What I love most about Hot Numbers (other than their own coffee creations) is the fact that there is a pay and display car park right outside... for me traveling from outside of Cambridge, this is a huge bonus as it means no faffing, I can just get parked right up, get inside and order then go again, no shopping distractions for my poor purse strings on the way hehe.
Hot Numbers is an independent coffee shop just off Mill Road on Gwydir Street, open 7 days a week which is rare for many cake and coffee stops in Cambridge nowadays,
so this is a welcome treat indeed.
I stumbled across these guys when they first opened in 2011 and I have watched them expand, quite literally, into the building next door and double in size over the last few months which has been just fantastic to see. Cambridge has seen nothing like this place and it’s a welcome change to most fluffy or more traditional tea and coffee shops around town, this one is stylish and simple and I crave it from time to time, so make a point of visiting when I do get the chance.
They roast their own coffee in their own micro-roastery, you can even see them doing tours from time to time, so do watch out for those... as well as serving “Teapigs” and specialty teas (I enjoyed a “Rare Tea Company” tea this week and it was the perfect match for my Chelsea Bun from Fitzbillies, of which they also sell. It was a Ceylon tea and if I wanted a top up of fresh water all I needed to do was ask, well, nothing is genuinely a bother and the team love to see you getting the best out of your orders, that much is true.
They serve sandwiches (the smell of sizzling Northrops bacon for sarnies a couple of Sunday’s ago was the best smell in the world after beating the snow with my window wipers all the way into town to make a radio appearance ; ) and panini’ s as well as treats from Fitzbillies & Afternoon Tease. In fact, I tried my very first A.T. cake last time I visited and ordered the Chocolate Guinness Cake with cream cheese frosting... a heavy cake, certainly an indulgent treat, it was so delicious and my flat white alongside it perked me up for the rest of the afternoon ; )
Simon and his team are so friendly, always a smile on their faces and his passion for coffee shines through. If you visit them often enough or even visit their website, you will learn about Simon’s traveling and how he got hooked on coffee whilst visiting Australia, where he then searched out the best coffee & brewing equipment ready to bring his new passion back to the UK with him.
Whilst visitng the other day, I noticed some flasks and started to see almost a chemistry to the coffee making and I’m dying to learn more about this next time I visit... it really is a science and I’m personally very intrigued to know more about it.
Alongside the experiences he gained traveling, he also got a taste for good music and often hosts live music nights at Hot Numbers, with open mic nights, pop up events and guest singers previously including Cherry Lee Mewis, Hattie Whitehead, Dan Wilde, Atilla Vural and Ian Bailey.
So, what else is on the menu? Other than a Chai Latte, Hot Chocolate, Babychino, a selection of soft drinks, locally made sour dough (made by “Loaf for Life”) toast & jam, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate brownies, yogurt & granola, freshly baked croissants, cream cheese & salmon (from “The River Farm Smokery”) bagels, homemade soups ... the list could go on and on (and it changes regularly to keep you on your toes!)
You can even hire Hot Numbers as your very own private gig or events venue... I am tempted myself I must say, it’s a fab little place steeped in history - It’s very “Cambridge”.
With their recent expansion came seemingly a lot of wall space too, so instead of waste this, it’s been turned into a small art gallery within the confines of the coffee house. With local talent adorning the walls, you can browse and enjoy the artwork as you sip on your cup of El Platnillo and you can even buy it and take it away with you if you fall in love with it... what’s not to love?!... Simon is very creative, but very supportive of local business and talent, he makes it work perfectly.
If you haven’t yet been to Hot Numbers, I highly recommend that you do... head up (or down, depending on your location ; ) Mill Road, look for Gwydir Street and look up... note the stunning clock overhanging above the pavement and gravitate towards it... then step inside and you will never want to leave.
Hey, do what I do, take your work with you and make it your office for an hour or two, it’s got such a calming buzz, I do it myself from time to time and it's worth every penny.
Miss Sue Flay
Please Note - I'm not paid or bribed to say these things, I review places of interest and items of my own accord, because I'm simply THAT geeky about tea and cake and all things in between. I pay for my own food, drink, services & products, I don't tell the establishment or suppliers what I'm doing, unless I enjoy it so much that I want to blog about it. I then simply ask their permission to do so and I chat to them about my experience to make them aware that I (and others) have enjoyed it : )
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