My name is Val. I’m a student at the University of Cambridge getting my MPhil in Medieval History (the coolest subject ever). I research things that were primarily written in what is now a dead language (sorry, Latin, I still love you), and read scholarship in languages I kind of sort of maybe understand, y’know, just to make sure I’m not writing a dissertation that’s already been written. Reading and writing things about dead people can, understandably, drive most people bonkers. I am already slightly bonkers, so this is not an issue, however I do occasionally need to step outside and get some sunshine (especially in England, where the rumors – sorry, rumours – are true and people are genuinely shocked when it’s sunny for two days in a row). While I’m outside recharging my vitamin D levels, I crave pie, cake, hot chocolate, and cookies. Oh sweet mother of pie, what I wouldn’t do for a cookie. Or any amazing dessert for that matter. I’m from Brooklyn, which means I have been spoiled throughout my life with kickass bakeries within extremely close reach of home. New York City is flooded with some of the greatest cupcakes, cookies, and nutellasagna (the most ridiculously delicious intentional joke to go viral) on the planet, and Cambridge has some lovely places as well. I want to tell you about these places so that you can avoid tourist traps, and so that you can support businesses that are wheelchair-accessible.
Because here’s the thing: some places have steps, and I use a wheelchair. I’m not talking about asking you to avoid the places that are way up a flight of stairs because the building’s old and the business owners can’t help it. I mean to just ignore the places with one or two steps, where the owners didn’t feel the need to invest in a $200 portable ramp. In short, the places that want my business without having to let me into their business. I used to be okay with it. A chocolatier in my neighborhood had one step – one – to enter his shop. It was too high for me to pop a wheelie to get in. I asked if he would get a portable ramp. Repeatedly. And I bought something each time, shouting my order from the door, even though he said he wouldn’t get one, because I liked the product. He had excuses, of course. “Where would I put it? My store’s so small” was the main one (hey, y’know, they fold, and it’s not like I’m asking you to remodel your store). One day I asked if he’d get a ramp (because it was summertime now and it was really freaking hot outside), and he said, “Nope!” with such a flippant attitude that I left and haven’t gone back. It was messed up that a business that clearly made no effort to help a regular just GET INTO THE DAMN STORE still expected my patronage. Uh-uh. No. We’re done here. Bye.
And by the way, given my chocolate obsession, that ramp would’ve paid for itself in half a year at most.
Which brings me to this blog. I do not own an accessible bakeshop. I do, however, know where you can find them. I’m going to highlight the places I think have delicious stuff, post pictures, and give a shout out when they go out of their way to make sure the mobility-impaired get to eat cookies too. If a place is awesome, but I can’t get in there, then it won’t get mentioned. Sorry, if I can’t get in, then I can’t review it. Let your able-bodied internet friends recommend it for you. I’m starting in Cambridge, because I have an exam coming up and a dissertation to write, and boy will I need cake to get me through it.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!