We all know that head over heels, crazy in love, feeling that we get when we first fall in love. When you’re in it you look at boring married couples like they are so ordinary, like they totally let their relationship go, and you swear to each other you will always kiss in front of your friends, or talk on the phone for 3 hours or more when your apart. Those skeptics, or realists as they say, tell us that this feeling fades over time. Apparently love changes as a marriage grows, into something more comfortable, less tingly, but much deeper…IF you put the work in. While we are all about weddings at Engage, we are also all about marriage. So here’s to putting the work in to keep that love growing deeper. Lets talk dates.
Heloise from Bespoke Party Bands, is a local Cambridge gal who knows the best way to feel the love in Cambridge. Here’s her 10 Cambridge date night options for you to enjoy!
If pretty streets, beautiful architecture and independent venues are your type of thing then you are spoilt for choice in this city.
1. Hot Numbers Coffee on a Friday night
For a low-key but atmospheric Friday date night, head to Hot Numbers for great live music in the form of Jazz, Folk, Blues & World. There is a waiting list for artists to play at Hot Numbers for a reason, it’s a highly respected venue and the events team are very selective about the music they host, so you can always trust it will be of the highest quality.
The décor, atmosphere and music give a Parisian club feel to the experience. They have a solid wine and beer selection, and an exceptional coffee menu, plus espresso martinis. The kitchen isn’t open on Friday evenings but that doesn’t matter because they always have Steak & Honourserving right by the door – delicious, but not first date friendly* if you’re bothered about that kind of thing. *messy
2. Visit Cambridge Ghost Tour
During the autumn and winter months, you can experience a spooky but informative ghost tour with your loved one around central Cambridge. The tour is conducted by an official Cambridge guide and lasts for one hour, taking you through winding, cobbled streets and around some of the oldest and creepiest colleges and churches. Use the spooky stories and dark streets as an excuse to cuddle up to your date. Assuming you survive the tour, continue the evening at the historic Eagle pub in the centre of Cambridge – you’ll need that stiff drink and appreciate the log fire!
3. Punting, of course.
No Cambridge date night list would be complete without the ultimate Cambridge activity! This is the perfect way to spend a romantic summer evening. You can either do self-hire (hilarious), join a group tour or, if you really want to make it special and sophisticated, hire a private chauffeur.
The best date nights always involve an element of humour and for this you should go self-hire. Get picnic bits together, maybe some Champagne or Pimms and head from The Mill Pond towards Granchester. This route is slightly quieter than going along the back of the colleges, and it also gives you the opportunity to moor up alongside Granchester Meadows to enjoy your picnic on dry land. Top tip: take a change of clothes just in case you fall in: it does happen.
4. Cocktails on the Varsity Roof Terrace Bar
Another one for spring and summer, the Varsity Roof Terrace Bar will give you a fun selection of great cocktails and the best view across Cambridge. Just being on the terrace feels like date night: what could be more romantic than sitting on one of their plush sofas and watching the sunset with your loved one?
The Cambridge Gin Lab is hidden down one of Cambridge’s prettiest cobbled streets and is a fun interactive alternative to justgoing for a drink. There are a range of gin tastings you can book for your date night. If you really want to push the boat out then book the ‘Balancing Botanicals’ and you will end the evening with a personalised blend, bottle, label and sealed gin created by you and your date.
An evening at the theatre is always a good option for a date night, and if you are in Cambridge take advantage of the local talent and go see a Footlights show at the ADC Theatre.
“The Cambridge Footlights are the world-famous student comedy troupe who first aired the talents of some of the foremost British comedians and actors of this century.”
Famous alumni of Footlights include Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman, David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Richard Ayoade, John Oliver, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc to name but a few! The comedy is excellent and the chances are you and your date are seeing future comedy stars at the very beginning of their careers.
To accompany your Footlights trip, head to Galleria Restaurant on Bridge Street. If it’s a warm night make sure you ask for a table on the terrace overlooking the river.
Another alternative live music option, take your date to Jazz at St John’s College where you can listen to experts in the genre and enjoy very reasonably-priced drinks from the college bar.
“Throwing off the stereotypes associated with jazz nights, of smoky, dimly lit rooms, the atmosphere is friendly, the bar cheap and the room full.” -Varsity
You can see upcoming Jazz @ John’s events on their Facebook page.
If you fancy the classic ‘meal out’ date night, then Restaurant 22 is a great option. An independent restaurant in an old Victorian townhouse on Chesterton road, it appears quite unassuming from the outside.
However, once inside you will find an intimate, candlelit dining room and a critically-acclaimed menu. For the full experience, go for one of the tasting menus and enjoy a long evening of delicious food, amazing wine and great conversation with your date.
Picnics are always romantic, and are perfect for those who prefer a date day rather than date night. Make use of the scenic meadows, green spaces and riverside locations in Cambridge and eat alfresco.
Jesus Green has it all: large green spaces, trees for shade, close to the river, walking distance from the town centre and ideal for people-watching. Picnic-wise, you can either make your own or order one from Cambridge favourite Fitzbillies, all you need to provide is the blanket!
10. Keep it simple
Cambridge is so pretty, and there is something undeniably romantic about just taking a wander through the city as the sun sets.
Start near the Fitzwilliam Museum (if you have the afternoon free then definitely begin with a look around this free cultural highlight), walk down Trumpington Street all the way to Kings Parade, do the touristy thing and pose for photos by the wall outside Kings College then get an ice cream from Jacks Gelato on Bene’ts Street and stroll around towards the market place for some shop window browsing before finally heading across towards Kings Street and up to the Liquor Loft at D’arrys.
One of the cosiest, prettiest bars and terraces in Cambridge, on Friday nights the Liquor Loft hosts the perfect combination of delicious drinks (the gin mare!!!), tasty light bites (the nachos!!!) and eclectic live music. It gets busy up in the loft but if you get there early enough to grab a seat by the windows or on the terrace you are set for the evening. The music on offer ranges from Latin jazz solo guitar to acoustic pop rock bands.
Thanks soooo much Heloise for your great Cambridge date night suggestions! I can’t wait to try them all! Has anyone had a great date night in Cambridge you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments below!