Much like most of Scotland, Aviemore has some of the best outdoors and beautiful scenery the U.K has to offer. Nestled in amongst the action and sat opposite the River Spey is The Old Bridge Inn restaurant. Working closely with the local farmers and suppliers, their attractive array of dishes consists of fresh food that’s close to home.
The restaurant itself is super cosy and offers weekly live music and a relaxed atmosphere. Since it sits amongst the highlands and Scottish woodland, the restaurant’s exposed beams, wooden floors, high roofs, and open log fire give it an attractive cabin-like dining experience. As you walk in, you’re greeted by friendly staff and a bar which offers an extensive drinks menu including a variety of cocktails, whiskies, ales, and continental lagers.
For larger group bookings like ours, I believe you have to book a few weeks in advance and put a deposit down. The price of food is dear but it’s good value for the sophisticated and tasteful menu on offer; and the service is excellent. We chose from the set evening menu (September) which unfortunately didn’t offer a huge amount of vegetarian/pescatarian options but it’s understandable with a smaller menu size. On the plus side, we weren’t waiting long at all after ordering despite being a table of approximately 10 or more. I was very impressed and all the food arrived at more or less the same time.
For starters, I had the nut crusted whipped goats cheese with the heirloom tomato salad and pesto dressing, topped with croutons and a fragrant sprig of greenery (£7.00). The homemade pesto was very earthy and had a musky undertone of flavour which, along with the crunchy nut crust, complimented the goats cheese’s smooth texture very well. I found that the tomato and balsamic dressing added a little zing of flavour which broke up the heavy cream and earthy flavours nicely too. This dish was a lovely way to begin dinner and was full of contrasting and complimentary flavours.
Onto the mains and I initially began with the Cep Risotto, roasted cauliflower and 7-year-old balsamic (£10.00). However, I didn’t enjoy the acquired taste of truffle oil used in the dish at all and it didn’t look very appealing either. I think I had one spoonful and had to order something else. The staff were very understanding. Our waiter was vegetarian and agreed that the truffle oil in this dish can be over-powering for those not used to the flavour. He kindly got me the pescatarian-friendly Western Ross Salmon instead (£17.00). This was served with honeyed aubergine, confit tomato and olive tapenade. It was absolutely gorgeous – fresh produce makes all the difference. The salmon was succulent and just fell off onto your fork. The mash potato on the side was smooth and infused with a lovely basil and twists of sweet pepper. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The aubergine and spinach however were a little bland and the tomato and tapenade were a little too salty for my liking. I usually love olive tapenade so this was slightly disappointing.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the range of food on offer and its presentation was exquisite. If I was in the area again, I would definitely stop by. This restaurant has a really lovely vibe to it and with the right company you can enjoy a superb meal. You can find more information on their website below: