The spirit of Christmas is all around us as the countdown to the big day continues. Naturally there are always plenty of Christmas markets and other Christmas themed events in and around Cambridge as the big day draws closer. We at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge always appreciate the fun and variety of this time of year.
In many another city you will have a standardised, annual Christmas market. There are stalls selling craft goods from the local area. Others selling things like mince pies and mulled wine. People dressed up as Santas and elves – though usually not of the Tolkien variety. It’s all fun and family friendly and whatnot. Several surrounding towns have put one on over the past week or two.
But how genuine do they really feel? Like a real celebration of Christmas? Or like a Christmas themed shopping mall? Honestly, it depends. On the event, its location and duration. But when organised in a somewhat corporate way, these little events often lose their flair. Their individual personality and quirkiness.
That is simply not the case in Cambridge. And that is all down to the venue. For in Cambridge there is no central park type venue that is temporarily converted into a fair. Necessitating that everything related to it be brought in from the outside. No, instead we take the most vibrant shopping street at the heart of a community, close it off to cars for a day, and turn it into the fair.
Mill Road Winter Fair
On paper that might sound trite, or perhaps even a cop-out. But as usual, location is everything. And Mill Road is a very special place. For it is one of the long, straight spoke roads heading out of the city. And while shops of all type line the road itself, it sprouts dozens of branching side streets packed with terrace housing. Making Mill Road the focal point for the most diverse and densely packed community in Cambridge.
And that’s what make it special. A genuine community itself spilling out onto the road. Every shop and restaurant setting up a stall and putting on a show. Just consider the cuisines on offer down Mill Road: from fish and meat butchers to Asian and Middle Eastern supermarkets to an Italian deli. From Greek to Berber, curry houses to noodle shops and everything in between.
And while your average Christmas Market tries to put on quirky wares, Mill Road is full of quirky little shops. And they’re all going to spill out onto the road to put on a show. On Saturday December 2nd. We at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge urge you not to miss the spectacle.