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The Boaters Inn (Bar)

Picture of The Boaters Inn in Kingston, London

Canbury Gardens, Lower Ham Road, Kingston, London, KT2 5AU
Cuisine: British
Tel: 0208 541 4672 | Email to The Boaters Inn | Transport: Richmond | Write review

The Boaters Inn Review

This is a review and so should mention that the table was wonky (until wedged with a beer mat), that the salmon had to be replaced with trout because they’d run out, and that some sort of minor balls up occurred in the men’s toilet, which actually we found really entertaining as we watched a rather anxious looking customer approach the staff with the worrying comment that “there is a shower in the toilet”; cue lots of people walking in and out the toilet with paper towel.

However, I could not care less about any of that because I was completely charmed by The Boaters Inn.

Admittedly, I am pretty easy when it comes to charm. I get soundly mocked by country friends when I squeal with delight at ‘authentic’ country pubs, complete with horse shoes nailed to wall and farmers sipping ale. However, my more cynical companion was also won over, so it’s official: The Boaters Inn really is lovely.

The experience could have been better if the sun was shining. The Boaters Inn is next to the Thames and I therefore had images of a Wind in the Willow style dinner at dusk with a host of river animal friends. Preferably not Ratty, though, that doesn’t seem quite appropriate at dinner.

However, as is usually the case in England when going somewhere perfect for the outdoors, the weather was hideous. Again, it didn’t really matter. The indoors is a basic normal pub, lots of dark wood and, to match the name, some boating paraphernalia. It was casual and unpretentious, with a mixed clientele of students and ‘normal’ people of all ages. The kind of establishment where having a mild giggling fit about exploding toilets doesn’t require something stuffed in the mouth to muffle the sound (if you’re ever somewhere where mouth stuffing is necessary, from experience, I would avoid all liquids as spraying your neighbouring tables with wine is frowned on by some).

We plonked ourselves to one side to retreat from the Monday night quiz and had a delicious meal. I found my main of poached trout on salad nicoise to be nicely done but a little bland; my squid starter was really tasty and came in a massive portion which I happily ate up. The best of the bunch was undoubtedly the dessert: lemon posset with almond shortbread. Go there, eat it, it’s divine. I licked it dreamily off a spoon for several minutes, while my companion, who cant eat sugar, glared at me in envy, which I am sure added immeasurably to the taste. MMMMMmmmm lemony…

To return quickly to the charm, part of the reason for the charm was the exceptionally charming manager and his charming ideas. For example, every six weeks they have themed international nights with food and music. In the past they’ve done a Spanish night with tapas and Spanish guitar and an Americana night with bluegrass music and clam chowder. He also told us, with much excitement, that he’d recently purchased a giant paella pan and, when the sun and inclination permitted, would make a huge paella outside, which I think is a rather brilliant take on the traditional pub barbecue. There is also the long serving Jazz night on Sundays.

The Boaters Inn is the venue to be at on those deliciously long summer evenings that require nothing more than relaxation. It’s an easy going place with good food and drink that feels a far away from the crowds and rush of London. With a park on one side and the Thames on the other it’s worth making the trip for the day. For me, I only wish I had a boat to do the whole experience properly, it would be rather nice to boat to the Boaters Inn. I am sure that Ratty and Mole would approve.
...read more

Anna Robin

Customer Reviews for The Boaters Inn

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Boaters Inn.

“The venue itself is fantastic, right at the river in beautiful Kingston! A proper beer garden outside, very nice staff inside, too. However food is rather something to indulge when you're drunk already, not when looking for a super nice pub food. The side salad was horrible and anyway buried under the chips and steak - chips were absolutely delicious, steak was mediocre, matching the price though (£9.50 or so). Haven't tried their collection of ales, so worth going again. If you want a bit better food (taste, idea, layout) for a similar price, go to Woody's just 1 mile up the river.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Henning, London (5 years 1 months 27 days ago)

“Wonderful ambience and atmosphere, interesting food menu, superb ales on offer along with traditional bitters and lagers. Very pleasant and helpful bar staff, civilised people for a civilised pub. No lager louts shouting their heads off and being a nuisance.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Paul Budd, [ Unknown ] (10 years 6 months 14 days ago)

“Fantastic venue. Wish I could go every Sunday, the food is fantastic. Cozy venue, great atmosphere and fabulous views! Excellent service, as well.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Kendra Reed, [ Unknown ] (10 years 10 months 22 days ago)

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