We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Love this restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Waterfront Cafe

Waterfront Cafe
Benson waterfront | Benson, Wallingford OX10 6SJ, England
+44 1491 833732
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #9 of 48 Restaurants in Wallingford
Price range: $9 - $19
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Description: The award winning Waterfront Cafe is situated in the heart of rural Oxfordshire, perched on the banks of the River Thames at Benson.The cafe is open seven days a week throughout the year serving food all day. During the summer months (April-September) the evening bistro is open Tuesday - Sunday evening until 10pm - Mondays 8am until 6pm.The idyllic setting makes it a perfect place to watch the stunning sunsets over the river with a glass of wine.Opening at 8am the cafe is ready to serve the early risers breakfast. A traditional full English, Eggs benedict, bacon sandwich,freshly baked Croissants and Danish pastries are just some of the choices available. Daily homemade specials are excellent value and always popular with the regulars. Alternatively we offer our all day menu with a wide range of homemade favorites, lighter plates and freshly baked baguettes which can always be taken away for those on a tight schedule.The cafe is also renowned for its impressive selection of homemade cakes and desserts and is popular with those with a sweet tooth. Ice creams or cream teas can also be enjoyed on the large patio - weather permitting!During the summer months the evening bistro comes alive and offers an additional menu which allows our chefs to showcase their culinary talents.
Abingdon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Love this restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

My friend and I have become regular visitors to the Waterfront over the last couple of years, and have spent many enjoyable hours there this summer because of the perfect weather. The staff are always friendly, and very busy, the food is excellent and you never feel hurried to leave. It has been busy most times we have been recently but we haven't had to wait too long for our food. Why go to a place like this if you are in a hurry, sit and enjoy the view. Today we called in for lunch and thought that with the drop in temperature there wouldn't but too many people, but it was very busy. I had braised beef which was excellent and my friend had pasta which she declared the nicest she had ever had. We followed this with eton mess and delicious fruit cake and left feeling very full and very satisfied. Thank you to all involved in running this delightful establishment. An added bonus is that they sell duck food so we have to buy a couple of boxes and feed the ducks. This is quite entertaining.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

168 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    69
    63
    19
    7
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Sunday Lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We'd never been to this wonderful cafe before but upon hearing rave reviews from friends who live in the area we decided to pop down on Sunday for lunch and were not left disappointed!

The setting is just perfect, the staff were polite, friendly and couldn't do enough for us - not to mention the food! Me and my wife both had a traditional roast dinner and I can honestly say it was the most delicious Sunday lunch I have ever had the privilege to enjoy, and I've eaten a few!

I'm not usually a man to hand out such strong praise, in fact I'm notoriously difficult to please (just ask my wife) but it really was a delight.

I honestly couldn't recommend this magnificent cafe strongly enough.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benson, United Kingdom
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fabulous spot to enjoy quality meals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

I love coming to the Waterfront Cafe, The staff are always happy, cheerful and willing to make your visit as pleasant as possible. The views are so peaceful and calming, and the outdoor seating is must, even with the weather turning they have outdoor heaters and blankets so you really can enjoy the view as long as possible. The food is great value for money; great quality and the service is always quick. I will be visiting again.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol UK
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Lovely spot, shame about the food and staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

The location is lovely, which I suspect is part of the problem, as they don't need to try hard to keep business coming in.
The food is basic, we had a selection of 6 mains between 8 of us, averaging £9 each, which for a burger (for example) is a little pricey, when it looks and tastes shop bought, the chips are out of a bag and even simple extras are £1 or £1.50.
The staff are not rude, but service was slow, they will not go out of their way to be helpful, + messed up our table booking.

If you want a nice place by the river, this is lovely. For kids, there is no play area, and no guard rails by the river, so plan to watch them closely, although it's overall family friendly with a good baby changing room.

In summary, I would not recommend it, but some simple staff improvement and perhaps a more interesting menu would turn this place around.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waterfrontcafe, Owner at Waterfront Cafe, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Dear customer, thank you for your comments we totally agree the location is fantastic and as pointed out the price of homemade normal food is a good price including the homemade burgers ( we are not fine dining and do not advertised as this either)
It was a lovely day on Sunday while you were at the cafe with the other 300- 400 people that day, service was about 20 minutes on food so not really slow for customer relaxing by the river enjoying their lunch. No mess up on the booking, your table was ready inside for you on arrival, as stated we do not take booking outside and it was unfortunate that we had move where you had put table together as it was dangerous for your guest and children. The management would have been very happy to discuss with you if you had any concerns or suggestion as we are always wiling to take on board constructive comments as we do from our many regular customers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Food average, service appalling”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We visited on a sunny lunchtime. Towards the end of my vegetarian (salmon) salad I discovered some ham. I took the plate to show a waitress, whose response was pretty much "Yes. And?". Sensing that the conversation was not going anywhere, I asked to speak to the manager. He arrived and picked up the ham, and said "it's a piece of ham". I said that I knew that, but that it wasn't very vegetarian. He asked if I was a vegetarian, and said that the salads were prepared next to where the ham was kept...
There were a large quantity of wasps too, but the staff didn't seem to be clearing away plates or anything else to reduce the problem.
So, overall an unpleasant experience from a place which until recently had a good reputation locally.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
waterfrontcafe, Owner at Waterfront Cafe, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
We are very sorry that you found a small piece of ham on your plate but feel we should just enhance on your explanation, When you had finished your salad you made us aware that you thought there was a piece of ham in your salad, the waiter did get the manager and confirmed it was a piece of ham, you were asked if you were a vegetarian and you said no, the reason was we understand this could cause a vegetarian a great deal of stress, The salad is not advertised as vegetarian but is suitable for vegetarian that eat fish. The issue was raised with the Kitchen and you were offered some thing else in way of compensation for this.
The Staff at the cafe do their best to try and ensure that our customer have a pleasant experience and work extremely hard to ensure that plates outside and inside are cleared quickly and we get a very large number of compliments about how good they are and am concerned if you felt the staff were not interested. Unfortunately wasps are a problem in hot summers but are out of our control, we do have wasp prevention devices but have limited affect around an open riverside location
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Waterfront Cafe also viewed

Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Wallingford, Oxfordshire
 
Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Wallingford, Oxfordshire
 

Been to Waterfront Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Waterfront Cafe, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.