Home of the best independent businesses in Cambridgeshire

The high street – what’s next?

The high street – what’s next?

Our high streets are ever-changing and ever-evolving, and now probably more than ever, the next change is going to be huge. Taking a look back can also sometimes inform the future, and for the high street particularly, looking at its roots in the local community could help it to have a brighter future than we might currently be thinking…and of course that future is looking very independent!


Here’s a short presentation by our founder Anne Beamish on this very subject for PechaKucha Cambridge. Just click the pic below.


Brownies on The Edge

If you’ve ever been to The Edge Cafe on Mill Road, you will surely have tried one of their utterly delicious, homemade brownies. Now, we bring you the recipe so you can create them yourself at home.



Brownies on The Edge



200g good quality milk chocolate

100g good quality dark chocolate

250g butter

400g light brown sugar

4 eggs

140g plain flour

50g cocoa powder



Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

Grease and line a 9″ baking tray, careful not to create baking paper creases in the corner.

Place a bowl over a pan of boiling water (not touching the water).

In the bowl melt the pack of butter chopped up, with the two chocolates and the brown sugar

Once melted, mix together and place to the side for 5 mins

Fold in each egg one at a time

Fold in the flour and cocoa and mix thoroughly

Pour into the lined tin and bake for 25 mins.

Cut into 9 pieces and DEVOUR


Keep buying indie!

Keep buying  indie!

* See https://indiecambridge.com/keep-buying-indie.php for the most up-to-date list *


Many thanks to one of our friends and followers – Pahilip Lawes – who suggested (in the current circumstances) putting together a list of our members who offer vouchers or gift tokens. With potentially more people staying at home, footfall for local businesses is likely to be down – impacting adversely on their cash flow. By buying vouchers and gift tokens for stuff such as birthdays and Christmas, you can help to keep the money coming in now – while it’s really needed – and give the gift of indie at the same time. Plus, if you are staying at home, some of these indies listed also offer online shopping and/or home delivery. Some are organising deliveries especially to help their customers and their communities now. Stay well everyone.


01223 576396


01223 363372


Art Hound Gallery
01223 262033


01223 778118


Bridges Cafe (on Deliveroo)
01223 300800


Burwash Larder
01223 264600


Cambridge Fruit Company (delivering
to businesses only)
01223 425308


Cambridge Juice Company (delivering
to businesses only)
01763 269950


Chi (on Deliveroo)
01223 322756


Country Kitchen
01223 874284


01223 364345


Hot Numbers
01223 612209


Kingsway Cycles
01223 355852


Knitting Needle Lane
01223 561865


Laird Hatters
01223 356820


Lilac Rose
01223 363330


Mill Road Butchers
01223 354779


03330 115566


01223 357708


Scott’s All Day (on Deliveroo)
01223 311105


Simon Robinson & Son Picture Framers
01223 873123


So Blooming Beautiful
01223 967708


Stir Bakery
01223 354222


The Cambridge Fabric Company
01223 778744


The Darryl Nantais Gallery & Linton59
01223 891289 or 07787 517825

Indie December news

Indies in the know


We had a truly inspiring time at our ‘Big Picture Thinking’ Indie Academy event – the last of 2019. Get a room full of indie business owners together – whatever they do, and the creativity, passion and laughter is infectious! Many thanks to Ludo Chapman for leading us gently but firmly, and for everyone who came. We’ll be running a lot more next year and our members can come along for free. If you want to join us – become a member now! Join Indie Cambridge


Christmas knitting needles



8th Dec: Come and join in the festive fun at Knitting Needle Lane’s Christmas get together. There will be plenty of mince pies and tea/coffee/juice, alongside workshops, a prize-draw and of course, the chance to shop for all your knitting needs. This event is FREE but you must book a space here to come along.


Late night shopping at the Kitchen



9th: It’s Christmas late night shopping over at the Country Kitchen, Haslingfield – 5.30 – 8.30 pm with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies, live Christmas music and 10% off when you spend over £30 (excluding alcohol, local crafts and meat).


Festive art in Linton



7th-24th Dec: For wondrous watercolours, atmospheric oil paintings, gorgeous glassware and distinctive jewellery, sourced from local, national and international artists, pop in to the Darryl Nantais Gallery in Linton and visit their special Christmas Exhibition.


Bodywork Christmas show



13th Dec: Students from Bodywork Company will be performing in their annual Christmas Show at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, CB3 9DP. Adult ticket £20.00 concession £17.00 available directly from Bodywork Company Dance Studios or call 01223 314461.


Crafts at the Edge



14th Dec: The Edge Cafe on Mill Road is having a Christmas Craft Fair. Come and browse the selection of handmade gifts for sale – knowing that any purchase you make will mean you are also supporting your local artisan craft community. Grab a coffee too to support the cafe! Fair on 2pm-5pm.

(It’s) Hairspray!



17th-22nd Dec: Baltimore, 1962. Tracy Turnblud is a big girl with big hair and an even bigger dream: to dance her way onto national TV, and into the heart of teen idol Link Larkin. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for integration. Don’t miss this irresistible, feel-good show from Cambridge Theatre Company, at Great Hall at The Leys. Ticket info here.


Pop prints and pictarama


Up to 22nd Dec: Pop art pioneer Eduardo Paolozzi is just one half of this year’s Babylon Gallery’s Christmas exhibition, also exhibiting they have Pictarama, Lego ‘still life’ scenes from artist Sara Amond. The artworks are for sale, and there’s also a lovely range of gifts in their shop to tempt you. Further information about the artists can be found here.


Silver and Green


On until 22nd Dec: The antidote to online Christmas shopping, Fen Ditton Gallery invites you to browse a superb collection of handmade gifts and contemporary art. This mixed exhibition includes ceramics, silverware, photography, printmaking, drawings, paintings, textiles and woodwork – with a percentage of sales from the exhibition going to support Cambridge homeless charities Jimmy’s Shelter and Winter Comfort.

Shop, shop ewop



Indie member Eve Waldron Design recently launched a brand new online workplace furniture shop, ewop. For nearly three decades, Eve and her team have created successful and forward-thinking workplaces. Ewop contains a carefully curated, online selection of tried and tested products and are supported by a behind-the-scenes team of expert space planners, furniture specialists and commercial designers. With ewop Everything Works out Perfectly!


Très chic trash chic


If you’re looking for an usual Christmas gift, something that’s handmade, local and using upcycled materials, then a Trash Chic cushion could be the answer. The inspiration of local indie Jane Horwood, these cushions are made using vintage scarves, with designs ranging from kitsch to classic. Some of the scarves are collectable while others are designer, so as well as being gorgeous – each one is guaranteed to be unique (scarves are also sold separately). View and buy online here.


Keeping it small and green


Indoor plant specialist Small and Green is popping up at the following places this month. 3rd/4th at Hot Numbers Roastery in Shepreth’s Christmas Fair week. 5th at The Maltings, Ely Love Local event from 5-9pm. The 7th at Mill Road Winter Fair in the Bath House, 13th at The Cherry Tree cafe in Haddenham from 11-2pm. 18th at the Christmas Market by Cambridge train station from 12-4pm. 21st in CB1 on Norfolk Street with Bookish Cambridge, a combination of lovely plant gifts and second hand books and framed book covers. Also Janet will be on the market for most Wednesdays leading up to Christmas except Wednesday 4th, 18th and 25th of course 🙂


Beautiful Bento boxes

Do you have your Christmas gifts planned yet? So Blooming Beautiful Bento-boxes can be created according to your style and colours. It’s a wooden tray with fresh or dried flowers mixed with Christmas decorations. An ideal corporate gift or a centrepiece at your shop or home. Pre-order here now for delivery in December or email contact@sobloomingbeautiful.co.uk


New drinks to try at Abantu

Café Abantu are introducing 3 new drinks for December.
The lovely fragrant lavender latte made with dry lavender syrup, a shot of espresso, all topped with silky milk. The vietnamese latte – a must try if you like something small and sweet but with a kick! Prefer something cold? How about the espresso tonic? Adding a little carbonation never hurt anyone, and what a way to spruce up an espresso shot.


New Year’s Eve – Plough-style

See in the New Year with the lovely folks out at The Plough Shepreth with a mexican supper, live music from the Ben Smith Blues Band, loads of dancing and fizz at midnight. Tickets are £35 and book you a table for the entire night. Just email bookings@theploughshepreth.co.uk

Indie November news


Issue 6 of The Indie is out!


It’s here folks – the brand new issue of The Indie. Packed with even more amazing indie stories than ever, you can read the e-edition here, or better still, get your hands on the real thing! Click here for places where you can pick up a free copy (now including the Grand Arcade and Grafton Centre), or why not have it delivered direct to your door by joining the IndieClub – just £12 for 3 issues a year, then sit back, relax and enjoy a most civilised read.



New Indie, new bike!


“My, what a capacious basket!”, I hear you cry. “All the better for carring copies of The Indie”, I reply. Attached to the basket is the new Indie Cambridge bike – a beautiful urban Ridgeback – perfect for getting around town. We bought it from the great guys at Kingsway Cycles. Steve and Nick offer the most amazing service on new and second-hand bikes, accessories and repairs. They’re definitely one of Cambridge’s hidden indie gems. Photo credit Jeremy Peters.




Going out green


Indies are always innovating and Indie member Woodland Wishes Funeral Services have recently become the proud owner of Cambridgeshire’s first all-electric hearse – and what an amazing vehicle it is! It’s called a Nissan Leaf, is smaller than a traditional hearse (and there’s only 8 in the UK), so they can now offer this zero emission hearse for a totally green funeral.




Creative boom for Ark


Ark Colour Design, the wholesale arm of Ark Cambridge, are moving to bigger premises in Cambridge (but don’t worry, their colourful shop is staying put). They’ve had huge success with their leather products over the last year, designing bespoke ranges for The V&A, National Galleries and Museums as well as seeing their products in some big retailers including Paul Smith, Liberty and Anthropologie, plus hundreds of fantastic indies. We love seeing this creative side of Cambridge flourish – it’s what indies do best.




It’s all about Eve


More local creativity being recognised as Cambridge-based indie interior designers Eve Waldron Design have been shortlisted for a 2019 FX International Interior Design Award. Amongst the most prestigious of its kind in the industry, the shortlist recognises EWD for its recent project work on the Cripps Building for St John’s College. The award ceremony is on the 27th November so we’d like to wish Eve and her team – good luck! 




Craft your way to Christmas


Now it has its new HQ in Cambridge, Knitting Needle Lane is putting on a range of workshops throughout November. 12/19th – Learn to Crochet 7-9pm, 16th – Christmas Knit Workshop 2-5pm and the 23rd – Christmas Crochet Workshop 2-5pm. All the details are on the website here.




Weir’s new website


The Weir Associates shiny new website is now live with a fresh new look and feel. As well as their full range of services, it also includes a list of upcoming events as Iain and his team provide some pretty useful advice to businesses – from cash-flow to builiding a better business. https://www.weirassociates.co.uk/




Understanding Hamlet


16th Is a Literature Cambridge Study Day

– Understanding Hamlet, with leading Cambridge scholars Adrian Poole and Fred Parker at Stapleford Granary. Whether you know Hamlet well, or are coming to it for the first time, this study day will deepen your knowledge of this remarkable work.




Beaujolais Nouveau celebration


21st Come and join us and the Amelie team from 5.30pm onwards at their restaurant in the Grafton Centre, to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day in traditional French style! Along with the wine (of course) will be their delicious Flam-kuche with a special boeuf bourguignon recipe on the night.
Special Indie Cambridge members‘ offer: Free glass of Prosecco on arrival plus 10% off your bill (wine and food).




Art of wrapping







27th Indie member Helena g Anderson will be holding an ‘Art of Wrapping’ workshop at the David Parr House Visitor Centre. Enjoy wrapping creatively and with love using an array of up-cycled and gorgeous papers, fabrics, ribbons, cords and other unusual items. Tickets for this lovely workshop can be bought here. There’ll also be an opportunity to buy beautiful gift-wrap related accessories. 




Talking digital for small biz


28th If you’d like to know more about increasing website traffic, building your brand and staying competitive as a small business, then come along and join us and our member Jamie Stuart from Cambition IT Services at the next HSBC Small Business Forum held at St John’s Innovation Park 9.40 am to midday. For more info contact anthony.j.wynn@hsbc.co.uk 




Literary Festival indie offer


29 Nov-1 Dec are the dates for the Cambridge Literary Festival. Why not escape from the cold of winter and bask in the warm glow of the festival’s exceptional array of brilliant writers – there to help us all make sense of the times we are living through and distract us from them! The Festival organisers have kindly given readers of indie news a very generous 20% off tickets if you use the code INDIE20 when booking your tickets at the box office herePhoto credt: Martin Bond




The Plough Christmas market


30th Why not take a little trip out to The Plough Shepreth on Saturday 30th for a relaxing way to pick up a few gifts (and enjoy classic Plough hospitality), at their pop-up Christmas Market with German street food. Starts 11am and finishes at 5pm.




Bubbling up at cucWinebar


30th Just in time for seasonal celebrations – it’s the Fizz and Fortifieds Fair at cucWinebar. Come along and try a diverse range of sparkling and fortified wines at this annual festive period fair from Cambridge Wine Merchants. Tickets available here.




Final call for Academy event


There are just a few places left on our next Indie Academy event on the 28th November – Big Picture Thinking with Ludo Chapman from The Innovation Practice – essential stuff for any small business. If you are interested, please email events@indiecambridge.com

What’s in season – squash!

What’s in season – SQUASH!


There are lots of ways to use this delicious gold-fleshed fruit, from scones to pickles and lasagne’s. Pumpkins and squashes are a rich source of fibre, antioxidants and Vitamin A. Even the seeds are great to use over salads or a sprinkle on soup, being a high protein source and providing amino acids which make them very valuable to vegetarians and vegans. When choosing pumpkins and squashes, they should be unblemished, heavy for their size, still having some stem attached. The cut version should be bright coloured, look moist but not wet, having a firm flesh, free of soft spots or discolouration.


Wendy Slade – owner of indie Cafe Abantu (‘The People’s Tearoom’) on Hobson Street – has kindly shared with us her seasonal special recipe for her delicious Butternut squash scones.

Butternut squash scones


(makes 10 small but only 5 abantu size!)
Preheat oven to 200 celsius (180 for fan)

Ingredient list:


250g of cooked butternut squash / pumpkin

60g butter
1-tablespoon whole grain mustard
40g grated parmesan
1 egg yolk (save egg white to brush over scone)
250g self raising flour
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Grease and line a baking tray
Place butter, mustard, parmesan and egg into a mixer and blend until combined.
(please feel free to do this recipe by hand- just as easy).
Add the butternut and mix to blend.
At this stage I change to a dough hook if using a mixer to add the combined flour and bicarb, mixing to form a dough. If doing by hand, use a flat bladed knife. Then knead slightly.
Turn onto a floured board. Shape by hand to pat or gently use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. This is where you decide to have 5 or 10 scones (we keep dough nice and thick). Cut out desired size with cutter. Try not wriggle the cutter- just straight down to get nice stand up scones instead of leaning. Brush tops with a little milk or the egg whites.
Place into oven for around 15 minutes. A little longer if you opted for the larger scones.
They are wonderful straight out the oven with a bit of salty butter. Our customers have been enjoying them with a hearty bowl of soup.
Tip: add a bit of grated cheese on the top with a bit of harissa!

Indies peddling an emission-free approach to business

Cambridge indies peddling an emission-free approach to business


In 2017 the BBC noticed that Cambridge was home to a ‘cargo bike boom’, with Dutch brand Bakfiets revealing that they sell more cycles here than in any other place of similar size outside the Netherlands. Two years later, the city’s love for box bikes and cargo trikes shows no sign of waning and our forward-thinking, environment-conscious indies are very much part of scene.


Local foodies can enjoy a return to the days of the ice cream trike and butcher’s bike with edible delights including freshly-baked bread from Stir, pizza from Charlie’s Coffee Company, Mac n Cheese from Mac Daddy (winner of the Cambridge News Food & Drink Award for Best Street Food in 2018) and ice cream from Jack’s Gelato, Aromi, Sina and Verrecchia. Coffee cycles include Beanissimo, Caf-fiend and Tribecca. Tribecca’s owner Rebecca Chong can often be found serving coffee in the beautiful grounds of Anglesey Abbey and even uses pedal power to grind the coffee beans!



If you see a keg full of beer pass you in the cycle lane, it probably belongs to Thirsty, or Calverley’s Brewery who have a fleet of three cargo bikes in lieu of a van. Andrew Hall (aka The Sensitive Gardener) cycles a small shed on wheels, while Steve Puleston of Bespoke Carpentry transports all materials using a longtail bike and trailers. Employees at Wintercomfort’s social enterprise, Overstream Clean, use a cargo bike to travel to jobs around the city, and local estate agent Cooke Curtis & Co cycle smartly-branded Elephant bikes between city viewings. And if you haven’t seen one of the Zedify cargo bikes zipping across the city you haven’t been looking hard enough: their team of cycle couriers together cover hundreds of miles each day, delivering consignments for businesses including Fitzbillies, Hot Numbers and the Cambridge Cheese Company.



Inspired by all the cargo cycles reducing emissions on the city’s streets, last year local charity Camcycle came up with an innovative idea to celebrate World Car Free Day. Over 70 cyclists joined them for the first Cargo Carnival, a parade and celebration of pedal-powered cargo, from toddlers in trikes to beehives on bikes. Local families and businesses could try out cargo bikes from specialists such as Outspoken Cycles, Power to the Pedal, The School Run Centre and Circe Cycles. The event was part of the first Cambridge Festival of Cycling, a month-long celebration of the city’s cycling culture featuring social rides, talks, exhibitions, films and other events to encourage more people to discover the joy of cycling.



This autumn, the festival and the Cargo Carnival return and Camcycle is looking for more businesses and families to join the fun. Join the parade, sponsor an event or host your own; any cycle-themed activity taking place during the month of September can be promoted on the Cambridge Festival of Cycling website (cambridgefestivalofcycling.org) and the charity would love to see those who already use cargo bikes encourage others to try them out too. With the government currently offering up to 20% off the cost of electrically-assisted cargo bikes through their eCargo Bike Grant Fund, it’s a great time to discover the benefits that business by bike can bring. Cargo cycling delivers low-cost, lower-emission deliveries and a reliable journey time through the Cambridge congestion. It also helps create more pleasant streets for those who live and work here, leading to more walking and a higher footfall for local independent businesses. The secret to thriving communities is already here – and it’s growing one box bike at a time.





Indie Academy events


We’ve launched the Indie Academy – a series of events and workshops throughout the year – to connect local business owners, share skills and advice and have a bit of fun along the way. Running a business or being a freelancer can be lonely and it’s very easy to miss out on information that might just help your buiness to grow. Our indie members also know a lot of really interesting stuff and love to share what they do – so why not come along and be part of the indie community. Latest events information here



Open Studios at Primavera

Embedded amongst the exquisite architecture of Cambridge is a thriving ecosystem of independent
shops, artistic attractions and historical landmarks that invite guests to explore what the city has to
offer beyond its beautiful college core. One of these is Primavera – a gallery and shop championing the finest arts and crafts in Britian today, and being part of this year’s Cambridge Open Studios event gives them the opportunity to shine the light on the local art scene. Let’s take a cultural stroll around Cambridge with them.


The city of Cambridge is home to a long list of wonderful museums to inspire the curious and cultural
minds. Wander beyond King’s Parade and you’ll find yourself standing before the grand pantheon that
is the Fitzwilliam Museum. The Museum houses an impressive collection of art that spans across both
centuries and countries, offering a wonderful exhibition of art’s ever-continuing evolution.


If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, King’s Parade and the cobblestone side streets that feed into it are dotted with independent galleries, including Primavera, located directly opposite the glorious King’s College. A short stroll towards the Magdalene Bridge, and a brief stop at Cambridge staple, Fitzbillies, and you’ll find yourself at the secondary Primavera location on the corner of Magdalene street.


Painting by Sarah Allbrook


There, ‘En Plein Air’ artist Sarah Allbrook will be capturing the whimsical scenes of Cambridge with her oil paints every Sunday during the Cambridge Open Studio July weekends. We will be displaying the work of Sarah Allbrook at both of our locations, as well as Suffolk-based print artist Marcella Cooper at our main location on King’s Parade.


‘Moonstruck’ Print by Marcella Cooper


Marcella’s lino prints and original paintings will be exhibited on the first floor alongside beautiful ceramics by renowned artists such as Richard Batterham, David Roberts and Alan-Caiger Smith. Downstairs in our ‘Cambridge Room,’ Primavera presents work by the Cambridge Jewellers Guild, featuring artists Birgitte Bruun, Karen Faukner-Dunkley, Nadine Gereson, Deborah Kelly Hopkins, Janet Powell, Jutta Robinson, Hannah Souter, Heather Stowell, Tricia Taylor and Helen West.



Necklace by Birgitte Bruun


For more information, please see: https://www.camopenstudios.co.uk/user/793/summary


A new exhibition at Fen Ditton Gallery is set to celebrate the importance of birds.


Birds form an integral part of the landscape and soundscape of our daily lives. Their familiar sounds and comings and goings bring pleasure and interest to people all around the world, and though they often hover at the edge or our vision, birds provide the opportunity to celebrate our deep connections with all of nature.



The exhibition is an opportunity to view a range of works inspired by encounters with birds by talented artists who study their habits, form and character. Exhibiting artists include: Norman Ackroyd, Lotte Attwood, Geoffrey Corey-Wright, John Fanshawe, Jill Fanshawe Kato, Rebecca Jewell, Roger Law, Hannah McAndrew, Amanda MacPhail, Nik Pollard, Belinda Rushjansen and Lynne Strover.



For time immemorial, birds have been used as environmental indicators.  They play a vital role in monitoring the health of our planet, and BirdLife International based in the new David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, maintains the Red List for birds on behalf of IUCN, and works at the forefront of bird conservation research, policy and practice.  The BirdLife Partnership is active in over 120 countries.


One of BirdLife’s active global programmes is called ‘Forests of Hope’ and focuses on the challenges of sustaining forests which are key habitats for may threatened bird species, as well as other fauna and flora.



Forests are also important to human communities, providing a wide range of livelihoods.


In support of Forests of Hope, the Fen Ditton Gallery will donate a percentage of exhibition sales to the international work undertaken by BirdLife.


Birds Exhibition

Fen Ditton Gallery

23 High Street, Fen Ditton, Cambridge CB5 8ST

8 – 23 June 2019


Opening times:
Saturday and Sundays 11am – 6pm
Private View: Thursday 6 June, 6pm – 8pm
Open Evening: Wednesday 19 June 6pm – 8pm