[Cambridge, Mill Road] Fancett's Bistro

Fancett’s is a French-inspired bistro in Cambridge. It opened in September 2021, and I’ve been about 7-8 times already. Fair to say it fills a niche that simply did not exist in Cambridge until now. It’s owned by Dan and Holly Fancett - it is their 2nd restaurant, they moved from Norfolk to Cambridge about 3 years ago.

It is located on Mill Road, the more “international” street of Cambridge, not quite in the historic center, but definitely a local favourite, still very close to the train station if you’re here on a day trip.

Lunch is where the real value lies. They do 2 courses (Entrée + Plat or Plat + Dessert) for 20£, or (Entrée + Plat + Dessert) for 25£. The dishes are less refined than for dinner, and desserts seem to be usually batch baked and presented in a more “brut” fashion than dinner options, but are delicious nonetheless. There’s 2 choices per course. Here’s a selection of dishes I’ve had for lunch and that I remembered taking pictures of.

Starters :

  • Venison and Pork Sausage Roll
  • Orange & Juniper Cured Salmon with New Potato salad

Mains :

  • Smoked haddock, cod and leek fish pie gratin
  • Winter “minestrone” of confit duck, pearl barley & root vegetables

Desserts :
Fondant au chocolat (they’re now also serving this one for dinner - quite often)

Dinner is a more refined affair. Dining for 2 tends to be about 100-150£ for an appetiser, starter, main, dessert and wine. (Was 150£ with 2 champagne glasses on top of that last week). If you don’t go for the full experience like I do, you can get away for a more reasonable price. There is a bit more choice (3-4 starters, mains and dessert) than at lunch time and no set menu.

Starters :

  • Roast Pumpkin & Parmesan velouté, onion brioche
  • House cured smoked sea trout with beets and horseradish creme fraiche
  • Endive, pear and walnut salad (I think this had cheese in it but my girlfriend asked it without)

Mains :

  • Baked fillet of hake with Kings Lynn shrimps and crushed potatoes
  • Nage of lemon sole with mussels and turned vegetables
  • Baked celeriac, kale, hazelnut and truffle dressing (This normally had a fricasse of mushrooms, my girlfriend can’t eat those so they removed it)

Desserts (my favourite part!) :

  • Dark chocolate moelleux, butterscotch and malted milk ice cream
  • Warm greengage plum clafoutis
  • Pink Lady tarte Tatin (this is the best thing I’ve eaten there, I absolutely loved it, took a bite, it was so good that I forced myself to take a photo)
  • Savarin au rhum and coconut sorbet - this was also amazing, had that last week, and absolutely loved it (I understand the massive comeback that baba au rhum made in France in the last few years)
  • Rhubarb éclair (was also absolutely delicious)

As you might be able to tell from the photos, my favourite parts of eating at fancetts is the dessert. I tend to not go for their classic Moelleux or Fondant au chocolat, but go for the alternative desserts, and they’re always brilliant. I also usually really enjoy the starters, with the mains coming in last, but overall it’s a great experience there.

Holly and the staff are as friendly as they come (if you let them - you can have fairly long conversations with them). Service is adequately quick. Wine selection is a bit limited if you don’t want a bottle (I think 3 glasses of red and 3 of white), but is varied and good.

Overall, this is just a fantastic option in Cambridge, which did not exist until now. They’ve been open 8 months, and I’ve gone as many times. If I didn’t listen to my wallet I’d go every week.

There was a period around December to February where it was quite hard to book, I’d say minimum 2-3 weeks in advance for dinner same for Saturday lunch. Now it seems like it has gone a bit more quiet, we’ve managed to book a few days before. Still, booking is required as they’re pretty much full for every service maybe except Thursday (and sometimes Friday) lunch.

If you’re near Cambridge, or visiting Cambridge, go to Fancett’s. They’re open Wednesday dinner to Saturday.

I’m going again next week for lunch with a friend, will make sure to take more pictures.


Sausage roll looks great. I see they are mainly a French restaurant, so good to see them also serving something British.

Their website say it is a French-inspired bistro and I’d agree with that. Their menus always have local ingredients featured, and most of the dishes that I’ve eaten (except the dessert section), you wouldn’t find that dish in France.

Sounds fantastic and a very far cry from what I have experienced in Cambridge in past visits.

Maybe this will be the year we’ll get to Cambridge. The Michelin 2* Midsummer House has long been on our wish list.

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Had lunch here again today. Not the best dishes but still very good.

Here’s a few photos - as usual I forgot to take some pictures and this time I forgot to snap the starters.


We shared the two starters. The cod smoked roe was very good for me but quite salty (and I like my food salty), the pea soup was good although I couldn’t really taste the lovage and lemon in the crime fraiche.

I had the chicken leg and my friend the bouillabaisse. I’m happy with my choice of the chicken, as the meat was falling off the bone and the skin was nice and crispy. Also the bright green aioli was tasty! I ordered fries on the side as I thought “salad of green beans” would mean cold green beans but no they were cooked, so that was a good lunch main! And then I used the fries to soak all remaining sauce and aioli.

I had a taste of the bouillabaisse which obviously isn’t a traditional one, but the fish was great and the sauce very tasty. Similar to some of their other fish dishes I’ve had before with the sauce being a little more intense.

Neither of us like rice pudding so I just had the cheese. As I am a French snob, I never had manchego before. Well that’s probably why, it’s very one dimensional with the same taste throughout. I’m also not a fan of cheese on crackers and much prefer proper bread. Still it was okay.


Again 25£ for 3 courses of this quality is still a great deal, so happy to come back anytime!