Bookish Break at the University Arms Cambridge

Roger Hermiston and Eileen Wise take a mini-break at the University Arms Cambridge, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard.

It’s a bibliophile’s dream, a stay at the beautifully renovated University Arms Hotel on Cambridge’s Regent Street. It starts as soon as you approach the reception desk to check-in, for there on a marbled turquoise tile at your feet is a delightful illustration of Badger, Toad and Ratty from Kenneth Grahame’s classic Wind in the Willows.

Alert book lovers will spot that the tile’s accompanying text – and presumably its exhortation to guests and staff alike – is not actually from the mouths of one of these three memorable characters, but instead from the pages of that other children’s classic Winnie The Pooh, written of course by Trinity College man A.A.Milne. ‘A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference’ is the line uttered by Eeyore the donkey, characteristically morose when his favourite thistles were being trampled upon.

The literary theme continues the length and breadth of the University Arms. Over the concierge’s desk is a photograph of an off-duty Winston Churchill, straw boater on head and cigar clamped to mouth – the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. Pay a visit to the Ladies or Gents off the lobby and you will be startled to hear the voice of Alan Bennett booming out from the walls as you go about your business, the author/ actor reading in doleful, Eeyorian fashion from his famous recording of the Wind in the Willows.