There’s something for everyone when it comes to Cambridge, whether it’s history or culture, coffee shops or boutiques, idyllic streets and of course punting. The choice is endless it is a city that some even say ‘changed the world!’
And now amongst the many places to stay, there’s a new kid on the block, located a short walk from the city centre, and a stone’s throw from the River Cam and Jesus Green, is The Fellows House part of the Hilton Hotels ‘Curio Collection’ and the perfect base to explore and unlock the history of this famed city.
From outside, the building is unassuming, but walk through the doors and you are met witha unique luxury and distinctive combination of contemporary and classic elements all inspired by the city’s colleges, specifically of course, the fellows.
A rich, deep colour palette of walnut, burgundy and metallic tones intertwined with artwork that includesa stunning oil painting of Dr Davidson Nicol (the first black African fellow at Cambridge) and you know that a lot of thought has gone into creating an ambient, historic aura.
Behind the Cipollino Ondulato Rosso marble reception desk is a floor to ceiling wooden pigeon hole cabinet (the kind once popular in colleges). Eachpigeon hole is labelled with a word in an old typewriter font, which on their own are meaningless, but put them all togetherand they form a poem by a Cambridge fellow.
The Fellows House, houses 131 rooms from standard through to apartments and duplexes. The majority though are apartment-style rooms and of course they are named after influential Cambridge graduates.
We were staying in one of the apartments–A large space with a fully kitted outattention to detail kitchen withfridge, hob, dishwasher, pans, crockery, cutlery, even a cookbook, in case you feel like becoming the next Nigella Lawson during your stay!
Adjacent to the kitchen is the living and dining space, where earthy grey tones, muted neutrals and sleek furnishings create a relaxing, luxurious ambience.
There’s a Flat screen TV in both the living area and bedroom, with a King- Sized bed, soft pillows, crisp white sheets and the fluffiest of gowns.
The little details are what makes a stay extra special, a gift bag of goodies that included bottles of fruit juice, gin, tonic water and a copy of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ were all a welcome treat and the White Company toiletries in the bathroom were the icing on the cake. You can’t have all these treats and not indulge, so after an invigorating rainfinity shower it was time to curl up in the corner wrapped in a fluffy gown, slowly sipping a Gin &Tonic!
Before getting too comfortable and not moving from my spot it was time to explore the pool. The lift takes you directly down to pool level so no need to change out ofyour fluffy gown. The pool is small and intimate surrounded by comfy loungers with a sauna and steam room off of it. There’s even a separate gym if you’re feeling energetic – I wasn’t – chilling by the pool was enough for me.
Dinner was served in The Folio Kitchen, a combination of contemporary and classic décor within a fresh and invigorating colour palette. Walls and columns are clad in whitewashed brick with original artworks adorning them, there’s even a romantic poem written nearly 100 years ago by a Chinese student and a leader of China’s New Culture.With splashes of burnt orange, sage green and brown leather upholstery set against antiqued mirrors and a geometric black and white tiled floor, The Folio Kitchen is another nod towardsthe fellows and their history.
The cocktail menu is a dream, it has all the classics along with specially themed cocktails, all encapsulating the theme of the hotel through their names and ingredients – ‘The Day Dream’ Alfred Tennyson (Linden Leaf 8 Gin, rhubarb syrup, lime, strawberry and soda) and ‘The Enigma’ after Alan Turning’s Biography (Dark and White Rums, pineapple,passion fruit, tikki bitters and absinth) were our choices and what great choices they were, our taste buds were suitably tempted and we were ready to dine.
The menu was full of tempting dishes but after much deliberation we opted for the Avocado and Rice Bowl and Scallops and Celeriac, both dishes were impeccably presented and were infused with flavours and textures that had our taste buds wanting more.
The mains consisted of Lamb served with vegetables, spiced cous cous, lamb jus and a tomato & mint relish creating a real explosion of tastes – perfection on the palette.Rib eye served with all the trimmings was another treat, cooked exactly as requested and well rested it literally melted in the mouth.
Dessert was an indulgence too far for me, I was full, but hubby had no such problem and delved into the Berries & Meringue, light and refreshing and the perfect way to end a delightful dining experience.
But the evening didn’t end here, it would have been sacrilege not to indulge in another cocktail in ‘The Folio Bar’ and soak up the atmosphere of what can only be described as a ‘Private Members Club’ that surrounds itself with soft low lighting, sumptuous sofas and armchairs (Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t look out of place here), a cosy log fire and a pool table that just sat perfectly within the curios and history of this unique hotel.
After a peaceful and restful night sleep breakfast the next morning was a laid back relaxed affair,which set us up perfectly for a full day of exploring.
The Fellows House is a treasure trove of hidden artwork, history and architecture, around every corner there’s something new to discover, a cultivated retreat for business or pleasure and guaranteed to have you wanting to return time and time again.
Rooms at The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton, start from £170 per night for 2 people staying in a Kipling King room on a B&B basis.
For more information, or to book visit www.thefellowshousecambridge.curiocollection.com