ask Nicholas about
café • pub • breakfast and brunch • coffee shop • english pub • record stores • museums
a bit about Nicholas
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a history student at Trinity College, which means I do a lot of pretending to read books in some very pretty places! I've always loved the stories behind people, objects, and buildings, and studying history has given me a whole different perspective to experiencing Cambridge! Outside of history, I do a lot of singing: I'm usually to be found doing evensong in a chapel, having a boogey with one of my a cappella groups, or doing my best Sinatra impression with a Jazz Band!
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
I did a Fundraising 'Telethon' for my college, which essentially meant calling up a ton of alumni and asking them for money. By the end of the two weeks, I wasn't sure what was more soul crushing - the countless rejections or the endless numbers of voicemails. Whilst it was a great experience I've learnt a lot from: NEVER AGAIN.
Were you born and raised in Cambridge? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Cambridge?
I'm a London boy, and have lived around the corner from Wimbledon Tennis all my life. I came to Cambridge to study history and have lived right in the centre of town for the past three years.
What’s your current hood in Cambridge and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live in Trinity College, which is fab because it's right in the centre of town, and acts as a little (well, not that little) bastion of peace amongst all the hustle and bustle of the streets. It's a really beautiful place, but at the weekends there's a lot of tourists, who have no qualms with walking into your staircase if gets them a cool picture...
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I love listening to Jazz, mainly vocal stuff for the most part, but as long as I can chill out and groove to it I don't mind! As a real nerd, I experience most popular music through the medium of a cappella, so my current music knowledge can get a bit dated. The only music I don't really like is metal - too much screaming and loudness for me!
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Anything by Colbie Caillat, Jack Johnson, and Ed Sheeran for starters - I love me some cheesy love songs. After that, I'd probably turn to Jazz, probably some of the tracks from the Sinatra 'Only the Lonely' album. It's a cool little concept album with some absolute bangers: 'Only the Lonely', 'Angel Eyes', and my personal favourite 'One for My Baby'. Ooh and whilst we're at it, lets throw in 'In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning' and 'I Get Along Without You' too!
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
So I'm a murder mystery kinda guy, so for me, my absolute favourite would have to be Endeavour. It develops the origins story of Endeavour Morse (made famous in the cult classic, Inspector Morse) as a Police Officer in 1960s Oxford. What makes it so great is, well, everything! The cinematography is stellar, the script and acting is super on point, and the music is phenomenal. Together it creates a suspenseful two hour drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat!
Name some spots in Cambridge that are good for a Tinder date.
If you're looking for somewhere classy, then I'd go for Mee and I, a tasty little ramen place that's out of the way of town which has fresh noodles, some yummy stock, and my favourite char siu pork in Cambridge! If you want something a bit friendlier on the wallet, then Nanna Mexico would be my first suggestion. Yes, burritos are a bit messy, but if you can make it through the first date after embarrassing yourself as rice and beans spill everywhere, then you can make it through anything!
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Katie Hopkins - when she opens her mouth I literally shiver in disgust. Enough said about her.
Who’s your hero and where in Cambridge would you take them out for a serious hang?
Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). I'd probably take him to a few record shops, maybe stop by 2648 for some classy cocktails, and then just listen to vinyls in my room until the early hours of the morning.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
As a skinny, small man, I usually buy most of my clothes from Topman and H&M, but the better stuff in my wardrobe usually comes from charity shops, eBay and random stuff my mum finds (the perks of being the baby of the family!)
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
The Grafton Centre or the Grand Arcade - it's mostly chain shops and a bit soulless. Give me back street coffee shops and pubs instead any day of the week!
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Because I'm a student with so many commitments, I rarely get the time to just stop and enjoy Cambridge. One of my favourite things to do is to sit down somewhere in Cambridge (Trinity College Fountain, outside Kings, on Jesus Green) with a few friends, a few beers, and just watch the world go by. Cambridge is such a beautiful city, and sometimes you can go too fast and miss half of it!
Where do you go in Cambridge for a casual night out?
The Maypole. It's a lovely family-run pub with one of the best selection of ales that I've ever seen. The inside is lovely and cosy, but the real attraction is their massive outside beer garden, which is perfect for summer nights with friends.
Where would you go in Cambridge to celebrate some freaking good news?
Jack's Gelato. There's nothing like a bit of smooth ice cream to go with some great news, especially if it's sunny!
What’s your choice of transportation in Cambridge and why?
I walk, which is quite controversial! Cambridge is very much a cycling city, but my lack of cycling ability does bother me. In fact, I prefer to be able to take in all the amazing architecture and bump into a few friends on the street.
What are the Cambridge spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
If it's sunny you HAVE to go punting - a guided tour takes around an hour and the punting guides give you a funny (if questionable) history of Cambridge, and you get to see loads of different colleges from an amazing perspective. I'd recommend going round Kings, Johns and Trinity College, and catching an evensong at one of them - if you go to Evensong at Kings you get to see their amazing world-renown chapel for free (and hear their choir)!
What are the Cambridge spots tourists should run from screaming?
The guided bus tour - there's really no need, as everything in Cambridge is within 15 minutes walk of each other.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Cambridge. How do you spend it?
Morning: Breakfast at Fitzbillies, before going on a walk of the Botanical Gardens, and maybe stopping to read a book. Afternoon: Lunch at Urban Shed, followed by some punting in the sun, and maybe lounging about on Jesus Green with some ice cream from Jack's Gelato. Evening: Dinner at Steak and Honour, before catching a show at the ADC and having a nice pint at the Mitre afterwards.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Florence. It's so beautifully picturesque, with so much to see and do, and some of the best food going! Every time I go I feel like I'm in a rom-com!