There are a great many places to eat out in and around Cambridge. One of the best ways of making friends and getting to know people is to sit around a table over a good meal and discuss topics of mutual interest and concern. I find that it's easy to go to events, concerts, films, but unless you sit around and have a good talk, you can enjoy the event for what it was, but it then just floats away in the flotsam and jetsam of life. I've organised Meetup events in the past and been surprised how many participants have treated these simply as things that they are doubtless pleased someone has told them about and organised, but they don't even make the effort to "meet up" afterwards. Why bother? This Group would be for you if you'd like to find out a little more about the people that you are meeting, and talk also about yourself.
I've got several friends in Cambridge whom I have met through Meetup groups, where we did indeed "meet up", talk and get to know each other at a variety of events. Also, as a former academic who greatly enjoys the pleasure of sharing a meal in a collegiate environment or meeting friends over a meal or coffee or during a walk where we have a conversation, I have wondered, "Why not extend this to a Meetup group?" One of the great features of Oxbridge that makes them so productive and stimulating is that the environment does stimulate discussion and a sharing of ideas. But surely this should not be unique to an Oxbridge College?
This Group would be for you if you enjoy conversation; finding subjects of mutual interest and discussing them; finding out about other people and sharing some of your own experience with them; talking about what is happening in the world and sharing ideas as to what might be done about it. Doubtless you'll have opinions (who doesn't?) and you might well like others to share those opinions. You might find that by coming along and talking with people, you'll meet others who do indeed share your opinions. However, it would help if we all realised that being open to alternative opinions is the lifeblood of an open mind and perhaps also an open society. By sitting down over a shared meal, there would be some focus: "breaking bread" is a feature of many religions, not just Christianity, but it could be argued it's a feature because sharing our food also draws us together.
People are themselves interesting, perhaps indeed the most interesting and varied of subjects. We've all got our own experiences, our own skills, our own expertise (and our own failings). We might like to share those with others and they may be delighted that you're willing to share that with them. However, it may be worth asking, "Am I uniquely interesting? Surely this person to whom I have talked for the last hour may have done something that I would find interesting?" Even I try to do that occasionally; it's perhaps for others to tell me if I have been successful.
There will be no joining fee or meeting fee for events. The only rule on payment is that everyone will be responsible for their own costs for the occasion: food, drink and tip. I do not want to spend hours before every event organising food and payment, nor shall I be guarantor for the events. We'll clear the bill before anyone leaves.