The Senate

4.1
109 reviews
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£25 and under
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Modern European
Top tags:
  • Cosy
  • Casual
  • Scenic View
At the Senate, we pride ourselves on using fresh, seasonal, quality produce to uniquely craft a menu filled with homemade recipes and exciting dishes. We love the combination of bringing together family and friends with good food and drink. Our Lunch and Evening menu extends to a variety sharers and bigger bistro dishes. With a small but well-constructed wine list to compliment every dish and a refined cocktail list to suit all tastes. We are a small team at the Senate, and all believe in a relaxed, friendly, atmosphere with great service.
What 109 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PC
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I liked the informality. It wasn't a linen table napkin experience, but the occasion was all one would hope for from a friendly bistro on a busy Saturday evening.

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TF
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was a tiny bit slow but the staff were very friendly. Lively atmosphere, food was good, I had the tortellini, which was home made and while well filled and tasty it could have done with more of a sauce as was a little dry. The rest of the party enjoyed their food.

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H
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on 7 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this little place! The attention to detail is wonderful- in service, menu, and execution. It's an excellent space for a dinner date, or a business lunch/dinner. Cozy, but not cloying.

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B
London
3 reviews
Dined on 27 May 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Really disappointing. My husband's cod with mushrooms and samphire was ok - nothing special. I had a plate of charcuterie which was atrocious. It was promised with bread and chutney which suggested much more than what I actually got - thin slices of part baked supermarket baguette and branston pickle in a pot. The poor selection of meat had been emptied on a board with a salad that had spent too long in a bag at the back of a fridge and was definitely past its best. Very expensive for what it was.

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OT
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food good service and great location would highly recommend

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KA
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Excellent location in the heart of Cambridge and excellent variety on the menu. The calamari starter was wonderful and I wish it had been available as a main! Only downside is that it is very quiet inside and our table for 2 was in the middle of two other groups so I actually felt like my conversation could be heard very clearly which ruined the ambience for me sadly

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BR
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite pre-theatre dinner venue has never failed to deliver flavoursome food and the location is both convenient and thought provoking.

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MT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our lunch at The senate. The food was very good and the staff were very nice, attentive and helpful.

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LG
1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Senate was chosen for the menu which included a good variety of dishes. Everyone in the group enjoyed their food. The staff were attentive without being intrusive. This was a first visit for each of us, we all agreed we would eat here again. We had a great evening, thank you.

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AH
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We had an enjoyable evening. The staff are very welcoming and attentive. The food was good and our group enjoyed their meals.

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MD
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, service and atmosphere were excellent. Really enjoyable evening. Highly recommend. Will definitely eat here again.

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SB
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely ambience, great food and good service. Had a lovely evening.

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C
Cambridge
5 reviews
Dined on 29 April 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

The food was reasonably nice but the portion size of my meal (pork belly) was tiny! My friend has the cod and her portion size was normal. What i did have was quite tasty and nicely cooked. My friend was underwhelmed with hers. The wine was nice and the service was pleasant. I wouldn't risk it again because of the portion size and underwhelming food but if i did, I would come at lunchtime or at the weekend. We went on a Monday evening and it was completely empty (well literally one other person there) so lacked atmosphere and made you wonder what was wrong with it...

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R
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our table was reserved and waiting for us when we arrived! Right in the window! Their artisan cocktails were the best we had the whole time we were in England. Our server was so hospitable and helpful without being obtrusive. Our dinners were sublime- from the Mediterranean appetizer through entrees we ate every bite! I loved the pork belly and truffle dauphinois!

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d
London
9 reviews
Dined on 19 April 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

New chef got orders mixed up and we waited for 30 minutes for simple tapas whilst watching people who arrived after us get their food first. WiFi down so unable to take any card payments on Good Friday (!!!) so they took my boyfriend hostage while I walked to the bank to draw cash. Not the best lunch ever!

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M
London
6 reviews
Dined on 12 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I would highly recommend the Senate. It was amazing. We loved the burger, the cod and the venison. Service was also prompt and faultless. Thank you.

We will definitely be back soon.

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NT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 7 April 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food and friendly, attentive staff. However it was not necessary to put on piped music when the conversation was already loud. This made it very hard to hear my companion on the other side of the small table. It was also overheated and we both started coughing at one point. Only relieved when someone came in and left the door open.

Still an overall positive experience. The defects could easily be fixed!

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RC
London
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was great and the various allergies/intolerances of members of our group were dealt with sympathetically and with good humour. Really excellent service throughout, I would definitely return.

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FB
Dorset
1 review
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We booked last minute for a table for 10 on a Saturday. Despite the large group, service was efficient and staff very accommodating. Great night was had by all.

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SS
Edinburgh
2 reviews
Dined on 29 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a lovely meal. The calamari was outstanding. Thank you.

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JS
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 20 March 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went pre theatre and were the only booking. The staff were great, attentive gave good recommendations. We shared some starters which were delicious - chorizo, calamari and potato’s bravos.
The wine was lovely and paired well, the mains were substantial and tasty. Sadly we ran out of time for dessert due to theatre. Would definitely go there again.

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RE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant with varied menu. Would definitely go again when we visit Cambridge.

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OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Tried the Senate tonight (Weds), as a change from our usual favourites, after some decent reviews on here: pretty disappointed to be honest. Pheasant pate starter was bland, the ‘baguette’ had clearly been frozen and sadly not de-frosted well enough - it was like rock (no cornichons in sight either, for the record). The chicken part of the Ballotine was OK, nice Dijon sauce, sadly the potatoes were significantly undercooked (genuinely hard in places). The fish cake starter was better, the burger OK (but you will find 5 places within a mile that are better). Service was pretty decent, although a couple did walk in whilst we were there, and left again before any staff acknowledged them: awkward... Ummm... I’m going back to Trinity, Parker’s Tavern, Pint Shop, etc...

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DW
London
3 reviews
Dined on 10 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first trip to the Senate and was very impressed. The service and food were excellent and with a window table we had a wonderful view as the sun came out. Just about to book another table for our next trip to see our son at his request!

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AH
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time for 5 of us here. We loved the relaxed feel of this place – definitely would return to try more dishes. The cheesy chilli prawn starter was fab and the Moules Mariniere main was superb. Similar sounds of deliciousness came from the rest of our table for fish n chips and Pumpkin & sage tortelloni Pasta. Excellent work wine selection too. Great service too from our waitress and chef/proprietor came to our table to see if we’d had a good evening too. Nice touch. We’ll be back.

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OT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 8 March 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

Food & service were excellent but let down by the back street cafe style decor & okayish toilets.

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ED
London
1 review
Dined on 3 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lively atmosphere . Attentive service and excellent food

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 2 March 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food,excellent service.We booked to eat prior to going to the theatre.Just as well as by the time we left they were turning people away it was so popular.

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JS
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really lovely, great location, nice atmosphere, I’d go again.

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TB
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

We were in the back room near the kitchen. A bit too hot ! Although it was better when we asked to turn the A/C on. Very good service, friendly, knowledgeable.

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JR
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 1

It’s just very quiet. But we enjoyed. Did feel like people were listening to our conversations

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DC
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service. Food is good, but not what I'd call 'fine dining'. Great location and reasonable price considering it is in the centre of Cambridge.

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OT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The place itself was lovely. My date really enjoyed his food. I did not. I wanted to just I just didn’t. I also felt that they were severed under staffed. There seemed to be one waiter on shift which is sad for such a good restaurant. She was so obliging and pleasant though. I really liked her.

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CB
Norfolk
2 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The vegan options worked but the fish choice was a bit small and the new potatoes hard.

However the sticky toffee pudding was outstanding

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S
Seattle
1 review
Dined on 16 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous service and incredible meal! One of my favorite places to eat in Cambridge!

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JR
Cambridge
5 reviews
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience from start to finish. Staff were friendly, service was excellent and detailed. Our food was delicious, well prepared and presented. Highly recommend.

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MB
1 review
Dined on 18 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely spot for lunch. Menu offers great variety with some fabulous rarely seen options (raclette!)

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OT
Cambridge
3 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Food was okay some parts better then others. It’s not a big space so when you have a very noisy table it spoils the atmosphere. The price is quite expensive especially for the food being hit and miss. The service was quick and our waitress was lovely and extremely professional for only her third shift!

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C
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The main courses were ok but nothing special. The starters need a complete overhaul; there was nothing on the menu that I was tempted by and as for the chilli cheese prawns, this is the sort of dish I’d expect from a trashy American diner. However, the real thing to note is that the wines are outrageously priced and start at about £35 for a basic bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which might cost £7 in a supermarket. The Rioja was even more ludicrously priced at over £40. Their prices insulted our intelligence. Unfortunately we were hosting so this rip off couldn’t be sidestepped.
Nice staff. Very basic venue / decor. We won’t be returning there and don’t expect it to survive unless rethought.

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BR
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On our latest visit we took along friends visiting for the weekend, including one who is Vegan/Gluten Free. And just on the other occasions we all left very satisfied and happy. We shall return.

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