We drove to Cambridge on a beautifully sunny morning that turned abruptly to rain with a splash of hail as we were prying the children from the car to walk the famous “Backs” of the colleges along the River Cam. Apparently the Oxford Rule applies to Cambridge as well (When in in doubt, bring an umbrella. Also every other time.). Due to the unfailingly good nature of our friends and their amazing children we weathered this and the rain gave up and went away eventually. Many of the colleges were shut Saturday–their enormous wooden portals impervious to Norah and JJ’s efforts to effect an entry. It had something to do with graduations. We know about these on Spring Saturdays in Oxford. Apparently people finish at Cambridge as well. This was confirmed when we ran into an English friend from Oxford striding down the road in full regalia. He had completed his studies at Cambridge more than ten years before, but waited to “walk” the ceremony.
We went to Fitzbillies instead. Though apparently under new ownership, this small independent bakery opened first in Cambridge in 1922 and is famous for its Chelsea buns, which we all enjoyed.
The window displays alone made me really happy. Beautiful cakes, cake stands, daffodils arranged beautifully between the sunny cobbled street outside and the turquoise tiled interior. I just wanted to stand there, breathing in cinnamon and yeast and admiring the beautiful old-world feel of the place. I have never liked a bakery better.
We clustered around a bench outside and everyone except Hugh became very sticky indeed. It was a great way to kick off the weekend. Despite having such limited time, I think we really got a feel for Cambridge, seeing many of its treasures.
We spent more time in a few other spots–I’ll post a bit more because I can’t help myself. Until then, I leave you with this magnolia.