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A swan floats by along the River Great Ouse in front of the Waterside Restaurant in St. Ives. The historic 15th-century chapel bridge is in the background.
A swan floats by along the River Great Ouse in front of the Waterside Restaurant in St. Ives. The historic 15th-century chapel bridge is in the background. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

ST. IVES — Crossing the picturesque 15th-century chapel bridge away from this town’s center, one can see the long panel windows of the Dolphin Hotel’s Waterside Restaurant.

Located about five miles southeast of RAF Alconbury, the restaurant sits along the River Great Ouse and serves hearty English meals and a relaxing alternative to the dinnertime routine.

Before you eat, head to the hotel’s river side, where swans float by and yachts sit docked. A better view of the historic bridge can be seen from here as well. And when the weather cooperates, patrons can eat outside on one of the hotel’s several picnic tables near the river.

In the restaurant, patrons are given a dining experience considered elegant when compared to the fish and chips special at a local pub for almost the same price. Drinks and two meals on the restaurant’s “buttery” — similar to a Sunday roast carvery — cost about 20 pounds.

After being seated, patrons can stroll up to the buttery, where they will be served a choice of meat, such as roast beef or pork chops. The amount of vegetable fixings is then up to the patron. To get your money’s worth, be sure to pile them on.

There is also an a la carte menu that provides something for everyone. Those meals run about 15 pounds each.

Many of the dinner tables line the outer walls of the restaurant, which, for the most part, are tall windows with views of the river. And if your timing is right, you can catch the sunset from the window seats.

When dinner is finished, you can move into a lounge area next door, which has plenty of sofas and chairs to sit in and relax, mingle, down a few drinks or maybe smoke to cap off the dining experience.

If you’re not ready to call it a night, check out The Taproom on Bridge Street, The Lounge on The Broadway or any of the town’s various pubs.

Waterside Restaurant

Location: The Waterside Restaurant can be found on London Road near the chapel bridge in St. Ives, about five miles southeast of RAF Alconbury.

Food and drink: The restaurant serves hearty English meals for 8 pounds as well as a la carte menu items for about 15 pounds. There is also a decent selection of wines, draft beer and other spirits.

Ambience: The restaurant provides patrons with an elegant dining experience of sorts with riverside and sunset views.

Service: Formal and friendly.

Web site: http://dolphinhotelcambs.co.uk

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