The London Bridge Inn, Stockton Heath.

Today has been in incredibly warm, lethargic day for us in Newton-le-Willows – we couldn’t face cooking (nor decide on what to have) so the executive decision was made to drive out to somewhere we’d never been to before and eat there. One of the stipulations was that it had to have a view, so we did edge towards the canal and a sunny beer garden to relax in. The London Bridge Inn looks unassuming from the roadside, but with a good number of people already in the beer garden we knew it must have something!

So far it ticked every box we had. It had a decked area with tables overlooking the canal, and a small set of stairs leading down to the actual towpath if you cared to do so. We visited on a beautiful Sunday in June and it was incredibly busy – we did end up eating inside and bringing our drinks back outside to enjoy the sun but it wasn’t so much of a chore as the interior was beautiful!

The only disappointment I had, was that the room closest to the outside windows was reserved (and still was as we left..) meaning we couldn’t cosy up on the giant armchairs to enjoy our meal. Instead we stumbled into this area which was deserted – a plus in its own right – and we settled down there. The décor was a huge talking point for everyone, I don’t think that any of my group had a complaint! Personally I love the duck-egg blue and almost industrial feel of the bricked wall, with the choice of ornamental items dotted around it was a great fit.

Onto the food!

I personally went for the baked goats cheese burger with charred seasonal vegetables, and a baked tomato & chilli jam (£8.50). It came accompanied with homemade coleslaw and skinny fries, with some onion rings as a garnish on top of the burger. I do have to admit, this was a messy eat! The tomato and chilli jam soaked into the brioche bun meaning I had to put bits of burger on my wooden board to eat after the burger itself – the cheese especially keen on slipping out and escaping. It was really enjoyable though, and I have to say I haven’t seen a goats cheese burger before! While I’m not exclusively vegetarian, I do enjoy eating meat-free dishes and this was an original, tasty change. Just don’t wear white!

The burgers (Mike had settled on the signature beefburger) came out wonderfully presented on a wooden board with a bucket of skinny fries – but my inlaws meals, the 5oz gammon steak and beer battered fish & chips came out disappointingly on a standard plate with no garnish. The gammon especially so. I didn’t even take a photograph as it was so.. Well. Standard looking in comparison to the burgers!

The food was delicious albeit a little pricy for what was served – especially for my inlaws meals, but we did have a great evening out and we’ll be going back for another try in the future. Maybe not on one of the busiest nights of the week, though!
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