Review: Tom’s Cakes

Rachel Rees Middleton 30 November 2016

4pm on a gloomy Friday night and my friend and I find ourselves in need of a pick me up. Preferably in the form of coffee and chocolate, not too far away from the comforts (?!) of the library but far enough away to forget the impending dissertation doom. Following a recommendation – shout out goes to Flora – we headed down Mill Road to the newly opened Tom’s Cakes.

Not going to lie, the selfish side of me would have written a terrible review, with the aim to keep this place secret from students. I would have imagined weak coffee, Mr Kipling cakes passed off as freshly baked and décor that took me back to memories of school bake sales. But being kind hearted and almost in the festive spirt, I’ll share with you the utter gem of a place that is Tom’s Cakes and urge you to stop whatever it is you’re doing and go there immediately.

Their counter offers a dazzling array of cakes, tray bakes, tarts and biscuits: so much choice that we stared in confusion for at least five minutes before eventually settling on a dark chocolate and raspberry tart and a slice of coffee and walnut cake. The coffee menu was thankfully shorter and we both opted for a simple flat white. As two northerners disillusioned with Cambridge prices, Tom’s Cakes comes in slightly cheaper than in-town alternatives.

Our excitement only increased as we sat down at one of their lovely wooden tables and we took out first bite of cake. The coffee and walnut cake was a decent sized slice, with hefty nutty chunks and the chocolate tart transported us back to brighter, French-patisserie eating days. The coffee, using beans from Monmouth Coffee Company, was no-nonsense and exactly what we needed.

Refreshingly, the café was not filled with students hunched away on laptops but rather parents treating their kids to an after-school snack. Clearly, the days of sherbet-dips and Freddos are long gone. As we were there late in the day, there were a range of goods available at discounted prices and the two cheese scones I bought made a great breakfast toasted the following morning. They also sell a range of nicely packaged cakes and biscuits including mince-pies and Christmas cake, which would both make lovely gifts.

If you’re looking for that post-term treat, I (begrudgingly) recommend this wonderful café. Thank me later.