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“A dissapointing experience” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Three Horseshoes

The Three Horseshoes
22 High Street | Madingley, Cambridge CB23 8AB, England
01954210221
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Ranked #188 of 549 Restaurants in Cambridge
Price range: $30 - $76
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Asian, English, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Doing business, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: A picturesque thatched inn, The Three Horseshoes brings seasonal, modern British cuisine to this idyllic Cambridge suburb. The airy conservatory restaurant and buzzy bar look out onto the sprawling Three Horseshoes garden, where guests can enjoy refined, weekly-changing menus. Chef and owner Richard Stokes sources from some of the finest artisan suppliers, including beef from Cumbria, cheese and cured meats from Italy, and locally caught and shot game.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A dissapointing experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

This I must start by saying is the first review that I have wrote but I must say that returning from the said establishment two hours ago,I feel that I must put my feelings down.It started with the surly attitude of the bar attendant who I don't think was too bothered whether he served us or not!
We then waited for at least twenty minutes and only then by asking did we get a waitress who was in a rush.On looking around we noticed that everyone else were waiting for their starters so we only had a main which duly arrived twenty five minutes later.
During this time we noticed on the table near to us that one starter went back and when it finally arrived one main.
The food I am sorry to say was second rate and the dessert wasn't worth waiting for.Now the interesting part.When the table next to us received there order my wife noticed a lot more different ingredients on the gentlemans plate even though the order was the same as hers! On asking the waitress over and pointing the fact out she was told it was right and went away smirking!! Big mistake.I thought thats done it.With no more to do my wife marched up to the bar and made her feelings known.
I must say that the two girls behind the counter were very understanding and we received a discount but the point being I don't mind paying for good service but I object strongly when I don't get any service at all

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richred, Owner at The Three Horseshoes, responded to this review, December 6, 2013
i will find out want happened it sounds as though you had a really poor experience.
i am so sorry.
do call me on 01954 210221 if you want to come back at anytime & we will put things right.

kind regards

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge UK
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
220 helpful votes 220 helpful votes
“Was fabulous, but less so of late”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

My heart sank when I saw that this is yet another location where the management responds to every posting. Let me start by asking them specifically not to do so, just to take my comments as feedback.

My wife and I (mid 50s, early 60’s) have been eating regularly at the 3HS for more than 20 years, and throughout that time have unhesitatingly recommended it to friends and visitors. There was a hiccough (for us) when it changed from having a broadly based menu to a very Italian theme some years back – not our natural first choice in cuisine. But we quickly adapted, as it served some of the very finest Italian-influenced food to be found for many miles around. We could always find multiple dishes that we loved on the menu, and were rarely disappointed. The flavours were always intense and very fresh.

But … there was always going to be a but … in the last year or two, the menu has changed a lot, in ways that we both find very disappointing. That simplicity and freshness and focus on fabulous tasting food seems to have been replaced by complexity, fashion and ‘cleverness’ – many more dishes containing chilli, loads of ingredients we’ve never heard of, and (for us) a restricted choice due to so many dishes containing an ingredient that we dislike.

Friday evening was the turning point for us – we both struggled to find anything on the menu that appealed to us. My wife settled for steak with Café de Paris butter – the butter contained chilli which she dislikes and the chips were cold and soggy. I had slow cooked lamb which was soft to the point of having almost no texture left, and some tasteless pumpkin puree. But the small pieces of ‘conventional’ lamb that accompanied it were excellent and tasty.

We are now off to pastures new - to our great regret, as this restaurant has been such a mainstay for us for such a long time. The dilemma used to be “too many delicious choices”. Now, for us, it’s “I guess that dish would probably be OK”.

But … the place was packed. Others clearly love the current ingredients and style of menu, and all power to owners; while the customers pour in, it will deservedly prosper. I just yearn for a return to a simpler style, great presentation and food that bursts with flavour.

As they say “your mileage may vary” – all opinions expressed here are entirely personal and subjective. If you’ve not tried the 3HS, do so and make up your own mind.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
richred, Owner at The Three Horseshoes, responded to this review, November 29, 2013
thank you for your thoughts.
i had been thinking of changing menu style & doing 1 menu italian & 1 as it is.

kind regards

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Always There: Always a Good Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

We have been going to the Three Horseshoes for years, but latterly I have never got round to reviewing it. But here we are now!
Madingley is a beautiful little village within about a mile, perhaps even less, of the outskirts of the city of Cambridge. The village is real picture postcard, especially the area around this restaurant. The building itself is just as lovely. There is a bar at the front, with quite a few tables, but the main restaurant is further into the building, and that opens out into a conservatory. There are pleasant gardens where in summer a barbecues is sometimes laid on.
I am not reviewing food on a specific visit basis. As I say, we have been patronising the place for some considerable time, so what I say is intended to be in the way of generalisation. The cooking has an Italian influence, many of the dishes carry that signature mark, but the range of dishes is wider than that; I would describe the cooking as good modern British with an Italian bias. Sometimes they don't get it quite right, but remember I am talking about a combination of many visits, and if they are progressive, which I believe they are, then very occasionally there will be a little glitch, but I would willingly accept that. The last time we were there as a family, two of my sons had steaks, and they were both a bit (but not wildly) disappointed. But then my take on that is that I don't think this is the place where one would choose a steak, unless that was the only dish that one liked. You go to a place like this to choose from a fairly catholic menu. For instance, the last time I went, I had octopus as a starter, and very good it was, too.
This is one of the best gastro pubs (silly description) in the area. Try it.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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richred, Owner at The Three Horseshoes, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
thank you so much for your review.
you have got what we are about just about spot on!

kind regards

Richard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“our lunch venue of choice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

I am one of 4 women who met regularly when we were all doing similar jobs. When the first of us retired we looked for somewhere to have a farewell lunch.....we loved it so much we went back for two more retirement meals. Last week we just all met up for the heck of it, and wouldn't have dreamed of going elsewhere.
We love that you can order any combination of starters, and mains, that there is decent wine by the glass, and the food is always different.
Service is a great combination of efficiency and informality.
...oh, and violet ice cream that is blue...what's not to like?
thanks

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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richred, Owner at The Three Horseshoes, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
thank you so much i am glad you all enjoy coming to us so often!

thank you

Richard
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Bath, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
208 reviews 208 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
“fantastic food a real find”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

we went for a lunch here so my daughter could escape Cambridge for a bit...we had had a big meal the night before so wanted a light lunch. When I saw the menu my heart sank as everything looked very complex and 'gastro'. We all ordered starters and they were fantastic, couldn't believe how good the cooking and the ingredients were. Want to go back when we are more hungry to sample the mains. Service let things down a bit but when the food is this good....

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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richred, Owner at The Three Horseshoes, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
i am so pleased you enjoyed your meal.

kind regards

Richard
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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