Tapas with your other half. Cocktails and a catch-up with friends. Coffee and brunch to start the weekend right. Whatever the occasion and whatever your mood, Bohemia has got it covered, as Lydia Parkin reports
Swiftly establishing itself as a firm foodie favourite in the Cambridgeshire market town, Bohemia first opened its doors in St Neots back in 2016. Serving coffee (roasted in their very own micro roastery next door), lunch and their legendary brunch by day (notably the Huevos Rancheros; a delicious Mexican style full English which is a feast full of flavours), in the evening it transforms into a buzzy restaurant and cocktail bar, with an ever-changing menu of world tapas and cocktails (we highly recommend The Bohemian). There’s also a jam-packed calendar of events, encompassing everything from live music evenings to sausage and cider nights and speed dating.
“We provide a unique product, not just in Cambridgeshire but anywhere,” explains owner James Larman, when asked why he thought Bohemia had proved such a hit. “Fresh seasonal foods that are both traditional and new and fun. We cater for all tastes and dietary needs, from vegan to gluten-free to full on carnivore, with an ever-changing menu that always gives our regular customers something new to try.”
To keep up with growing demand, at the beginning of the year Bohemia expanded, taking over the former butcher’s next door. There’s also been a chic facelift for the original space – think exposed brickwork, Portuguese-style patterned tiles and low-hanging lights.
“When we got the opportunity to take over the old butcher’s, it was a chance that was too good to turn down,” says James. “Design wise, the new space brings an extra dimension to Bohemia. It’s also allowed us to develop our style further with unique feature pieces and our signature lighting design.”
But, for James, most importantly, the new space “enhances the customer experience.” And it’s Bohemia’s loyal customers that are at the heart of everything James and the team do. “We focus on quality not profit and we do our best to ensure that every customer has the best possible experience every time they choose to dine with us.”
It’s clearly a real labour of love for James, who admits that opening a restaurant had been a lifelong dream. “I love creating new menus and watching people enjoying the things that we create. But the thing I love most about what we do is the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant and the people, both staff and customers alike. I love the madness of a busy service; working hand in hand with the staff, serving people and knowing they had a really great experience thanks to the work we do,” says James.
So, what’s next? “We have another site based in Huntingdon railway station coming later in the year. But after that who knows what opportunities may arise. We’re certainly not done yet!”
Bohemia is at 16 Cross Keys Mews, St Neots. Visit bohemiastneots.com
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More by this authorLydia Parkin