Review: Indigo Coffee House

Eliza Killpack 13 May 2014

My first trip to Indigo was as a fledgling fresher in the first week of Michaelmas term. Though it’s nestled just off King’s Parade, I got lost on my way there, not knowing down which cobbled street to turn. In a world of Starbucks and Costa franchises, it stands as an alternative beacon for anyone with any qualms about the tax-dodging tactics of the big brands. As a trade-off, it’s the kind of place where complete strangers feel it is okay to talk to you. Make of that what you will. Some might find it the most homely place in Cambridge, with its mismatched furniture and awkwardly steep, creaking staircase. Others would have an issue with being able to hear everyone else’s conversations. Nevertheless, it is my favourite place to people watch, since it tends to attract off-the-wall artsy types (so there’s lots of potential material for Overheard in Cambridge). What’s more, I once saw Lenny Henry in there…

One wall downstairs, features an array of foreign banknotes to rival the most well-travelled hipster, and a sign that reads of “A charge of £1 will be levied for the incorrect use of the word ‘literally’”, which may either evoke a knowing smile or eye-rolling in the pretentiousness of it all, depending on your view. Highlights of Indigo for me are their hot chocolate, which tastes like the good stuff your mum made you when you were a kid, and chocolate crispy cakes like the kind you get from a school fete (in the best way possible). I also recommend trying a tuna melt, which, if you eat in, comes with a salad and crisps on the side for the complete taste-of-home feel.

Despite the overt desire to appear quirky, I really like Indigo. It’s relatively cheap, especially if you get something to take away, and a good place to escape to if you don’t like the more commercialised places. It’s a welcoming slice of comforting homeliness in a city that can seem more than a little overwhelming.