On Thursday, February 14, SUSU’s very own Bridge Bar held a romantic night for students in the mood for love. The night saw a three course menu plus a glass of bubbly all for £20 for two people, which was not only appealing to the stomach but was also great for the student bank account! The evening was open to everyone, whether you were in a couple or not, which really meant anyone could join in!
I booked a table for me and three other members of the editorial team, placed our deposit, and headed to the Bridge for our 8pm slot, ready for a girls night out on Valentine’s Day.
We were welcomed by a warm venue. The tables had been moved to the centre of the Bridge beneath the new red lights, creating a cosy and intimate atmosphere. The room did not feel empty, but gave the impression of being an ‘exclusive’ event, which added to the theme of the evening and really made the night feel special. We were serenaded by a young man with his guitar, who was later revealed to be Tom Crouch, a local singer/songwriter who has actually worked with Gabrielle Aplin. The music was beautiful, and he played acoustic covers of songs by artists such as the Killers. The only issue I had was that the acoustic live music was a little loud for such a small venue.
The evening’s service was fantastic. We were served by students employed by SUSU, who made sure we had a pleasant evening and were very friendly– we were checked up on, asked if we would like to order drinks, and food was brought to the table in good time – we had enough time to let each course go down, but were never left feeling hungry or impatient. We felt as though we were in a high class restaurant.
Quality of food/drink: 9/10
All four of us agreed that the food was delicious – after looking at the menu beforehand we were expecting the best, and that’s what we got! To start, all four of us had chosen the ‘Coarse country style pork, apple and calvados pâté served with a warm autumn fruit chutney and delectable Melba toast’. I had not eaten pâté for a long time, and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this dish, but my first bite indicated that I would indeed be clearing the whole plate. The pâté was smooth and rich and the apple gave a lovely flavour, with the chutney really giving the pâté an edge. With a side salad as well, this course gave a great start to the meal. I ended up eating the whole lot, the others at my table all agreeing that it was delicious.
For my main course, I chose the ‘Caramelised red onion and French chevre bound in an inviting filo pastry tartlet’. This was served with seasonal vegetables and ‘sautéed Maris Piper potatoes blended with red onion and a hint of garlic’. There was plenty to eat, and the sides were brilliant – the vegetables not under or over cooked, and the potatoes made an excellent change from the usual Bridge offerings of new potatoes, chips or sweet potato fries! The main was lovely, however the pastry had a soggy centre due to the caramelised onions – this was not off-putting though and I finished the whole thing! Others who ordered the salmon with hollandaise and dill sauce and the steak with champignon sauce agreed that their mains were very tasty, and plates were left empty once again.
Dessert was a choice of ‘strawberry and champagne charlotte with a raspberry coulis’ (sponge cake with cream and champagne filling with fresh berries) or ‘hidden black forest chocolate box’ (almond and hazelnut sponge with chocolate ganache centre, infused with cherry and enrobed in chocolate). I chose the strawberry and champagne charlotte, which was deliciously light and a nice refreshing end to the meal. The sponge was soft and the champagne cream hit the spot. Those that ordered the chocolate box also commented on how light and tasty their choices were, and managed to finish the final course even on a full stomach! Overall, the quality of the food was brilliant, and of a higher quality than what could be expected from a university student bar!
Value for money: 10/10
As can be seen from the detailed account of the meal, the food went down a storm with everyone, and with a free glass of bubbly accompanied by tap water on the table we did not necessarily need to spend more money at the bar. The meal eventually came to £10 per person, which is much less than most restaurants on Valentine’s Day. For the portion sizes and taste of the food served, it went beyond our expectations.
This was a great event, and appeared to be a success – the Wessex Scene asked for those who went to give us some feedback, and Andrea Sipka replied via Twitter saying:
‘You asked for Valentine’s day @ The Bridge review. Amazing. Food was great, service was great, music was great. 10/10’
The music as an unexpected touch which really added to the intimate and exclusive feel of the evening, the food surpassed expectations, and we all left the event feeling full and raving about our fantastic Valentine’s evening together. Let’s hope that SUSU hold more events like this – I would definitely want to go again.
Overall Score: 9 ½ /10