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“IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS.”
Review of The Bridge Inn

The Bridge Inn
Ranked #12 of 273 Restaurants in Darlington
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Darlington
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS.”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

The Bridge Inn has been a place we have visited many times over the past twenty five years
and we have seen the standard go up and down.
This is to be expected as chefs come and chefs go.

Last night a group of us attended for a birthday celebration for my daughter in law,
six of us in all.

The first, tiny annoyance was the size of the table,
not much room to get our food on here and there was so much clutter.
Side plates, wine glasses Menus, flyers for Christmas yet no knives and forks.

When the drinks arrived there was no room at all
so we started to move things we didn't need onto the bar,
just to make some elbow room.
We are not the type to complain for trivial stuff so we carried on and placed our orders.
Chips and peas or Veg and potatoes?

Birthday girl... "may I ask for veg with chips as I don't like peas"?
Waitress.. "No we don't do that".
hmmm.
Space between tables was small and we were all bumped many times by passing staff.
We didn't have starters But when the mains came We all tucked in happily asking each other,
"is it nice"? Lots of nods and smiles.

By the end of the main meal I had to speak up, but only to my friends and family.
It's a schoolboy error to serve chips that have all been cut to different sizes
making some nice but most hard and burnt.
Paying £25 for plate of food, you expect better than this.

Then the Sweets
Birthday girl.. "can I have cream instead of ice cream"?
Yes... It came with ice cream.
A waiter brought cream but the dessert was not the one she ordered.
"she doesn't like lemon tart"!
I am angry by now.
Clearing the table a waitress almost spilled water of My daughter in law and it was only her quick
reactions that saved herself from a soaking.

The bill for six of us was over £160.
A lot of small errors and little things made for an evening spoiled.
We payed up and smiled like the English do.
We wont be back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Expensive - avoid”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Email sent to management, let's hope they rectify these issues ASAP, or lower the prices significantly. Either way I won't be returning.

To whomever it may concern

On Monday the 14th of October myself and my partner visited you for my birthday dinner. We had both heard very good things about The Bridge, pricy but worth it was the general feedback from friends and family. So we drove over from Catterick (disregarding several other establishments in favour of you) and arrived.
Cluttered was our first impression, but hey each to there own. We were greeted by a harassed looking waitress who's opening line to us was "Can ya order ya food quickly as the kitchen is shutting now" charming, Good evening to you too.
So we were ushered over to a table in the corner, there were two other tables with couples on, in at that time, so hardly busy.
The waitresses were more interested in talking loudly about themselves behind the bar than taking our drinks order and it was at least 10 minutes before anyone came to see us.
Finally ordered our food, my partner ordered a Billy Bunter and very clearly asked for the steak to be well done, "no blood at all" were his exact words, she appeared to write this down.
I ordered the enchilada which I have always understood to be chicken, cheese and tomato sauce wrapped in a tortilla?
Dinners arrived, looking very impressive, on huge plates....oh wait, my partners entire plate was swimming in blood....The steak was very rare. This spoilt his whole dinner and the steak was left to the side, (he's not one to make a fuss) and there was plenty on the plate so he ate the rest. We decided to take the steak home for the dogs, but after wrapping in three napkins the blood was still dripping through, so we left it behind.
My meal was basically a mess, the "enchilada" was not what I was expecting at all and wasn't appetising in the slightest, the chicken that had been used inside was disgusting for the price of the dish. Brown meat shreddings, it resembled what I strip off a chicken carcass to give to the dogs at the end of the day. There wasn't a single bit of white chicken in the whole thing. I'm quite picky with the meat that I eat, I like good clean meat, I don't buy cheap meat from shops and at the prices you charge I was expecting good quality white chicken breast.
The inside was also filled with what appeared to be gravy?.... I tried to distinguish what it was, but it tasted awful, and after seeing the quality of the chicken I decided that to eat the mysterious brown "mush" was too much for me.
The waitress appeared half way though and I asked her what was inside my tortilla? She didn't know, went off to ask the chief and never reappeared.
So 99% of my dinner was left, when we had finished a different girl collected our plates and asked if anything was wrong with mine, I explained to her (as with previous lady) that it wasn't what I was expecting and wondered what was inside? I opened and showed her and she apologised and agreed that it didn't look right, again said she would go and speak to the chief and find out.
Puddings were brought out, lovely. No one else came back to the table after that...
We eventually walked to the bar and asked to settle up, my partner was paying and it was meant to be my birthday treat. So neither of us wanted to start disputing the bill at that point with bar staff who couldn't have looked like they give less of a toss if they'd tried.
However when I found out the final price of our visit to you, I was horrified! £59 For what??
A few days went by and it played on my mind, then I went out for another meal on Thursday in a place marketed very similar to yourselves, also just outside Darlington...
Far superior food, Lovely calming atmosphere, Attentive but not loudmouth staff and all that at Half the price of your meal!
This is the first time I have ever felt the need to write and complain about a meal anywhere, but to be quite honest I simply had to.
Had the meal been to a slightly better quality we perhaps would have paid, moaned for a day or so and just not come back, but you took nearly £60 (which is an awful lot of money for one night out) for quite frankly, rubbish service, disturbing decor and disgusting food.

I eagerly await your reply

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Rockydog333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redcar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Best ever”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Where do I start, food excellent,, very reasonable prices,, drinks not expensive, staff are professional and courteous. We live in Redcar 26 miles away and it's worth the journey . The menu is to die for, there isn't anywhere in Darlington or surrounding areas that even come close to this place. Real fresh food and your children will love it to. 5 stars . Thank you Bridge Inn. Every visit is perfect

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Victoria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Meal with Friends”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

last night me and my friends decided to go the Bridge Inn on recommendation many times! so we booked a table for 10 and off we went. the food was divine. the place reminded me of the good old days when pubs were thriving.the place was packed and i could tell that other people really enjoyed eating here to. the food was great, honestly it was of brilliant taste and great value. we managed to also eat a dessert which was to die for.I would highly recommend this place to anyone who is thinking about going, as we have also booked in for New Years Eve.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank kelsey g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Meet for family occasion”
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

Against my better judgement I met extended family for a meal. The menu is huge which for me is a total turnoff how can all that good be freshly made? If you have kids it's okay and the staff try hard but there are better eating places in Darlington.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenheadchef, Manager at The Bridge Inn, responded to this review, October 9, 2013
Hi there, thank you for your kind comments towards our staff! They do work very hard to ensure customer satisfaction is at its highest! Answer to your question, we have between 8 to 12 chefs on duty during the course of service and they equally work as hard to ensure that all the food is prepared and served to a high standard on the premises. All our food is fresh to order as we are able to receive orders daily owing to the large amount of customers we serve weekly & produce that we require.
If you read our menu you will see a lot of the same food stuffs are used in many of the dishes. For example a chicken breast is used for over 45 dishes on our menu, so one chicken breast turned into 45 dishes, from Chinese , Indian to Thai, clever wouldn't you say. Another example is a whole fillet of beef, from that one item you can make over 20 different dishes, if you have the knowledge & skill.
My team is headed by a trained sous chef from Claridges London, & a talented pastry chef from the Savoy, who both exceed expectations in their knowledge of different cuisines from around the world.
If a customer is ever in doubt about the freshness of our food they are more than welcome to visit our culinary team and all concerns will be put to rest.
Many Regards
Warren A Kreft
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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