The Senate

4.0
73 reviews
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£25 and under
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Modern European
Top tags:
  • Casual
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Modern European, Bistro, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of Operation
Monday: 11:30 - 15:00
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday- Thursday 11:30- 21:00
Friday - Saturday: 11:30 - 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 - 17:00

The kitchen stops serving 1 hour before closing
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Phone number
01223 315641
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Payment Options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Cross Street
Kings Parade
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Public Transit
Nearest bus stop opp Bene't Street
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Special Events & Promotions
For christmas Bookings & enquiries, please contact


01223 315641
bookings@thesenatebistro.com
Additional
Cafe, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 73 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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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
2 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
3 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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OT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I want to say first and foremost that I think the staff were friendly and well intentioned,but sadly not well trained and slow to engage.The waitress was in jeans,the waiter heavy with face jewellery.The tables were so close together that my husband was unable to squeeze into his chair (and he's not overweight) and had to point this out.The waitress bumped my chair every time she served the next table,but omitted to apologise.The door on an October night was left wedged open and it took another customer to thankfully close it.Our small table was not cleared so that at one point we had 6 glasses,a wine bucket and our plates vying for position.Our white wine was served in a metal bucket but without ice and the waitress merely smiled when she saw my husband use the ice from his preprandial drink.She failed to pour the wine at all and placed it on the tiny table before we had finished our first drinks.Although my husband enjoyed his wild boar pasta dish,my chicken escalope was small and dry and unappetising and the chips appeared very ordinary and with no obvious sign of the Parmesan and truffle garnish described.Our cheese board had a good variety and was well presented.The best moment of the night was when the waiter noticed that it was our anniversary and served us a nightcap on the house which was really appreciated.As I said,I think the intention was there.......

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P
Miami
11 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very enjoyable

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GC
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

An excellent venue, very helpful staff - well recommended.
Since we were a party of ten people, probably making far too much noise, had we not been there the noise levels would have been nice and quiet

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VT
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We had really high expectations for this restaurant but came away pretty disappointing with the overall experience.

Service overall was pretty poor with 2 standout incidences.
The first was a small request for extra bread with the starter (as it was being shared) - The bread took over 10 minutes to come by which time the food was cold. The extra bread they eventually bought over was also still frozen. Sent back and gave up trying to finish our starter. (This is knocked off the bill which was appreciated).
The second incident was the language being used by the chefs. We didn't really need to hear them casually swearing loudly in conversation and you'd expect better given they were in full sight and earshot of where we were sat (due to there being an open serving window in the back room of the restaurant). The whole thing felt wholly unprofessional.

You'd expect a high level of service & professional conduct if you are paying premium prices. A disappointing experience overall.

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s
Yorkshire
4 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

We got off to a bad start. Two mains choices were not available. Not good planning. What was left on the menu was not great but okay. Lamb burger was small though tasty. Minute steak what it was. Wine and coffee ok. Probably we felt a place for younger diners than ourselves!

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BR
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second visit and it did not disappoint. Love the food and the service and the view of historic Cambridge adds to the overall experience. We plan to take friends with us next time we go as it is a very convenient pre-theatre dinner venue.

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M
Warwickshire
3 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Booked ahead with Open Table lunch for pre theatre lunch four.and had a lovely table with a view of The University Senate.Worth booking as not many tables in the view facing room. Tables soon filled.
We opted for the set lunch menu - fritto misto was excellent. Chorizo skewers - tasty but tiny portion of 2 very short ones. Pumpkin filled Tortellini - pasta rather dense but dish very filling. Cumberland sausage (2) portion size reflected the fair set lunch price. Service very pleasant but with only one waitress rather slow and 2 courses plus coffee took 1.5 hrs plus a wait for the bill.
Overall, tasty food with buzzy cafe vibe. Would try a la carte another time - if not in a hurry!

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BM
London
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Perfect for Sunday breakfast with a group of friends with a stunning backdrop

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SH
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great view and great location would recommend for anyone looking for good food, simple but full menu with great choice of drinks.

Recommend great addition to Cambridge

Steve

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Great location and friendly and attentive service. Main course chicken escalope was dry and inedible - we sent it back back they didn’t want to take it off the bill. Shame as it means we won’t go back and won’t recommend.

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LP
London
4 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, lovely location

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OT
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Food quality extremely poor. Fish platter seemed shop bought, nothing fresh. Minute steak was small and overcooked. Tortellini also seemed shop bought, or at least the pasta didn't seem fresh, and the dish was doused in butter. Service was okay, but nothing could mask the poor quality of the food.

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y
1 review
Dined on 19 July 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The atmosphere is amazing, especially when sitting outside. Right in the heart of the Cambridge. Unfortunately, the meal took much, much longer than it should. The kitchen took too long. The food was delicious, but having waited close to an hour and a half for our entree after placing the order, most people were tired and couldn’t truly enjoy it.

The wait staff was also not as mindful of empty drink glasses as they should have been. Especially given how long we had to wait for the meal to come out. Nothing worse than no food and empty glasses while enjoying dinner with a group.

Given the wait, definitely would NOT recommend this for people on a schedule, especially if you are going before an event, or if you are particularly hungry.

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MT
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food, nice location.

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BR
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on 29 June 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Really enjoyed the food and the service was very friendly. They just need to curb breaking bottles in the back of house as the noise permeates the restaurant and is unpleasant and unnecessary. Will definitely return as great location for pre-theater and concert dining.

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R
London
4 reviews
Dined on 26 June 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had an early evening meal at the Senate earlier this week. The service was very good & they have nice tables inside & outside. The sun was rather dazzling so take your sunglasses if going before sunset! The food was all very good - well presented & tasty. Typical bistro type food at the time we went.

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a
Surrey
5 reviews
Dined on 22 June 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal at The Senate. Attentive staff without being overbearing. Food was great and the location is in a prime spot.

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JB
1 review
Dined on 2 June 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

5 of us dined at The Senate on Saturday, lured in by very good reviews - we were disappointed. The menu is fine, but both the swordfish (a special) and minute steak arrived cold. This is pretty basic stuff! The chips in both cases were hot and very tasty. The setting is good with a nice view of Great Saint Mary's. The staff were efficient and attentive.

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good food, good location but quite cramped seating.

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LN
London
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Friendly service, good mix of customers a great steak!

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B
Cambridge
3 reviews
Dined on 24 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. Really great location. We shared a selection of starters, all of them were delicious!

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FB
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waitresses were very attentive and the food was fantastic. I had the salmon and it was perfectly cooked. I can highly recommend this restaurant

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AW
London
1 review
Dined on 17 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

wonderful little gem in St Albans, gorgeous interior and fantastic staff!

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TA
1 review
Dined on 16 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food - very good evening. We took a business guest from Japan who enjoyed it

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r
London
7 reviews
Dined on 11 March 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Took my foodie mother here for Mother's Day and it did not disappoint. This is a nice little restaurant in a fine central Cambridge location. The service was attentive and professional. The menu had some lovely choices and was well thought through and the food excellent. The Mackerel salad was generous and delicious. The dish of the day was roasted cod which my mother thought was super and I had a very hearty authentic tasting boeuf bourguignon. Nice wine choices and a really very good Aperol spritz which most restaurants get completely wrong. The restaurant was full and felt very buzzy and we had a fab time. Very pleased with this restaurant and hope it does well. Lots of competition currently in Cambridge but has a lot going for it and should do well if it keeps its high standards.

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HA
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious food and great location, decor, and menu

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MV
1 review
Dined on 3 March 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second brunch at the Senate and it is becoming my favourite place for brunches :) The food is excellent, the staff very nice and the place lovely.

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LF
Bedfordshire
8 reviews
Dined on 23 February 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was very friendly and the food was delicious. The Senate makes for a wonderful date venue.

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MJ
1 review
Dined on 21 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My Advisory Board loved the location and the food. Thank you for making them so welcome.

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MR
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice ambience and good quality good. Good wine list and nice for either a casual coffee or a special dinner.

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CM
London
11 reviews
Dined on 12 February 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I read the menu carefully and selected "Wild mushrooms & shallot gnocchi with red pesto, wilted spinach & parmesan (v)."

As I generally avoid dairy I asked for the additional parmesan to be left off which it was.

The dish would have been fine (even if for example some parmesan had been included in the "red pesto"). But the gnocchi were swimming in a nasty glutinous white goo - utterly revolting. Lemon juice and olive oil would have been delicious. I found it inedible, so I basically paid £10 for a handful of rocket.

Otherwise, nice atmosphere, good service and my friend enjoyed his food.

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HT
London
1 review
Dined on 10 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service, food and wine choices all excellent. Cosy, relaxed atmosphere. Would definitely recommend

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SH
London
3 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I met my friend for lunch. The table was great. The atmosphere was good, the food was good but the chicken for my main was over cooked. The soup was superb and I would come back just for that! I’m looking forward to coming back in the evening.

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s
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food good, service good, ambiance nice. Wine quite good as well.

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NK
Cambridge
2 reviews
Dined on 11 January 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I reserved a table for me and my friends to celebrate. It was very quiet and cosy, almost empty, which made it perfect for us to catch up over delicious wine and sharing boards. The service was great, with servers very attentive and helpful. We stayed for a long time and enjoyed every minute of it. The location and interior of the venue is so charming and atmospheric, I’ll definitely visit again.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 12 December 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely spot. Very good food and delightful service.

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