I’ve walked by Fitzbillies for three years. I always knew it was a Cambridge institution (90 years old!), it looks like one, but I never actually went in. It’s on the opposite side of town which is part of the reason. Then, all of a sudden a year ago, it closed. Even British comedian Stephen Fry tweeted about this sad event “No!No! Say it ain’t so – not Fitzbillies? Why I tweeted a pic of one of their peerless Chelsea buns but a six months ago.” This is what happens when locals like us don’t support so called institutions.
Well today we noticed it has not only reopened but got a much needed face lift. A couple (one of which is a food writer) bought it and fixed it up. They were also given the recipe for what makes Fitzbillies so famous, its super sticky sticky buns.
The place is now no longer just a bakery. The building it is in is a grade 2 listed art deco frontage which has remained untouched. Inside half of the walls are covered in a beautiful light blue tile with coffee cups the exact same colour. One side has been turned into a restaurant which serves good simple food on weekends only. The other side is a coffee shop which also sells icecream.
We sat down around 8.30 am and it was busy. Hot chocolate, a sticky bun to share and we sat on two empty wooden stools around a large communal light wooden table. The sticky bun is good – dangerously so. The syrup is dripped down the sides and if I hadn’t just had breakfast I could have eaten a full one, or maybe even two. The Hot chocolate was taken from a little pot and mixed with hot milk. I enjoyed it, it was simple, a little bit sweet but gave me the little kick I needed to start the day.
Verdict: I like the new version of Fitzbillies better than the last. It is beautiful and fresh and the hot chocolate was a perfect start to the day. Fitzbillies, 52 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, UK.http://www.fitzbillies.com