One Hungry Hallion

Eating The World A Bite At A Time

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The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore – Review

I grew up in Kingussie and our teenage stomping ground extended up to Aviemore at the weekends. We would hang around the run down, faded, breeze block centre trying to sneak into Crofters, Aviemore’s ultimate NiteSpot so we could drink cider and kiss snowboarders. It had sticky carpets, eagle eyed bouncers and smelt of cider and broken dreams.

These days the centre has been knocked down and replaced with a big, over priced hotel chain complex and Aviemore’s dancing is now done in The Vault, all drinks promos, dressed up hen do’s and chart music.

Thank God then for The Old Bridge Inn. It’s the sort of place Aviemore should always have had, a brilliant pub serving good food and doing live music. My parents have moved away from the area but have a caravan just down the road so we spent New Year in the Old Bridge Inn, steamboats, loving how good Hector Bizerk and Mioux Mioux were.

This time we were just up for a weekend of walking (oh how I’m turning into my Dad) and booked a table for dinner.

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I love the decor in the Old Bridge Inn, lots of dark colours with flashes of blues and greys, fairy lights, old wooden furniture, it’s classic and simple and fits really well with the surroundings. The busy, friendly, young staff all wear checked shirts as a uniform which is a nice touch.

Let’s get straight to the food. The Boy and I both ordered exactly the same thing, crab for a starter and Iberico pork cheek as a main.

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The crab came almost alarmingly fast and tasted good. It was cold and fresh and served with a creamy avocado puree, crunchy radish and a couple of smears of red pepper ketchup which, in all honesty I felt the dish could have done without, it was sort of overpowering and there was a lot of it but if you just dipped the tip of your knife in it and added it to a forkful of crab and avocado it gave it a nice acidic tang.

Up next was Iberico pork cheeks with home made black pudding, seeds and nuts and some of the best roasties ever.

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This was delicious, excellent ingredients and cooking, the pork cheeks were melt in your mouth soft with a rich, thick gravy. The black pudding was crumbly and moist and added serious depth and the seeds and nuts were a brilliant addition of surprising crunch. But those roast potatoes! I’ve been dreaming about them, everything a roast potato should be, big and crispy and brown on the outside and as fluffy as clouds on the inside. I would happily eat roasties that good for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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A quick note on the service here, everyone that served us was friendly and professional and they dealt really well with the couple of hairs we found in our food (we each found one, the food was so delicious we didn’t care too much but they gave us our desserts for free). But we couldn’t help feeling a bit rushed. We knew we had to return the table by a certain time because they’re so busy but it felt like we were being slightly hurried through each course and when you’re paying this much for a meal you want to take your time over it.

After lingering over our main courses and savouring every bite we went for different puddings. He was on a caramel mousse with nuts, chocolate ice cream and shortbread which was light, tasty and super sweet.

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And I went for a perfect melt in the middle chocolate cake with peanut butter brittle and really refreshing blood orange sorbet. So good.

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We then went and sat outside where they’ve got a couple of couches and 2 pianos and enjoyed our drinks in the early evening with an amazing view.

I love the Old Bridge Inn, if you’re up in Aviemore make sure you head along, the food is seriously good, the surroundings are brilliant and the bar is cosy and friendly.

About £40 per person for 3 courses, drinks and service.

8 Hallion points