As anyone who follows me on Twitter will know, I simply adore living in Cambridge. I’m not sure whether it’s the relaxed/preppy lifestyle here, the incredible history and architecture (900 year-old colleges which have housed, at some point or another, many of the world’s most important figures), or just the fact it’s the first place the Clever Boyfriend and I have made our very own and shared together, but being here is one of the happiest chapters of my life.
Aside from the throngs of noisy tourists who flock to the city during the day (and who simply refuse to move off the road and out of the way of fast-moving bicycles on Kings Parade), this is absolutely the most glorious time of year in Cambridge. Summers here are idyllic, blissfully lazy, and a happy whirlwind of bike rides down leafy lanes, picnics on the Backs, and punting on the river. Here are a few of my favourite Summertime pastimes, captured over the past month or so on my iphone (my proper camera is too big to carry everywhere, but sometimes it’s the most simple, spontaneous moments I most love to capture).*
Wandering around the beautiful Hogwarts-alike Cambridge colleges (even after 2.5 years here, I somehow always manage to stumble upon a new courtyard, secret garden, or winding stone staircase).
Pimms, bumblebees, Shakespeare plays and garden parties in the beautiful college gardens.
Buying fresh English strawberries almost every day (the most perfect, complete Summer food).
The fact that in Cambridge, almost no one drives – bicycles are the only way to get the around the tiny, cobbled streets (this makes me happy!). When I go for bike rides on my Pashley with my favourite heels on (always easier to cycle, rather than walk in) and Bridget Bardot on my ipod, I feel like I’m either back in my happy Summer childhood memories (cycling around our leafy neighbourhood in Australia with my Daddy), or an extra in Sophia Coppolla’s Miss Dior Cherie videos.
The beautiful, beautiful River Cam, where weekends are spent lounging on the College riverbanks – usually with a picnic, a good book, a sketchpad and an entire hour to do nothing but lie back, daydream and stare at the blue sky as the fluffy clouds drift by.
Punting (gliding down the river on flat-bottomed boats, for those not familiar) is, of course, obligatory, but only during the long, golden evenings after the tourist (who treat the river as a bumper-boat course) have fled – in the evening it’s just for lovers, professors and preppy students wearing straw boaters and rolled chinos.
Forgoing proper meals in lieu of ice cream bought from the carts that pop up around the city, to be eaten while sitting on a stone wall in the shade.
Long walks through the wild meadows along the river to the Granchester apple orchards for Lord Byron poetry and afternoon tea under the fruit trees.
Weekly trips to the farmer’s markets in the town centre for fresh English fruit (greengages, berries and apricots) and a big bunch of flowers – when cycling home after these trips, I feel as though the wicker basket on my Pashley is filled with pure treasure!
Pear cocktails designed just for me at the secret speakeasy-style 12a Club and lazy brunches at Bill’s.
The sound of the Kings College choir and churchbells drifting on the balmy breeze as the golden sun sets.
Love, Miss B xx
*If you’re on Instagram or Tumblr, come and find me there – it’s where I post snippets of my daily life and adventures every day.