DSC00073-(1)Harley Denham is the Publishing, Marketing and Web Manager here at Group Travel World magazine

“I’d never had the chance to see round Cambridge properly, so last weekend my partner and I headed off to the university city to explore some of what it has to offer visitors. After a busy week at work, checking into our hotel was the first priority, especially after being out in the thick snow which was blanketing the roads and pavements.

The Double Tree Hilton

The DoubleTree Hilton

The icy temperatures meant that the freshly baked cookies which greet you on arrival at the reception of the DoubleTree by Hilton were especially welcome! They warmed both our mouths and our cold fingers, while the receptionist informed us of the hotel details and breakfast times. I was keen to see the hotel room, which included a kingsize bed, a comfy seating area and a beautiful balcony overlooking the River Cam.

We explored the hotel thoroughly, including the restaurant which is located on the ground floor and also overlooks the River Cam – deserted in today’s freezing conditions, but we were assured that usually there are plenty of punts and rowing boats floating past the windows. The restaurant was warm and welcoming and has become one of Cambridge’s most popular venues for dining, for everything from romantic dinners to business lunches and family celebrations. The venue can offer both private and group dinning, and with the elegant bar situated close to the restaurant, it is ideal for everything from post-dinner drinks to group socialising. The bar cleverly combines modern styling and lighting with a cosy seating area on the side – something for everyone.

Location of the DoubleTree Hilton in Cambridge is a key bonus, as in addition to the river flowing gently by, we were delighted to find that we were right in the centre of the city as soon as we ventured out to explore. We started with the Fitzwilliam Museum, just a few minutes’ walk away, home to a range of exhibitions and a particularly exceptional Egyptian display. We also enjoyed the University Museum of Zoology, especially the giant skeletons.

De Luca Bar

De Luca Cucina and Bar

On our first evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal at the De Luca Cucina and Bar, an authentic Italian restaurant located in the heart of Cambridge which offers group dining and a group set menu on request, and has seating areas already designed to accommodate large groups. The venue is very popular with hen and stag parties, offering cocktail lessons in the cocktail bar located upstairs. Also available is a function room for private dining, accommodating around 30 people. The kitchen area is located within the heart of the restaurant itself, engaging and entertaining the diners. Service was fantastic; I would recommend the deep fried squid with sweet chilli sauce for a starter and the authentic cheese board for dessert complements any meal superbly.

After a comfortable night’s sleep and a morning exploring more of the city, the next day we ate at Cambridge’s Wagamama. Inspired by Japanese noodle bars, this is another restaurant especially suited to groups, with an open plan space allowing large groups to all dine together: Wagamama offers group dining for 6 -50 people. On our arrival we were greeted with iced tea served while we were seated by the window overlooking all the activity on one of Cambridge’s main streets. Wagamama serves fresh Thai and Japanese food made from authentic Asian ingredients; I decided to try Pad Thai and a side dish of duck gyoza and chicken tebasaki. The dishes were very large and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. Wagamama restaurants are known for fast, fresh food and even though the restaurant was very busy, we were highly impressed with the excellent service we received. It rounded off a lovely trip to Cambridge, which combined city sightseeing with brilliant accommodation and dining.”