Restaurant review: The Boathouse . . . Our boat had sailed long before the food arrived

The Boathouse, Peterborough.

The Boathouse, Peterborough.

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Question: How long is it appropriate to have to wait to be offered a drinks and have your food order taken before getting annoyed and leaving a restaurant?

I almost came up with an answer of my own at The Boathouse in Peterborough last week after more than 20 minutes of being ignored.

Brad Barnes at The Boathouse, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes at The Boathouse, Peterborough.

It is a place that I like and bearing in mind it was Sunday lunch “rush hour” I was prepared to give them a bit of leeway. But finally I had no option but to call over a member of staff and tell her of my predicament, only to be told “I didn’t know you had arrived”.

I wouldn’t have minded so much but we had booked and were even shown to our own reserved table - with high chair as requested - and she had been standing next to us 10 minutes earlier taking an order off the next table.

It was busy even by the very popular Boathouse’s standards but that is no excuse for poor service in my book. Nor is getting an order wrong because you haven’t bothered writing anything down.

Unbelievable.

Brad Barnes at The Boathouse, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes at The Boathouse, Peterborough.

Anyhow we stayed and in all honesty- yes , I know it’s chain pub food - it wasn’t bad at all. In fact it was better than some of the meals I have had in there in years gone by.

Now the menu is “new” according to the website, but was nothing unexpected.

Eventually my starter arrived - Welsh rarebit with mushrooms on a toasted bloomer with dressed watercress - and it was quite enjoyable.

Nicely toasted with a bit of crunch to every bite, a good strong cheese, the mushrooms were not mushy and had lots of flavour and a little kick from the Worcester sauce.

I kept it simple for my main course - a burger. Except, of course, they aren’t simple any longer - at least not if you are going to charge the best part of a tenner for one.

The ones served up at Handmade Burger Co in the city centre are about as good as they get locally, but this wasn’t half bad in comparison,

The bun was nice and soft, and didn’t get too soggy at all, and the burger was thick, meaty, tasty and juicy. The bacon was indeed smoky and contributed to the overall eating experience but was in short supply. Likewise the mature Cheddar cheese.

As for the chips.... frozen I would guess.

Donna’s fillet steak arrived with chips and peas - which she hadn’t ordered and had to send back. When it returned with a very colourful and pleasant dressed salad it proved worth the wait. Medium rare was asked for and that is exactly what she got. A beautiful piece of meat and a lovely creamy slaw.

Sadly being let down by the service (something the management needs to address) took the gloss off a reasonable lunch, so we won’t be rushing back anytime soon.

Venue: The Boathouse, Peterborough, Thorpe Meadows, Peterborough,

tel 01733 898469

Brad’s rating: 6

From the menu:

Starters

Homemade soup of the day

Smoked Scottish salmon

with a horseradish & dill crème fraîche mayonnaise

Breaded calamari rings with a red pepper & sweet chilli dipping sauce

Mains

Large fish and chips with seasoned chips, tartare sauce and peas

Beef & ale pie with mash, sugarsnap peas, Chantenay carrots and peas

Hunter’s chicken topped with mature Cheddar, smoked streaky bacon and BBQ sauce, seasoned chips and peas

Confit of duck leg with a cherry & red wine sauce, sea-salted-&-thyme-sautéed potatoes,

sugarsnap peas, Chantenay carrots and peas

Chicken supreme

Chicken stuffed with tarragon and Paris brown mushrooms, with sea-salted-&-thyme-sautéed potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes,

peas, broccoli, sugarsnap peas and a rich red wine & tarragon sauce

Spicy aubergine & roasted beetroot curry With raita and spring onion, served on lemon-scented basmati and wild rice

Chicken tikka masala With lemon-scented basmati and wild rice, poppadum, raita and mango chutney

Chicken salad Niçoise - Grilled chicken on a warm feta salad Niçoise, with a cider, honey & mustard dressing

Open seafood† puff pastry With king prawns, smoked haddock, cod and salmon in a creamy white wine sauce, served with sea-salted-&-thyme-sautéed potatoes, peas, broccoli and sugarsnap peas