PUB SPY: The Old Boathouse Pub at South Cerney

pub spy the old boathouse pub at south cerney - PUB SPY: The Old Boathouse Pub at South Cerney
pub spy the old boathouse pub at south cerney 1 - PUB SPY: The Old Boathouse Pub at South Cerney

After a lovely day exploring the waterpark and observing the wildlife from afar, Pub Spy chanced upon the De Vere Boathouse at Lake 6, South Cerney.

There is little more appealing than the prospect of spending a lazy summer’s afternoon gazing out over a calming panoramic of water.

Such it was that I took off to South Cerney and chanced upon a modern pub in the De Vere hotel complex which boasts an enviable location at Lake 6.

The so-called Old Boathouse Pub, as it is ironically described given its contemporary provenance and interiors, is set up as a pub brasserie with a bar at the entrance overlooking an extensive eating area that extends outside to decking overlooking the water.

Despite the mid-afternoon time that I arrived (3:30pm), I was given a warm welcome by the hostess at the door and told that the kitchen had stopped serving meals, but could offer me a selection of sandwiches.

I was pointed in the direction of the bar which had a pleasant outlook over a large open-plan dining area with windows overlooking the lake and nature reserve.

The decor was fresh, trendy and appealing, although upon closer inspection the bar looked a little tired – it must have been a busy lunchtime.

An unimaginative selection of drinks for the non-alcoholic drinker – and although I spied the Cotswold bottled lager, there didn’t seem much else of local drinks.

After a wait of a few minutes, despite a rather empty bar, I ordered an open sandwich with poached egg, smashed avocado (£8) which looked extremely presentable on the plate along with a salad of mixed leaves.

I also added a side of so-called ‘skinny fries’ (£4) which, although rather puny in portion for the price, fed me nicely with a tonic water (£2.90) to drink.

The meal was a delicious light lunch and credit to the chef for the perfectly cooked eggs which oozed very satisfactorily over the bread.

To follow, I enjoyed two scoops of honeycomb ice-cream and raspberry sorbet (£4 for a child’s portion instead of the usual £6 for three scoops).

All was delicious, but it was expensive for pub fare, hence my question – was it worth the extra few pounds for the great presentation and lake side setting?

I suppose one has to expect that its location within a hotel complex lends itself to the pricier end.

The outdoor deck was mostly full throughout the two hours I enjoyed my meal, but what was unmistakeable – as is so often the way with large, faceless entities that own such venues – was the soulless feel of the place and the lack of effective ‘ownership’ by a young front of house team who could do with more training.

Moreover, despite such attractive decor, it needed a good clean in places – not least the toilets.


Atmosphere 8

Decor 8

Staff 7

Food 9

Prices 5.5

Overall 7.5

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