As a true romantic, I am a big fan of this time of year and embrace all that is associated with Valentine’s Day wholeheartedly! With so many romantic hotspots on our doorstep, here are some suggestions for a variety of occasions…
Where better for a first date than the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse cinema on St Andrew’s Street. It really is the ideal venue for those passionate about movies as the Picturehouse is famed for quality screenings, both new releases and the classics. Its elegant, vintage interior sets itself apart from the multi-screen experience which is perfect for a first date. Film-goers are able to enjoy a glass of wine in the bar beforehand and during the movie which certainly adds to the decadence. Why not discover one of the themed evenings; Happy Mondays, Vintage Sundays and even the Slackers Club (free student screenings!).
Date nights should always be exciting and the hot dining booking is most definitely Restaurant Twenty Two on Chesterton Road. For serious wow factor, surprise your loved one with a table at this beautiful restaurant. The lovingly restored Victorian townhouse backs onto the River Cam and Jesus Green and is home to exciting, modern British dining. Chef patron, Sam Carter, sources produce locally and makes everything fresh on site. As a result, the menu changes weekly depending on what seasonal produce our Cambridgeshire partners have delivered.
If relaxation is the order of the day, The Glassworks at the Varsity Hotel comes highly recommended. Set in the centre of Cambridge, the Elemis spa is an oasis of calm and includes a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi overlooking the River Cam in which you can relax anytime during your stay. You could even whisk your loved one away for some “one to one” time with a romantic stay and enjoy a relaxing and intimate candlelit massage for two before enjoying a bottle of Taittinger Champagne in your stylish room.
The stunning University Arms on Regent Street has never looked better since its recent two year renovation under the watchful eye of architect John Simpson and interior designer Martin Brudnizki. As the oldest hotel in the city, it offers guests the most beautiful setting in which to relax in Cambridge with views across Parker’s Piece.
Occupying the ground floor is Parker’s Tavern; a quintessentially English brasserie where Chef director Tristan Welch has designed every dish to be a whimsical re-imagining of a British classic, sourced from field, fen and seas. This is where you will find plates piled high with Norfolk fruits de mer, or in winter, suckling pig with wild mushrooms and Tristan’s signature pie of the day…you can taste England on every plate! To burn off the delicacies the hotel offers guests their bespoke bicycles to tour the city sights.
If you are looking for the perfect spot for that all important marriage proposal, then the Bridge of Sighs is surely the most romantic place. Queen Victoria is said to have loved it more than any other spot in the city. You could even hire a punt to pop the question under the bridge!
Victoria’s Top Tip
A top tip for a romantic gift this year is to replicate Princess Diana’s gift to her bridesmaids; send your loved ones favourite bloom to be made in to a beautiful yet practical paperweight.