The Bridge Inn, Branston

Years ago, The Bridge Inn was somewhere we visited semi-regularly but we hadn’t been in quite a while – certainly not since the new owners took over earlier this year, so I was interested to see how things had changed. Previously The Bridge had served mainly pasta dishes (we actually used to refer to it as the ‘pasta pub’) and it was nice to see that the menu was still Italian and not just standard ‘pub food’

We grabbed a drink from the bar and as it was a really warm evening (despite those dark clouds) we went and sat in the garden. I had half a Peroni and the husband had a pint of Moretti and both beers were great.

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Inside, the pub is pretty much exactly how I remembered – it’s a small place with simple decoration, and the same chunky furniture that feels a bit large for the space!

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The lovely girls looking after us showed us to our table – as we visited on a Monday there were only about four other couples dining in there and a few people popping in for drinks so it was pretty quiet but I’ve heard it gets busy of a weekend

We sat down and had a look at the menu and were pleased to see that it had a really good selection of dishes

For my starter I chose the crostini with chicken, basil pesto, spring onion, parmesan & creme fraiche. The bread was lightly toasted and crunchy without being difficult to cut and the chicken/pesto/creme fraiche topping was tasty and really well seasoned, although it could have done with more pesto as the flavour didn’t really come through.

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The husband chose the Caprese salad which was fresh, simple and nicely presented, and again well seasoned.

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We were both in the mood for pizza – I just had to choose the goats cheese, fig, parma ham & rocket. The pizza had a lovely thin base with a crisp crust which is exactly how I like it. Sweet sticky figs and just the right amount of goats cheese were a great combination, and not one I’ve had on a pizza before. Maybe a little more parma ham would have been nice, along with fresh figs seeing as they are currently in season.

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The husband went for the Diavolo – spicy salami, red onion & chilli. He enjoyed his pizza, but did comment that it wasn’t quite spicy enough for him and could have handled a few more chillies, and I’m sure the staff would have been happy to oblige had he mentioned this to them at the time

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Someone also ordered a garlic pizza bread with cheese & tomato – again a lovely crispy base, and the addition of fresh cherry tomatoes was different rather than just sliced tomato. There wasn’t much of a taste of garlic though so a couple more cloves would have been good. I was impressed at the size of both pizzas and the garlic bread

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As if all that dough wasn’t enough, I decided that I best try the peach crumble with ice cream! I was a little surprised that the peaches appeared to be tinned, however I did really enjoy it – it felt really naughty! The crumble topping wasn’t overly sweet, which meant it balanced out the syrupy peaches well. And you can’t beat a scoop of ice cream with anything, can you? The crumble was huge and I did just struggle to finish it

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There were a few slight tweaks I’d like to see as I stated above but all in all the food was just what we were looking for on a casual Monday night. You can see that effort had been put into the presentation, and their flavour combinations were good. Some of the ingredients could have been substituted for fresh rather than preserved, however I do understand that this could mean higher prices and I think they have pitched it just right where it is

Our meal was good value and I’d definitely return – the risotto and pasta that some other diners were having also looked great so I’d like to come back to try some other dishes.

Link to their website is here.

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