Cocktails and cappuccinos

There’s nothing more indulgent than a boozy brunch: here’s where to go in Cambridge for a late morning feast with attitude 

Best for barbecue lovers: Millworks 

Perched on the edge of the Mill Pond, MillWorks is part of the Cambscuisine collection of restaurants which includes favourites like the Chop Houses and The Cock at Hemingford Grey. Get your brunch off to a flying start with Sweeney Todd’s Bloody Mary, which can be tailored with your choice of spirit, or get stuck into a steaming pot of Hot Numbers coffee.

The brunch menu includes a behemoth of a full English breakfast, with smoked streaky bacon, sausages, black pudding, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms and toasted sourdough – plus a helping of MillWorks’ lavish, pulled meat BBQ beans. There’s more slow-cooked, meaty joy to be had with beef brisket on toast, plus stateside-inspired pancakes with bacon or chicken waffles with maple syrup.

Best for riverside frolics and people watching: Café Foy 

With a prime location on Quayside, Café Foy is a lovely spot for brunch with a gaggle of friends, especially on a sunny day when you can snap up a table outside overlooking the river. It may only have been open since last spring, but this pretty cafe has become a favourite with foodies for its epic toasties and luxury Scotch eggs. For brunch, you can keep it virtuous with home-made granola, or indulge with a grilled ham and cheese croissant.

There’s also scrambled eggs on toast with sausages from Radmore Farm, plus smashed avocado on toast with grilled halloumi. A mimosa will set you back £4, or there are Bloody Marys for £6 a piece. Those in possession of a student card can take advantage of a brunch for £10 deal which includes eggs on toast with salmon or eggs on toast with bacon and sausage, with either a Bloody Mary or a mimosa.

Best for daytime Prosecco sessions: The Petersfield

There’s a lot to love about The Petersfield, with its cosy decor, welcoming atmosphere, abundance of board games and suntrap courtyard. From 11am to 4pm, Saturdays are all about brunch and bubbles – with the option for adding bottomless prosecco to your brekkie dish of choice for £19.95. Food-wise, tuck into smoked salmon bagels, poached eggs on English muffins, bubble and squeak with haddock – the stacks of buttermilk pancakes are unmissable too.

There’s usually a lively atmosphere at this Sturton Street pub come Saturday afternoon, so you’ll be tempted to stay and continue indulging – but if you’re after a change of scenery, mosey up the road for a pint at Calverley’s Brewery.

Best for sophisticated food in a relaxed setting: Cambridge Cookery

Airy and laid-back with a Scandinavian vibe, Cambridge Cookery has been picking up fans with its excellent weekend bistro nights. But did you know it also does a mean line of brunches? The menu takes inspiration from around the world – from Swedish platters of pickled herring, dark rye and Västerbotten mature cheese, to Turkish-style poached eggs in hot chilli butter with homemade sourdough bread. There’s also porridge adorned with seasonal fruits, pancakes, French toast and all sorts of freshly baked pastries to be enjoyed. Drinks include fizz, Aperol Spritz and Bloody Marys.

 Image: Charlotte Griffiths

Best for a celebratory city centre brunch: Fitzbillies

Part of Cambridge life since 1920, Fitzbillies is a local institution most famous for its cakes and legendary sticky buns. But have you heard that the original Trumpington Street cafe is also an in-the-know brunch gem? Pull up a chair in the cheery cafe and feast on fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup, (or Chelsea bun syrup if you’d rather!), minute steak with eggs and caper salsa or steaming bowls of spicy shakshuka.

The Full Fitzbillies – with its plump sausages (sourced from Mill Road Butchers), thick slices of sourdough toast, smoked bacon and chunky hash browns takes some beating, plus there’s veggie and vegan options. Wash it all down with mimosas, bellinis and Bloody Marys. Brunch is served from opening until 4pm. 

Best for brunch with a view: Six at The Varsity

For sheer wow factor, the sixth-floor restaurant at The Varsity Hotel is hard to beat. Sip on a spiced Bloody Mary or a Breakfast Martini (with marmalade!) while you admire panoramic views of the Cambridge skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. You might even be lucky enough to snap up a seat on the balcony in summer. Either way, you’ll dine in style at this gorgeous eaterie, where the brunch menu is served on weekends until 2pm. The bestseller is the smashed avocado with poached eggs and chilli flakes on sourdough. 

Best for a special occasion brunch: Parker's Tavern

The Parker’s Tavern website proclaims: ‘A good breakfast is the jewel in the crown of British feasting’. We couldn’t agree more. It’s no surprise they go to town on the brunch offering at this swanky city centre hotel, but the good news is you don’t have to be a guest to join the late-morning fun.

Full English, waffles, pancakes, porridge and more can be enjoyed in the old school cool of the restaurant, with Bloody Marys and Buck’s Fizz to slake your thirst. 

Best for vinyl fans and Romsey towners: Relevant Record Café 

Buzzing with brunchers every weekend, Relevant Records Café on Mill Road welcomes those in search of food, drink and good music.

Tuck into the zingy sriracha Eggs Relevant or try the warming, chorizo-studded Mexican brekkie.

Prosecco is served by the bottle or glass and, post-brunch, you can make your way downstairs and have a pootle around the retro-style record shop.