Last week Steve and I dined with two friends at The Galleria Restaurant on Bridge Street, which is in a perfect location at the foot of Magdalene Bridge, overlooking St John’s and Magdalene colleges. This independent restaurant is a popular Cambridge institution, and a favourite with locals and visitors alike. The menu is best described as modern British fusion with world influences, and we enjoyed two courses of well-presented, freshly cooked and tasty dishes in stylish contemporary surroundings. On the downside the service was rather slow, and we had a long wait before our first course arrived. Also despite booking in advance we were disappointed not to get a table outside on one of the terraces beside the river, as it was a warm summer’s evening.
Diners at Galleria not only have a ringside seat of the antics of people punting on the river, but also one of Cambridge’s loveliest views. This three-level continental restaurant is light and airy, with wrought-iron balconies, ferns, French prints, and bistro-style seating. Prices are affordable, and portions are on the large side, so overall it’s good value for money. We were all too full for desserts after we had eaten two courses from the a la carte menu, and the bill came to £30 per person including drinks.
Galleria has two terraces overlooking the River Cam which are perfect for al fresco dining, but unfortunately we found it’s not possible to reserve a table on the terrace
My starter of Smoked salmon mousse, Tomato and Cucumber Salad with French Bread was light, fresh and delicious
After dinner we walked across Quayside to The Varsity Hotel and Spa in Thompson’s Lane to have a drink at their recently opened bar and restaurant called Six
Another charming view of Quayside, where punts are available for hire *
Six panoramic bar is located on the 6th floor of The Varsity Hotel & Spa just below the hugely popular roof terrace. Recently opened, this very new Cambridge restaurant has breathtaking 360° views of the city, including the historic colleges and the River Cam.
We found the impressive drinks menu to be reasonably priced and about half the cost of drinks on the roof terrace. The food menu at Six was also surprisingly inexpensive, apart from their traditional Afternoon Tea, which at £22.50 a head is way more expensive than high end rival establishments in Cambridge. Another surprising thing is that there were no toilets either on the roof terrace or in the restaurant, so we were directed to the unisex washroom on the 2nd floor of the hotel in the guest bedroom area. Not an ideal situation and surely an ‘inconvenience’ for all the drinkers and diners at such a busy venue!
We were disappointed to find the roof terrace was closed at 9.30pm when we arrived at the hotel.
33 Bridge Street
Tel : 01223 362054
Six Panoramic Bar and Restaurant
*Scudamore’s Punting Company Quayside
Magdalene Bridge, Cambridge CB5 8AB
Tel : 01223 359750