Canalside Cuisine in Scotland
According to a very brief internet search by yours truly there are currently 24 pubs in the UK named The Bridge Inn. I live fairly close to one as a matter of fact. The name may not be particularly unique then, but one of these pubs certainly is.
Canalside Cuisine in Scotland – I was fortunate enough to visit The Bridge Inn in Ratho, a Canalside pub nestled in a small rural village to the West of Edinburgh. The village itself is picture-perfect, if a little off-the-beaten-track but don’t let that discourage you. It’s worth seeking out purely to pay the lovely people of the multi award-winning Bridge Inn a visit so you can find out what all the fuss is about for yourself.
We were booked in for an evening meal and an overnight stay in one of their delightful rooms. The Bridge Inn has four rooms in total, each with its own unique character and décor plus stunning views over the Union Canal. Our room was beautifully light, with all the little extras that you would normally associate with a fancy hotel. The en-suite was enormous, and the Siabann Scottish soap products were another little unexpected touch of luxury. This isn’t your average pub accommodation and the visitors book brimming with praise from travellers far and wide confirmed what we were already feeling; that this place was a bit special.
We spent the afternoon in the bar area sheltering from some fairly grim weather outside, not that we needed an excuse to get stuck in to some lunch and a drink or two! The bar staff were incredibly friendly, enthusiastic and genuinely passionate about providing a high standard of service; whether you were popping in for a quick pint or settling in for an evening meal.
Canalside Cuisine in Scotland
The Bridge Inn prides itself on showcasing local, seasonal Scottish produce. The menu changes with the seasons, alongside some perennial pub classics such as battered haddock and locally sourced sausage and mash. The addition of a walled restaurant garden ensures that the food on your plate is as fresh as it gets – often picked the same day.
Our evening meal was served in the Canalside restaurant towards the rear of the building, an airy open space complete with more stunning views. We had managed to work up a bit of an appetite by this point thanks to an afternoon stroll around the village and down the canal. Before we knew it the starters were on the way: seared scallops with pulled pork, black pudding crumb and apple gel, and pigeon breast with crispy haggis, celeriac and bramble purée. This was Scottish comfort food at its finest. The earthy, gamey flavour of the pigeon balanced perfectly with the tartness of the hedgerow bramble purée, and the scallop was cooked to utter perfection. Scallop, pork and apple was a new combination to me, by my goodness did it work!
Our mains were an equally decadent affair. Duo of venison with butternut squash, beech mushrooms and jus, and glazed duck breast with confit dick leg pancakes, creamed kale and jus. Did I mention that the Bridge Inn was featured in the Michelin Guide in 2019? Head chef Ross Traill is my kind of chef. The meals are presented beautifully but there’s none of the overly cheffy micro portioning, foam, or emulsifying techniques used here. Just excellent ingredients treated with respect and cooked in a way that allows the dish to speak for itself without any of the window dressing. Bravo Ross.
After a very comfortable night’s sleep we were treated to a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and American style muffins with smoked bacon. The perfect fuel for our long drive home. We were genuinely sad to leave the Bridge Inn, and will most certainly be visiting again. We think that you probably should too.
The Bridge Inn
27 Baird Road
Tel: 0131 333 1320
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