the boat house

another treat today!  my mom has agreed to share her take on one of our all-time favorite places.  the boat house.  my mom and dad introduced craig and me to this classy little bar, and it never disappoints.  so, without further ado, here is my oh-so-eloquent mama!  (oh, and my dad took all the pictures : )

Hello all!  My name is Janet, and I’m Cailen’s Mom.  Thanks, to Cai, for asking me to write my first blog post!  I do write daily, in a boutique real estate company, but complimentary descriptives  about old stone houses and country estates is a bit different from blogging.   But, having a real passion for this completely wonderful  river valley area was motivation enough, and Cailen has kindly and gently guided me in this venture.   For my first installment I give you the following…

Lambertville, New Jersey is not a sleepy river town.  A river town, yes, but with an amazingly vibrant culture.   Located on the Delaware River in western Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  This town has a completely engaging nature for both visitors and locals.  We’re lucky to be from a smaller neighboring river town, so we can consider ourselves ‘local’.

Lambertville has charming shops, outstanding galleries, classic antique stores, NY chic restaurants and cozy bars.   The homes in the neighborhoods look historic, and they are, but take the fabulous house tour in October and you’ll marvel at the interiors.  The décors range from country casual to retro to cosmopolitan.  This tour is never disappointing, and somehow it’s usually a great, lovely fall day for walking around the storybook streets.

But let’s jump back to the cozy bars, shall we?  There are few gems in this charming riverside enclave, but a favorite of many - and mine - is the Boat House at 8 ½ Coryell Street.  Yes, that address is right!  The Boat House has been a destination for many years, and I know this first hand as my husband and I travelled here via motorcycle a ‘while’ ago.  

The Boat House is a completely cozy, small, sophisticated bar that serves great cocktails in an enthralling atmosphere.  The plethora of art that covers the dark walls and pitched ceilings here is vintage nautical in nature, with classic overtones.   There are fabulous framed periodical covers from decades past, and equally extraordinary watercolors, oils and photographs, many having a sense of intriguing ambiguity.  This atmosphere offers rare moments to take in a different time and space, all safely in the comfort of a nearby woodstove or comfy couch.  Disclaimer…the woodstove makes it sound rustic, but it’s not.  Remember that this place is sophisticated.  The staff is completely knowledgeable and courteous, and the bartender younger and aware, but old-schooled in his performance.  Perfect!

Not easy to find for out-of-towners, the Boat House is down a small alley.  If you can locate Finkle’s Hardware Store on Coryell Street near the canal, you’re ‘hot’ as we’d say in childhood days.   And that’s a good thing!


If you have any interest in classic films, you’ll appreciate the ambiance of the Boat House.  You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a movie set here.   I don’t have a vast knowledge of mixed drinks, wines and beers, but I do know that the Boat House has to turn people away on balmy summer weekends because there simply isn’t room.  One great drink, and my favorite, is their gin gimlet - straight up.  (I prefer Tanqueray, probably due to the memories of…summer evenings… with a Tanqueray and Schweppes bitter lemon in hand…watching the ocean from the deck of our beach house...ahhh)   But, back to the Boat House!  They make the best gin gimlet I’ve had.  It’s smooth, icy, just enough Rose’s lime juice to hint of something faintly sweet, and fresh lime wedge to squirt.  Flawless.  My husband’s favorite is their Bloody Mary (virgin, please) with extra olives.  Spicy but not too, and robust flavor.  Even something about the rich, savory olives here makes this drink a standout.  Some people linger, some stop in for drinks before walking to one of the many great restaurants in town.  Either way you’ve got a great night!

Hope that you’ll be able to visit Lambertville sometime!  It really is worth the drive from just about anywhere - so is the Boat House! 

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing with you again next month!  Think your best thoughts, enjoy your moments, breathe and go outside when you can.  My best to all, Janet