A love letter to Mill Road

 
1 - Low autumn sun.jpeg
 
 

Moving into our offices on Cambridge’s vibrant Mill Road was a big deal for Sookio. It's Cambridge, but not the Cambridge from the postcards. This is the real, the gritty, the boho underbelly of what can otherwise be a pretty straight-laced town.

Clients find every reason to visit us on a Friday afternoon and wind down for the week, but there's been trouble in paradise lately.

blaze.jpg

A much-publicised closure of Mill Road Bridge, with associated cheeky roadworks, raised an eyebrow or two from business owners.

Fate wasn’t done dealing its dodgy hand. Not long after, a shop fire broke out, gutting the road’s iconic electrics shop, H Gee. We got off relatively lightly, but the response from the Mill Road community has been phenomenal.

Local supermarkets teamed up with the Salvation Army to make sarnies for the 90-something firefighters on-site (salute to them all). The Islamic Centre sheltered those evacuated from their homes. Our Director was even invited to set up shop in the (miraculously?) unscathed St Barnabas Church.

Times like this bring out a hundred stories of simple human kindness, and it got us thinking how lucky we are to be part of Cambridge’s best worst-kept secret. Why wouldn’t we be chuffed when we’ve got things on our doorstep like:

Food… so much food!

DtQqaxmVAAAxPT8.jpg

Morning, noon, or night, Mill Road is a famously spot-on choice for a bite of grub. Everyone has their faves, but new locations are always opening to tempt you with a fresh cuisine or unique spin on a classic.

Spots which have earned the Sookio seal of approval over the years include:

Hot Numbers for a coffee and something sweet. Their breakfasts ain’t shabby either, these guys do it all.

Garden Kitchen for a taste of fresh, lovingly produced lunch; there’s something new on the menu every day.

Culinaris, whose deli sandwiches swept through the office like a craze. While you’re there, pick up some ingredients to spice up your dinner.

Urban Larder, whose doughnuts take the cake. Also a winning spot for warming soups and toasties the size of surfboards.

Bedouin, whose tagines are a culinary dream, whether as a quick lunch or a sit-down meal with pals.

A rich, living history

Like us, the people of Mill Road are proud to be here. Unlike us, many have been here their whole lives, some for generations. Where Cambridge can be a transient city in places, Mill Road knows its roots.

Groups like the Mill Road History Society keep this knowledge alive with events, news, and a regular stream of pictures from times gone by.

If you’re more of a hands-on historian, perhaps with a taste for the macabre, Mill Road Cemetery is a Grade II listed site, tucked away behind the hustle and bustle. A stroll here among the wildlife, artwork, and memories can be truly humbling.

Whether you’re new to this end of town or reconnecting with where you come from, Mill Road holds its own alongside Cambridge’s most historic institutions.

Many a characterful pub

When Friday rolls around and you’ve earned yourself a drink, Mill Road has any crowd of any size fully covered. Our team are fully committed to supporting local businesses, particularly these ones:

The Devonshire Arms, a regular haunt with spacious seating, authentic vibe… and a sword behind the bar, so you know there’ll be no bother.

The Salisbury Arms, slightly off Mill Road, but worth a three-minute walk for the charming décor and friendly greeting you’re assured.

The Petersfield is where we go when we’re feeling fancy. An ultra-modern pub which pays loving homage to the rustic roots of the English boozer.

The Cambridge Blue, without which no list of this type is complete. A staggering range of beers, ales, and spirits secure its place in the annals of seshdom.

196 Cocktail Bar for a refined after-work refreshment in a bijou of a building. Delicious antipasto to boot.

All the fun of the fair

DtWIjSrWkAEHnUM.jpg

Closing the road isn’t always a matter of consternation, and community spirit isn’t just for when times are hard. It’s just as important to celebrate the people who make this wonderful place tick.

You’re always running into friends here, but for a full day each winter, everyone downs tools and comes together for Mill Road Winter Fair. This volunteer-run extravaganza raises the bar each year with live music, crafts, and market stalls.

There’s something for all the family. While some think the Fair is a centuries-old tradition, the first was hosted as recently as 2005.

More evidence, if any were needed, that Cambridge is still a place where traditions are born.

Sookio loves Mill Road

This is just the merest whiff of the vibe in which we work. Surrounded by the sights, sounds, and colourful cast of characters, we can’t help but feel consistently inspired.

Why not come visit us and see for yourself?