Boathouse River Cafe, Christchurch, Dorset
We were on holiday staying at Hoburne Naish, not far from Christchurch when we discovered this great restaurant. The kids were hungry, it was late afternoon after exploring Christchurch Quay.
It’s all about the location
The location could not be better. The cafe overlooks the town green and the river hosting a multitude of boats moored along it’s edge. We were lucky, it was around 4:30 in the afternoon and managed to park in one of the twenty pay-and-display spaces on Quay Road, only a few steps from the Boathouse. On the green there is a children’s playground and even a crazy golf course the last time we visited.
Funky, cosy and modernistic
Inside it has a fresh, modern feel with funky interior design. Around the outside is a decked area with a number of sofas with low tables, perfect for casual eating, along with a number of tables overlooking the green. The sofas are loaded with cushions and blankets to keep off the evening chill. There are patio heaters and the whole decking area can be closed off to the elements when it is raining or breezy. We love to crash on the sofas, shoes off lounging around.
We have been back a few times and my kids can highly recommend the pizza with a side of olives. Pepperoni pizza was not on the menu but the chef was happy to rustle one up, much to Emma’s delight. We’ve tried the Thai green curry, home made burger and the mussels along with a few other dishes that have slipped my mind. None have them have disappointed.
Late afternoon is a great time to visit, before the evening rush. Any later you might want to book a table. Last time we were there, we wandered around the priory, past Christchurch Castle, along Castle Street, Back on to Church Street and back onto Quay Road. After meandering along the river to the children’s playground we double-backed landing at the cafe.
After the walk we were surprised by the early special deal of two-for-one pizza. I can’t promise they still do this but if they do, it means the grown-ups can spend more on wine and desert. Check out their website for more details. They also have the Beach House Cafe at Hengistbury. Another amazing location with great food. I’ll post on that one two when I get a minute.