GEORGIE’S CANAL CRUISES REVIEW

About Georgie's Canal Cruises

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Georgie’s Canal Cruises is a family business.  The blending of a little bakery business, run by Jess (specialising in celebration cakes and sweet treats) and a vintage china hire service, run by Jess’ Mom (Angela).

In 2016, the family saw an opportunity to join their skills and grow their businesses by investing in a boat called the Judith Mary.   ‘Floating’ the idea of a canal cruise company, specialising in fun food experiences, the family undertook a full restoration of the 33-year-old boat.  By 2017 the ‘Judith Mary’ was transformed into the ‘Georgie Kate’ a 28-seater restaurant boat.  The company launched by offering 2-hour cruises along the Staffs & Worcester Canal.  Georgie’s Canal Cruises now offer food cruises all year-round, including afternoon teas and Sunday lunch.  They have now expanded their business into self-drive canal boat hire.

Our Experience

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JJ (our editor) had spotted some interesting Facebook posts about Afternoon Tea on a canal boat and suggested we should go.   So, after a look over Georgie’s Canal Cruises website, we decided to book.

Booking online is easy, the dates, times and various options all clearly laid out and easy to understand.  JJ Picked a Vegetarian Afternoon Tea and I picked a Gentleman’s Tea. Soon after booking, an email confirmation pinged into our inbox and our booking was locked in.  Unusually, the booking didn’t automatically ping up on our Google calendar, but it only took seconds to add.

On the day, it was a simple Google search for the postcode and the route to the Teddesley location was super easy to follow.  Arriving in good time, we could either squeeze in on a small roadside layby, or drive over a small humpback bridge to find the boatyard car park.

On their website Georgie’s Canal Cruises have some FAQ’s about parking.

‘’parking is limited, and we would advise car sharing where possible.’’

We would agree with this, as once we found their site we could see a small car park already full of cars.  Whilst we worked out where to park a friendly young lad appeared and guided us to a parking spot.  This was super helpful.  He also welcomed us and explained about the boat and toilet facilities.

Once out of the car we, could see Georgie Kate in her mooring awaiting customers.  A 70ft boat, painted in a vibrant blue, its windows gleaming in the spring sunshine (luckily we had picked a non-rainy day!).

After a short wait, we noticed some other customers entering the boat. We queued up behind them.  We gave our name and the staff read back to us our booking, confirming all was in order.  We were then guided onto the boat and to our seat and wished a lovely afternoon.

Inside the boat, we could see tables down both sides and one larger group table at the Bow. The tables all looked clean and set out ready.  Adding to ambience each table contained daffodils (very seasonal) and rows of plastic foliage with fairy lights lined the ceiling.  The Stern end of Georgie Kate housed the kitchen, toilet and a well-stocked bar.  We noticed an extra drinks menu subtly placed next to our table, so if you fancied a soft drink, beer or a cocktail you could indulge yourself!

Once seated, we were asked if we wanted tea/coffee, and minutes after giving our preference our drinks arrived in some lovely looking china.  All very quaint and authentic!

Once everyone was onboard and ready to set off, we were given a safety briefing, complete with aircraft style hand gestures.  The exits are here.. here. and ….here.  We then we set off for our 2 hour cruise, and I noticed that the noise from the engine was sufficiently dampened and hardly noticeable.   Quite an accomplishment, as canal boats can be noisy.

One of the friendly staff members brought the food to our table, again confirming the order.  The food was presented on a two tier, Afternoon Tea stand with the mix of sandwiches on the bottom tier, and the sweet treats on the top.  JJ’s vegetarian option had an unusual mix of fillings, not the run of the mill cheese sandwiches for vegetarians!  The selection included beetroot, roasted pepper, soft cheese and cucumber and tomato and pesto. My Gentleman’s platter was much more meat focused, with the sandwiches containing a mix of beef, chicken and ham.  For my Gentleman’s upgrade (costing a £2 supplement) I also received a savoury sausage roll,  mini Cornish pasty,  mini pork pie and a couple of mini scotch eggs.  The sandwiches although tasty and well-made, were just simple sandwiches, no fancy breads used for example.  The star of the food was undoubtedly the sweet treats.  A cupcake decorated for Easter, a fruit scone and the most moist, rich, fabulous homemade chocolate brownie. Scrumptious!  We couldn’t quite manage to eat all of the cakes, and luckily we were offered a takeaway bag to put anything in which we wanted to save for later!  While we were enjoying the scenic views of the canal, we were offered refills of our tea and coffee several times, which was much appreciated.

During our cruise, I noticed some background music was playing, artists such as Tom Odell, Maisie Peters and Bastille. It was inoffensive music that perfectly suited the relaxing atmosphere.

Georgie's Canal Cruises

Value for money

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We paid a total of total of £72.00 for our Afternoon Tea Cruise.  This compares favourably with other Afternoon Teas on offer.  Whilst locations such as the Belfry can offer professional chef’s, and garden centres offer convenience, it’s the canal cruise element that makes this a truly unique experience.  During our two-hour trip along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, we passed through two locks each way (expertly dealt with by one of the boat crew) and got to see some great countryside, very inquisitive sheep, nonchalant ducks and the hustle and bustle of the M6 from a distance.

Overall, this was a great experience and one we would recommend as a ‘must visit’ to our readers.

If you do not like Afternoon Tea, there are plenty of other food themed cruises on offer,  check out the website here.

If you have enjoyed our review please let us know below or on our socials.  If you have a Days Out Experience that you would like reviewing, drop us a message.

Thanks for reading!

Garry & JJ

The Silver Hedgehog: Rating

Value For Money - - 10
Visit Experience - 10
Attraction Facilities - 10

10

Must Visit

Whilst locations such as the Belfry can offer professional chef’s, and garden centres offer convenience, it’s the canal cruise element that makes this a truly unique experience.

Words by Garry

Edit by JJ

Photos JJ and Garry

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