A Girly Getaway: Cambridge

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I have a confession to make. I admit it, I'm guilty. I've cheated on my long-time lover with their bitter rival. And guess what? I don't feel the slightest bit bad about it. That's right - despite being an Oxford University student for the past four years, I've crossed over to the dark side, changed my Boat Race affiliation, and visited Cambridge. *gasp* My sister and I booked a mini-break to the historic East Anglian city at the start of September for some well deserved pampering and relaxation before heading back to our respective universities. Our base for a couple of nights was the Quy Mill Hotel & Spa, a characterful establishment located just 5 miles from the city centre. After being impressed by the gorgeous historic setting and comfortable appearance of the guest rooms on the Quy Mill's website, we were confident that the hotel would provide a luxurious experience - keep reading to find out about our stay!

 🏡 The Hotel 🏡

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The Quy Mill Hotel was a delightful mix of historic and modern. The charming main house, where the reception, restaurant, bar, and meeting rooms are located, dates back to the 1830's. The waterwheel which gives the hotel its name can still be seen if you take a few steps down toward the riverbank. It was originally used for milling flour, and was still functioning until the 1940's. The majority of the hotel's bedrooms, as well as the spa and gym, were to be found in the courtyard at the back of the house in several converted barn buildings. This meant that although the hotel was very busy when we arrived (we even had to park in the overflow carpark!), it still had a tranquil feel because the guests were so spread out. As we were looking for a peaceful and relaxing break, this was something that we really appreciated! The hotel also had lots of little nooks and crannies to explore - we especially enjoyed wandering around the waterwheel where we met some beautiful swans caring for their cygnets!

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 🌅 Accommodation 🌃

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Just seconds away from the main house, we located our Superior Twin room in one of the converted barns and we were overjoyed to discover that our room came complete with a private patio, a lounge area, and (most importantly!) a heavenly jacuzzi spa bath! The room was clean, comfortable and well equipped with all of the expected amenities: a hairdryer, a safe, and free wifi. There was also a generous selection of luxury teas, coffees, and biscuits. We were pleased to find that fruit teas were provided, which was a bonus for me and my sister as neither of us are big fans of milky tea! The room was spacious and attractively decorated with a yellow and purple colour scheme running throughout. Rustic features such as the original ceiling beams were sympathetically incorporated into the room without losing the chic, modern feel.

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🍹 Food 🍴

No hotel stay is complete without sampling the restaurant menu! On our first night, we were tired out from our drive down to Cambridge, so we opted for room service. We both ordered a Veggie Burger: chickpea and vegetable burger topped with halloumi, served in a semi-broiche bun with hand-cut chips, crispy onion rings, and Quy Mill's own tomato ketchup. Our meal arrived within 15 minutes of us picking up the phone to place the order, which was very impressive! The portion size was ENORMOUS and my sister and I both struggled to clear our plates. At £16.50 each plus a tray charge of £5, the burger was pricey but we certainly didn't need to order dessert! 

Breakfast also provided us with an opportunity to see what the Quy Mill's kitchen had to offer. On both mornings of our stay, we found a plentiful selection on the continental buffet, ranging from home-baked bread, pain au chocolat and muffins to cereals, cheeses, local yoghurts and fresh fruit. Hot breakfast options also came in abundance, all of which were cooked to order, which is fantastic as your food can be tailored to your exact requirements and is guaranteed to be piping hot! We opted for scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast for our breakfasts. The eggs were very tasty and the perfect texture. We didn't have a lot of luck with our toast - on the first day it was badly burned and on the second day it was cold but we could easily make more ourselves, so this wasn't too much trouble! The breakfast staff were friendly and gracefully accommodated our requests to be served soy milk with our hot drinks.

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💆🏻 Spa Facilities💧

Finally, a trip to the Quy Mill's Imagine Spa, just footsteps from our room, was definitely in order! The 12m swimming pool provided plenty of space to do a few laps before jumping into the hot tub to relax! Entry to the spa, gym, sauna, and steam room was included with our room rate, although additional treatments could also be purchased. I really enjoyed the steam room as it provided the perfect opportunity to sweat everything out! All of the facilities, including the changing rooms, were pristine, as was the sunny conservatory located just off the poolside, which was a lovely place to recline and read a book in the sunshine between hot tub sessions. The gym, which we just had to try out after stuffing our faces at breakfast, also had a large variety of equipment. Each of the treadmills, crosstrainers, and bicycles had its own individual TV screen, so you could plug in your headphones and try to forget that you're exercising, which is always advantageous! 

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In the interests of providing a balanced review, I do have to mention a couple of little niggles that we experienced during our stay. When we arrived, the plughole in our bath was clogged up with quite a lot of hair, which meant that the shower was very slow to drain. This would be easily fixed with a bit of attention from the housekeeping team, however! Also, on our second day, we decided we wanted to sample the hotel's afternoon tea selection so phoned the reception to enquire about what time service ended. We were told that we could come down at any point before 5.30pm for afternoon tea. However, when we attempted to order afternoon tea in the restaurant at 5.10pm, we were told that service stopped at 5.00pm. Despite asking whether the chef could make us something anyway, on account of us being given the wrong information by reception, we were turned away. We chose to order a pizza delivery instead, but we were a little disappointed about the mix up. Nevertheless, my sister and I had a fantastic stay at the Quy Mill and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a Cambridge getaway! The hotel was perfectly located for exploring the city, as the Newmarket Park and Ride station was only a mile down the road.

It truly was a pleasure to have a couple of days away with my sister. I've mentioned on my blog previously that my sister and I haven't always been as close as I'd like, and this little break together has gone a long way to changing that. We had a lot of really interesting conversations, laughed a lot, and reminisced over a few childhood memories. Our short time in Cambridge together will be something I'll be able to look back on and smile. Here's hoping we'll be able to go on another trip in the near future!

Have you ever been to Cambridge? If so, are there any sights you'd recommend that I see on my next visit to the city? Please let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

A x

*We were provided with a complimentary upgrade to a Superior room and free breakfast in exchange for an honest review
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