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Live jazz on menu for new Gonville Hotel terrace sessions




Musicians entertain visitors on the terrace at the Gonville Hotel. From left are Louis Thorne, Robin Phillips and Sam Miles. Picture: Keith Heppell
Musicians entertain visitors on the terrace at the Gonville Hotel. From left are Louis Thorne, Robin Phillips and Sam Miles. Picture: Keith Heppell

Live music is back on the menu on Fridays and Saturdays at the Gonville Hotel in Cambridge.

The hotel overlooking Parker’s Piece is hosting jazz sessions on the terrace as part of its relaunch offering.

“We’ve been working with musicians for four years,” says Gonville Hotel general manager and director Edward Adshead. “We had Saturday nights live at the Gonville bar, then a live Instagram feed during lockdown.

“Following the closure of the Cotto restaurant, we didn’t feel that model was sustainable after the decision decision to wind that company down. There were 34 staff being wound down so it was quite sad.

“Since then we’ve redesigned for the new normal.

“The terrace in front of the Cotto was not often used but we’ve now got a new menu and we managed to get the musicians who used to play indoors, to play outdoors and it was brilliant - we have more than 100 guests in total for the weekend. There’s lots of locals dying to get out and we have a new terrace menu.”

The Gonville Hotel lit up for an Enchanted Cinema outdoor screening
The Gonville Hotel lit up for an Enchanted Cinema outdoor screening

The newly reinvigorated terrace area is open from 11.30am to 6.30pm, with salads, lobster, light bites on the menu. After 6.30pm a full evening menu is available.

“We’re using staff from the Cotto,” adds Edward. “Cotto went into liquidation, and now we’ve thrown out a bit of a lifeline and brought some roles across to work on the new project on the terrace, so we’ve saved ten jobs and may reemploy more.”

The musicians are led by Robin Philips.

“He connects with young musicians - he has a new album out too actually,” notes Edward. “He’s got a double bass player and a saxophonist playing, he’s something of a music expert and we’d like to start working on our musical scope, and add more days, there’s nothing like it in the city.”

The reopening of the city centre couldn’t have arrived faster for Edward. The Gonville is also hosting outdoor cinema screenings in partnership with Enchanted Cinema. The next is tomorrow (July 31) with Rocketman. On Saturday (August 1) the film is The Great Gatsby, and on Sunday (August 2) it’s The Shape of Water.

Other screenings are taking place throughout August and September.

“What we’re doing reinvigorates people’s desire to stay here,” Edward concludes. “The whole restaurant is lit up and it’s such a joy.”



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