Food News: New year, new venues to visit and classes to book
On the menu for January? A coffee house and restaurant to visit and catering and classes to book. . .
Pages Coffee House
Founded in a “desire to add another independent spot to the mix, with the hope it'll become a core part of the community and keep Cambridge’s unique spirit alive”, indie coffee house Pages has just opened on the city’s Trumpington Street.
From the name (which, a nod to the academic environs, could not be more apt) and decor (exposed period brickwork, Scandi-style seating, a hearth filled with dried flowers) to the menu (Monmouth coffee, Press London juices, Borough Market baked goods), every element is beautifully done.
Having walked along Trumpington Street every day on her way to and from school, whenever Cambridge native Jasmine Jayyousi returned to the city as an adult, she saw more and more local indies muscled out by High Street Goliaths.
After a decade in fashion, which has seen her live and work in both London and Dubai, she moved back to Cambridge permanently - pledging to open her own independent.
Pages is, says Jasmine: “A spot for tourists, a daily necessity for locals’ caffeine needs, and a comfortable and cool haven for students to meet friends or study, all in one!”
Visit pagescambridge.com and follow @pagescambridge for more
The team at Tuddenham Mill - home to Suffolk’s only four AA Rosette restaurant - have launched a catering business, promising “to bring exceptional food and outstanding hospitality to celebrations in East Anglia and across the UK”.
The brainchild of Lee Bye, Tuddenham’s head chef, and Will Reyner, restaurant manager, Spindle Catering will produce bespoke menus for everything from intimate dinners to weddings and corporate events.
Says Lee: “Whether you want a special dinner with friends at home, a fun family party, a celebration of life, or a corporate gathering, we will do everything we can to meet and exceed your expectations. We’re up for the challenge!”
Named after the watermill’s spindle, part of its original mechanism, the catering service will be tailored to every event, venue and client, add Lee and Will.
“A relaxed garden barbecue might call for ex-dairy beef sliders; a rich venison Wellington will make a luxurious showstopper for an intimate dinner; weddings and christenings could be about elegant canapés and a towering croquembouche. . .”
Follow Spindle Catering on Instagram via @tuddenhammill and make enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Damson & Wilde
The team behind brilliant Bury St Edmunds wine shop Vino Gusto - crowned Food & Drink Heroes of the Year at Velvet’s inaugural Food & Drink Awards this summer - have added another string to their hospitality bow: they’re now owners of Damson & Wilde, the restaurant and bar on the town’s Abbeygate Street.
If you don’t know us: Gusto Pronto is a fiercely independent, family-owned business with five pubs based in and around Suffolk and centred in Bury St Edmunds,” explains the team’s Rox Marjoram. “We brew our own Brewshed beer and have a wine shop, Vino Gusto. Put simply, we’re passionate about great food, drinks and looking after our guests.”
When offered the chance to take over Damson & Wilde from previous owners City Pub Group, Rox says they “jumped at it”. Like The One Bull, Gusto’s first pub in the centre of town, it’s an historic building - built by John Corder for The Sun Alliance Assurance Company in 1891 - still filled with period character and formerly home to Cafe Rouge.
Adds Rox: “We’re taking the reins from mid-November and you will immediately see the Gusto hospitality you know and love.” Current menus, including the Christmas line-up, will remain until year-end, when both food and drink offerings will be given a Gusto flavour.
For more and to book, visit damsonandwilde.co.uk
The Next Loaf
As anyone who’s bought cakes, breads or pastries from a branch of Suffolk’s Two Magpies Bakery can attest, founder Rebecca Bishop is a master baker. After sharing her skills via both classes and her debut cookbook - Two Magpies Bakery: Recipes from the Heart of East Anglia - which came out earlier this year, she’s now decided to launch a dedicated home baking school, The Next Loaf.
Opening in January, in Wenhaston, Suffolk, it will offer a wide range of classes in a relaxed home-kitchen environment, covering everything from sourdoughs and pizzas to French and Scandinavian classics, suitable for everyone from newbies just starting out to experienced bakers wanting to expand their skill set. Says Rebecca: “Lots of people come to my classes having had mixed results with their baking - they want to learn to be more consistent and make bread and pastries they will be proud of and their family will enjoy.
“I find that over half the class is usually made of keen home bakers who've been given a gift voucher for a baking class by a family member as a Christmas or birthday present.
“Sometimes it's mother and daughter/father and son combinations or good friends using the experience as a lovely way to spend time with each other and learn new skills at the same time.”
With full-day, half-day and evening options, vouchers are available to buy now - perfect for Christmas gifting.
Find out more, book classes and buy vouchers at thenextloaf.co.uk
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More by this authorAlice Ryan