Friday 9 March 2012

Cambridge, Cake & Custard Campers VW Camper Van Hire

When you think Volkswagen Camper Van Hire and VW Camper Holidays, you think of all the beautiful coastal roads and beach trails in Devon, Cornwall, Scotland, Wales & even Ireland, but do many people think of the beautiful countryside and scenery that we have in mainland England?
It is said that you would need more than a lifetime to visit all of the stunning and interesting as well as the darn right awe inspiring locations across the UK, if ever there was more of a reason for you to avoid going abroad for your summer holidays and start exploring our very own holiday destinations, right here under our noses.
So why not book yourselves a holiday with Delia, a newly re-vamped Volkswagen Camper Van from Custard Campers based in Chelmsford, Essex, where you can pick her up & whisk yourselves away to enjoy a leisurely drive not too far up the road to the truly beautiful & interesting region of Cambridgeshire.
Please note, I am not linked to the tourist board or any of these suggestions in any way, they are purely my own opinions as local lass, so I hope they inspire a visit in some of you!

Cambridge is home to The Secluded Tea Party and we are more than passionate about our local attractions, events and beautiful countryside. There is so much to offer that you can make a fantastic break away with Delia and your friends or family in to just to this area for a fairly low cost through to a more luxurious adventure, depending on your budget.
With lots of monthly events, The Secluded Tea Party is the perfect event to turn up to in this stunning VW Camper and make you and your holiday vehicle the topic of conversation at the afternoon tea table over a cup of loose leaf tea and a slice of Miss Sue Flays’ delicious homemade layer cakes or warm fruit scones with all the trimmings. We even offer you refreshing lemonade in our signature jam jar glasses with straws to make you feel right at home. The photo opportunities with Delia are endless at our perfectly secluded afternoon tea events, so why not use it to make new friends and fans for a couple of hours hehe.
Upcoming events that you could plan your trip around could be the Tea Tasting Tea Party with our new tea supplier (Kandula Tea) on Saturday 26th May, with some tickets still available should this countryside event take your fancy.

Or why not come and join in with some Jubilee celebrations in Cambridge on the Sunday 27th May at Granchester Village Hall, where The Secluded Tea Party will be hosting a pop up tearoom throughout this vintage-inspired day. With lots of fabulous local suppliers selling their wares to raise money for a fantastic local charity, it’s going to be superb with live music and great food, this is not a weekend to miss out on. So book Delia for this jam packed weekend – pun intended!
Or, if you prefer a slightly more highbrow event, then join us on Saturday 15th September for a very special edition of The Secluded Tea Party, leaving Delia parked up close by, at a secret Cambridge City location this time for a very luxurious afternoon tea and workshop on Afternoon Tea Etiquette with Miss Sue Flay and the famous William Hanson, the youngest etiquette specialist in the UK. He knows his manners and will show you a thing or two over a spot of tea as you pass on through with Delia. You will leave with an entire library of knowledge and skills to pass on and enjoy regaling to others on your travels.
 Many other afternoon tea events are planned for 2012 and beyond including a very adult themed and scary birthday bash in April, punting event on the River Cam as well as a New Years Eve Tea Party, so do check our website throughout the year.

You can even book your very own Secluded Tea Party, no matter how small or large, perhaps even a picnic to collect as you whizz past? All you need to do is open Delia’s doors and we will run (Well perhaps we won’t run ; ) alongside her and chuck in a beautifully presented afternoon tea package for you to take away to enjoy along the way.
But you may even prefer to be pampered for an hour two in a romantic spot with a view... We have just the place and Miss Sue Flay can even join you there with her Retro 5m Bell Tent to provide you with a waitress service for you to enjoy the your very own piece of cakey heaven whilst being treated like royalty at a pre-arranged & secret location.... Just get in touch before you intend to come by emailing us and we will happily provide you with some Scooby snacks for your mini adventure. 
You could arrange to be met with Miss Sue Flay, your very own private Afternoon Tea party and a fabulous local photographer at one of our Secluded Tea Party locations to make the most of Delia using her as the focus for a fun few hours to help keep lasting memories of your mini holiday. Again, just ask.. we would love to help you do this, why not even bring your own props along to grab and use throughout to make it personal to you?

So, where to park up with Delia for the night whilst visiting Cambridge? 
We can highly recommend Bourn Golf & Leisure Club which is approx 8 Miles out of Cambridge City for a very chilled out and tree-surrounded pitch with fantastic walks in the surrounding villages. Bourn is home to a lovely gastro pub called The Willow Tree and also to Bourn Windmill, which is just beautiful and fully restored, a must see on an extremely fun and bendy countryside road to enjoy pootling along in Delia!  
It also very close to Wimpole Hall, a local National Trust must see, complete with its very own Folly which will give you a beautiful afternoon of walks and sights should you wish to incorporate this into your visit to this part of Cambridgeshire.

Or if you would prefer to be North of Cambridge, you could also enjoy the seclusion of Red House Farm in Wood Walton, home of the Secret Garden Party near Huntingdon. This tranquil location is based on a working arable farm and the lovely Stephen Parsley, owner and farmer, is a friend of The Secluded Tea Party and would welcome with open arms the odd sight of Delia trundling through for the odd stay. Whilst visiting this neck of the woods, you could take a trip over to Grafham Water for a bike ride or a fabulous long walk for a spot of nature watching and a cosy pub lunch along the way. Or perhaps Houghton Mill, a working flour mill not too far down the road and well worth a trip whilst out this way.
And if you still need ideas throughout your visit to Cambridge on your exciting VW Camper holiday, then here are a few of my very favourite places to see and pick up food along the way in Cambridgeshire and beyond....

Harlton Clunch Pits and Grufallo Bridge, which is fun for kids of absolutely any age... young OR old! You can swing from trees on the rope swings, slide down the hills in the snow (or mud, depending on the weather!) or even just enjoy a piece of walkers heaven from this secret and modest Cambridgeshire village location. It’s got great views of Cambridge city from here and it’s a favourite location for our Secluded Tea Parties. Very romantic and extremely fun all at the same time.

Burwash Manor Barns in Barton is just down the road from Harlton and this is the home to a small farm with animals and some gorgeous shops to browse. Everything from a pamper room, to a tearoom, toy shop, various adult & children’s clothing outlets, gift shops and a superb deli with local and nationally sourced produce, perfect to pick up a few bits to enjoy in Delia on your travels. They often have events on throughout the year, so do check out their website prior to visiting, as their Apple Day and seasonal food events are brilliant and they attract local celebrity chef & restaurateur, Jamie Oliver – spotted with our very own eyes!
Go GeocachingLook it up, then pre-arrange a few depending on where you plan to go. Our favourite Geocaches in Cambridge are in the villages of Steeple Morden, Tadlow, Arrington, Longstowe (both of the latter are near to Bourn Golf Club if you choose to stay there), the list grows longer every time we pick this hobby up ourselves. And now thanks to those clever smart phones, you don’t need a GPS system to get into this fun and addictive hobby. There is no doubt that anywhere you stop with Delia, no matter where in the world you are, there will always be a Geocache close by.  

Not forgetting your main reason for coming to this area...Cambridge City Centre, should you want to wander around our stunning City, where the Cambridge Market Square changes to an array of different food stalls on a Sunday, including our local Ostrich Farmer who cooks his gorgeously lean Ostrich burgers fresh on their stall. Not to be missed whilst enjoying an amble around the Colleges, Kings College on Kings Parade is of course not to be ignored. Miss Sue Flays Grandfather was once the Head Gardener at this famous College and she is darn proud to show this fact off to all and sundry. And not forgetting to try your hand at a spot of Punting, our favourite Cambridge pastime whilst taking in the views of The Backs, glass of Pimms in hand.  

Once you have enjoyed our City Centre, take a tour a couple of miles out of Cambridge to stop at a Countryside Pub, the Green Man in Granchester makes a mean homemade burger. And this quaint historic village is not only said to have the world’s highest concentration of Nobel prize winners, but it’s also the home to Famous Poet Rupert Brooke, Lord Byron and more currently Jeffrey Archer.   
Other equally perfect village pubs around Cambridgeshire would be The Blue Lion in Hardwick, where they currently serve the most addictive sweet Lemon Curd Baked Alaska or the gorgeous thatched Poachers Pub in Elsworth, which is perfect for a gentle walk afterwards through the village, which is home & inspiration of the Rev Wilbert Awdrey, creator of Thomas the Tank Engine (There is even a Geocache to find on this very topic!). And the story of how this tale came about is simply a piece of history that Cambridgeshire residents are extremely proud to be a part of.

You should also take a trip to the Duxford Imperial War Museum, which is set within some very spacious grounds of the famous former First and Second World War airfield at Duxford, just off the M11 which is perfect whilst passing on your way through from Chelmsford. And not too far away again are the beautiful Wandlebury Ring Walks, followed by a quick stock up of some local produce at the Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop, taking in the back roads (LimeKiln Road) for a fabulous view of Cambridge City with it’s high spires and tall college buildings. Another campsite is very close by here, so it’s the perfect third option for Delia to hunker down should you prefer to be closer to civilisation.

If you have time, make sure you take an hour or so to visit Plurabelle Books on Purbeck Road on the outskirts of Cambridge. Approx. 5 minutes drive from the Gog Magog Hills and Wandleberry. It’s a stunning book warehouse, which looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland with chairs and Tricycles hanging from the ceiling and stacked from floor to ceiling with old hardback books. It’s as mad as the Hatter himself and has a cute and pond side secluded garden complete with a life size Chess Board, perfect for summer reading.

Further afield, depending on where the wind (or roads) takes you, you could also visit 
Woburn Abbey, home of Afternoon Tea, Nene Valley Railway, Ickworth House & Bury St. Edmunds, Thetford Forest (check out their website for open air films and concerts throughout the year as well as Go Ape Tree Top Adventure) and not forgetting the historic market town of Saffron Walden on your route home to drop Delia off when it comes to that point. Here, you will find Cafe Cou Cou, a boutique cafe which sells the dreamiest Chocolate Ganache Cake you will ever sample. It would be criminal not to end your holiday on a sugar high to keep you happy for a little while longer. 
What are you waiting for?... Get yourself booked in with a mini holiday with Delia, take a visit to The Secluded Tea Party and come and explore Cambridge and all we have to offer you. 

Miss Sue Flay 

For more info on Delia visit
For more info on Miss Sue Flay & to book or order visit 

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