Punt Station: 01865 515978. Earlyish closing in the restaurant: once you're there, the kitchen will stay open for you, but you do need to get there by about 8.45pm. It's as well to book.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12-2pm, 6-9:15pm, Sat-Sun 12-2:30pm, 6-9:30pm. Games: Punting!. Next events at Cherwell Boathouse
Cuisine: Modern English.
Food served Games: Punting!
DineTogether Singles Event Wed 22 May: 7pm
Summer Social - Punting to Victoria Arms Tue 20 Aug: 6.30pm
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Latest venue reviews
We had a fantastic meal at the Cherwell Boathouse last night and will definitely return! The starters were really interesting (crab, snails, rabbit terrine) and the quality of the locally sourced lamb and venison was wonderful. Waiting staff were attentive and unobtrusive - overall a truly memorable experience.
sammy (DI User), 28/11/11
I was looking for a lift on a cold January day. Somewhere to take my other half to, so where best to start? Flick through the local pages on the Internet! We had walked down to the boat house the week before and liked the crisp look inside and the friendly staff. When I asked to use the toilet all is clean and nicely presented.Next test: Go for a dinner.
We did, the following week. They were having a themed evening so I booked a table for two. Arrived not knowing what to expect and at 7.30 was promptly seated along with 58 other guests enjoying a french bubbly and waiting, almost salivating. Some critics on another table with pen & paper- or were they getting married and it was a possible venue? Anyway I digress.
The Chef/Patron dressed in a black apron along with all the staff told us what delights the evening would bring. It was almost stunning- I don't use that word often! Stunning perhaps as it was nouvelle a better plate dressing/garnish but a small point! I don't wish to tell you too much about the following 7 courses or 8 wines but to tell you if you love food with good service and a variety of crisp wines served with explanations you should go. £110 for two, for an evening of this quality was spot on!
The picky bits: I can only add tea or coffee should have been included and coats given out to guests to finish what I can only describe as a great night out. Would we go again? Yes a resounding yes, so we will be going again shortly to try a normal night.
Chef Henry (Unverified), 27/01/11
We had guests over from USA (originally French) and wanted a special meal to return their hospitality. We confidently chose the Cherwell Boathouse and were not let down.
The menu was interesting and varied. I chose the salad of spicy pigeon with lobster. It was delicious. The dressing was exquisite. My mother said the tomato consommé (chilled) was excellent. Our visitors (with small appetites) had a different salad each to start and were very happy. The vinaigrette dressing was described as 'very good' by a discerning Frenchman. My main, of grilled plaice with crushed Jersey Royals and a caper and butter sauce, was lovely. I tasted the venison (served with excellent dauphinoise potatoes) and it was particularly tender. The rare rib of beef looked and tasted fantastic.
Desserts (including 'chocolate soup') were also of the highest order. Particular care was taken with the presentation of all the dishes. We enjoyed choosing from the extensive wine list and the St Emilion was fairly priced and very drinkable. We treated ourselves to a dessert wine (Jurancon) and I thoroughly recommend it. Throughout the meal the staff were attentive and helpful.
All in all an excellent meal and very pleasant experience in a wonderful setting. Enjoy.
Riverboy (DI User), 10/08/10
Last night I had one of the best meals of my life (and I'm no spring chicken) at the Cherwell boathouse. My husband and I stuck to the set menu and every course was perfect. He had the Ham hock terrine with piccalilli and I had the salmon starter. I had the steak - with onion potato cakes and spinach and he had the trout. He said his trout was perfectly cooked. If you don't want your steak rare you must ask - but the helpful staff pointed this out and anyway I like it rare. The lemon balm posset I finished with was extraordinarily delicious. A really nice birthday meal. Looking at the below reviews I might suggest that if you stay with the set menu you are more likely to get the dishes they know they do well.
artlover (Unverified), 21/03/10
I booked our staff Christmas lunch at the Cherwell with high expectations. The menu looked great and my colleagues had enjoyed a Christmas lunch there a couple of years ago, so even though I’d never eaten there myself, I was pretty confident that I was making a good decision. Perhaps I should have read some of the reviews on here before booking it. Overall it was pretty lacklustre. The menu had changed subtly (originally we were offered a Crab cocktail which had changed to a Crayfish tail cocktail and the addition of a vile sounding Mushroom mousse was perplexing: I can’t recall if that replaced something we had originally been offered or whether it was just an additional starter), which we had not been informed of beforehand and I found slightly irritating as I had already mentally ordered the Crab. Between us we managed to order every starter on the menu, so I think I can give a pretty fair description of what the food was like. The Crayfish tail cocktail was a miserable affair, consisting of a mound of Lettuce in a large cocktail glass with a pathetic amount of Crayfish tails on top and a small scoop of Avocado sorbet accompanying it. I could barely see anything but the Lettuce and politely declined my colleague’s offer to taste it for fear of depriving her of the small amount of flavour she might get from her tiny portion of Crayfish tails. The Pumpkin soup arrived lukewarm. Apparently the Oxtail Ravioli was very good, and I have to say the pasta looked perfect from where I was sitting. Personally, I decided to try the Pork collar and Sweetbread terrine, which was very nice but appeared to have Black Pudding in the terrine, rather than in butter format, as advertised.
We did a reasonable job of sampling the main dishes on offer, although four of us opted for the Pheasant. The Pork Belly looked good, though Roast Potatoes had to be ordered additionally which I felt was a bit mean of them. My Pheasant was ever so slightly overcooked, which was a shame, as it was perfectly seasoned and had great potential.
My main gripe, which really soured the event for me (and is perhaps why I may be reflecting somewhat miserably on what some may consider minor points) was dessert. I was delighted to read that Stinking Bishop was the Cheese course and had been looking forward to it. However, when we ordered the Cheese we were served some boring old Cheddar. We queried and asked if we could have Stinking Bishop, as the menu had said, and the staff agreed and bustled back into the kitchen. They returned with what I can only describe as melted Dairylea in a pot. Now, not only have I tasted (and smelt!) Stinking Bishop before, I also spent some of my younger days working behind a Cheese counter – I know my cheese - and Stinking Bishop, that certainly was not. Rather than complaining again, we’d had enough and just settled the bill and left.
Overall, the service had been okay but I don’t think I saw a single member of staff smile. The whole thing just felt a bit miserly and difficult – hardly Christmas cheer.
I left feeling underwhelmed and disappointed and honestly don’t think I’d make the journey out of town to give it another go.
Dr Mukti (DI User), 05/01/10
Anyone seeking to experience what the Boathouse can do when it really flexes its culinary muscles should attend one of the restaurant's wine-and-food tasting dinners. I've been to two now, and can honestly say that they are amongst the best fine dining experiences you can find in Oxford city (on a par with Malmaison at the Oxford Castle, my other favourite). Beyond this you're going to have to go farther afield - to the Kingham Plough, to Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir at Great Milton or to the Sir Charles Napier at Chinnor. What's more, this winning formula gets you a short wine tasting lesson with your meal, and is astoundingly good value. Seven small yet perfectly-formed courses, accompanied by at least six glasses of excellent wine (on this visit, four different vintages of Jacquart champagne, plus two non-vintages, one a rosé) and a short lesson on each from an expert (in this case, from Jacquart itself) came to £45 a head. Dishes included line-caught sea bass, fennel jam and crab risotto (the surprise being the arrival of a whole deep-fried soft shell crab on a minute yet perfect amount of rice); mallard duck (cooked to perfection) with a subtley vanilla-lime-flavoured mash; wild salmon (again, perfect) and black pudding; and the pièce de résistance, a tiny apple tart with walnut and blue cheese ice cream. Yes, I said blue cheese! Heston look out. :)
This set-up of providing a set number of identical covers at more or less the same time is obviously much more manageable for the venue than a normal service pattern, and no doubt the in-between wine chat helps too, so the theatre of the whole thing works out very well (though one's proximity to the kitchen door probably plays a part too!). I have known it to struggle, service-wise, on other occasions, and whilst I've never found fault with the food, the bad impression one gets from a feeling of neglect is hard to shake off when forming an opnion of a place. The problems with service do however look to me like little more than staff shortage, so one imagines this is fixable. In any case, if you can manage to hear about the next tasting dinner in time (the plan is for the event to go monthly soon), I strongly recommend that you give it a go.
Roo (DI Reviewer), 23/01/09
I was one of a party of five who lunched at the Boathouse on a wet Monday in November, and will not be returning in a hurry.
Although we were the only people lunching apart from one other couple, the chef and waiter between them managed to confuse our orders so that, for fear of having to wait even longer, two of us who has asked for roast chicken agreed to have tomato and basil risotto instead. The chicken was good (I purloined half my husband's helping); the risottos were unspeakably disgusting, drenched in synthetic tomato sauce with what tasted like basil out of a tube. (Why are vegetarian options almost invariably nastier than anything else?)
The choice of desserts on the two-course menu was not great: chocolate and banana cake (revolting, I was told), liquorice and peach fool (who would want it?) and supposedly home-made ice cream, which tasted like any other ice cream.
Very poor value food and chaotic service. It isn't always easy to find lunch in Oxford on a Monday, but if the Cherwell Boathouse remains open on Mondays it really should make more of an effort.
ex-Cookery Writer (Unverified), 12/11/08
My wife and I had a very disappointing dinner here and will not be returning.
Starters were at the table within minutes of our order being taken and plates were partially cleared during this course. Once actually finished, the remainder of the plates were quickly cleared and, within a couple of minutes, the main courses were served.
Whilst eating this, 2 different waiting staff asked whether everything was ok with the food and, again, the plates were quickly cleared and the dessert menus were offered. By this point we had been seated for between 40 - 50 minutes. The table had been waited by 5 or 6 staff and it really felt that they wanted it back in a hurry - despite us booking several days in advance.
By now we were disappointed and I asked for the bill but yet another staff member tried to take a dessert order. Irritated, I explained my problems with their service - I was listened to but no one replied. I paid and we left at 8.00, dressed up with nowhere to go.
There was nothing wrong the food at the boathouse but the customer service was atrocious.
John (Unverified), 01/09/08
Last night at the Cherwell Boathouse we had one of the best meals we've had in a very long time. The menu has certainly improved since our last visit a couple of years ago, and the service was excellent. We were served by Frederika (the restaurant's somellier) who was very friendly and helpful without being over-friendly or intrusive.
There are two menus available, set and a la carte, and it's worth knowing that they are happy for you to mix courses between the two menus if desired. We started off with the lobster & scallops and the chorizo & tomato tart. Both of which were good. The duck main course and the cannon of lamb were both excellent. I particularly liked the applewood smokey flavour of the mashed potato. Orange brulee from the set menu and the a la carte cheeseboard were chosen for dessert.
Their wine list has always been good and we chose a Portugese red from the Douro valley, which was an excellent accompaniment to the main courses. One recent addition to their wine list is a decent Manzanilla sherry - La Gitana - a favourite of ours.
The restaurant was about three-quarters full, enough customers to give it a bit of life on a Thursday evening. Altogether we had an extremely pleasant evening and would recommend the Boathouse as one of Oxford's best restaurants. If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the lobster in my starter lacked flavour, but that's a minor point and the accompanying scallops were delicious.
P & L (Unverified), 29/08/08
We had booked a table for lunch for 7 as we had previously enjoyed lunch at this delightful spot on the river at Oxford, but were very disappointed. We had not been notified, on booking, that, as we were a group of 7, the only menu offered was the £23 three course lunch menu. When I asked for the a la carte menu I was told it was not available - nor was the £12.50 two course menu. A further disappointment was the attitude of the staff when this was raised with them.
I'm sure it doesn't matter to them, but as a consequence of this, the restaurant has lost two potential bookings for 60th birthday celebrations and further lunches.
Oxford art group (Unverified), 24/07/08
A wonderful place to while away a couple of hours, with a punting expedition down the Cherwell for some post-prandial exercise. Great atmosphere, friendly service and great location too - but the setting is in my opinion more exciting than the cooking. Though the menu is appealing and well balanced, when it came to the dishes themselves, the flavours somehow didn't seem to shine through brightly enough. My crab starter, for example, was pleasant but had in essense little flavour to it - and my salmon main was a tad overcooked and dry and the accompanying Hollandaise was once again a bit too subtle and lacking the velvety richness usually associated with the sauce. A main of a hake Nicoise was the size of a starter and a dish of duck, though fine, was "nothing to write home about".
I love clean, simple food but I wish a bit more "chutzpah" and "oomph" had gone into the cooking of our lunch to give it the little something which makes something good into something great. This could be Oxford's best restaurant but I fear it does not quite live up to the hype. Perhaps our expectations had been too high, or maybe it was just an off day for the kitchen - we'll have to come back another time to find out!
Pamplemousse (Unverified), 06/07/08
We had a lovely night at Cherwell Boat House this week and I can't wait to go back. Despite our late arrival after underestimating the time to walk there, the staff were absolutely lovely and accommodated our request to sit outside. The food was delicious and arrived promptly. My squid salad starter melted in the mouth and I would find it hard to order anything else next time - I hope it stays on the menu for a bit longer. The three of us chose three different mains so as to share and all were beautifully presented and very tasty. Likewise, we chose three desserts although I was reluctant to share my pineapple tart with coconut pastry and pineapple relish. The location is delightful and we watched ducks gliding past and were impressed by the skill of the punters. It wasn't until one of us popped inside the restaurant that we discovered we were the last people there, which we were embarrassed by, but the staff reassured us that there was no rush for us to leave.
Like the previous reviewer, Cherwell Boathouse has become my favourite restaurant in Oxford. We will be sure to leave home a little earlier next time so as not to be late !
Annie (Unverified), 05/07/08
This was really rather stunning. A new chef and a lot of dedication have turned this into my new favourite Oxford restaurant.
We added a person to our booking an hour before we arrived, turned up a bit early, chose our meals over our drinks so that the kitchen didn't have the usual 10 minutes' grace after we were seated and decided to dine outside by the river when everyone else was in the main restaurant. At no point were we made to feel that we were being even faintly irritating. One was given the impression not that the staff didn't care, but that they felt we were being perfectly within our rights and that they were entirely equipped to deal with it. An obvious prerequisite, perhaps, but really sadly rare. It was lovely to have very direct service: not smarmy and not inattentive, just considerate and honest.
The food is amazing: very good ingredients, skillfully prepared, beautifully presented, with attention given to the combination of flavours in each dish. While it's definitely upmarket food, the design doesn't go overboard into culinary silliness.
While we waited we were given (on the house) some shotglasses of creamy, young, green brocolli soup, each with a dab of sour cream and a tiny nut. I then had a slice of ham-hock-and-parsley terrine - nibblable, farmhousey and rustic, enlivened by the mustard dressing and bitter salad leaves. My friend's pork belly terrine was softer, fattier, more mushroomy, but essentially the same kind of thing. Other starters included the pan-fried haddock with pesto lentils: the fish was aromatic, moist and tender and the earthy lentils set it off rather well.
My main was baby-tender lamb with perfectly-cooked brocolli, a sweet, strong, dark, sticky gravy and heavenly potato gratin. My mother had expressed regret, on ordering, that the spinach with her salmon was being made with tomatoes tonight rather than with the garlic on the menu. The waiter made no comment at the time, but, with a really pleasing considerateness, when the dish was brought, the spinach had been made specially with garlic, and had a little arrangement of garlic flowers on the plate. The crisp cylinder of saffron-infused potato mash that came with her (perfectly cooked) salmon was lovely: really strongly scented. My partner had the calves' liver, which was apparently very good if you like liver (I don't). And my third companion enjoyed his (free range) chicken so much that by the time I'd stopped being engrossed with the lamb, there was none left to try.
The portion sizes are adequate but not huge - something we initially regretted when everything turned out so tasty. But it actually makes loads of sense: we genuinely wanted dessert, and thoroughly enjoyed it when it came, without ending up bloated and sad. We had two iced passionfruit souffles (intense, fluffy, zestful) and two chocolate mousses, the top of each of which was thick, bitter and dark and the bottom creamy, soft, sweet and white, and complemented beautifully by the understated lavender syrup and honeycomb meringue crumbs.
We had some Hook Nortons, gin and tonics (Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's and Tanqueray were on offer, and 2 bottles of a lovely floral Gewurtztraminer chosen from a careful and extensive wine list. Altogether, the bill (which came without any automatic service charge) was £188, at least £70 of which will have been drinks. The set menu is £24.50 and the a la carte around £30 for 3 courses: really very good value for the quality you get. If, unlike us, you weren't being particularly self-indulgent, you could expect to spend about £30 per head and eat extremely well. I will definitely be going back.
Miranda Rose (DI Staff), 23/05/08
I went there last January for my birthday with my girlfriend. I wasn't expecting very much (I am an Italian guy from Tuscany) but I felt really surprised when I saw the menu and the excellent (and affordable) wine list. I started with a pan-fried pigeon breast in cranberry sauce followed by a rosemary roasted wild boar belly with baby potatoes. To drink I chose a nice bottle of Chianti Classico 1999 (from a farm near my parents home in Fiesole!!!). Everything was really good and fresh, especially the blueberry cake at the end. Bill for two came £80, which is absolutely fine for 3 courses a la carte menu with a good Chianti. Definitely a good spot in Oxford for a nice dinner.
Lorenz (Unverified), 28/10/07
I went to the Cherwell for lunch last week and chose the set menu - Roasted pepper soup to start, and roast chicken for the main course. It was really delicious. The vegetables with the chicken were white aspargus which tasted very fresh and broccoli which still had a good bite to it.
In other restaurants I tend to be rather disappointed with set menus, but I felt this was very good value for money and I will definitely go back there soon.
torz (Unverified), 15/07/07
Poor Cherwell. It has been our favourite restaurant for years. We even held our wedding reception there, and everyone said the food was delicious. But we went back for dinner a few days ago, a Tuesday evening, and it seems to have changed.
The setting is still lovely and the staff were really friendly and attentive. But the food was not just mediocre, some of it was actually horrible! We started with Fish cake in clam chowder, and Sweet potato & goat's cheese roulade. One of the 3 small clams was closed, the chowder was so salty it would have made good slug-killer, and the 'goat's cheese' appeared to be garlic pureed with supermarket cream cheese and more garlic. For his main, my husband had Ostrich steak with yam, but it turned out to be smothered in an overpowering, cloyingly sweet honey glaze, so he had to leave half of it once it became unbearable. I was luckier and had Sea bream, which was perfectly cooked and pleasant, if a little bland. We rarely complain, but since the waitress could see that we'd hardly managed to eat any of our starters, we did say that we'd found them disappointing, and so we were offered one free dessert. We had the lime panna cotta with coconut ice-cream, which was really lovely and a classic combination of flavours. I also couldn't resist the homemade 'toffee' ice-cream... but I'd misheard and she'd said 'coffee'! Luckily I like coffee ice-cream, but again it was disappointing, tasting fine but being kind of 'thin' and full of tiny ice-crystals. The bill including a bottle of house white came to £54.
We hope we just hit on an off night. We'd be so sad if this lovely, characterful, and previously delicious restaurant had changed for the worse. Come on Boathouse, we want you back!
Purple fox (Unverified), 14/06/07
I regard the Cherwell as one of Oxford's hidden delights. The food and wine have been very good on all occasions I've visited. The wine list is extensive; and proudly advertised as the UK's number 11, which I guess is quite an accolade.
The location is nothing short of superb and doubles up as one of Oxford's main punting stations which is attached to the restaurant. This gives is a variable atmosphere from tranquility in the winter months to watching lively punting antics whilst alfresco dining in the warmer months.
The food was imaginative and looked and tasted great and was served by friendly and informed staff. Highly recommended.
AD (Unverified), 01/02/07
I love this place. The food is better than the restaurants rating in the Good Food Guide would suggest. The menu is imaginitive, the cooking is very good, and there is a good and reasonable wine list. The room is lovely, but of course even better is to eat outside in summer.
I see others have criticised the staff. We have had excellent service, and average service. Probably depends a bit on who your waiter is.
I have had better food here than at Gee's, though Gee's is also recommended. I prefer the atmosphere in the dining room to the glass-house at Gee's, which is a bit noisy.
jc (Unverified), 18/12/06
I recently went to the Cherwell Boat House restaurant for a Christmas lunch with about twelve other people from work. The best part of the afternoon was the company, seconded by the nice interior to the restaurant. The staff were brusque and rude to our one vegan guest, who had pre-ordered a vegan meal several weeks in advance only to find that the restaurant had meanwhile decided that a dessert they had said was vegan on their menu actually was not, so they said they would need to sort out a different desert. They really should have done this in advance. Her dessert turned up later than everyone else's, and turned out not to be vegan either. When she spoke to the staff about it they were quite rude and there were no apologies. She was eventually given something else but this didn't make up for the way she was treated. We had gone to this restaurant because they claimed they were experienced at catering for vegans but it didn't appear to be the case. The vegetarian meal was extremely disappointing - while meat-eaters were eating large meals, the vegetarians had a smaller dish containing three carrots, a few tiny pieces of broccoli and other small vegetables, three dumplings which were burnt on one side and very dry, and some tomato-based sauce. The vegetarian guests were still hungry afterwards. I enjoyed the starter, which was a nice onion soup, and their homemade ice cream was very nice, though nothing to rave about. But the poor main courses, and above all the surly and rude staff, have put me off visiting again. Oh, and the wine wasn't much to write home about either.
Disappointed customer (Unverified), 15/12/06
I recently went to the Cherwell Boat House restaurant for a Christmas lunch with about twelve other people from work. The best part of the afternoon was the company, seconded by the nice interior to the restaurant. The staff were brusque and rude to our one vegan guest, who had pre-ordered a vegan meal several weeks in advance only to find that the restaurant had meanwhile decided that a dessert they had said was vegan on their menu actually was not, so they said they would need to sort out a different desert. They really should have done this in advance. Her dessert turned up later than everyone else's, and turned out not to be vegan either. When she spoke to the staff about it they were quite rude and there were no apologies. She was eventually given something else but this didn't make up for the way she was treated.
We had gone to this restaurant because they claimed they were experienced at catering for vegans but it didn't appear to be the case. The vegetarian meal was extremely disappointing - while meat-eaters were eating large meals, the vegetarians had a smaller dish containing three carrots, a few tiny pieces of broccoli and other small vegetables, three dumplings which were burnt on one side and very dry, and some tomato-based sauce. The vegetarian guests were still hungry afterwards. I enjoyed the starter, which was a nice onion soup, and their homemade ice cream was very nice, though nothing to rave about. But the poor main courses, and above all the surly and rude staff, have put me off visiting again. Oh, and the wine wasn't much to write home about either.
Disappointed customer (Unverified), 15/12/06
The reputation of the Cherwell Boathouse exceeds its performance. Our party was on a Christmas outing at £27 per head for a meal that could only be described as mediocre. Starters were good, the main courses appeared to be of the plated, pre-packaged variety and desserts were poor.
Mandy (Unverified), 09/12/06
The food here is good and the location is lovely. The menu is very limited and vegetarians have no choice at all, (I had to have soup on a warm August evening) but the meat eaters seemed happy and the food was well presented, imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable.
In spite of the great location there is no atmosphere inside the restaurant which is too bright and the furniture is bland, although there is some interesting artwork on the walls. This is definitely a place for large groups rather than smaller parties. When we booked we were promised a table on the terrace but when we arrived (10 minutes before our reservation) we were told outdoor seating was first come first served only.
The most memorable aspect of our meal here was the appalling service! When you can't get a waitress' attention to order more wine all conversation becomes dominated by the service. Not that the staff seem to care- almost all interaction with them was exasperating! When we complained to the manageress she was full of apologies but seemed disinterested.
This is the second disappointing meal I have had here which is a shame since the restaurant has a good reputation. You can get a much better meal for this kind of money at many Oxford restaurants.
Jen (Unverified), 09/08/06
Not just “the place where you get the punts from”, the Cherwell boathouse also comprises a decent restaurant. Tables can either be inside the restaurant or, during the summer months, on the terrace. My party and I opted for the latter which, being a warm summer evening, was definitely the better option and also presented a lovely view of the river. The atmosphere was sophisticated but not pretentious and the service was incredibly welcoming and friendly, albeit a little slow. There is a set menu which changes regularly along with some daily specials. Prices vary according to the time of eating; £23.50 for evenings, £21.50 for weekend lunches and £19.50 for weekday lunches, and are extremely reasonable for the quality of food presented. The salmon, shrimp and mixed herb fish cake appeared to be the most popular starter that evening. About the size of a large scotch egg, it had a very “rustic” style, containing large chunks of fish and was complemented very well by a red pepper coulis. Another of our party opted for the char-grilled asparagus and duck egg salad. Served during the asparagus season, this dish was a real winner although the flavours were slightly overpowered by the excessive amounts of balsamic vinegar it was dressed with. I opted for the pan fried breast of wood pigeon which was cooked well and came with a thick wild mushroom sauce. My main course was the pan fried fillet of beef (special’s menu, £2.50 supp.). The horseradish mousse served with it provided an interesting alternative to the usual horseradish sauce straight out of the jar. The only criticism of this dish was the fact that I ordered it rare and it came only slightly pink: not what you would expect from a restaurant that claims to be influenced by French cooking. The slow roasted belly pork was incredibly succule
nt and was served with a butternut squash mash which had a wonderful bright orange colour. The vegetarian of our group was only given one option of main course but the Roquefort cheese tart tatin she was served was large, good quality and obviously not just an afterthought as in many restaurants. The wine list was extensive and although we only opted for a bottle of the house red (£10.50 a bottle) it was of a high quality and hopefully indicative of the quality of some of the more expensive wines which cost up to £25 a bottle. Our choice of desserts were chocolate orange parfait (gorgeously rich) and a selection of British cheeses (interesting but in a slightly small portion).
This restaurant was perfect for supper outside on a summer evening however, in the winter I would not rate it as highly as the interior is nothing spectacular and the restaurant is at least 15 minutes walk from the centre of town. The choice is somewhat limited but menus are available from the restaurant’s website and so there is an option of checking beforehand.
Oliver Rutt (Unverified), 04/11/05
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