The town of Cambridge has existed for well over a thousand years, its name now synonymous with that of the university it acquired in 1209. Cambridge was the second university to be established in England and was founded by academics from the first - Oxford. These learned scholars came to escape the wrath of the enraged townspeople of Oxford, whom they confronted in frequent brawls.
The new arrivals found that their relations with the citizens of Cambridge were as turbulent as those they had left behind and it was not until King Henry III extended his protection and arranged for the students to be properly housed that some measure of order was restored. Subsequent monarchs continued to support the university and it was with their assistance that great colleges such as Peterhouse, Clare, Pembroke, and King's were built.
By the sixteenth century, when Henry VIII established Trinity College, Cambridge had become one of the great centers of learning in the western world. There were thousands of young men living in the town, both full-time students preparing for degrees and others who came for shorter periods to profit from the intellectual life of the university.
Today, Cambridge remains one of the leading universities of the world. Strolling amidst the magnificent medieval buildings it is easy to forget that this is still a place at the forefront of research and learning, where many of the discoveries that will transform the world are still being made.
Hordes of tourist rub shoulders with students in the streets of Cambridge, with people coming from around the world to admire the fabulous architecture and learn the remarkable history of the town and university.
The river Cam is a beautiful sight running right through the city. Many of the old college buildings back onto it with lovely stone bridges connecting them. Punts bob along on the water providing a good way to admire the sights from the vantage point of the river.
Punting is a very popular activity, sometimes creating quite a traffic jam on the river! If you've never tried your hand at this before, best not to attempt it now. You can easily hire one and enjoy drifting leisurely along the river letting an expert guide your way.
The lovely parks along the banks of the river bring the countryside right to the city. Pack a picnic, find a bench or spread a blanket on the grass like the students and while away a pleasant afternoon, watching the punts glide by.
Chicken salad sandwiches, with a whiff of curry are a delicious British twist to the classic and perfect for a picnic! For a stronger curry flavour, just increase the amount of curry powder. A spoonful of sweet mango chutney or fresh mint chutney blended into the salad will add even more character and flavour! If you'd like to make scones to go with your sandwiches, try my recipe here.
Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 big piece)
4 cups water
1/4 cup each: mayonnaise, Greek style plain yogurt or Middle Eastern style Labneh (yogurt)
2 tbsp each, finely chopped: red onion, red bell pepper, celery, fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp each: curry powder, grainy Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
8 slices sandwich bread (white or whole wheat), crusts cut off
Place chicken and water in deep saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 min, turning chicken once in between.
Remove chicken to plate and cool to room temperature for 15 min. Reserve chicken broth for future use in soups or stews. Shred chicken into fine thin strands and place in large mixing bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients except bread, to chicken. Mix well to combine.
Spread chicken mixture equally onto four slices of bread, top with remaining four slices and press down gently to hold filling in place. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half, arrange on a platter and serve.
Makes 4 sandwiches