Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Paignton, Devon: The Boathouse Cafe Review

Preston seafront was looking lovely on 9 Jan 2011.  The sea looked mirror calm and the rare appearance of the sunshine had strangers stopping to remark on it to each other.

My daughter and I went for a stroll along the waterfront and then decided it was time for hot chocolate and tea.  I had heard that The Boathouse was a decent cafe, but I was a little put off by this:

Well, it's out-of-season in Devon and I guess businesses need to drum up custom, but still....

Despite cheery greetings from the waiter, an overpowering stench of bleach, peeling paintwork and filthy sticky bits under the wooden table slats made me realise that this place must be primarily a Fri / Sat night bar rather than a gourmet cafe hangout.

The morning pastries didn't look very appetising under their cellophane wrappers so we had tea and a hot chocolate with all the trimmings.  Except one.

I'm not keen on tea in a glass (unless I'm in Spain or France where I don't care cos I'm on holiday), but I really do care about getting a carton of UHT milk with my tea.  Yuk.  That's what I would expect at a motorway service station or.....I'm not sure where....on a budget airline, but not in a beachside cafe that has a fully functioning fridge and everything.

This cafe was not really my sort of place at all.  The UHT did it for me. It was out-of-season and needing a bit of a revamp  - it looked lovely outside, so that's where we went!


Sorry, Boathouse, get well soon!

8 comments:

Northern Snippet said...

I clicked straight onto this to read thinking the Boathouse Cafe was going to be a wonderful seaside cafe.What a disappointment,I agree I like tea in a cup preferably a china one and UHT milk?I never understand that one as it actually costs more to buy those little cartons than it does for fresh milk,lucky you didn't go for the
carvery,lovely views though.

Grazing Kate said...

I know! What were they thinking? Luckily I can happily drink my tea black, but I would only ever drink fresh milk.

I'm sure that would never happen in your pub!

Angie said...

We're once again venturing down south to Somerset this year - Somerset based that is - so it's handy knowing where to avoid on our travels, which will certainly include Devon and Cornwall. Sticky deposits and flaky paint don't do it for me either!

Choclette said...

Unfortunately, the boathouse seems more representative of our SW cafes than I would like. Fortunately, we do have a few gems dotted around - hopefully on the rise!

Grazing Kate said...

Angie - I hope you don't mean that you're certainly going to avoid the whole of Devon and Cornwall!

Choclette - I don't mean to 'name and shame', as you know, I feel uncomfortable about giving negative reviews of places, but sometimes our SW cafes are disappointing.

We have to be picky and sing the praises of the 'gems', and that's where guides like my blog can help (I hope).

Liz said...

UHT milk is unforgiveable in a permanent cafe, definitely a thumbs down - squirty cream on the chocolate too - how was that? When I couldn't drink coffee for a while ( I can now thank goodness) I often drank hot choc when I was out, usually it was unbearably sweet and made from a sachet...

Christine Kaltoft said...

It's a shame to have to leave a negative review Kate but at least it's honest and gives them clear info about what they need to change to make the grade.

I hate UHT too. I've even seen busy places using tetra packs of it, believing it's going to last longer after the carton's opened. Makes me wonder whether they've got any sense of taste at all!

Grazing Kate said...

Hi Liz and Christine,
I think that food places are going to have to cotton on to the fact that customers are really turned off by things like UHT milk. Most people are counting their pennies these days and they don't want to spend their cash on a substandard / less enjoyable product or experience.

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