Tuesday, July 08, 2008

June 29. 2008: Colchester and Cambridge

On the weekend we were spoiled with by Krusty and Jason right from breakfast - on Saturday morning it was home-cooked French toast with berries and maple syrup, while on Sunday we were fed muesli, fruit and warm croissants. Delicious!

Sunday morning provided us with only a few more hours in Colchester, and we took a walk through town and visited the Colchester Castle Museum.

The Rose and Crown Hotel was built in the 14th century. You'd be hard pressed to find a single 90 degree angle in its construction!

The Colchester Castle Museum is situated inside the Norman Keep, which Michael mentioned in yesterday's post. Its exhibits are an interesting study of the Romans' and Normans' daily lives as much as they of historic moments. And, unexpectedly, there are numerous costumes to try throughout the museum.


In the early afternoon we bid Krusty and Jason farewell and embarked on a train to Cambridge.

Having heard of but never seen Jaffa Cakes before, I bought some to snack on, on the way. They were gross.

But Cambridge wasn't. With undergraduates on summer holiday, this cute and historic town was awash with tourists like us. The first thing I noticed from the train station was an enormous section of parked bikes, perhaps 500 of them.

It's lovely to see a town with more cyclists and pedestrians than cars.

Everything in Cambridge radiates out from the ornate college buildings.

We ate dinner at the Eagle, the pub where Crick and Watson supposedly announced their Nobel-winning discovery of the double helical structure of DNA. Though we dabbled in some scientific conversation, I doubt our visit will leave such a mark.

Michael ate the Eagle's vegetarian sausages and mash. The sausages were made from the same vegetables as were served on the side, only mashed and formed into fritters.

I was most impressed by the Mushroom Wellington, even though the crust was a little burnt. Inside was a delectable mix of wild mushrooms, spinach and blue cheese. However there was no chance of me finishing the cairn of potatoes served alongside - probably a larger serving than Michael and I would eat between us when cooking at home.

We'd been promised some good vegetarian pub grub in the UK and this was a most promising beginning!


  1. vegie sausages, jaffa cakes, cambridge! sounds like the good life! I did become quite fond of jaffa cakes but can't remember if it took me a while to become accustomed to it - I did find the cadbury's plain milk chocolate in the UK very weird the first time I tasted it but like a true chocoholic acquired the taste :-) Have you tried it?

  2. *crowd chanting* "We want embarrasing photos.....now".

    Johanna, my work mate was telling me about the Cadbury chocolates in England. He was saying that they taste a lot better due to the milk. Because the grass is a lot more lush in England, the cows milk is richer and hence the different taste in the chocolate.

  3. i just wanted to say that i'm really enjoying your travel/food posts! we're going to be in the uk again in september, so i'm noting down the places!

    your photos are gorgeous, too.

  4. I remember that C&W made their announcement in a pub - but didn't understand that the pub was called The Eagle. I am not trying to draw a long bow but...I find it so interesting that, in Aboriginal tradition here in Victoria, Bunjil the Eagle is the Creator-Spirit for most of Victoria and parts of western New South Wales. Was Bunjil hovering at a pub in England when C&W declared their new understanding of creation?

  5. You were lucky to get it so empty! I am v surprised you didn't like Jaffa cakes though... keep trying!! Enjoy your break!

  6. Johanna, I was deliberately tending to avoid Cadbury chocs and other familiar brands, assuming they would be the same as at home. Now I'm curious!

    Not a bad theory, Thanh - I can certainly confirm that the grass is more lush, almost blindingly green!

    Thanks, Nixwilliams! I hope a few of our recommendations work out well for you - happy travelling. :-)

    I wonder, Miss Eagle - an interesting coincidence!

    Mallika, I wonder if jaffa cakes are a little like Australian Tim Tams - an over-processed sweet treat we form a nostalgic connection with (I am certainly guilty of this with a range of foods). :-)