Friday, 25 March 2016

Review: The Ashbridge Inn

Reviewing The Ashbridge Inn in Cwmbran

I was so pleased this week to be asked to review The Ashbridge Inn in Pontrhydyrun, Cwmbran, part of the Table Table restaurant brand. I have lots of memories of visiting The Ashbridge growing up, back when it was part of a different chain - many moments of sibling rivalry were played out to their natural conclusion amidst the organised chaos that was Charlie Chalks' Fun Factory...

When you walk into The Ashbridge today it's like a different world. Gone is the acrid tang of sweaty feet emanating from said Fun Factory and the accompanying screeching, in its place is modern decor, comfy seating, and an atmosphere of cheerful calm.


We - my Mum, Anthony, Marianna and I - went for a late lunch, with the table booked for 1:30pm. As soon as we arrived we were shown to our table, a swanky leather half-moon booth with a view out to the bar, and provided with a highchair for Marianna. She was grouchy and clingy, whingy and loud, but there were lots of other families eating, and the layout of the restaurant gives each table enough privacy that you don't feel as stressed as you otherwise might with a screaming baby.

There were Easter activities available: some awesome looking face painting (which sadly I knew Marianna would not keep still for), and some easter egg colouring sheets with little packs of crayons. We went for the latter which kept her amused while we ordered our drinks and looked through the menu.

Marianna playing with crayons
No colouring, but the crayons were fascinating enough...

There was such a fab choice of food though, in the end, my Mum and I still opted for our usual gammon steak and chips (£8.79). Anthony had the cauliflower and asparagus macaroni cheese (£7.99). Our food arrived really quickly, and tasted absolutely gorgeous. I find gammon can often be a bit dry when eating out but this wasn't dry at all, something my Mum commented on too. Even Anthony cleared his plate!

I knew Marianna wouldn't eat much, but we decided to order her something from the kids menu and see how she went. I was so impressed with it! You can get two courses from the main kids' menu for £1.99 before 5pm, Mon - Sat, or £3.99 in the evening - even better you can pick and choose from a selection of mains and sides. We settled on poppin' chicken nuggets, skinny cut fries and baked beans. True to form she just picked at it (and threw some chips on the floor *sigh*), but for that value I didn't really mind!

The kids' menu - awesome value for money, and on the back they have a selection of junior meals, smaller versions of adult meals, perfect for youngsters (or oldsters) who can't manage an adult sized portion but feel too grown up for the main kids' range.  You can check the menus out online HERE.

After the main course the staff were around really quickly to clear the plates, and refill the drinks. They were wearing bunny ears in readiness for Easter, and some had gone the full hog and sat for a face painting session. Marianna was most impressed with a minion on one waiter's forehead! The staff were so friendly throughout our entire visit, and I never once felt like Marianna's fussing and grouching was an imposition.

For dessert I chose vanilla dairy ice cream with raspberry sauce (£3.59), Anthony had a scrummy looking chocolate and caramel tart (£4.99), while my mum went for apple and blueberry crumble (£4.49). Marianna had the best dessert of all: the scary face sundae! All the kids' desserts are really cool; my favourite was the 'Graveyard Horror', a wafer coffin filled with chocolate mousse soil, gummy bones and skulls! Other options include a design your own iced biscuit, and lime slime jelly.

Scary Face Sundae
I had way too much fun making the face for Marianna.

Again, the desserts were gorgeous, and Marianna forgot her fussiness as soon as ice cream was involved...


It was so lovely to go out for lunch - it's been months since the last time we did - and, although it's a much different experience with a baby than without, the restaurant is so family friendly. The laid back atmosphere, cheerful staff, and the Easter activities going on combined to make us feel really welcome and at ease.

Eating at The Ashbridge Inn in Cwmbran

I've been writing about visiting as a family, but the restaurant covers a lot of floor space, and has plenty of private booths - if you visited as a couple, or a group of adults,  I definitely don't think you would feel overwhelmed by children and families, even in the day. There is a nice bar area too, if you're waiting to be seated, or just want a drink, and picnic style benches outside for when the weather is fine. Plus, if you're visiting from further afield, there's a very handy Premier Inn which is literally right next door.

A quick mention of the other amenities: the car park is large and doesn't require any walking, a bus stop on the main route through Torfaen (X24) is situated almost directly opposite, and it's only about a 25 minute walk from Cwmbran Shopping. The loos were spotless, and the dining area itself was really clean too. The value for money was fab. I really couldn't find anything to nitpick about.

In short, I'd recommend The Ashbridge Inn to anyone. Why not book a table for Easter? I'm sure we'll be making many more visits over the next few years!




30 comments:

  1. I have never been to a Table Table, but they look fantastic, I think I'm going to have to pop into one next time I'm near. x

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    1. We were all so impressed with it - I hadn't really been since it became a Table Table and it's so much better. x

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  2. I have never heard of Table Table but it looks and sounds like you had an amazing time x

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  3. Looks like a great place to eat out. Love the Horrible Histories kids menu too!

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  4. I love Table Table, the kids really enjoy the Horrible Histories packs

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    1. They're so cool - I wanted one for me! x

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  5. Love the dessert ideas and that they had easter activities on the go. Makes going out for food so much easier when they cater for kiddies.

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  6. oh I love the look of this place wish we had one close to us

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  7. Lol! I have been to many, many smelly playbarns in my time! Had to look on map for this place. We are on our way to a Sykes Cottage on Friday to St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire (from Nottingham). Hopefully we will find some nice pubs along the way!

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    1. They really do have an, er, unique scent! Lol. Ooh, sounds lovely - I hope you have a great time! x

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  8. Sounds like a great place to visit with kids. I love how affordable the kids menu is, definitely something that little man would enjoy! :)
    http://lilinhaangel.com/

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  9. We havent been out to eat in so long! This sounds great ive been meaning to check if we have one local. :) Marie

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    1. Same - it was so nice to go out, even if Marianna was a handful! x

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  10. I like that you were quite privately seated. I hate it when Lucas is fussing and I feel like we are on display x

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    1. It made such a difference, I felt much more in control of the situation! x

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  11. This sounds like a great place for a family meal - I always look out for restaurants that are child friendly as it makes eating out so much more enjoyable! Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

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    1. It really does - there is such a big difference between going for a meal before you have kids and afterwards! x

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  12. Great to have such a well priced kids menu! It's frustrating if you've paid £4 or £5 for something and they don't eat it! #LittleEats

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  13. That macaroni & cheese sounds brilliant, right up my street. It sounds like you all had a lovely time. I often find it hard work eating out with Luisa but it makes a big difference when the layout of the restaurant is well suited to families. Thanks so much for linking up with #LittleEats :)

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    1. It really made a big difference, I didn't get that 'everyone's looking' feeling. x

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  14. This sounds wonderful. It sounds like such a great place for the kiddies too! #LittleEats

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  15. Oooh this place looks great and £1.99 for a two-course kid's meal is SO cheap, wow!
    P.S. I love how Teddy is announcing the title of this post, haha :)
    Lucy
    -x-

    #LittleEats

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    1. :D Thanks, Bungle had a great time - and didn't even get covered in food for once!

      It's really good value, isn't it?? x

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