Bistro at the Boathouse

4.5
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745 reviews
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£41 and over
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British
Bistro at the Boathouse brings together fresh, modern food, an unparalleled riverside setting, and an insistence on the very highest standards of service.The team at The Boathouse have worked under the tutelage of some of the worlds finest chefs, in many of the worlds greatest restaurants. This knowledge and experience is interwoven with their youthful vibrancy, a determination to bring a creative and modern collection of ideas and flavors to the table.
What 745 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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i
New York Area
72 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

First time to Shaun Dickens since it changed to bistro menu. The food was very good - although potato purée might have gone better with the slow cooked beef rather than chips. We went for the £26 3 course menu which was very good value. Not sure I would have wanted to pay full price though as that would have made it quite expensive. But can’t fault the food.

OJ
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food at very, very good value and a lovely few of the river!

BJ
1 review
Dined on 29 November 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

They didn’t have our open table reservation. Even though I had a confirmation. But they still sat us and gave us a wonderful meal. Very pleased.

H
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 27 November 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a wonderful meal and excellent service!
The Christmas bistro lunch menu is great... but we would have appreciated the option of having two courses instead of three.

MT
1 review
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food was faultless both in taste and presentation. Particularly innovative was the combination of pork belly and chowder that really worked. As befits the bistro image the clean and simple décor was very much in keeping. The service was certainly friendly but....
1. although we were quite happy to be shown to a bar table while our dining table was being set up we were disappointed we had to ask after some time to be served some pre dinner drinks.
2. we had ordered coffee when our dessert order was taken but it never ever arrived. There was a "sorry about that" apology but this is not good.
Overall the food was of the highest standard but front of house needs some attention. Both are equally important.

AJ
London
16 reviews
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Good location that a suspect would be great in the summer.
Food and service were ok but not special.

KS
London
1 review
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely dinner recently, very attentive staff, relaxed atmosphere and unstuffy menu. Great place for an intimate meal.

JF
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Really enjoyable meal at the Boathouse. Nice warm atmosphere, excellent friendly staff. Food well presented but starter a bit sparse. Delicious main course and outstanding desserts.

H
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Definitely worth giving the place a try since it has only just repositioned itself and Shaun is a good chef. Unfortunately a disappointing quality price ratio on my last visit and I was hoping for more. Service was great but food was under par for the price we thought and presentation could have been more appetising.

FS
1 review
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The new menu is excellent, a good range of well priced dishes. The portion sizes were very good, not so large that they couldn't be finished but not too small either.
Everything was exceedingly well cooked and well presented. Good ingredients and without lots of over fussy extras. Service was good without being over intrusive. The service was well paced with no hurry for leaving the table.
Possibly the decor needs a rethink, it is plain and unobtrusive but perhaps needs a lttle extra for a bistro atmosphere.

RS
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We were a party of 6.
My meal was fabulous. Tasty, good portions and I chose well.
Most of my friends were equally impressed.
One felt her meal was slightly less than perfect. She felt she didn't choose wisely.
Service was attentive and prompt.
The pods on the terrace were lovely - even in the rain,

M
Oxford
1 review
Dined on 6 November 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

A disappointing experience. My friend and I both had the butternut soup which was tasty but rather salty. She had the sea bream with braised white beans but did not finish due to too much salt. My burger on the whole was equally salty but curiously in parts lacked seasoning. We were both looking forward to Shaun Dickens’ food but not sure if we will return.

MB
1 review
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Once a fine dining restaurant, same chef, same venue with a few quirky additions to the decor, now a more casual bistro with the same high level of excellent food and impeccable service at sensible prices. What's not to love.

LB
Dorset
2 reviews
Dined on 1 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it here for breakfast. We came for my husbands 50th with our teenagers and his parents. The service was just perfect - not too intrusive but just right. The food was fantastic and very good value. The coffee was the best I have had in a long time. Would highly recommend.

E
London
18 reviews
Dined on 31 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our 2nd Visit and another great meal , food is outstanding!

JC
Oxford
2 reviews
Dined on 31 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, fantastic food and extremely good value especially the set menu. Wines very reasonably priced.

MJ
Oxford
2 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Average but slightly disappointed as had high hopes. Some dishes extremely salty and pudding was not great!

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 26 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely restaurant. Food gorgeous. Tasty and beautifully presented. Good price for a Saturday lunch. Nice to see that they had a lovely bottle of bubbly locally sourced highly recommended. Perfect way to pass a wet Saturday. Will go back to sample in better weather. Staff had the perfect presence. Highly recommended

OT
Worcestershire
1 review
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Was nice food, but felt a little stuffy and empty. Seemed to be “Michelin star” prices without the experience to match

JA
London
3 reviews
Dined on 25 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Shaun is a great chef and runs an extremely efficient and friendly restaurant. It will be interesting to see how that change to a Bistro format goes. Shaun making a burger?

DB
East Sussex
10 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good choice of tasty and we'll presented food. All staff were very pleasant.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was exceptional

OT
Oxford
3 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always excellent food and great hosts

HS
London
1 review
Dined on 10 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent well-executed, and reasonably-priced meal complemented by attentive and thoughtful service. Highly recommended.

g
London
17 reviews
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was our 35th anniversary and we thought we would get out of our way (1hr drive from Guildford ) to go down memory lane in Henley. I had read decent reviews about the restaurant and we wanted to avoid « pub food ». Unfortunately this is pretty much what we got. The chicken terrine was not bad thank to the little purées it was served with and the lamb was just standard, the roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding too hard and dry to enjoy them and two small kidney pieces while this was supposed to be a feature in the dish. The wine list never came so we thought we would just shorten our meal and have dessert somewhere else.
The atmosphere was not cheerful and the terrace patio door kept being opened and closed for people seating outside which made the room chilly as it was very breezy that day.
There is no parking at the restaurant so you basically have to park at the public car park which is very narrow and long and busy. This should be mentioned when you book the restaurant.

Thankfully the walk along the river was a winner as the sun was out. We won’t come back...

PP
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience1

I would be very happy to recommend the Set Lunch Menu on a Saturday as food was very good but it is such a shame that the decor is so poor in this restaurant with no atmosphere.
It's called a Boathouse but nothing in the internal suggest we are by the river and boats.

CL
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is one of our all time restaurants - first class food and service

OT
Yorkshire
7 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Relaxing Sunday lunch with friends. We all enjoyed the food, which was sophisticated and tasty

PW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding. The best food I have had in the price range. Highly recommended.

AL
Buckinghamshire
2 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing meal! We had attentive service, great ambience, wonderful food. They acknowledged our special occasion and were flexible to let us move outside for coffees and watch the world go by. A great find.

NG
East Sussex
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Booked a table here for my partners birthday.
First time here and was not disappointed.
The food was absolutely gorgeous and the staff were lovely.
I would definitely like to return next time I am in the area.
Try it and see, you won't regret it.

SC
London
2 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

The starters (Salmon & salad) were great and very tasty but I thought the main courses were plain. We had the onglet and it was chewy and the charred lettuce was burned. It was served with plain baby potatoes. Not worth £28 for it.
Desserts were ok.
Wine was fabulous and service was great. It is looking onto the Thames river and is very nice setting.

CS
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Food was excellent as always, well presented, consistent, original.

Unfortunately service levels let things down on this visit.

Plenty of staff, asking if you want anything else, but forgetting to fulfil all additional requests. Including; table water, bread for terrine plus we had to ask 3 times for a lemonade & lime!

I love this place, but my friends I brought were surprised at the poor service.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful setting, attentive staff, delicious breakfast and very reasonably priced.

SD
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Underwhelmed- sums it up, the interior decor wasn’t great, ceiling tiles looked like my old office ones, cobwebs to above a light, little or no atmosphere.

Food okay, too much charred stuff though.

Service quite good, shame about the wine we chose not being available.

All in all okay but no more than that, exceptionally quiet for a Friday night with only a few tables being used, sadly I wouldn’t rush back.

NH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Weekday lunchtime visit; friendly, professional front of house staff showed the four of us to a generously sized table with an excellent view of the river in a light, well designed dining room. Our starters, chosen from the £28/34 for 2/3 courses menu, were charred broccoli and chicken terrine: both excellent; mains that we had were belly of lamb and skate, again excellent. In my opinion, the belly of lamb is one of the best mains at anything like this price that I have eaten for several years and in delightful surroundings. Suitable wine list with something for everyone. We will return!

R
London
3 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Professional, unobtrusive service. Flavoursome and interesting food. An all round delightful dining experience

BH
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Experience excellent from start to finish. We changed the time of the booking last minute which the restaurant happily accommodated. Service from all staff was excellent, we were made to feel like an important guest throughout. We both had 3 courses and couldn’t fault any of the food - taste was exceptional. Will definitely visit again for another treat!

OT
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Attentive front of house on arrival, gave gluten free option & accommodate elderly guests. However the food was average @ overpriced!
One member of staff was a little whiffy that was rather unpleasant!

MP
London
3 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This is a great place for a special meal. The food was excellent and the service was just right - attentive but not intrusive.