There must have been some sort of a refreshment house on or near the Chantry Bridge in Rotherham for centuries and the Bridge – on a strip of land between the railway and bus stations – couldn’t be better placed.
A good solid late-Victorian-Edwardian pub with many of the original features happily intact, it is broken up to any number of areas, divided and sub-divided. The snug, directly behind the main bar, is a great little space for a more intimate chat and there’s a chess set for that contemplative yet competitive head-to-head.
There’s no pretence to The Bridge, it is a no-nonsense, very well run in-town pub, with a regular clientele, and it holds (according to locals) excellent music nights, an open mic night every week, and a devilish quiz night as well. The wide range of hand-pulled beers lean heavily to the Thwaites Old Mill Brewery, and are perfectly kept – a great favourite is the Iron and Steel, and a pint of that is a superlative complement to the signature dish of The Bridge, a substantially succulent meat pie with gravy that comes loaded with mushy peas, a five star pick-me-up on the greyer of days. You’ll be offered a spoon, not a knife and fork. It really is a “fill your boots” number, and probably the best value that you’ll find anywhere, at a mere £2.
Smokers will have to content themselves with stepping outside, and admiring (perhaps) the grimly modernist design of the rail station, but nothing in life comes without some form of drawback, does it?
The staff are efficient, there’s a good “buzz” to the place, and, should you wish to offer an opinion on the urgent debate of the day, folk here are more than willing to listen – and then join in with their own take on events. And, thinking of that pie right now, well, could I have some more, please?
The Bridge, Chantry Bridge, Greasbrough Road, Rotherham, S60 1RB. 01709 836818.