How do you celebrate one of the best days of the year? Food is always high on my list on my birthday, often combined with travel. Since I only had returned from a 3.5 weeks holiday to Malaysia and Singapore, I decided not to travel far this time.
My birthday was this year on Friday, and as my other half had to work that day, I decided to have lunch in one of my favourite restaurants in Cambridge, Restaurant 22. As always, lunch was impeccable! Fantastic food and friendly and attentive service. What else do you need? More of it of course! I am brewing up an excuse to go back soon.
Celebrating your birthday on a Friday is the perfect excuse for extended birthday celebrations. On Saturday we headed off to my favourite beach, Titchwell in Norfolk. I love the peaceful marshes with the dramatic views of the reed, which lead to a stunning wide beach. It reminds me of back home, Friesland in the Netherlands, where I grew up.
From Cambridge, it is less than 2 hours drive so perfect for a day trip. We booked a table for lunch at the dog-friendly Titchwell Manor and popped in for a cup of coffee before lunch. I was slightly peckish and much to my surprise, they served delicious petit fours with our coffee. The salted caramel deserves a special mention. Yum, I could have had buckets of it. Before lunch, we walked along Gypsy Land to the beach and on our second walk after lunch, through the bird reserve. It was a beautiful day, and we regretted we had to head back to Cambridge. It would have been nice to curl up around the roaring fire at Titchwell Manor with a glass of wine and visit Cley next the Sea the next day.
There was an important reason we had to get back to Cambridge as we were invited at Estefania and Frank for Sunday Lunch the next day. Estefania had been busy the day before hosting a music and Tapas evening at the Cambridge Wine Merchants in Cherry Hinton Road.
Sunday Lunch was a collaboration between Frank and Estefania as she had been busy the night before. Spanish Tapas and American slow-cooked pork on the Weber BBQ, but there was more! Estefania had been truffle hunting in Spain the other day and had kept a few for our Sunday Lunch. She knows I love truffle so as a birthday surprise she cooked us a delicious pasta dish with lots of grated truffles paired with a fantastic bottle of Godina 2016 Garnacha Campo de Borja from the area where she comes from, Aragon.
Estefania has been a friend for many years, and she is an excellent chef, specialising in Spanish food. You can often see Que Rico Tapas popping up at the Cambridge Wine Merchants in Cherry Hinton with wine pairing dinners and Sunday Tapas lunches. She is also a private chef, so if you don’t fancy cooking, Estefania will come to your house and cook up a feast. One of the best parts, besides the delicious food, is a clean kitchen afterwards.
Estefania has written a blog about her truffle hunting experience in Moncayo, and you can find a few truffle recipes on here too.
Keen to cook with truffles at home? Culinaris and Limoncello in Mill Road sell it when it is in season and The Cambridge Cheese Company stock it during the festive season in December.