“ The Boat, Walsall Rd, Summerhill, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 0BU, Tel: 01543 371316. „
Well, what can I say? Everyone seems to rave about The Boat, my Mum included and it was her that decided that I should try this place too.
Husband and son away my daughter and I went along with my Mum so that we could also delight in this great culinary experience.
I head read excellent reviews about this place and had also heard the same locally, however I can only report disappointment. I was so looking forward to excellent food in traditional surroundings and high quality, local ingredients, not chips with everything.
The food, which although sounded great on the menu and indeed there were no chips, was "okay" - nothing more, nothing less. Personally I am struggling to see just why people rave about it, maybe we caught the place on a bad day, maybe I was expecting just too much based on the excellent reviews I have read.
We did not have starters but planned on having puddings, which did not stay for, because all three of us (Mum included) were disappointed with the food quality which was incredibly normal - none of it had the "wow" factor.
Would I go again? Honestly, I don't think I would.
Would I recommend? Difficult to say; I think I would tell people that it is locally regarded as very good BUT when I went there I was incredibly disappointed!
Cost : Approximately £10 per main course, give or take £1 - £2
One of my favourite things to do is eat out as is most peoples I can imagine. My Mom and Dad have always raved about this place in Lichfield called the Boat but whenever I drove past it didnt look like much at all just your average day pub. They told me that appearances can be deceptive and boy was she right. I went with them both and my sister for a meal one Friday night and now The Boat is now one of my favourite places to go and have a meal and I will now tell you why.
What is The Boat?
The Boat looks like your average pub from the outside but it is actually a very nice restaurant which specialises in extremely healthy food. It is open in the afternoon for your lunch and then in the evening for your tea and every meal is cooked to perfection. You will not find things like chips on the menu as everything is cooked as healthy as it can and they have only just started serving things like custard on the menu but only if you ask as a little hint.
Where can you find the Boat?
Now I actually do not think the location is that good as it is just off a main road so literally you will be driving at 60mph and you have to catch the turning which can be quite hard to see. The Boat is near to Lichfield but the centre is still about a ten minute drive away so you do have to really have a car to get there. When you are in the Boat it does have a nice outside area to sit in and over the main road you can see lots of fields so it is quite nice to just sit there and watch the world go by.
Honestly if you look at it from the outside you can not tell how nice it is inside. It does look like a pub, a nice pub at that but absolutely nothing special.
The car park is quite big as it needs to be because only people living in the small community by the restaurant could walk there. It does get quite busy though and you always have to book a table but the car park is big enough for everybody and we have never had a problem getting in there even when there hasnt been a spare table in the restaurant.
So you walk in from the outside expecting to come into a place which looks like a traditional pub. What you step into is a room with white walls everywhere, big leather sofas to sit on and wait and a very impressive and posh looking bar area. To the left is a very nice eating area with wooden tables and walls which look like you have just stepped into a wood cabin. To the right is the other area of the restaurant which looks lovely as it has nice carpets and lovely pictures and sculptures on the walls and on window sills.
As you walk in to the front of you is the waiting area and a chalk board which shows all of the meals on offer that lunch or evening. You choose what you want and then a waiter will take your order and you sit in the waiting are a which like I said has great big leather sofas. You can sit there and have a drink while you wait and you can see the kitchens as they are all open plan which always makes me feel better as you can see how clean the kitchens are.
When you are ready to be seated you will be taken to your table and it is a lovely restaurant as the tables are spaced out and wherever you sit it is really comfortable and you get a nice view of the restaurant.
The drinks in here are very nice and they serve a lot of things apart from cocktails. You can buy hot cold, spirits and wine and they have a great selection. The drinks are quite reasonably priced at about £3.50 for a glass of wine and £2.20 for a J2o. You should be able to get what you want from there and you can choose to order your drinks from the bar in there or the waiter can take your order from your table.
As I mentioned above the food is absolutely spectacular. They do specialise in healthy food so you get a lot of fish on the menu which I always have as it is lovely. They do a lot of meat and steak is always on the menu but you will always have it cooked nicely. Whatever you order you will get a choice of vegetables or salad. The vegetables are so nice and the red cabbage they do is just superb. The salad has a lot of lettuce and peppers in it with a nice dressing.
If you have a meal which has potatoes then you will be asked how you like them and please be aware that they do not do chips as my Dad asks every time and has the same disappointed look on his face when they say no.
After you have ordered you will be bought some bread and butter to your table and it is up to you whether you want it as nibbles before the meal or keep it for during the meal. If you do eat it all though they ask if you would like some more so I suppose you can have both. The meals are quite big so you will not be left with a hungry feeling.
I havent mentioned much about starters as we dont often have them but when you do they are nice and big and just get your mouth watering for the main course. The puddings are lovely and I do recommend the chocolate brownie if it is on offer when you go as it is lovely. Also the crumble they do is divine.
As far as prices go the main courses are around £7 15 each. Starters are at around £4 as are the puddings. As you are eating healthily though it really is worth the money that you pay.
I think that the Boat has established itself well now in Lichfield as it is always busy and I think its reputation for serving only healthy food is enough to keep people coming. You will find that people visit the place more than once and as it has a wonderful atmosphere and the staff are always friendly and helpful you cannot go wrong with coming here. I recommend that you do phone up to book when you know you are going as we have had trouble getting in before especially if you go on a Friday or Saturday evening which is its busiest time as you can imagine.
In conclusion I am going to give this restaurant top marks because it really is something different and you feel like you are having a special meal when you go. I always feel stuffed when I leave but in a good way as I know I have eaten well and things that are good for me. If you are in this area then please visit as you will not be disspointed in the slightest.
Thanks for reading.