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Food and drink in and around Cambridge

Stopped in for a beer at the new incarnation of the Kingston Arms to discover its now clearly more about the wine: from a simple glance at the wine list: 25 or so red(!) and white Juras? More orange wines than rose? Handful of Sylvain Pataille’s in the burgundy section? In likelihood many more interesting things on there but I had to put it the list away to avoid becoming a bore. https://www.kingstonarms.co.uk/ is strategically(?) mum about this but thought this group would be interested.


For what it’s worth, Hotel du Vin charge £15 corkage for wine, £30 for fizz.

Had a reasonable meal there last night. Not as good as The Oak Bistro, but not bad. Their Bolney Bubbles fizz was pretty disappointing, though. Cottonworth (as sold at TOB) is far superior (and about the same price).

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the wine rooms near station is superb. been once already food v good, huge wine list

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Walked past it yesterday and is on the list! Looked very busy. Mind you, I’m still overdue a visit to the NY Wines wine bar thing. Food there looks excellent.

Anyone interested in Cambridge restaurants might also like to check this thread, where they were dicussed in the context of organising an offline.

OK, so do we want single posts per place, or multis? Here are a few to start with.

The Oak Bistro - I like this place. The service is great - nothing too much trouble. Glasses pretty good. Corkage fee was £15/bottle (not sure about fizz). The food is fairly classic bistro fare - starters of smoked mackerel paté and also Crispy belly of pork are good, as are the scallops. For mains, the steak is the star. Fish can be a bit small portions. The Wellingtons (beef or salmon) had good reviews from those who tried them. Cheese pretty good.
The wine list has some good spots - I was rather taken with Cottonworth Rosé fizz by the glass. They also have some mature Musar at good prices.

Hotel du Vin - part of the chain and pretty consistent with quality. Corkage at £15/bottle for still or £30/sparkling is OK (and unlike The Oak Bistro, I can’t recommend their fizz list). Food is perhaps a notch down on The Oak Bistro, but a very good chicken liver paté and the lamp rump with crushed potatos was very good. Cheese OK.

Provenance Kitchen Whittlesford - An interesting place. Quite canteen-like ambience in a large dining room, but a nice enough garden outside. Corkage can be done (I can’t remember what I paid, but probably about £15). I really, really want to like this place, as they seem to do a lot of the right things - cooking over flames and all that kind of thing, but they do (in my opinion) make a few errors that diminish the experience from great to merely good (eg. rocket hard roast potatoes on one visit, I can’t remember my quibble with a more recent one). One to watch?

Red Lion Hinxton - our local pub. Food can be quite variable, but the lamb rump is a star, and the fish dishes often exceed expectations. Otherwise decent classic modern pub food. Corkage can be done for £10/bottle, but I’d recommend checking with Alex when you book.