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* Prices are based on a two course meal
for one person excluding drinks.
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Dedham Boathouse Restaurant

Mill Lane - Dedham - Colchester - Essex - CO7 6DH
Add Your ReviewTel: (01206) 323153Website:

Dedham lies on the border between Essex and Suffolk, separated by the river Stour, and just some 7 miles north east of Colchester town centre. 

This picturesque and tranquil village boasts some wonderful Georgian architecture, beautiful scenery and plenty of tourist attractions.  Known as part of ‘Constable Country’ the renowned artist attended the local grammar school in Dedham, and the towns 16th century church appears in many of his paintings.

The Boathouse restaurant is situated just a stones throw away from the main high street, and sits beside the river Stour, flanked by the beautiful and soothing countryside scenes that Constables paintings so vividly captured. 

The restaurant was originally a boathouse and café where locals came to hire rowing boats to take up the river, or buy a snack and sit back to enjoy the view.  After a major overhaul and modernisation in 2002, you can still hire a boat, or buy an ice cream if you so desire, although now you can also enjoy an expertly prepared, delicious meal in this stunning location.

The timber clad structure of this large and attractive restaurant still echo’s its former incarnation and gives a warm feel to the place.  The stylish décor is pleasantly minimalist, allowing the framed views from the windows to take centre stage. 

The reasonably priced a la carte menu offers a good choice of straightforward, tasty dishes, bringing together the best of quality, seasonal produce, sourced as locally as possible.  You could choose from the likes of comforting slow roasted Suffolk pork with roast parsnip thyme mash and apple sauce, or a healthy and flavour packed dish of butterflied sardine fillets with gremolata and an aioli new potato salad.  

For a lighter option, the restaurant offers a tasting menu available during the week, featuring 3 courses of smaller plates that will satisfy your appetite and stimulate your senses, all for only £9.95.  You could start with a prawn & smoked fish brandard with rye bread, followed by tomato & mozzarella stuffed pork with sauté potatoes & sage sauce, finishing off with a decadent chocolate mousse with ammaretti biscuits; fabulous food for an appealing price.

In the summer months the large balcony is opened up, providing a spacious and scenic al fresco area for diners to relax and enjoy a good meal whilst taking in the wonderful views and watching the keen rowers doing all of the hard work.

Our Summary
Set in the stunningly beautiful Dedham countryside, just a stones throw from the main high street, The Boathouse offers an extensive, reasonably priced a la carte menu of straightforward, tasty dishes that bring together the best of seasonal produce, sourced as locally as possible.  For a lighter option, the restaurant offers a tasting menu featuring 3 courses of smaller plates that will satisfy your appetite and stimulate your senses.  In the summer months, enjoy scenic al fresco dining on the balcony, or even take the opportunity to hire out a boat and work off your lunch.

Fact File
Cuisine: Modern British

Average price per person for a two course meal, not incl drinks -

Lunch: £18.90
Dinner: £18.90
Specials: 3 Course Tasting Menu: £9.95 (Available Tues to Fri lunchtime & Tues to Thurs evenings, Jan - Apr & Oct - Nov.)
Restaurant Hours -
Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm Tues to Sun.
Dinner: 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Tues to Thurs &
6.30pm - 10pm Fri & Sat.
Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Major Credit Cards Accepted? Yes.
Children welcome? Yes.
Wheelchair Access? Yes.
Specialist Diets Catered For? All dietary needs are catered for on request.
Al Fresco Dining? Large, attractive Patio area open in the Summer months.
Deposit Required? By arrangement for large parties.
Car Park? Large Customer Car Park on Entrance.
The Boathouse is a popular venue for weddings, business lunches, functions and parties, both large and small.
Dining Area:
The attractive Dining area comfortably seats up to 85 people.
The Summer Balcony area seats up to a further 35 people.
Catering Arrangements :
Sit down set menu choices and drinks and canapés can be created to suit your individual requirements. A bespoke wedding package is also offered - please contact The Boathouse for further details.
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Sample Menu
The menu at The Boathouse changes quarterly to reflect the fresh, seasonal produce available in the local area. Below are samples of the menu from when we visited.
Starters -
Thai Fishcakes, Mango and Cucumber Relish.
Pot au Feu of Poached Eggs, Smoked
Haddock, Spinach, Parmesan & Garlic Croutes.
Main Course -
Crispy Skinned Sea Bass, Brown Shrimps, Basil Cream Linguine.
Rib Eye Steak, Hand cut Fat Chips, Mild Peppercorn Sauce.
Apple, Pear, Cinnamon and Cider Crumble, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Jamesons Irish Whiskey & Honey Bread & Butter Pudding with Pouring Cream.
The Boathouse offers a good selection of reasonably priced wines and champagnes, as well as a fully stocked bar.
Wine -
Excellent Selection of Wine by the Glass.
Bottle of House Wine: £11.75
Bottled Wines: £12.95 - £39.95
Champagne & Sparkling Wine -
A good selection of Champagnes available.
From: £30.00 to £99.00
Spirits & Liqueurs -
A good choice of spirits, liqueurs, aged brandies, whiskies and ports are available.
Coffee & Tea -
A full selection of fresh coffee styles, liqueur coffees and tea are available.

Map & Directions


Ambience: 5/5     Service: 5/5     Food: 4/5
A great find. We dined on a Saturday evening and the place was buzzing. The tables are positioned with enough space to give you privacy and yet enjoy the busy atmosphere. The service was friendly and attentive which we thought was very good being as it was such a busy night. The menu featured many European dishes and fusions, for example I had lamb with a gazpacho sauce, where as my wife enjoyed smoked mackerel with a tabboleh salad. Very good value too.