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The pace counter on my phone showed I had covered about 10,000 steps bashing the beach since breakfast at the Somerville Hotel, meeting Barry on the beach with his three dogs, walking out to St. Aubin’s Fort and making it back to higher ground just minutes before the causeway was covered with incoming ocean. I think I deserved some lunch, comfort food specifically, to replace those expended calories.
I decided to dine alone as I could not find the ‘serious local’ in the yellow oilskins who told me I had a couple of hours to get to the fort and back before the tide came in; when, in fact, I had about 2- minutes.
This was my third visit to The Boat House. The first two being back in December 2017. On both of those occasions the welcome was warm and friendly and although it was only for coffee or a night cap the service was excellent. So, on this third visit I actually had reasonable grounds for optimism like a gambler backing a favourite in a two horse race.
I studied the menu outside and settled on ‘The Captain Burger’ which weighed in at £13.95 with all the trimmings, including fries.
Once inside, the place was certainly warm. The restaurant is in the ground floor and seats about a hundred covers. Whoever designed the interior did quite a good job as someone with less imagination would have just left the space open, cavernous and impersonal. And for what? To make space for up to another fifteen covers. Instead they built floor to ceiling partitions that did not go wall to wall. This created three or four smaller areas and made it less like an airport waiting lounge. At the bar where customers order their food and drink,s the service was friendly and efficient. So far so good. Everything was as it was this time last year. After ordering, I found a high table in the central area where I could enjoy my Peroni lager while watching a recording of Arsenal on the flat screen television get beaten.
The Welcoming Bar Area
In the area I was in were about six other customers. Some with drinks and others with meals.
Lunch came about 10 minutes after ordering it, when I was a quarter of the way through my lager and Arsenal had just given away another goal. Timing was perfect.
What I ordered was what I got. A massive stack of brioche bun with enclosed burger, strips of streaky bacon, melted cheddar cheese and a smidgen of salad to give this meal any accolade of being healthy. The fries, included in the price, came in a cylindrical wire basket. They were piping hot right down to the last morsel. Everything was generous. The only problem I have with fries being served this way is that, if like me you like salt and vinegar on your fries, you can only apply this a layer at a time, but that is just a small inconvenience if the quality is good.
What I ordered is what I got.
The whole atmosphere was relaxed, and the friendliness of the team continued throughout the meal. Three times I was asked if everything was alright and could anyone get me anything else. This was not done in a pushy way to try and pressure customers into buying that extra drink, extra coffee, or have a dessert. Any attempt at the latter would have been a waste of time on me anyway, as I had cleared my plate and emptied my basket of fries. There was no room for anything else and the calories expended earlier had now been fully replaced.
I certainly left The Boat House feeling alive.
‘It’s good food and fine words that keeps me alive’ (Moliere).