The most quintessentially Cambridge activity of them all, punting along the River Cam allows you to soak up the city’s beautiful architecture in style and comfort. Book a tour of The Backs for iconic sights such as King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs, or if you’re feeling adventurous, head upriver to Grantchester. The team at Rutherford’s promise to go the extra mile to give couples a romantic punting experience to remember, decking out boats with blankets, rose petals and flutes of chilled champagne.
The Varsity Hotel
A stylish boutique hotel in the heart of the city centre, The Varsity is an ideal base for couples visiting the city – or locals indulging in a staycation. Visitors can expect luxurious, individually designed bedrooms and complimentary perks including Elemis toiletries and free use of the hotel’s bicycles. One of the biggest draws is the Varsity’s choice of dining destinations, with the River Bar Steakhouse offering an elegant, classic bistro experience and Six, located on the hotel’s sixth floor, serving up cocktails, afternoon teas, pizza and more in a sophisticated setting. The ace up the hotel’s sleeve is the romantic roof terrace, which boasts panoramic views of the city’s skyline and a fabulous drinks menu.
For couples who enjoy an interactive experience, the team at Cambridge Gin Laboratory will guide you through the history and mysteries of ‘Mother’s Ruin’, with plenty of tasters as you go. As well as masterclasses led by gin experts, you can also try your hand at a mixology workshop, or even create your own gin from scratch, tailoring it to your tastes by choosing from a selection of distillates and botanicals.
An alfresco feast for two in one of Cambridge’s most scenic spots is the perfect activity for loved-up couples. Good picnic locations include Jesus Green and the patch of grass by the Mill Pond, or you can make the trip to Grantchester Meadows, immortalised by poet Rupert Brooke (and later Pink Floyd!). Stock up on supplies at Cambridge Cheese Company, Cambridge Wine Merchants and Fitzbillies, a well-loved local bakery which offers a packed lunch picnic complete with finger sandwiches and Chelsea buns. For picnic treats en route, Meadows in Newnham is an excellent neighbourhood deli handily located on the edge of Grantchester Meadows.
Couples in search of romantic restaurants will be spoiled for choice in Cambridge, with the city boasting countless intimate eateries with fabulous food. De Luca Cucina is a longstanding favourite for its classic Italian dishes and romantic atmosphere – in summer you can enjoy your food on the restaurant’s roof terrace, and be sure to head upstairs for an after-dinner drink in the cocktail bar, which often has music from a live pianist. For a romantic riverside restaurant, visit Galleria, or check out newcomer The Wine Rooms, found on Hills Road, which offers more than 500 carefully selected wines and a menu of perfectly paired dishes from an acclaimed local chef.
If you like the idea of cosying up and enjoying the magic of the silver screen with your loved one, you’re in luck: Cambridge has a number of outdoor cinema experiences which run throughout the year. Enchanted Cinema offers a mix of classic films and recent hits, popping up in locations around the city with deckchairs, a fresh popcorn stand and light installations, while The Star and Mouse Picture Show creates beautiful, vintage-style open-air cinema experiences everywhere from stately homes to riverbanks.
Put a ring on it
Planning on popping the question? Cambridge is home to a multi award-winning jewellery shop where you can design your own bespoke ring, inspired by your unique love story. Pop into Harriet Kelsall on Green Street and meet the team, who’ll be happy to talk through your options and bring your dream engagement ring to life.