The Boatyard is a restaurant which clearly rates itself.
And it does have good reason. It’s situated in probably one of the best spots in Essex, tucked down in Old Leigh, with unrivalled views of the estuary.
On a balmy summer evening, there are few places I would rather be than sat, cocktail in hand, on its long wooden deck out at sea, the sound of piano drifting out.
And, what is more, I have also discovered a new favourite cocktail.
The Boatyard’s Rosè Spritzer is basically summertime in a flute. Macerated strawberries were mixed with Pimms No.1 , Frais de Bois, Elderflower and a dash of sugar syrup, shaken and double-strained into my glass then topped with Rosè Champagne.
It. Was. Goooorgeous. And ever-so drinkable. I would have happily keep on these all night. But we were supposed to be having dinner. And there was a lovely bottle of pink for us to share… (66 Jean Paul Rose Cotes de Gascogne 2013, £16.95.)
As always at the Boatyard, the food was good, the atmosphere bustling, and the views spectacular. The Boatyard is something of an elder statesman in Essex eateries, it’s formula unchanging as the years roll by. It’s going to take something really special to bring the Boatyard down a peg…
PS It’s worth knowing…
There’s a set menu available Monday to Friday, and on Saturday lunchtimes. It’s really reasonable for such a nice spot.
The big burger, on the aforementioned set menu, is exactly the same as the (more expensive) gourmet burger on the a la carte menu.
The cheesy-topped mash with crispy pancetta is basically cheesy mash with a rasher of unsmoked bacon plonked in the middle. I wouldn’t order it again.
When the pianist (who was great) knocks off for the night, you get left with footage of a Robbie William’s concert on the restaurant’s big screens.
Find out more about the Boatyard at www.theboatyardrestaurant.co.uk