Daily street market: Fresh produce
If you're looking for fresh fruit a great place to find it is the open-air street market right in the centre of the city. It's open daily except Sunday and has a wide choice of stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables.
It also has some stalls selling clothing, confectionery and second-hand books - you may find an interesting bargain there.
Open Air: Outdoor gear
Great selection of outdoor clothing, rucksacks, camping gear, footwear etc. This shop has excellent service. I just have to mention about one nice experience we had: one of us was planning to buy a fleece and take it as a gift to someone in Brazil. Since we were not sure about sizes we decided to buy two in different sizes and return the wrong size later. Although we were planning to stay abroad for 4 weeks and the return policy is just 2 weeks, the manager agreed to us taking both fleeces, he was most helpful.
- Hiking and Walking
Touch Wood: Special Toys and Lovely Pigs :)
Small shop selling specialized toys, not that many plastic articles in store! They have all sorts of toys in solid wood, metal and really cool terracota building blocks.
I'm in love with this gorgeous babe sitting pretty by the window :)
Shop opens Mon to Sat from 10 to 5:30.
Bad news everybody: as from July 06 this shop is no more! I cannot believe it, my favourite shop is gone.
Coffee Stall at Cambridge Market: Coffee beans from everywhere :)
This is a stall selling coffee at Cambridge Market. It’s open until 3pm. Wonderful variety of beans to choose from, and you can ask for them to be ground. You may have to queue for a long time since a lot of time and attention is given to every customer.
Jessops: Photography stuff
If you're looking to get some prints from your camera (digital or film), or want a photography gadget, or even a new camera, then it's worth dropping by Jessops. I've been getting my prints done here for years and always been happy with the quality. The cameras are not normally as cheap as buying from the internet, but look out for special offers on individual models - there are often good deals to be had. They have a good range of accessories - I recently brought a camera bag and they had plenty of different types to choose from.
The Magic Joke Shop: This is college prank headquarters at Cambridge
Now who would think a joke shop could do good business amidst 31 colleges in Cambridge? Evidently there must be significant demand for mega-strength fart gas ("with dead rat smell") and whoopee cushions in the esteemed halls of Cambridge University.
Though they look intelligent on the telly's "University Challenge", those Trinity College scholars are really just a looney lot of smartypants who go around placing fart cushions on the academic chairs of their professors.
Now although this is indeed a joke shop, the proprietress didn't think it was all that funny when I asked her if she has jumbo knockers. You see, she actually has a nice rack of big knockers...on the back wall of the shop, but she somehow thought I was referring to her own ample bosom. Imagine that!
So I should add that there is a small section in the rear that contains adult merchandise, or "rude products" as they are called on the shop's website. (I knew she had 'em!)
What to buy: The shop also has helium filled balloons and Halloween costumes for children, unless you are an adult that wants to put on an Elizabeth mask along with a big "Happy Birthday Cake" hat and sing "God Save The Queen" after inhaling helium into your vocal chords. (See photo #2)
See the website for more products available in the shop.
What to pay: Plenty of items for less than 5 pounds
- School Holidays
- Study Abroad
Continental Stores: Italian Delicatessen
A place to buy ingredients for a picnic or stock on Italian products. This shop is run by an Italian family. Apart from the obvious such as pasta & rice, olive oils, cakes and cookies, they also have fruit juices and a very decent selection of olives, cheeses and ham... And they bake their own bread :)
Street market in Cambridge: It's a summer thing to do
It's outside and when the weather is beautiful, nothing beats the outdoor shopping. From candies to fruits to vegetables, they all have it. I have been to many produce market in my life, and I have to tell you that the stuff that they have are all fresh and delicious. The strawberries and figs that we bought were all sweet and juicy. I really would like to try the vegetables too, but it was too bad that we were'nt there for a long time. It was the best way to experience Cambridge because you get to experience what the locals do.
What to buy: Fresh produce and fruits. They provide whatever that is in season and they are all delicious.
What to pay: $10 or less .. depending on what you buy. We didn't buy that much, so it was cheap for us.
- Study Abroad
- Family Travel
Classy shops at Student prices???
I am not sure where all the students get there money from as the shops I saw in the centre of Cmabridge were quite expensive. It didn't seem that they were only catering for the tourist industry either. The buildings housing the shops were lovely however.
Right in amongst the central shopping area, Cambridge Market is a nice place to go browsing - the open-air stalls sell a wide variety of things including flowers, fruit & vegetables, sweets, CDs, and clothes. A pleasant contrast to the surrounding chainstores, especially when the weather is nice.
The market is open every day, but on Sunday it has a different set of stallholders as it becomes a farmers' market with slightly shorter hours, from 10.30am until 4.30pm. During the rest of the week the market tends to start closing up after 5pm.
- Family Travel
Sainsbury's: City Centre supermarket
If for any reason you're self-catering in Cambridge, or you just need a snack, then it's worth dropping into Sainsbury's. Prices are often much keener than many of the other city centre food and grocery sellers, and they have a good range of take-away food, with a wide range of sandwiches, drinks, a salad bar, and take-away coffee is cheaper than elsewhere in town.
As well as food and drink there is a good range of newspapers and magazines, and chart CDs at bargain prices.
- Budget Travel
Jim Garraghy's fudge Kitchen: Jim says "We make the best fudge in the world"
If you have a sweet tooth, then it is difficult to argue with the advertising. I am writing this whilst nibbling on a piece of fudge from the aforementioned shop infused with Whiskey.
At nearly four pounds for a modest sized piece, it must be considered in the same way as Caviar or Parma ham - if you want quality you will have to pay for it. Quality costs - but by God, when those taste buds start dancing you would happily pay twice the asking price.
What to buy: several varieties avaialble - see their website
- Food and Dining
So Many to Choose From: Sensible Shopping
I like to frequent the Charity shops, mostly. I can buy new things in America, so the thought of shopping at a department store in England did not excite me. Instead, the thought of finding someone's lost treasure donated to a worthy cause was a thrill for me. (Which by, the way, I found numerous one of a kind treasures for a little next to nothing!)
I only wish I could remember the names of the shops, but alas, I didn't think I would be writing to tell the world of my adventures in England. Anyway, there are many of these charity shops in most of the cities town centres and worth a look around, just to get a different kind of glimpse of history. On a rather funny note, I also saw souvenir items from America in some of these shops.
I did visit a few of the chain department stores, like John Lewis and Thorton's, but my main interest was used goods. You may wonder, Thorton's, a department store? Well, Chocolate, That's my department! Thorton's are everywhere in England, and suitable for any taste. Try the bite sized chocolate caramel biscuit treats. Reasonably priced, and incredibly delicious. I basically wandered around window shopping, and if something looked interesting, I went inside to further investigate.
What to buy: Anything and Everything! It is like a treasure hunt through time. You may find antiques, collectibles, books, jewelry, odds and ends, (bits and bobs), paintings, fine bone China (made in England, of course!), and even marbles!
Of all the things I could bring back from England, my best friend collects marbles! I found this marble dispay board for her that is ancient, and beautiful (for only £2!) The shop owners thought I was surely daft, asking them if they might have any marbles! Some even said they lost their marbles, years ago!
I actually found this board at the car boot sale in Wisbech, but I wasn't about to show you a pic of some marbles. My best friend has found marbles worth up to $1000.00! She just thinks they are pretty, and now, her unique, new antique ceramic display board is one of her most treasured possessions. (new antique ... an oxymoron)
Going through airport security, I had this item wrapped up in a few towels and shirts to protect it in my carry - on baggage. Right next to it was a small ancient Harrod's tin I found that I filled with antique and precious marbles. Apparently, it appeared "suspicious" going through the x-ray, as I had to send it through twice more. Finally, I had to take it out to prove it was no threat to anyone, and certainly not a bomb!
Another one of my greatest finds was a little atomizer perfume sprayer from Greece, with intricate details of the Romans, painted in black laquer, trimmed in gold, and very beautiful, for only 50pence! I ended up giving it as a gift to my neice, who is studying to be an aromatherapist, because she fell in love with it.
What to pay: Next to nothing! It will, however take some effort to find a worthy prize to accompany you back home.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Al Amin Grocery: More spices lower prices
There are a few Indian groceries on Mill Road but this one stands out because it is the biggest and thus has a greater range and is cheaper than the rest. The staff are very helpful as well with recipe suggestions and enquiries.
Green street: Green Street
Even though the Games and Puzzles store closed down, there are still a few decent shops down here. One sells Anya Hindmarch bags and shoes (the only place in the area selling them I believe), plus other designer produits; a store selling crafts and hippie things; a second-hand book store; a back entrance to Borders.
What to buy: Anything your heart desires!
What to pay: Cheap to expensive.