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Cherwell Boathouse

Cherwell Boathouse

The Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant is a well known, local Oxford establishment with a reputation for exciting, creative cooking and a superlative wine list. Our Head chef Paul Bell leads a hard working young team including Ashley Clare, George Edwards. The team provide inventive cooking with intriguing combinations of ingredients designed to surprise and thrill, with some simpler classics, wonderfully flavored signature dishes based on fresh, locally sourced, seasonal produce.

The Good Food Guide describes it as an “Oxford institution” with an “enchanting riverside location” and noted for “the gold standard wine cellar”. Desserts are a particular delight and revel in Oxford eccentricity…

  • Address Bardwell Road, Oxford, OX2 6ST
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
12:00 pm - 9:15 pm 12:00 pm - 9:15 pm 12:00 pm - 9:15 pm 12:00 pm - 9:15 pm 12:00 pm - 9:15 pm 12:00 pm - 9:30 pm 12:00 pm - 9:30 pm

2 reviews of “Cherwell Boathouse”

    Ruth Hawkins

    26th September 2017

    I’ve not been to The Cherwell Boathouse for a couple of years, so was really looking forward to my visit this time.

    The menu was still the ‘late summer menu’, and our visit on a cold, drab, rainy Sunday evening was still delightful.

    The welcome we had from Brice was very warm and welcoming, and he clearly knew his menu and wine list thoroughly.

    The restaurant was reasonably busy for a Sunday evening, and we had a lovely table by the window to the terrace, where we could watch some intrepid punters in the rain, as well as a family of swans swimming up and down the Cherwell. Idyllic!

    To start I had pan fried quail breast served with bubble and squeak and caramelised baby onions. It was delicious. My husband had ham terrine and our 10 year old seafood lover chose pan seared scallops served with puy lentils, smoked bacon and butternut squash puree, which went down an absolute treat! I tasted all 3 dishes, and can confirm they were all lovely.

    For main course, I realised in hindsight I chose something fairly similar to my starter, but nonetheless it was a good choice; roasted guinea fowl with dauphinoise potatoes. It was cooked beautifully. John fancied trying the nut roast, and the seafood loving 10 year old went for pan fried trout fillet with white bean and mussels chowder. Again both dishes were polished off, and Isobel’s fish dish was voted the favourite by all three of us. In the French manner, Brice asked if we wanted cheese before desert. As the only cheese eater, I asked for a taster, and was presented with some beautifully kept Lincolnshire poacher and Cherwell goats cheese. The small person tried both but her love of seafood doesn’t extend to any cheese other than cheddar. But her loss was my gain.

    For dessert, I went for strawberry mille-feuille with champagne sorbet. It was very light and fresh and a lovely end to an autumnal meal. John, who has the sweetest tooth, went for peanut and pistachio salted caramel ice cream which he thoroughly enjoyed. Isobel chose Breton Shortbread, which was not at all what we were expecting, but was a delicious shortbread cake filled with raspberry sorbet. There was certainly no dessert left!

    We had a lovely evening and can heartily recommend the Cherwell Boathouse.

    Dan Channer

    13th April 2016

    Time stands still in the twilight of an April evening as we snake through North Oxford, heading towards the Cherwell Boathouse. The streets are deserted with the fee paying school community being en vacances and very probably entre la neige and le ciel. Tucked into the armpit of the Dragon School is a tiny little lane leading to arguably the city’s best restaurant, or certainly one of the most famous and definitely one of only a very few establishments competing in the arena of ‘fine dining’.

    The Cherwell Boathouse was founded in 1904 by a man called Thomas Tims. He built a punt hire business, a large house and he had a boat building yard at Long Isis. Today the Boathouse is thriving with the main restaurant, several event spaces, plenty of punts to hire, and a seasonal Teahut bar open from mid-April to mid-September offering a lower price point and more immediate and accessible fayre for those who have come to punt and not necessarily to dine.

    We park on Chadlington Road and the silence of the neighbourhood shatters upon opening the restaurant door, as if we have stumbled upon a secret club. On an ignominious Wednesday evening the place is buzzing with full tables and urgent laughter and a sense that we are late to the party. The atmosphere works and creates the mood – nobody wants a silent restaurant.

    Without thinking very hard we find ourselves ordering from the Spring Menu which offers 2 courses for £22 and 3 courses for £27.75. We were the last table to order and my starter of red pepper and plum tomato mousse disappears in seconds. My friend enjoyed the cornish crab and chive risotto, using adjectives like ‘delicate’ and ‘fragrant’ with a sincerity that I had to admire.

    We order the beef and the cod as main courses. The beef is locally reared and that is compelling when ordering, geographic provenance being a modern trend. The shiitake mushroom and Madeira jus add a sweet glaze to the proceedings – the portions are generous and this is a winner. The pan fried fillet of cod is cooked to perfection.

    Puddings are essential and the bitter chocolate tart complements the evening as a round of ‘Happy Birthday to you’ comes from across the room. Gilded North Oxford sleeps serene as we leave, oblivious to the passing of yet another successful, lovely evening at the Cherwell Boathouse.

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