Cambridge, UK: A Charming Visit Across the Pond

“What is the one thing I absolutely must do while in Cambridge?”
                 “Punting!”

“OK!…

            …What is punting?”

A punt is a flat-bottomed boat that typically is found in shallow water. Punting is the act of boating a punt which is steered with a large (and heavy) stick. It’s quite the workout.

I had a great week planning and hosting two successful wedding cake tastings! I’ll post pictures soon. Now I can relax for a bit before starting on other projects. While in Paris, I made a side trip to Cambridge in the UK to visit Elizabeth, my Boston roomie! I was really excited and so happy I made the trip.

I was only in Cambridge for a day and a half and it was the perfect amount of time. We spent most of the day touring the grounds of the various colleges of the University of Cambridge (the ones that let us in that is). I had no idea there were so many – 31 to be exact! I also didn’t realize how many notable people studied in Cambridge, like Darwin, Newton, and, Crick and Watson. Elizabeth took me to one of the libraries that housed one of Newton’s journals! Pretty cool stuff if you enjoy geeking out on history like me.

We had the full Cambridge experience by going punting, naturally. I was nervous about falling in the river since my balance is not so great with my bad knee. I even asked the ticket guy for a life vest and he looked at me like, are you serious? And then he told me I would be fine and that he wasn’t going to give me a life vest (even though there is a sign posted saying ‘we have life vests, ask for one’).

Fine. No life vest, no problem. Elizabeth did most of the punting anyways. We were on the River Cam that runs through the backs of several of the colleges. It was so pretty and picturesque. It was supposedly the nicest day in Cambridge in a while!

I tried punting for a bit and thankfully did not fall in the river. If you were a tourist in Cambridge that day watching punters from the various bridges on the Cam, then you probably saw me struggling, going sideways and crashing into other punts. It wasn’t pretty. I think it took me half an hour to get the punt to move 10 feet. And for the record, punting is not like pushing a gondola since those are maneuvered with an oar (and a hunky Italian man).

Me – not succeeding.

If you’re in Cambridge, you must try punting! You’ll probably be 100 times better at it than me. I didn’t even dare to stand on top of the punt as you can see. As for food, it seems the British have been upping their game. I went to London about nine years ago and I don’t remember eating a single thing. Is that weird? Part of it was because I was a year out of college and sort of broke, but I think it was mostly because I wasn’t really excited about British cuisine. I think all of that has changed! Elizabeth and I had an awesome meal at Jaime’s Italian. It was molto delizioso. Cambridge also has two Michelin star restaurants – Alimentum and Midsummer HouseAlso visit Fitzbillie’s Cafe and Restaurant for authentic Chelsea Buns! They are like sticky buns but stickier and not overwhelmingly sweet. I just learned you can mail order these internationally! I might order some if I wasn’t surrounded with cake right now…

Viewing the options at Fitzbillie’s

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