The Bridge Inn at Ratho has a great spot by Edinburgh’s Union Canal. It’s a great location in Summer and, using their own barges, The Bridge Inn offer Sunday Lunch or evening cruises along the canal. Their barges are also available for private hire. On a busy day The Bridge Inn and canal is a hive of activity and it makes a great Summer spot.
However, we turned up on a Friday night when all that could be seen was the moonlight in the canal’s water. The bar (called The Pop Inn) area of The Bridge Inn, which has a conservatory feel, has a plethora of spaciously arranged high chairs and large tables. The restaurant area is through the back. The prices of the restaurant are fairly expensive, with a three-course weekend meal costing ¬£34. Choices on offer include venison and mushroom casserole, sirloin steak and sole fillets. I Have to say it does seem rather expensive, but having never dined from this menu, I can’t comment as to its value.
We stuck to the ‘Pop Inn’, which for a Friday night wasn’t very busy, and ordered from the tasty sounding bar menu. Light snacks such as nachos, baked potatoes, paninis, potato wedges and soup of the day are on offer. However, we went for the more substantial steak, ale and mushroom pie (¬£8.95), home-made beef burger (¬£8.95, with extra toppings 50p each) and lasagna al forno (¬£8.25). The meals were delivered in good time and all looked very appetising.
The lasagna was humongous, infact I’d never seen so many layers on this dish before. Although it did have quite a light complexion when tasted. The lasagna was served with a standard side salad - garlic bread would improve the offering. Taste wise it couldn’t be faulted. The burger was good, although the bacon (ordered as an extra topping) was a little fatty. The chips were just scattered on the plate - presentation wise serving the chips in a separate bowl would have been better. The steak and ale pie kept up the consistent good offering and contained a plethora of well cooked steak pieces. You could also taste the ale in just the right amount; a taste many steak & ale pies lack these days. Only a few chips were served with the steak and ale pie - with an appetite like mine I would have appreciated more.
I could have forced a dessert, but decided against it - despite the chocolate fudge cake at ¬£3.95 catching my eye.
So judging by our three dish selection The Bridge Inn offers consistently good main courses. The pricing is a little on the high side, but not so far as to be unreasonable. Personally I wouldn’t make a special trip for dinner or lunch at The Bridge Inn, although it would make a pleasant spot if you wanted a quick drive outside of Edinburgh city centre. However if you’re heading back from a hard day’s climbing at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena or a tiring 18 holes of golf at the nearby Marriott Dalmahoy then the Bridge Inn is a solid choice, although it couldn’t be described as spectacular. The Bridge Inn’s canal barge cruises, accompanied with food, do look interesting - so if you’re looking for something a little different this Christmas they might be a good choice.
The Bridge Inn is located at 27 Baird Road, Ratho, Midlothian, EH28 8RA. The phone number is 0131 333 1320. The Bridge Inn’s website is very detailed and has downloadable menus, along with details of their canal barge cruises and opportunities for private hire of the venue.