New kid on the block Tamburlaine is set to become Cambridge’s latest star and after sampling its spot-on hospitality, we’ll certainly be going back for seconds.
The 155-room, seven-floor hotel is situated right in the heart of Cambridge, less than two minutes from the station and a leisurely ten-minute stroll from the city’s finest universities and prettiest streets.The moment you catch sight of the brand-new build, you know you’re in for something special. While the outside is all clean, minimalist lines, the interiors, designed by Shoreditch-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, are a bold mix of laid-back luxe and retro quirkiness, with subtle hits of ancient Persia in a nod to Cambridge alumni Christopher Marlowe’s play Tamburlaine.The light and airy lobby, second top and above, is a cool hangout for guests – the comfy seating and colourful works of art are big draws – while its sleek spiral staircase, above, leads directly to the gentlemen’s club-style first-floor library, complete with ancient leather-bound books and gorgeously tactile furnishings.The lively restaurant rocks a full-on glam vibe, with curvy leather and tweed-trimmed banquettes, marble-topped tables and standout retro lighting. And the open kitchen definitely adds to its welcoming atmosphere.
The food is deliciously light, seasonal and locally sourced and the presentation of every single dish is tremendous – the sea bass, Thai basil mash and piquant peppers, above, is just a flavour of what’s on offer. And a big shoutout must go to beyond-cool executive chef Alan Dann, who expertly catered to our 12-year-old’s nut allergy with his scrumptious bespoke creations, including a mouthwatering off-menu chicken and spinach fregola.
With their slick red velvet jackets and endless charm, seasoned mixologists Danilo and Medhi put on quite a show every night, bantering and shaking up a cocktail storm in the ultra-glam circular bar. In fact, there’s such a buzz about Danilo’s latest creation, the Sophia, a heady gin-based cocktail, above, with violet liqueur and lashings of bubbles, it’s now quite a lure for both guests and locals.And that’s just what Tamburlaine is aiming to become – a home from home for its visitors, with locally sourced food, wine and even plants. So as well as enjoying a slap-up meal in the main restaurant, you are encouraged to check in for afternoon tea in the colonial-chic Garden Room, above, a must not just for the lavish cakes, pastries – and champagne – but in order to gaze at the epic jungle scene wallpaper.The Steam Deli, above, meanwhile, has been set up to provide healthy breakfasts and lunches for those in need of a nutritious quick fix.
And now for the rooms… In a witty wink to the hotel’s illustrious location, the three tiers of bedrooms are named Fresher, Scholar and Dean – book the latter two for their generous balconies and awesome views over the city – and all boast supremely firm Irish-made King Koil beds and the most lavish headboards, ranging from panelled wood to jewel-toned padded velvet.Bathrooms are decadent marble affairs, with complimentary Noir toiletries by The White Company – and there’s room enough for two in the showers.
We can’t wait for our next visit…
Double rooms from £200 per night b&b
Food photography: Steven Joyce; interiors photography: James McDonald