Newest Review: ... 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.... more
Flat cider? I won't be going back!
The Boat House (Chertsey)
Member Name: eilidhcatriona
The Boat House (Chertsey)
Advantages: A nice location
Disadvantages: Flat lager, flat cider, slow and sloppy service
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.
Summary: I won't be going back here for food or drinks