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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

This old roadside hostelry was once backed by a canal and its walls are filled with black and white photos of the area’s locks. Refined modern dishes a...
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The MICHELIN Plate: Good cooking
Simple restaurant
After a great first year of trading at The Boat Inn, we are continuing our efforts to focus our attention on creating a quality lead food and beverage hub in lichfield. Inclusion in this years Michelin Guide being a great stepping stone. We are also proud to announce that head chef & owner, Liam Dillon, has been presented with the Best Chef Award at the Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards 2018! We have been very fortunate to be able to refurbish the pub so our guests can relax in comfort with our selection of Fine beer, wine and cuisine. New goals have been created with the new year, with the outside area for our own pigs as well as our chickens.
US$31 - US$48
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Drinks, Lunch, Dinner
Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free off-street parking, Dog Friendly, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (568)
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Reviewed 5 days ago

I visited The Boat Inn yesterday for Sunday lunch with family. It's a first time visit after seeing Liam Dillon's cuisine on Great British Menu earlier this year. The restaurant is located by the side of a busy dual carriage way but once you're inside...it's a peaceful, quirky and very pleasant place to be. I did find the voice of Delia Smith running through her recipe for Bolognese sauce in the men's loos intriguing mind! There are two lunch à la carte menus to choose from at £40 and £60, plus either the choice of a four or seven course tasting menu too. We all made our selections from the à la carte menus and service kicked off with a couple of hors d'oeuvres which were OK. My experience with these little snacks are that they set the scene for what is to come and if they remotely disappoint then I've yet to find things get better. Our starters consisted of the Bone marrow bread & butter pudding, Norfolk quail with confit leg and Beef shin ravioli with ox heart and a mushroom & beef consommé. Our mains were Roast halibut with caviar & fish sauce, Salt aged Merry field duck breast with foie gras brûlée and Roast Hereford beef fillet with Yorkshire pudding and trimmings. Finally, desserts of Nutmeg custard tart with white chocolate sorbet and Lichfield strawberry with set cream & shortbread. There's a lot of work going into these dishes but for me, there were consistent misses on flavour. I thought the Raviolo (singular) lacked any flavour punch. The beef shin was quite dry inside and although the mushroom & beef consommé was there to add moisture and a sauce, it didn't help that much. It also didn't help that three of us had this dish and the beef consommé is poured over at the table, however our server poured one of the jugs over the Bone marrow bread & butter pudding dish and left my wife and I with incomplete dishes. We had to ask her if there was more as she walked away else our dish would have remained dry. So one starter with a consommé it shouldn't have and another two without any. My main was the Roast halibut with caviar & fish sauce which looked great. The sauce is a white wine cream sauce with caviar and roe, lovely, but why the dish needs five big sticks of salsify I'm unsure; far too much. We added sides of Smoked beef fat mash and mixed beans which helped, but for the life of me I couldn't taste anything like smokey beef flavour in the mash. It was a good dish but not a balanced one. Finally, the Nutmeg custard tart with white chocolate sorbet. The tart was delicate and flavoursome. I could not taste white chocolate in the sorbet or the crumb. Neither could anyone else who had it so it wasn't just me. Overall, disappointed really. I know all the Michelin starred restaurants in and around Birmingham very well and you'll find countless reviews from me on here going back years. I also know the London scene extremely well and only last week I was at Sola in Soho again for an utterly stunning meal. I get flavour and so do any of the afore mentioned restaurants, I'm sorry to say this meal was lacking. Service was not great either. As well as the errors in starters, dishes got plonked in front of the wrong person and we had to make our own adjustments. We would have said something but one of the servers kept walking off. The dining room wasn't full and there were some disjointed pauses with none of the plates arriving together so some of us sat with our food going cold while we waited. For this three course meal for five, glasses of alcohol, bottles of water and service charge, we paid £476 or £95 a head. Honestly, I know it's not particularly wrong but it's Michelin starred prices and I wouldn't repeat it for the cuisine or service mistakes.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

From arrival to leaving absolutely perfect, everything that a restaurant should be. No rushing in-between courses and staff gave a detailed description of everything they served you. Food - exquisite, you could taste every ingredient in every course.

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Boat Inn offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. We visited at lunch time and chose from the a-la-carte menu. The food is very inventive and immaculately presented, the restaurant area is open, the tables are well spaced. The service is very efficient, the...dining room team are highly professional, knowledgeable about the menu choices and know how to make the customer feel at ease. My wife and I both had a marvellous lunch and will return in the not too distant future.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 1 week ago

Food, ambience, service, all first class. By service, I don’t just mean the movement of food to table and back but the feeling the staff cared and worked very much as a team to make your experience an enjoyable one. We had a great afternoon...and will definitely return.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 1 week ago

From start to finish the afternoon was a great dining out experience. Staff were quietly attentive . Food was amazing. We had a lovely afternoon celebrating belated 70th 50th and 40th birthdays delayed by covid.

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 1 week ago

Amazing food and fantastic attentive staff. So knowledgeable and excited about their food and drinks. Bit on the pricey side at £80 per head as a minimum for 3 courses plus drinks, but you get incredible service, so it’s worth it.

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Absolutely fabulous dining experience at the Boat Inn. Having waited a long time to visit, we booked for an anniversary meal. We had to wait a week from the actual date as our daughter got married the same week! But what this meant was that...it was a perfect end to a perfect week. The food was delicious, beautifully presented and just a joyous experience for us, eating at such a establishment for the first time. The staff were brilliant as well so could not fault anything. Really looking forward to returning for our next special occasion.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

What a wonderful restaurant. I am fortunate to be able to eat out frequently both in the UK and abroad and I have had some marvellous dining experiences. The Boat Inn is easily in my Top Ten. Everything here is superb. The quirky artwork, the...decor and ambience. The food, cocktails and choice of wine and other drinks are all first class. Flo was attentive, knowledgable, friendly and professional in equal measure. This was my first visit but by no means my last. I will happily undertake the almost two hour train and taxi journey to go back again and again.More

Date of visit: August 2021
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We ate at The Boat with friends. From the moment we arrived we thought we were in for a very special night, and weren’t disappointed. Every aspect of the boat is faultless, the greeting staff, the serving staff and the kitchen staff ensured that we...had a wonderful evening. We chose from the three course menu, which had something for every omnivore at the table. We will definitely visit again. Very soon. I hope.More

Date of visit: August 2021
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We Went again on Sunday, was excellent and worth every penny. Didn’t see Liam this time but the staff held their own and produced an outstanding dining experience for us all. There care and attention was more than first class. We even got a card...to thank us for our own work, which was so nice after such a long 18 months. If the boat inn doesn’t have a Michelin star in a year we will write to them ourselves. One word to conclude: ‘Outstanding’. Thank you all. Ps we will be back.More

Date of visit: August 2021
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Questions & Answers
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Lynn K
12 November 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from adrianmj1980 |
We had lunch today. 2 x starters, 1 roast chicken and 1 plaice, 2 x dessert, £30 wine, kids meal, desert and kids drink £135
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Boat Inn

The Boat Inn is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4