Cherwell Boathouse

Come and visit us with your family and friends. Try our Seasonal Menus prepared by chef Nick Welford. The well known local restaurant has been voted Wine List of the Year by the 2014 Good Food Guide and 2013 Louis Roederer Imbibe Magazine. The restaurant is open all year round.




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Oxford best steak



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  • Introduction


The Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant is a well known, local Oxford establishment with a reputation for exciting, creative cooking and a superlative wine list. The young and talented chef Nick Welford and his team provide inventive cooking with intriguing combinations of ingredients designed to surprise and thrill, with some simpler classics, wonderfully flavoured 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. The restaurant was started in an authentic Victorian working Boathouse alongside the punt station (established in 1904) on the banks of the river Cherwell by Anthony Verdin, a local entrepreneur and connoisseur of fine food and wine. It is still family owned and run today by John Verdin, Anthony's eldest son, and his team of young, friendly waiting staff who enjoy delivering a professional service.

The restaurant managers Brice Guibert also sommelier and Julien Minier are always ready to give you their expert advice on the best wine to complement and underscore the food you have chosen.

 The stunning riverside location is a year round treat, icy white beauty in winter and leafy green bucolic charm in summer. The sense of wide open space and the natural wildlife of the river add to the enchantment of lingering over lunch or dinner.

 The riverside terrace (on the restaurant decking) where you can enjoy an  alfresco lunch or dinner, is a particular summer delight. The swans sail serenely by and the soft thwack of the dragon school cricket balls echoes through the breezy summer air while the river ripples and eddies at your feet.

 We are looking forward to seeing you.

 The restaurant is open all year round, 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner.

Prices start from £13.75 for two courses during the week. 

 Vegetarians, Vegans and  special dietary requirements (such as gluten or dairy free) are easily catered for - please mention when booking if possible.

 Children are very welcome & can order from either the main menu or the children's menu.

High Chairs &  changing facilities are available.

 Opening hours:

 Every day for lunch & dinner:

Lunch 12h to 14h / 14h30 weekends (last order)

Dinner 18h to 21h15 / 21h30 weekends (last order)


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Spring Menu

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Just a brief note to say that Sue and I  were with two friends were at The Boathouse last night.

Excellent food, wine and service and the dining areas seemed  packed to the rafters.

Colin Rosser- Chairman, In Oxford group


Tranquil location on the River Cherwell has always been a selling point for the Boathouse- backed up by the pristine look of the place and a killer wine list ....Nick Welford navigates the restaurant through its seasonal progress, and makes a confident fist of dishes such as crab and smoked salmon tian dressed in cavier , crisp skinned cod in clam and potato chowder with balnched spring greens ; and rump of lamb with aubergine cavier . Dessert might be plum fool with Champagne jelly , or Sussex pond pudding and custard . The now legendary wine list is arranged by grape variety and contains some of the worlds best growers - Ostertag, Prum , Ogier , Au Bon Climat , Vega Sililia - at prices that often come as a pleasent suprise . '

Good Food Guide 2015

Evolved from the cheap ’n’ cheerful boathouse of my student days…”; the “impossibly romantic” riverside setting has always been the killer feature of this stalwart venture, but the “improving” food more often lives up to the other “particular highlight” – a wine list “with great variety and some fantastic prices”.

Hardens 2014

In ten words:

'Don’t go anywhere else this summer. Oxford     to a T.

That was the true beginning of summer for me, that wonderfully hedonistic mix of incredible food, delicious wine and that quintessential Oxford scene that warms the previously frost-bitten cockles of our English hearts. Summer is finally here.'

Oxford Times 2013

'displays the oenological equivalent of perfect pitch. Classicists will love the selection of clarets and burgundies many from great vintages, and there is a fine selction of riesling ....extraordinary value for money especially at the top end ..'

 2014 wine list of the year from the Good Food Guide :

The most eye-catching element, for sure, is the pricing. When a tough judge like Isa Bal MS of The Fat Duck gives you 10/10 for value for money (as he did in the first round of judging) you know that this is a place where your hard-earned goes a long way.

The temptation, of course, is to home in on the fine wines, with A-list producers and great vintages at the kind of prices you can only hit if you buy en primeur and have a democratic approach to margins. Mouton 1995 for £350, Ridge Monte Bello 1997 for £160, Comtes Lafon Meursault Perrieres 1989 for £180; this is a sommelier’s wet dream.

And yet, for our final-round judges it was the consistency of this value that pushed it to the front of the pack, with terrifically-priced wines all the way through, from bottles of Louis Roederer Brut Premier at a touch over £60 to a Felines Jourdan Picpoul at £19 and Au Bon Climat’s Santa Maria Pinot for £40. Whether you are on a splurge or on a budget, this is a list that spoils you for choice.The by-the-glass and half-bottle selections are exemplary, it’s clean, simple to use, beautifully presented and the innovative touches are helpful and encouraging. Offering a flight of three different 35cl sweet wines for £8 was a nice touch, as was listing the fine selection of German Rieslings in ascending order of sweetness.

It’s a list that, quite simply, has no faults. It’s exciting, but not overly long; has personality but is never self-indulgent, and caters for the wine fan and the novice alike.

‘There’s a fantastic consistency here,’ said Studio Alto’s Neil Bruce. ‘It’s unremittingly excellent.’ Truly, a worthy winner.'

2013 Louis Roederer Wine list of the year from Imbibe Magazine: 




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We make the utmost effort to use best local suppliers available

Thatcham butchers was formed in 1985 as a family run business which originated in a small retail shop, but such was the demand for the quality of there fresh meats that they have grown and grown as a company therefore by popular demand more local products have been sourced such as Torre meadow beef, Cotswold lamb, Orchard farm pork. With setting a high standard Thatcham butchers will continue to be at the forefront of the catering trade in the oxfordshire area.


Fish comes from Kingfisher based in Brixham home to the largest prime fish market in the UK . Kingfisher is synonymous with seafood and a big part of the family employing around 70 personnel from the local community , and has developed strong contacts and relationships with auctioneers who supply daily information on landing and quotas. Sustainability has become a fundemental issue from all supplies as to source of product as well as any relevant catch methods. Fish can usually be delivered within  24 hours of being bought from the fish market .

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