The Bridge, Barnes

The Bridge, Barnes

Another Saga at The Bridge

We’ve been glued to the first two seasons of ‘The Bridge’ on Netflix. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is a riveting Scandinavian crime drama based around the Øresund Bridge which connects Copenhagen to Malmö, involving the police forces of both countries, headed up by Saga Norén, the young and pretty detective from Sweden, who evidently suffers from blunt turns of Asperger’s, and her Danish counterpart, Martin Rohde, a middle-aged man with a complicated love life. It has you on the edge of your seat with its suspense and clever plot, so the fact that you need subtitles to follow what’s going on is instantly forgotten. Unlike most of the saccharine sweet American series of a similar ilk, where everyone is unrealistically beautiful and well groomed and there is always a moralistic undertone, this is gritty and gripping and we’ve sat goggle-eyed in front of the TV, indulging in marathon viewing sessions of several episodes at a time.

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Saga Noren and Martin Rohde ‘The Bridge’ (Norwegian)

Of course, we have our own bridge too, here in the neighbourhood. Hammersmith Bridge spans the Thames from Barnes, where we live, to Hammersmith, and leads on to the rest of Central London. It’s Victorian, Grade 2 listed and rather pretty. Gruesomely, about 50 bodies a year float down the Thames, mostly suicides, but, as far as I know, no death has occurred on this particular bridge, although the IRA planted bombs here in 1939 and again in 2000, causing explosions and damage but thankfully, no fatalities. Also, inhabitants on either side speak the same language, so no subtitles necessary!

Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes, facing North
Hammersmith Bridge from Barnes, facing North

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directly before the bridge, on the Barnes side, is a gastro pub called, well what else but ‘The Bridge’, so one Friday evening recently, the Martin and Saga of Barnes, aka the Lovely Husband and myself, took ourselves off to dine there.

On a cold and rainy night, though possibly not quite a bleak as it’s likely to have been at the same time on the Øresund Bridge, the little pub looked welcoming with a warm glow emanating from its windows and reflecting on the wet street outside. As we entered through the back section into the restaurant area, we immediately spotted one of our very own TV stars, Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, highly respected ITN News at Ten anchor and commentator for 30 years until 2008. He lives in the area and is often seen around. In fact, he once offered to help me carry my shopping to the car at the supermarket! So there he was, by himself, reading a magazine, contently ensconced at one of the plum tables for two, right by the roaring fire. Frankly, if it was good enough for Sir Trev, it was going to be good enough for us!

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE
Sir Trevor McDonald OBE

The Bridge has a very well presented interior: nice wooden tables not too close together, comfortable chairs, floor boards, pretty flower arrangements, attractive decorative items scattered around, excellent lighting, including a narrow wooden one man rowing scull with paddles on the ceiling with integrated lights. It’s cosy and inviting and, for the warmer months, it has a lovely large walled beer garden and a raised terrace. The service too was impressive, very smiley and helpful. As for the menu, well that’s perfectly pleasant with some nice choices there, if a little predictable, offering up the usual gastro pub combo of nursery food and Mediterranean favourites.

The Bridge, Barnes
The Bridge, Barnes
The Bridge, Barnes
The Bridge, Barnes

We ordered salt and pepper squid as a shared starter. It was pleasant enough with a nice light batter and the squid not too rubbery but I’d have preferred it to be in rings rather than tubes, and I’ve had more flavourful versions of this dish. The Lovely Husband’s Trio of Cumberland sausages with creamy mash and onion gravy went down a treat though, and he was smacking his lips in glee. Each of the three substantial sausages had a subtly different flavour. They were juicy and nice and natural tasting and the gravy was tip top. My roasted cod with puy lentils and broccoli was quite awesome too, I must say. The cod was fresh and sort of firmly flakey with a tasty, crispy skin, the puy lentils were just the right consistency, not too hard and not too mushy. I’d swapped the normal broccoli accompaniment for chilli broccoli, so the whole dish was garlicky and slightly spicy, moist but not overly buttery, in fact just right. It tasted delicious and healthily wholesome at the same time. Perfect.

Salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper squid with sweet chilli sauce
Trio of Cumberland sausages with creamy mash and onion gravy
Trio of Cumberland sausages with creamy mash and onion gravy
Roast cod on puy lentils wit broccoli
Roast cod on puy lentils wit broccoli

Pud was an Apple and Rhubarb crumble with Devonshire custard and again, a winner. The crumble topping was crunchy, the fruit filling just the right side of tart and the ample amount of custard not too sweet. Yes, please, more please!

Apple and rhubarb crumble with Devonshire custard
Apple and rhubarb crumble with Devonshire custard

We paid £73.87 including a bottle of Sauvignon, an Americano coffee and service charge.

The bill
The bill

Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the food, the ambience and the mix of local clientele, which ranged from you know who to young families with children, groups of friends and couples, all clearly having a very nice evening. The bar area at the front of the The Bridge was also well visited and comfortable looking. No drama here, not crime or otherwise, and I suspect that Saga and Martin’s underlying frisson may have developed into something more had they had dinner at The Bridge. Alas, Martin is now in prison, and we will have to await series three to see what happens next. Maybe one day Sir Trevor will have the opportunity to use his famous catch phrase again with a sigh of relief, ‘And finally…!’.

The Bridge, 204 Castelnau, London SW13 9DW.
Tel.: 020 8563 9811    www.thebridgeinbarnes.co.uk
The Bridge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

What I wore

Sunshine on a grey day: Anthracite grey Joseph fine cashmere polo neck jumper, multi-grey and yellow wool DKNY flared valance skirt, orange/black reversible Hermes belt with gold buckle and Hermes Kelly bag, anthracite grey knee-length suede Casadei high heeled boots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kia aka Fizz of Life