Cambridge’s food, drink, music and arts scenes are thriving, with an underground ethic energised more by town than gown
You might imagine that in a university city as renowned as Cambridge, the student population is pivotal to its cultural life. “Not remotely,” says Cambridge-based arts journalist, Harry Sword: “It’s bizarre; they live a closeted existence. Cambridge University is a boiler room in terms of the amount of work they’re given, and they have sophisticated entertainment networks in each college so it’s a very self-contained world.
“People forget that over 100,000 people were born and live here, regardless of the university,” Swords adds. From the independent enclave of Mill Road to the annual (sponsor-free) Strawberry Fair music festival, a dedicated minority of those locals work doggedly to maintain the city’s bohemian edge.