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“Really really poor”
Review of The Boatman Freehouse - CLOSED

The Boatman Freehouse
Price range: US$10 - US$26
Cuisines: British, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Child-friendly
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Really really poor”
Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

Four of us ate in this place last night - and service wise it was an embarrassment from start to finish. Food wise it wasn't special either.

We polished off a bottle of prosecco pretty quickly and asked for another. They didn't have one cold ( it was 8 on a Saturday night!!! ) our friends told us precisely the same had happened last time they are there. Not a place to learn from it's mistakes then.

We asked for them to chill a bottle for us and we would have something else in the meantime. Ignoring this, a waitress brought over a room temp bottle in a wine cooler, with a few lumps of ice In the bottom- that's not going to cool a warm bottle! I cannot believe she thought it would. She really didn't know what she was doing I'm afraid.

We asked them to chill this bottle in a fridge please and asked for a bottle of Rose. They didn't have it. We selected another. "I'll Go and check" Are stock levels so poorly controlled that there are no chilled wines and some have run out completely? And why don't the waiting staff know what is or isn't available?

We had to ask several times for other drinks - my friend had to actually ask three times for his pint of bitter. Which required getting up to go and find a waitress.

The main reason is no one ever came to our table. There were three tables in our downstairs area, and they were all similarly neglected. No one checked back on our food. No one offered more drinks, we had to always go and find someone to order. It's not difficult to see why they only have three tables eating on a Saturday night.

As for the food - 2 burgers, these were good. But our friends food was really poor - a rib eye steak that was luke warm and very thin. Certainly not worth the £20 charged. The other was a mackerel salad, the mackerel was tasteless and the salad was packed with stringy bland leaves.

This place has for a long way to go if it wants to be taken seriously as a food led establishment. Maybe it doesn't want to be, but when our bill comes to £165 for one course each plus drinks we expect it to be a LOT better than it was.

Amateurish, no attention to detail, no polish whatsoever, and embarrassingly bad service - and looking at the bar staff's faces it doesn't look like they enjoy working there any more than we enjoyed eating there.

This place used to be excellent. Now - definitely one to avoid.

5 Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nice riverside location with reasonable food”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

The main selling point of this pub must be the riverside location. The outside seating area is very picturesque. It's a great place to come on a summer's evening.

There is a good selection of drinks and a relatively upmarket English pub menu. I had ham hock and my wife had a cheeseburger. Both were good hearty options.

Service was okay, but not particularly efficient. I'd be concerned about eating here if it's busy.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AstroRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
332 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“A good location”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

The restaurant/pub has very recently changed hands. (2 months ago). It was a beautiful sunny day, so we, therefore, ate outside. There are tables both in the sun and in the shade. There is an interesting view of the river. One can also very easily walk to the pub during a shopping trip in Guildford. The interior of the pub looked very pleasing and I would be very happy to eat inside on a day when the weather isn't so clement! The food was ok, not wonderful, but not terrible either, plus a tad pricey. I would certainly go again because of the convenient location and the pleasant ambiance of the pub.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ceciliamorrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere along with good food”
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

The Sunday lunch we had was fantastic, we all left absolutely stuffed! The atmosphere in the pub is great with modern decor alongside some nice features. The conservatory and outside areas are lovely to sit in on a sunny day, although the conservatory can get very warm.
Overall a great pub, and would certainly visit again if I'm in the area. The only downside is the lack of free parking (about 10 spaces) so you may need to park in the Pay & Display 2 mins walk away.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank MsFeline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farnborough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Noisy & not cheap”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

The food has changed recently, no more unheated tuna melts and now some nice pasta dishes but are they really worth the nearly £10?

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank NebHor-Amen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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