Cambridge Foodie Recommendations Part 6: Fancetts

Category: Bistro, Modern European

Price: £££ (£29 for 3 courses at lunch and £48 for 3 courses at dinner)

Address: 96a Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BD

Phone Number: 01223 354093

Opening Hours: Wednesday- Saturday 12 pm-4 pm / 6pm- 11pm

Book Here



Quickly dominating the Cambridge food scene is the independent French-inspired bistro, Fancetts, located on the bustling Mill Road. With its humble green-painted exterior, the only indication of a restaurant is the handwritten chalkboard to the side of the door advertising its prix fixe and opening hours. The menu on the door attracts the eyes of passersby; locals making their way home after a long day’s work, and tourists walking into the city centre from the train station.

My first introduction to the restaurant came whilst I was ladened down with belongings, moving into my nearby flat, when a friend who I had travelled around Australia with, and working at Fancetts at the time, ran out to say hello. Ashamedly, it took me eighteen months to finally try it.

Inside, its mise en scene is the epitome of a casual atmosphere, where the focus is primarily within the plate. Shelves line the upper part of the wall, its contents reminiscent of that of an epicurean aficionado. Think recipe books, including the infamous St Johns Restaurant; jars of ingredients, including the provincial-looking Fabbri Amarena Cherries in Syrup; and empty bottles of fine wine. A seasonal foliage installation adorns the ceiling, branches of Wisteria dominate whilst dried Alliums, Amaranthus, and Dandelions intertwine indicating the natural roots in which Fancetts lays its culinary inspiration.

Their private dining room, The Scullery, which can fit up to 8 guests, has the atmosphere of a laid-back supper at a friend’s house. It is unfussy, hospitable, and cosy.

The only table available for lunch was right at opening, a direct measure of their acclaim within the Cambridge food scene. We were welcomed with a glass of Cremant, its delicate tone cleansing the palate ready for lunch. Their silky wild garlic and potato soup with fowley mussels, chives, and croutons opened what was to be an exceptional meal filled with a harmonious abundance of flavours.

There is something very sexy about classic dishes that pack a punch. Think, double-baked cheddar and gruyure souffle, with melted leeks and flaked smoked haddock, or a croquette of pigs head and smoked ham hock finished with burnt apple puree. Its richness melts in your mouth as you wash it down with a glass of waxy Adega de Pegões.

Not usually one to be tempted with a dessert, I opted for their six-month-aged Manchego with Membrillo and Crackers. However, I had to taste their Blood Orange Crepes Suzette that my dad ordered, and just that one mouthful was enough to convert me from a sweet tooth skeptic to an ardent supporter of the smoky notes of flambé. The crepes’ smooth buttery syrup steadfastly remains a taste I happily savour in recollection.

If Fancetts could only be encapsulated in one word, it would be nourishing. Not only do you leave feeling well fed but also fulfilled. Their intimate seating provides the perfect gastronomic escape from the real world; catching up with old friends; family members; swapping stories; imparting advice; and simply just sharing life’s simple pleasures with each other.

Our news

Related Articles

Want to find out more?

Please check out our frequently asked questions.
Go to Top