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Lazy lunches come to The Boat House by the lake

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For years—nearly 10 to be precise—diners have been asking management at The Boat House when they are going to open their doors for lunch.

Well, that time is now.

The Canberra culinary institution, which can boast some of the most picturesque views out across Lake Burley Griffin, has made a COVID pivot and has designed a menu which will allow diners to experience lake vistas during daylight hours as well as a delicious two or three-course menu at an affordable price.

From this Friday 31 July, The Boat House will be opening its doors for lazy, luxurious lunches from Fridays through to Sundays.

“Guests have been consistently asking us when we’ll extend our offering so that they can come and have lunch with us,” says owner James Souter.

“And we’re really excited to be offering this new service. I think lunch is ideal for us in that you can really enjoy the view. Especially at this time of year when the lake is just silver glass and the light is beautiful.”

In fact, James admitted it was a bit of a relief in being able to offer daylight dining as he was tired of getting nagged about it.

“We have always been known for our fine-dining four and seven-course dinners and our events and weddings, so to do lunches at a more affordable price-point is not something we have entered into lightly, but we feel that the demand is there.”

Two-course lunches will cost $60 while three-courses will cost $70, not including drinks.

Considerable thought has gone into getting the menu right, with Executive Chef John Leverink coming up with a number of sumptuous options including South Coast snapper, Cowra lamb rump, Pialligo honey mousse, and a hint of Canberra’s seasonal favourite, truffle.

You will find the truffle in dishes such as the truffle and ecshallot chicken ballotine or the Jindaburra truffle ice cream on the amazake rice pudding, with apple and buckwheat quince crumble.

We can also let you in on a little secret, and that is, when the weather warms up, The Boat House is going to be opening a new outdoor bar. But you will need to stay tuned for further details.

“Like everyone in the industry, we have had to sit back and look at what is going to work for us, and we realise our lake frontage is a major drawcard which we need to make accessible to more people during the daylight hours. We are really excited about the bar venture which we are currently working on and hope to announce soon,” said James.

Lunch sittings will be available from 12 through to 4 pm, allowing for later lunches that meld into sunsets in the colder months. When the weather warms up there is no reason you can’t move on from lunch, to après-lunch cocktails outside.

James noted that The Boat House’s configuration and dining rooms allowed it to be COVID-compliant and it can seat 60 people within social distancing regulations throughout light and airy surrounds. While the weather is cold you can request a table by the roaring open fire.

“In a sense we are lucky in that we have the space to remain compliant and still deliver the service and experience we are known for while maintaining everyone’s safety. The wine list has even gone digital to a QR code.”


What: The Boat House luxurious lunches 
When: From 31 July
Where: The Boat House, Grevillea Park, Menindee Drive Barton
Bookings can be made on 62735500 or online at theboathouse.restaurant

Photography: James Souter and Ryan Linnegar

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