University Arms – Cambridge
Cambridge’s oldest hotel is now, after an £80m rebuild, by far its best and most exciting. The 19th-century façade facing the parkland of Parker’s Piece – where the first game of FA rules football was played – has been restored, with stained glass windows throughout and the addition of an extra floor for suites with private terraces. The hotel’s articulated roofline is ingenious, but the real triumph of architect John Simpson’s neoclassical design is the elegant new porte cochère on Regent Street, which heralds the building with stately impact and invites visitors through one of three handsome front doors. One is for guests staying in one of the 192 suitably bookish and eclectic rooms, painted in shades of Cambridge blue. The additional two are for Parker’s Tavern, the all-day bistro and bar, with interiors (like the bedrooms) by man of the moment Martin Brudnizki. This charming evocation of a college dining hall is graced by an equally clever menu from hugely talented chef Tristan Welch. It’s the town’s new culinary hotspot: old school but hip, too.
Doubles from £143
+44 (0)1223 606066; universityarms.com
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