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The Bridge Tearooms
"Step back in time to the glorious Victorian Era" says the brochure,
seemingly with no sense of irony.

Bare with us on this one because The Bridge is an excellent
tearoom but we can't come onto that bit before addressing its
faults... of which sadly there are many. It does try very, very hard
to cling to its noble lineage. Built sometime in the 17th Century in
the picturesque riverside town of Bradford-upon-Avon, near Bath it
commands pride of place by the river and has won numerous
awards for its traditional afternoon tea. They market themselves
as having, "authentic Victorian surroundings" but unfortunately
rather than appearing Victorian, it just looks like they're trying to
appear Victorian and the electronic till, refrigerated cabinets and
wireless credit card readers are slightly incongruous with the low
ceilings, oak beams and period costumes. Anyone with so much as
a passing interest in tea, history, architecture or even just good
taste would see through the sham immediately. The bridge isn't
the only tearoom we've come across now where this has been a
problem and we would strongly encourage those proprietors who
do dress seventeen year-olds up like dowdy maids in the hope of
appealing to tourists - unless they derive a kick of personal
gratification from it - to give the practice the boot. And while we're
at it if you're going to go on endlessly about 32 varieties of loose
leaf tea, fine bone china and three tier cake stands in your
literature don't bloomin' well use plastic table cloths and paper
napkins.

It's frustrating because they could be excellent. If you can look
past this - and we're glad we chose to - you can look forward to
some very fine tea and brilliant service from waitresses clearly
rushed of their pins. It's frantically busy during season so you need
to book and they only start serving tea at 2:30 so if like us you're
trying to sneak in a crafty few before lunch it's not ideal.
Reasonably priced by afternoon tea standards but you'd feel a
little hard done by if you parted with 37 a head for the
Champagne model. We look forward to returning as soon as we
receive written confirmation that they'll be dropping the tiresome
Yea Olde Worlde facade.

The Bridge Tearooms,
24a Bridge Street,
Bradford-on-Avon,
Wiltshire,
BA15 1BY


01225 865537
10 am - 5 pm Wednesday - Saturday,
12 pm - 5:30 pm Sunday