This fine-dining restaurant opened its doors in 2017 under the guidance of owner and chef patron, Liam Dillon. The restaurant boasts a cosy and comforting dining room, which is stylish without feeling pretentious – think a calming grey colour palette that’s juxtaposed with a few quirky touches such as deer antler chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
There are two dining areas for guests to choose from, with the restaurant’s open kitchen visible from both. The best seats in the house though are undoubtedly at the chef’s table, which is situated directly in front of the open kitchen and features just six seats where guests can watch their food being prepared by the kitchen team.
Dillon has previous experience working in the kitchens of renowned restaurants such as Tom Sellers’ Restaurant Story, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and New York’s Eleven Madison Park. The chef offers an à la carte, as well as a multi-course tasting menu, with dishes inspired by his time working in Australia, where he found there was a stripped-back approach to cooking which championed premium ingredients used in simple ways to show off their flavour.
The Aussie influence is obvious in ingredient-led dishes such as crab with pear and leek, or roast hake with mashed potato, brown shrimp and spinach, though the ingredients are unmistakably British. More decadent options include rib of beef or chateaubriand, both of which come from The Boat Inn’s dry-aging cabinets and are served with hand-cut chips and your choice of sauce.
Equally enticing desserts range from simple assemblies such as Lichfield strawberries with shortbread and burnt hay ice cream, to more indulgent offerings like carrot cake with butter icing and rum-and-raisin ice cream.
If you fancy some post-prandial drinks, The Boat Inn boasts a selection of fine wines and fizz, and while dinner here isn’t exactly a cheap eat, pricing is fair for the standards on show – there’s also a great-value set lunch menu for those on a smaller budget, as well as hearty roasts on a Sunday.