The Cherwell Boathouse, located by the River Cherwell sandwiched between The Wolfson College and Oxford University Parks looks so charming and beautiful it makes you want to seat there all day. But winter time changes its river view of hand made punts in the water with greenery along its side into a more romantic elegant charm.
The Cherwell Boathouse from the outside
This graceful boathouse reflects its staff as well. Even with a busy evening at the restaurant this Christmas season, the receptionist was very kind on the phone to let us postpone to a later time than we initially booked. And when we arrived, they sat us on a nicer table by the window which had just freed up.
The interior has wooden beams and some bare bricks, decorated with lights and Christmas decorations were done beautifully and elegantly.
The table setting of bright red daisies and candle was set very romantic. There was even Christmas crackers on the table for us.
Blue cheese and red wine poached pear tarte tatin
When ordering this starter, we were afraid the blue cheese might be too strong and would be over powering but it came out really good, only a light hint of blue cheese was evident. The pear was sweet and well poached, it was a fine line between a dessert and starter. We liked it.
Seared wood pigeon breast with celeriac puree, baby onions and wild mushroom.
The combination of this dish was earthy with the mushrooms, silky smooth purée and very tasty jus. And just to be fault finding, the breast was slightly over cooked.
Saltimbocca of monkfish with white beans and vegetable ragout, red wine reduction
My plate of monkfish was very flavourful with the prosciutto and sage wrapped meaty monkfish along with its buttery vegetable ragout. It was so luscious, I can still remember the taste while writing this post.
Pan friend whole corning lemon sole with purple carrot, wilted spinach, new potatoes and caper butter sauce
This lemon sole was a nicely cooked plate with lots of vegetable, M liked it very much. Well, I thought my monkfish was a far more delicious plate but M disagreed. It did not matter, we both enjoyed our food so all's good.
Bûche de Noël (Yule log cake), the traditional French Christmas dessert was we thought slightly dense and dry but the chocolate butter cream and ganache had a very chocolatey punch, a real chocolate treat.
Warm apple and cinnamon sponge with calvados purée and apple ice cream
Dessert with mixture of warm and cold is really quite fun. The warm sponge was light with the ice cream and purée which eats really well with a little tartness and not too sweet.
Another part of the restaurant
In conclusion, I would recommend visiting Cherwell Boathouse especially for a celebration dinner. If you've been here recently, so share your experience in the comments section below.