Image Courtesy of Google
Yesterday, Mr MAC and I had the day off work so decided to take a trip to Cambridge for the day. I love Cambridge and could spend hours and hours wandering around. I love the architecture, the history, the quirky little independent shops – I even like the fact that a trip to Cambridge seems incomplete without almost being knocked over by a cyclist!
Luckily, the weather was nice (unlike our last trip to Cambridge which was mainly spent sheltering from torrential rain!) so we could wander around to our hearts content. Me being me, we of course looked in lots of foodie type shops and came across some real finds! I am very passionate about independent shops and Cambridge is full of them – something which is distinctly lacking in Northampton.
First stop, Hardy’s Sweet Shop. This is a small chain of traditional style sweet shops guaranteed to bring out the inner child in you! This place reminds me of the chocolate shop featured in the original Willy Wonka film…it fantastic! Any conceivable chocolate or sweet can be found here and it is fantastic if you are after something quite specific for a recipe.
I laid my hands on some Marshmallow Fluff; an American product that I had been after for some time . The ‘Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days’ cookbook uses it in the majority of their whoopie pie recipes and there is a recipe for peanut butter and chocolate whoopie pies that I have my eyes on….watch this space….
Next, we found a wonderful cheese shop and deli down a little side street in the form of ‘The Cambridge Cheese Company’. Sadly we forgot to return later in the day to make some purchases but will be sure to next time. They had, not surprisingly, a wonderful array of cheeses along with some tasty sounding ciders and wonderful looking pork pies and scotch eggs. The cheese shop and deli prides itself on stocking a wide range of local produce – something that really appeals to me. Definitely one to try next time
Image Courtesy of the Cambridge Cheese Company
Another little find of ours came in the form of ‘Cambridge Wine Merchants’. I could have spent ours in here perusing their fantastic array of wines. They have won many regional and national awards and I can see why – the staff were friendly and helpful and the shop wasn’t stuffy at all as some specialist wine stores can be. They do courses and tastings which appear to be very successful. From the opening of one shop in Cambridge, they are now one of the biggest independent wine merchants in the country; definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
Although not an independent store, I couldn’t resist a visit to ‘Lakeland’ as we don’t have one in Northampton. I really do love Lakeland. They stock everything you could possibly need for a day in the kitchen….they also stock things that you will never ever need but you decide to buy anyway! Thanks to a generous, unexpected cheque from Mr Taxman, I decided to treat myself to a few bits and pieces. Lakeland isn’t always cheap but all of their products are such good quality, they are definitely worth the money. After quite a while browsing, a patient Mr MAC accompanied me to the till with a whoopie pie tin, some cake pop sticks, individual tart tins (for an upcomming dinner party), pink sparkly edible hearts and presentation bags for some truffles I will be making this weekend. No doubt lots of blogs will come from these purchases so money well spent I feel!
As it is Mr MAC’s Mum’s birthday today, we had to pop to the Fudge Kitchen to pick her up some treats. This wasn’t our first time at this store and I have previously tried some of their delights at the Good Food Show. It really is a fantastic little shop and you can spend hours watching them make different varieties of fudge.
It was then time for lunch at Jamie’s Italian which is probably the best meal out I have had in a long time! I will blog about this separately as I really do think it deserves a post all of its own. Watch this space!
After lunch, we were both very full but managed to have a quick wander round the market. There really were some wonderful goods on display – from freshly baked breads and cakes to health food smoothies and cheeses. We decided to purchase a sun-dried tomato foccacia from a local bakers and some comte cheese from cheese stall for a light but overindulgent dinner. Mr MAC declined desert at Jamie’s so also snuck in a jam donut which ended up all over his face (yes, I am talking about a 29-year-old man, not a toddler!!).
Mr MAC later commented that prisoner’s receive better dinners than bread and cheese but in the end, he agreed it was very yummy. The bread was perhaps a bit greasy but the comte was wonderfully creamy and smoky – a real treat that was eaten far too quickly! A perfect end to a wonderful day out.