We have some lovely delicatessen shops in Cambridge. Try Culinaris and Limoncello on Mill Road, Meadows in Newnham and the Cambridge Cheese Company on All Saints Passage. Alternatively, you could opt for a local restaurant or catering company to spoil you with delicious food. Make sure you book early though, as they might be very busy and some of the locals may be closed.

Keen to dress up and hit the town? Quite a few local independent restaurants are closed over New Year’s Eve, but the ones that are open offer a fantastic evening out. Looking for inspiration? Here are my favourite picks for New Year in Cambridge: 

A Night of Dance or an Evening of Fancy Food

Dance the night away at a Gala dinner in Quy Mill Hotel, on the outskirts of Cambridge. Not so keen to hit the dance floor? The exceptional Restaurant 22 offers an excellent tasting menu that evening, so if you want to spoil yourself, make sure you get in touch with them quickly as this popular restaurant books up!

NYE at the ‘Grande Dame’ at Parker’s Tavern

Parkers Tavern is putting on a fantastic spread in their bistro-style restaurant. Kick-off the evening with a glass of bubbles in the Parkers Tavern Bar and then get your dancing shoes ready for a night in the wood-panelled Ballroom.

Pubs in Cambridge on New Year’s Eve

Don’t want to go for posh nosh, but still want a sumptuous meal? Then two of our favourite local gastro pubs may be the place for you. Both the Petersfield and the Pint Shop offer a brilliant tasting menu that evening.

Image: Instagram @novicambridge

Casual New Year in Cambridge 

More of a laid back, last minute planner? Novi Cambridge on Regent Street is keeping it low key this year with delicious contemporary food and botanical cocktails on offer until the early hours of the morning. The Smokeworks on Free School Lane or Station Road are offering up their famous smoky sharing boards or your favourite burger!

Best place for breakfast in Cambridge 

Whatever your night entailed, you’re bound sure to need some healthy grub the next day. Scotts All Day, Stir Cambridge, Novi, The Petersfield and Mill Works are all perfect for this.

Have a great time!

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