Saturday, August 12, 2006

1of 6

Michaelhouse, originally uploaded by Neorelix.

There are exactly six great coffee bars in Cambridge. There are probably a hundred places to get coffee but only six are great. They are, of course, all independent and they are great for different reasons - and not necessarily for the coffee (although in each it is far better than in any of the chains). This one is the Michaelhouse Centre, created from the shell of a redundant church in the centre of town. It was sympathetically restored a couple of years ago and at the same time they designed a unique space for a small restaurant / cafe. The result is a modern and sophisticated bistro which retains an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Sitting, coffee in one hand, book in the other, under the arches of the nave arcade in comfy chairs is utter bliss. People are definitely quieter and more polite here too - I wonder why...? The nave doubles as an exhibition space for local artists and photographers. Equally importantly they've enclosed and refurbed the chancel and side-chapel, reopening them as consecrated areas for worship. Read more here.