Cambridge Union Society (CUS), the oldest, continuously running debating society in the world, is delighted to announce the opening of their brand-new public venue, The Orator – Brasserie and Bar.
Following a £3.4m investment at the site, the new brasserie and bar will see the venue shift from its history as a student union bar to a pleasant, inviting, ‘hidden gem’ in the heart of Cambridge. The venue has had many guises over the years. However, the bar has always remained the home for visiting speakers and debate audiences that visit the CUS during a year of world-renowned events.
Steve Bax, Bursar, comments: “I have had the delight of joining the society at the point where the venue has really taken shape. We have tried to be respectful of the 200-year history, and we pay homage to it in our design, menu, and marketing. The exciting step now is opening up to the wider public and allowing them the opportunity to experience the society’s history - whilst enjoying great food, a wide range of drinks, quality tea and coffee, and even hosting the odd business meeting or two.”
The team contracted award-winning specialist hospitality firm, Harrisons, to bring the vision to life. As experts in brand strategy alongside architecture and interior design, their 30-year success internationally allowed for a ground-breaking design both inside and on the plethora of elements that bring the concept together - from the logo, the quotes, the menu and more besides.
The Orator will serve food all day, starting with delectable breakfasts, including a traditional English and a plant-based breakfast, alongside brunch indulgences such as Eggs Benedict or Eggs Royale. Then, moving on to dinner with classic specialities with a slight twist, or an array of plat du jour providing something different as the days of the week pass. Ben Pope, head chef and his team will use fresh, locally sourced ingredients with the menu adjusted to support seasonal produce.
The stunning bar provides a centre for some of the finest gins, wines, beers, and cocktails. The selection includes locally produced products, such as BrewBoard beers manufactured in nearby Harston, in Cambridge. Hot drink selections have been equally painstakingly reviewed and selected, with teas provided by the Rare Tea Company. The choice of coffee is the Balcones Especial Organic Blend from ethical coffee suppliers Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.
Joe Burman, General Manager of The Orator, explains the choices: “The Orator is more than just somewhere to eat and drink, it is an experience where the debate is choosing between the quality options available. We have spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that every visit offers choice, variety, and a little indulgence. We have also focused on local suppliers - and if not, then products are ethically produced and sourced. As a result, every visitor should leave feeling satisfied - both in their stomach and their mind as they admire the architecture and history of the society.”
Alongside the brasserie and bar, the venue will support corporate bookings in the various rooms available within the complex. The Orator can also provide a perfect location for celebrations such as birthdays, leaving drinks and retirements - whilst providing a stunning backdrop for life-changing events such as weddings. Alongside the gorgeous architecture, the outside space boasts the most extensive outdoor drinking and dining space in central Cambridge.
The Orator officially opens to the public on Monday, 24 May 2021, and is located on Round Church Street. The food and drinks menus are on the website and bookings are open now. Visit www.oratorcambridge.co.uk. You can also follow The Orator on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – search for Orator Cambridge.