Boat House Cafe, Bognor

I recently had a week away on the South Coast, near Bognor Regis in Sussex. We had blistering gorgeous sunshine, kiddie tantrums and excessive ‘parental recovery’ wine in the evenings, as we congratulated ourselves on keeping our kids out of trouble for yet another day. The landlady that rented us our cottage wanted £100 extra for providing sheets and towels, so we had to bring our own because the cottage already cost an arm and a leg at Easter Holidays prices. Tight, right? The living room displayed various passive aggressive laminated A4 sheets saying things like ‘We do NOT charge a damage deposit because we expect you to treat things well.’ Great. Why on earth, then, do people fill rental properties with white and beige sofas, just crying out for you to spill drinks on them? And let you bring your kids? Argh!

We noted just how strong The Brexit was in the local area – people flying Union Jacks and St George’s flags aloft in their gardens, and a potent ‘Leave’ vibe hanging thickly in the air. This made us sad and worried and horrified and disappointed. But the beaches of West Wittering and Middleton-on-Sea are stunning and unspoilt.

Anyway, if you do happen to be in the Bognor Regis environs, I just wanted to alert you to this gem of a seaside cafe which looks as though it has stood the test of time for decades, with nothing much changing with its menu or its decor. I love such places. They deliver true ‘Martin Parr’ visual moments, with pale-faced Brits drinking scalding tea in the sunshine, moaning about the weather while eating spuds with gravy. The food is solid and dependable – fry ups, pies, baked potatoes and the like, and the ice cream flavours will take you right back to the 1980s.

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Banging cheese on toast, crowned with a fried egg – and why not!

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Note the enormous double fish finger. My kids were suspicious:

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Fish ‘n chips – good solid tucker:

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Rum ‘n raisin please:

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Cakes in the refrigerator:

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Tip jar:

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Several days after our return, we received an ominous email from our landlady. ‘Whilst writing I notice that a cushion in the conservatory  is stained with a drink maybe.’ She continued:  “Someone was having fun with lots of flour everywhere. The utility room plughole blocked with dough!’ Tut tut. At least we weren’t smoking crack and practising Satanism in the living room. But BREADMAKING. We must be FLOGGED.

The Boat House Restaurant
19 Blakes Road
Bognor Regis PO22 7EE


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