“ Address: Bridge Road / Chertsey / Surrey / KT16 8JZ / England „
FRIDAY NIGHT 25TH MARCH 2011,THREE OF US HAD A MEAL AT THE BOAT HOUSE,WE ALL THOUGHT IT WAS A DREADFULL MEAL,HAM EGG CHIPS,FISH CAKE AND FISH AND CHIPS THAT WAS THE THREE MEALS,WE CAME DOWN FROM WEST SUSSEX AND THOUGHT A LONDON PUB ON THE RIVER THAMES MUST BE GOOD.WE TOLD THE WAITER HOW BAD IT WAS AND THE WAITING TIME BEFORE IT ARRIVED AND THEY GAVE US £10.00 BACK.THE WAITER DID SAY THAT THERE HAD BEEN LOTS OF PROBLEMS IN THE KITCHEN.SUCH A SIMPLE MEAL TO BE COOKED BUT IT WAS VERY VERY VERY BAD CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY,PAUL KINGSTON
Despite having visited Chertsey several times, the first being 10 years ago, my parents and I had never eaten at The Boathouse until earlier this month when they were staying at the adjacent campsite. We always avoided it because it is a chain pub (Bespoke Hotels), and because it is the exact opposite of what we look for in holiday pubs - big, cavernous and formulaic. However, they had been in for a drink and thought the menu looked ok, so we gave it a go.
The Boathouse, the pub within the Bridge Hotel, is located beside the Chertsey Bridge, in a very nice spot right on the River Thames. There are even some boat moorings so you can sail there in your private yacht...
We visited The Boathouse on a Friday night in early July, but it wasn't too busy. There is a decking area outside overlooking a small duck pond which branches off the river, and a conservatory which gives you all the views of sitting outside but keeps you sheltered if the weather isn't very good. We chose to sit inside as it was during the heatwave we visited, and we decided air conditioning was a good option. That wasn't the best choice as the air con was actually quite violent and made the large room quite cold! The interior of the pub is nice enough, there is a choice of traditional tables and chairs, or lower ones with sofas and armchairs for a casual drink.
In terms of drinks, there is a good choice on offer although it is all fairly standard fare, no nice interesting ciders for me here. I was happy to order a Strongbow, my dad had a Stella Artois and my mum had a lemonade and lime. The round came to £8.40. However, very quickly my dad and I realised that our drinks were, quite simply, flat. On putting them down on the table, there were some bubbles but within a couple of minutes these had gone and we were left with flat drinks. Shortly after, before he was halfway through his pint, my dad went to the bar to order food and came back with a pint of Becks, to see if it was any different. It wasn't. So that's three different draught drinks, two lagers and one cider, which were all flat. Not a good start.
We decided to order a bread board to start, between the three of us. This was rustic bread with a dipping bowl of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This was very nice - you can't really go wrong with a bread board - but unlike everywhere else that I have had this, the olive oil and balsamic vinegar were in one bowl. Normally, they are separate as when mixed they separate anyway and as the vinegar sits at the bottom, you can only get olive oil. The bread board was £1.95
For main course I ordered the beer battered fish and chips, served with mushy peas. The fish was nice, as were the chips, but the portion of mushy peas was rather stingy. My dad opted for the ham, egg and chips, which surely would be fine - wrong. Nothing disastrously wrong, but the eggs were overcooked, and brown and crispy on the bottom. This is not something you expect when you eat out, you expect fried eggs at the very least to be cooked well. I'm afraid to say I can't remember what exactly my mum ordered but I can say that she was pleased with it on the whole. The main courses were around £8-£9 each.
The food wasn't brilliant, but it wasn't terrible. The service, however, was. It was unbelievably slow, and the pub was not very busy. We placed our order at the bar, and 15 minutes later our bread board was brought over. That's not too bad, although it was a cold and exceptionally simple starter. However, it was 40 minutes later, so 55 minutes after we ordered, that we received our main courses. In addition to this lengthy wait, our starter was not cleared until the waitress brought out main course. The service was slow and sloppy, and to be perfectly honest that, along with the flat drinks, ruined our meal.
In future, we won't return to The Boathouse - not even for a drink. It is in a lovely spot, but The Kingfisher across the river (which I have also reviewed) is a much nicer building, with a great drink selection, good food and good service.
We visited The Boat House, Chertsey, Surrey on Easter Sunday. It's located right by Chersey Bridge and overlooks a pretty spot on the Thames. Shame about the traffic going past from time to time and the building under construction on the other side of the river that spoils the view a little, other than that it's set it a lovely location. There is outside seating which is lovely in the summer as you can sit over looking the river on a raised terrace area. Though a nice day on Sunday, it was a little chilly for that, only a few brave soles were out there.
On arrival, the friendly waiter took us to 'a really nice table' as he told us. It was, I must admit. We were right next to the large windows overlooking the river, all the view of being outside without the cold. Perfect! The whole place keeps the 'Boat House' theme. The part we sat in had weathered timber all around and really looked good. Themed places can overdo things, but this place got it just right. The pub itself is big, there's loads of tables. We hadn't booked and had tried a few places before this, but being Easter we were unable to get in. I imagine even on the busiest day, this place could always squeeze a few more in.
It was busy, they had an Easter egg hunt on and the place was bustling with families. We were still served at a reasonable pace however. Choosing what to have, took a little longer. The menu is extensive. As it was a Sunday they were offering the usual roast dinners, Chicken or Beef. We didn't opt for this and none of us are really fans of roasts but looking around they seemed to be selling well. The menu had all the usual pub grub- burgers, jacket potatoes, Fish and chips, sausage and mash..
After much tooing and froing I decided on a half rack of baby back ribs served with chips and corn on the cob, my Nana was also tempted by this, but having just had new dentures we though it was not a very good idea so went instead for Peppercorn Chikcen with was served with vegetables and however you would like your potatoes. Nan went for Chips. True to form Mum stuck to the trusty Cesar Salad.
Service was quick and we got our meals in around 15 minutes. All of the meals had something not quite right with them. Nan's Peppercorn Chicken turned up with new potatoes instead of chips. They did take this back and change it, to their credit. Mum's Cesar sald, wasn't really a Cesar sald at it was missing bacon and parmesan, two of the key ingredients I thought?! It also has the stump of the lettuce thrown in! Mine, I have to say was rather good, though the menu did state it came with BBQ dipping sauce, which it didn't.
I find this in a lot of pubs. Go on a quiet day and you get a good helping of food, well cooked. On busier days, it's like the resources have to be shared out a little more, and you get less for your money, and inevitably mistakes happen. I don't think we would have minded so much had they said, I'm sorry we have run out of BBQ sauce or bacon but to give us food that doesn't match the menu and then hope the customer won't notice I think was bad. One mistake, fair enough but it seemed they were cutting corners on all of our meals. Mum said what was there of her salad was good, there was a good covering of dressing and she got a large amount of nicely griddled Chicken. Nan's Chicken was also good though to say the veggies were overcooked was a massive understatement. Mine overall was very good. The ribs very juicey with no gristle and they do chips very well, to their credit.
We skipped dessert, knowing I have more than enough chocolate waiting for me at home. The bill came to a very reasonable £28.
Overall, the place itself was lovely. The food showed potential and I enjoyed mine. I think I would revisit on quieter day, as I would hope then less mistakes would be made. For the prices, location and vast selection on the menu it has a lot to offer. I think a little attention to detail would go a long way. Generally I don't think a customer would mind waiting another minute or two so the chef could make sure there food was the best it could be.