Boathouse, South Queensferry: a view of the bridge

South Queensferry is but a hop skip and jump – or 20 minute drive – from Edinburgh. It has a busy waterfront with restaurants, bars and shops jostling for attention and offering views of the bridges and the water to tempt you in. A sunny spring day when the sun was shining, C and I drove over to visit The Boathouse. We expected good things and were impressed with both food and service. We left very happy diners indeed.

The Boathouse's view is nothing short of iconic.

The Boathouse’s view is nothing short of iconic.

Fancy a romantic meal after a walk on the beach?

Fancy a romantic meal after a walk on the beach?

You can find The Boathouse on South Queensferry’s High Street but you can also get in from the beach-side. We took the High Street route and entered through the café (closed in the evening). Stairs took us downstairs, first to the busy bistro and then to the calm and intimate restaurant. We had a window table with a wonderful view of the Fourth rail bridge.

The Boathouse has changed over the years. The building was extended a few years ago and the bistro is in the extension. The bistro was busy the entire time we were there and we enjoyed the cheerful sound of voices and laughter. The restaurant has two dining rooms, the smaller one can be hired for special events. Always curious, I watched the people eating in there and tried to figure out where they were from.

Plump little parcels of sea and sunshine.

Plump little parcels of sea and sunshine.

The Boathouse’s restaurant menu offers fresh local seafood with seasonal and contemporary accompaniments. I found it difficult to choose because I pretty much wanted everything. Finally making a decision, I started with half a dozen oysters, fresh as a summer’s day, with a red wine dressing. The dressing went well but I mostly left my oysters naked. They were just too plump and lovely to need anything. C. has a Cornish goat’s cheese, a young and tangy delight that I’d love to have at home too. There’s something very refreshing and summery about fresh cheese, goat’s cheese in particular.

Sea bream with salsa and perfectly cooked vegetables.

Sea bream with salsa and perfectly cooked vegetables.

There was no vegetarian main on the restaurant menu that day, but that wasn’t a problem. The kitchen could offer a couple of options that suited C. The waiting staff was very accommodating too: friendly and welcoming. We settled in quickly and felt very comfortable. As C. tucked in to his creamy mushroom and asparagus gnocchi, I enjoyed my sea bream with salsa. The cooked salsa, with its rich tomato flavour and slight acidity from kalamata olives was perfect with the fish. The fish was tender with a lovely crispy skin. It was served with vegetables that were cooked just so. Look at the brilliant green of that broccoli. It was gorgeous.

Créme brulé with chocolate wand and rather tasty shortbread.

Crème brulée with chocolate wand and rather tasty shortbread.

For dessert, I had a pannacotta, light and wobbly, and C. had crème brulée. Both were creamy and gentle ends to dinner. They came with the longest chocolate scrolls I’ve ever seen.

The sky was darkening slightly when we left, choosing to exit the way we entered. We were replete and had had a really lovely evening.

The Boathouse

22 High Street
South Queensferry, EH30 9PP
Tel: 0131 331 5429

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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